Matching Items (5)

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Method development in crystallization for femtosecond nanocrystallography

Description

Membrane proteins are a vital part of cellular structure. They are directly involved in many important cellular functions, such as uptake, signaling, respiration, and photosynthesis, among others. Despite their importance,

Membrane proteins are a vital part of cellular structure. They are directly involved in many important cellular functions, such as uptake, signaling, respiration, and photosynthesis, among others. Despite their importance, however, less than 500 unique membrane protein structures have been determined to date. This is due to several difficulties with macromolecular crystallography, primarily the difficulty of growing large, well-ordered protein crystals. Since the first proof of concept for femtosecond nanocrystallography showing that diffraction patterns can be collected on extremely small crystals, thus negating the need to grow larger crystals, there have been many exciting advancements in the field. The technique has been proven to show high spatial resolution, thus making it a viable method for structural biology. However, due to the ultrafast nature of the technique, which allows for a lack of radiation damage in imaging, even more interesting experiments are possible, and the first temporal and spatial images of an undamaged structure could be acquired. This concept was denoted as time-resolved femtosecond nanocrystallography.

This dissertation presents on the first time-resolved data set of Photosystem II where structural changes can actually be seen without radiation damage. In order to accomplish this, new crystallization techniques had to be developed so that enough crystals could be made for the liquid jet to deliver a fully hydrated stream of crystals to the high-powered X-ray source. These changes are still in the preliminary stages due to the slightly lower resolution data obtained, but they are still a promising show of the power of this new technique. With further optimization of crystal growth methods and quality, injection technique, and continued development of data analysis software, it is only a matter of time before the ability to make movies of molecules in motion from X-ray diffraction snapshots in time exists. The work presented here is the first step in that process.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Time-resolved crystallography using X-ray free-electron laser

Description

Photosystem II (PSII) is a large protein-cofactor complex. The first step in

photosynthesis involves the harvesting of light energy from the sun by the antenna (made

of pigments) of the PSII trans-membrane

Photosystem II (PSII) is a large protein-cofactor complex. The first step in

photosynthesis involves the harvesting of light energy from the sun by the antenna (made

of pigments) of the PSII trans-membrane complex. The harvested excitation energy is

transferred from the antenna complex to the reaction center of the PSII, which leads to a

light-driven charge separation event, from water to plastoquinone. This phenomenal

process has been producing the oxygen that maintains the oxygenic environment of our

planet for the past 2.5 billion years.

The oxygen molecule formation involves the light-driven extraction of 4 electrons

and protons from two water molecules through a multistep reaction, in which the Oxygen

Evolving Center (OEC) of PSII cycles through 5 different oxidation states, S0 to S4.

Unraveling the water-splitting mechanism remains as a grant challenge in the field of

photosynthesis research. This requires the development of an entirely new capability, the

ability to produce molecular movies. This dissertation advances a novel technique, Serial

Femtosecond X-ray crystallography (SFX), into a new realm whereby such time-resolved

molecular movies may be attained. The ultimate goal is to make a “molecular movie” that

reveals the dynamics of the water splitting mechanism using time-resolved SFX (TRSFX)

experiments and the uniquely enabling features of X-ray Free-Electron Laser

(XFEL) for the study of biological processes.

This thesis presents the development of SFX techniques, including development of

new methods to analyze millions of diffraction patterns (~100 terabytes of data per XFEL

experiment) with the goal of solving the X-ray structures in different transition states.

ii

The research comprises significant advancements to XFEL software packages (e.g.,

Cheetah and CrystFEL). Initially these programs could evaluate only 8-10% of all the

data acquired successfully. This research demonstrates that with manual optimizations,

the evaluation success rate was enhanced to 40-50%. These improvements have enabled

TR-SFX, for the first time, to examine the double excited state (S3) of PSII at 5.5-Å. This

breakthrough demonstrated the first indication of conformational changes between the

ground (S1) and the double-excited (S3) states, a result fully consistent with theoretical

predictions.

The power of the TR-SFX technique was further demonstrated with proof-of principle

experiments on Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP) micro-crystals that high

temporal (10-ns) and spatial (1.5-Å) resolution structures could be achieved.

In summary, this dissertation research heralds the development of the TR-SFX

technique, protocols, and associated data analysis methods that will usher into practice a

new era in structural biology for the recording of ‘molecular movies’ of any biomolecular

process.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Serial Femtosecond Crystallography of Proteins in Proteins and Cancer

Description

This thesis focuses on serial crystallography studies with X-ray free electron lasers

(XFEL) with a special emphasis on data analysis to investigate important processes

in bioenergy conversion and medicinal applications.

