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Nat Methods. 2015 Apr;12(4):307-18. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3324.

Integrative, dynamic structural biology at atomic resolution--it's about time.

Author information

1] Joint Center for Structural Genomics, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Stanford University, Menlo Park, California, USA. [2] Division of Biosciences, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Menlo Park, California, USA.
1] Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. [2] California Institute for Quantitative Biology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Biomolecules adopt a dynamic ensemble of conformations, each with the potential to interact with binding partners or perform the chemical reactions required for a multitude of cellular functions. Recent advances in X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and other techniques are helping us realize the dream of seeing--in atomic detail--how different parts of biomolecules shift between functional substates using concerted motions. Integrative structural biology has advanced our understanding of the formation of large macromolecular complexes and how their components interact in assemblies by leveraging data from many low-resolution methods. Here, we review the growing opportunities for integrative, dynamic structural biology at the atomic scale, contending there is increasing synergistic potential between X-ray crystallography, NMR and computer simulations to reveal a structural basis for protein conformational dynamics at high resolution.

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