Journal article

Protein crystallography at ultra-short wavelengths: Feasibility study of anomalous-dispersion experiments at the xenon K-edge

A protein crystallography experiment at the xenon K-edge (lambda = 0.358 Angstrom) has been successfully carried out at the materials science beamline (BL2/ID11) of the ESRF. The samples used in this methodological study were crystals of porcine pancreatic elastase, a 26 kDa protein of known structure. The diffraction data are of excellent quality. The combination of isomorphous replacement and anomalous dispersion of a single xenon heavy-atom derivative allowed accurate phase determination and the computation of a high-quality electron density map of the protein molecule. This is the first fully documented report on a complete protein crystallography experiment, from data collection up to phase determination and calculation of an electron density map, carried out with data obtained at ultra-short wavelengths. Experimental considerations as well as possible advantages and drawbacks of protein crystallography at very short and ultra-short wavelengths are discussed.


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