Heavy-atom Sites (heavy-atom + site)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Combining solution wide-angle X-ray scattering and crystallography: determination of molecular envelope and heavy-atom sites

Xinguo Hong
Solving the phase problem remains central to crystallographic structure determination. A six-dimensional search method of molecular replacement (FSEARCH) can be used to locate a low-resolution molecular envelope determined from small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) within the crystallographic unit cell. This method has now been applied using the higher-resolution envelope provided by combining SAXS and WAXS (wide-angle X-ray scattering) data. The method was tested on horse hemoglobin, using the most probable model selected from a set of a dozen bead models constructed from SAXS/WAXS data using the program GASBOR at 5, resolution (qmax = 1.25,,1) to phase a set of single-crystal diffraction data. It was found that inclusion of WAXS data is essential for correctly locating the molecular envelope in the crystal unit cell, as well as for locating heavy-atom sites. An anomalous difference map was calculated using phases out to 8, resolution from the correctly positioned envelope; four distinct peaks at the 3.2, level were identified, which agree well with the four iron sites of the known structure (Protein Data Bank code 1ns9). In contrast, no peaks could be found close to the iron sites if the molecular envelope was constructed using the data from SAXS alone (qmax = 0.25,,1). The initial phases can be used as a starting point for a variety of phase-extension techniques, successful application of which will result in complete phasing of a crystallographic data set and determination of the internal structure of a macromolecule to atomic resolution. It is anticipated that the combination of FSEARCH and WAXS techniques will facilitate the initial structure determination of proteins and provide a good foundation for further structure refinement. [source]

With phases: how two wrongs can sometimes make a right

Pietro Roversi
In isolation, both weak isomorphous/anomalous difference signals from heavy-atom derivatization and phases from partial molecular-replacement solutions for a subset of the asymmetric unit often fall short of producing interpretable electron-density maps. Phases generated from very partial molecular-replacement models (if generated carefully) can be used to reliably locate heavy-atom sites, even if the signal is not sufficiently strong to allow robust finding of the sites using Patterson interpretation or direct methods. Additional advantages are that using molecular-replacement phases to define the heavy-atom substructure avoids the need for subsequent hand determination and/or origin-choice reconciliation and that the partial model can be used to aid the mask determination during solvent flattening. Two case studies are presented in which it was only by combining experimental and molecular-replacement phasing approaches that the crystal structures could be determined. [source]

Structure of a fatty acid-binding protein from Bacillus subtilis determined by sulfur-SAD phasing using in-house chromium radiation

Jie Nan
Sulfur single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (S-SAD) and halide-soaking methods are increasingly being used for ab initio phasing. With the introduction of in-house Cr X-ray sources, these methods benefit from the enhanced anomalous scattering of S and halide atoms, respectively. Here, these methods were combined to determine the crystal structure of BsDegV, a DegV protein-family member from Bacillus subtilis. The protein was cocrystallized with bromide and low-redundancy data were collected to 2.5, resolution using Cr,K, radiation. 17 heavy-atom sites (ten sulfurs and seven bromides) were located using standard methods. The anomalous scattering of some of the BsDegV S atoms and Br atoms was weak, thus neither sulfurs nor bromides could be used alone for structure determination using the collected data. When all 17 heavy-atom sites were used for SAD phasing, an easily interpretable electron-density map was obtained after density modification. The model of BsDegV was built automatically and a palmitate was found tightly bound in the active site. Sequence alignment and comparisons with other known DegV structures provided further insight into the specificity of fatty-acid selection and recognition within this protein family. [source]

Phasing power at the K absorption edge of organic arsenic

Pascal Retailleau
Single/multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD/MAD) experiments were performed on a crystal of an organic arsenic derivative of hen egg-white lysozyme. A para -arsanilate compound used as a crystallizing reagent was incorporated into the ordered solvent region of the lysozyme molecule. Diffraction data were collected to high resolution (,2.0,) at three wavelengths around the K edge (1.04,) of arsenic at beamline BM30A, ESRF synchrotron. Anomalous Patterson maps clearly showed the main arsanilate site to be between three symmetry-related lysozyme molecules, at a location previously occupied by a para -toluenesulfonate anion. MAD phases at 2, derived using the program SHARP led to an electron-density map of sufficient quality to start manual building of the protein model. Amplitudes from a second crystal measured to a resolution of 1.8, at the peak wavelength revealed two additional heavy-atom sites, which reinforced the anomalous subset model and therefore dramatically improved the phasing power of the arsenic derivative. The subsequent solvent-flattened map was of such high accuracy that the program ARP/wARP was able to build a nearly complete model automatically. This work emphasizes the great potential of arsenic for de novo structure determination using anomalous dispersion methods. [source]