The use of heavy water (D(2)O) as a solvent is commonplace in many spectroscopic techniques for the study of biological macromolecules. A significant deuterium isotope effect exists where hydrogen-bonding is important, such as in protein stability, dynamics and assembly. Here we illustrate the use of D(2)O in additive screening for the production of reproducible diffraction-quality crystals for the Salmonella enteritidis fimbriae 14 (SEF14) putative tip adhesin, SefD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper is a companion to a recent paper on fast rotation functions [Storoni et al. (2004), Acta Cryst. D60, 432-438], which showed how a Taylor-series expansion of the maximum-likelihood rotation function leads to improved likelihood-enhanced fast rotation functions. In a similar manner, it is shown here how linear and quadratic Taylor-series expansions and least-squares approximations of the maximum-likelihood translation function lead to likelihood-enhanced translation functions, which can be calculated by FFT and which are more sensitive to the correct translation than the traditional correlation-coefficient fast translation function. These likelihood-enhanced translation targets for molecular-replacement searches have been implemented in the program Phaser using the Computational Crystallography Toolbox (cctbx).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new technique for the automated tracing of protein chains in experimental electron-density maps is described. The technique relies on the repeated application of an oriented electron-density likelihood target function to identify likely C(alpha) positions. This function is applied both in the location of a few promising ;seed' positions in the map and to grow those initial C(alpha) positions into extended chain fragments. Techniques for assembling the chain fragments into an initial chain trace are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 3D structures of human therapeutic targets are enabling for drug discovery. However, their purification and crystallization remain rate determining. In individual cases, ligands have been used to increase the success rate of protein purification and crystallization, but the broad applicability of this approach is unknown. We implemented two screening platforms, based on either fluorimetry or static light scattering, to measure the increase in protein thermal stability upon binding of a ligand without the need to monitor enzyme activity. In total, 221 different proteins from humans and human parasites were screened against one or both of two sorts of small-molecule libraries. The first library comprised different salts, pH conditions, and commonly found small molecules and was applicable to all proteins. The second comprised compounds specific for protein families of particular interest (e.g., protein kinases). In 20 cases, including nine unique human protein kinases, a small molecule was identified that stabilized the proteins and promoted structure determination. The methods are cost-effective, can be implemented in any laboratory, promise to increase the success rates of purifying and crystallizing human proteins significantly, and identify new ligands for these proteins.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(43):15835-40. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0605224103 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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