First, the work

This thesis focuses on serial crystallography studies with X-ray free electron lasers

(XFEL) with a special emphasis on data analysis to investigate important processes

in bioenergy conversion and medicinal applications.

First, the work on photosynthesis focuses on time-resolved femtosecond crystallography

studies of Photosystem II (PSII). The structural-dynamic studies of the water

splitting reaction centering on PSII is a current hot topic of interest in the field, the

goal of which is to capture snapshots of the structural changes during the Kok cycle.

This thesis presents results from time-resolved serial femtosecond (fs) crystallography

experiments (TR-SFX) where data sets are collected at room temperature from a

stream of crystals that intersect with the ultrashort femtosecond X-ray pulses at an

XFEL with the goal to obtain structural information from the transient state (S4)

state of the cycle where the O=O bond is formed, and oxygen is released. The most

current techniques available in SFX/TR-SFX to handle hundreds of millions of raw

diffraction patterns are discussed, including selection of the best diffraction patterns,

allowing for their indexing and further data processing. The results include two 4.0 Å

resolution structures of the ground S1 state and triple excited S4 transient state.

Second, this thesis reports on the first international XFEL user experiments in

South Korea at the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL-XFEL). The usability of this

new XFEL in a proof-of-principle experiment for the study of microcrystals of human

taspase1 (an important cancer target) by SFX has been tested. The descriptions of

experiments and discussions of specific data evaluation challenges of this project in

light of the taspase1 crystals’ high anisotropy, which limited the resolution to 4.5 Å,

are included in this report

In summary, this thesis examines current techniques that are available in the

SFX/TR-SFX domain to study crystal structures from microcrystals damage-free,

with the future potential of making movies of biological processes.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Serial femtosecond crystallography data analysis of photosystem II

Description

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) uses diffraction patterns from crystals delivered in a serial fashion to an X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) for structure determination. Typically, each diffraction pattern is a

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) uses diffraction patterns from crystals delivered in a serial fashion to an X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) for structure determination. Typically, each diffraction pattern is a snapshot from a different crystal. SFX limits the effect of radiation damage and enables the use of nano/micro crystals for structure determination. However, analysis of SFX data is challenging since each snapshot is processed individually.

Many photosystem II (PSII) dataset have been collected at XFELs, several of which are time-resolved (containing both dark and laser illuminated frames). Comparison of light and dark datasets requires understanding systematic errors that can be introduced during data analysis. This dissertation describes data analysis of PSII datasets with a focus on the effect of parameters on later results. The influence of the subset of data used in the analysis is also examined and several criteria are screened for their utility in creating better subsets of data. Subsets are compared with Bragg data analysis and continuous diffuse scattering data analysis.

A new tool, DatView aids in the creation of subsets and visualization of statistics. DatView was developed to improve the loading speed to visualize statistics of large SFX datasets and simplify the creation of subsets based on the statistics. It combines the functionality of several existing visualization tools into a single interface, improving the exploratory power of the tool. In addition, it has comparison features that allow a pattern-by-pattern analysis of the effect of processing parameters. \emph{DatView} improves the efficiency of SFX data analysis by reducing loading time and providing novel visualization tools.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Modeling the TyrZ-His 190 pair of photosystem II for the study of proton coupled electron transfer

Description

The work described in the thesis involves the synthesis of a molecular triad which is designed to undergo proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) upon irradiation with light. Photoinduced PCET is

The work described in the thesis involves the synthesis of a molecular triad which is designed to undergo proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) upon irradiation with light. Photoinduced PCET is an important process that many organisms use and the elucidation of its mechanism will allow further understanding of this process and its potential applications. The target compound designed for PCET studies consists of a porphyrin chromophore (also a primary electron donor), covalently linked to a phenol-imidazole (secondary electron donor), and a C60 (primary electron acceptor). The phenol-imidazole moiety of this system is modeled after the TyrZ His-190 residues in the reaction center of Photosystem II (PS II). These residues participate in an intermolecular H-bond between the phenol side chain of TyrZ and the imidazole side chain of His-190. The phenol side chain of TyrZ is the electron transfer mediator between the oxygen evolving complex (OEC) and P680 (primary electron donor) in PSII. During electron transfer from TyrZ to P680*+, the phenolic proton of TyrZ becomes highly acidic (pKa~-2) and the hydrogen is preferentially transferred to the relatively basic imidazole of His-190 through a pre-existing hydrogen bond. This PCET process avoids a charged intermediate, on TyrZ, and results in a neutral phenolic radical (TyrZ*). The current research consists of building a molecular triad, which can mimic the photoinduced PCET process of PSII. The following, documents the synthetic progress in the synthesis of a molecular triad designed to investigate the mechanism of PCET as well as gain further insight on how this process can be applied in artificial photosynthetic devices.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011