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The room temperature crystal structure of a bacterial phytochrome determined by serial femtosecond crystallography

Description

Phytochromes are a family of photoreceptors that control light responses of plants, fungi and bacteria. A sequence of structural changes, which is not yet fully understood, leads to activation of

Phytochromes are a family of photoreceptors that control light responses of plants, fungi and bacteria. A sequence of structural changes, which is not yet fully understood, leads to activation of an output domain. Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) can potentially shine light on these conformational changes. Here we report the room temperature crystal structure of the chromophore-binding domains of the Deinococcus radiodurans phytochrome at 2.1 Å resolution. The structure was obtained by serial femtosecond X-ray crystallography from microcrystals at an X-ray free electron laser. We find overall good agreement compared to a crystal structure at 1.35 Å resolution derived from conventional crystallography at cryogenic temperatures, which we also report here. The thioether linkage between chromophore and protein is subject to positional ambiguity at the synchrotron, but is fully resolved with SFX. The study paves the way for time-resolved structural investigations of the phytochrome photocycle with time-resolved SFX.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-19

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Lipidic cubic phase injector is a viable crystal delivery system for time-resolved serial crystallography

Description

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron laser sources is an emerging method with considerable potential for time-resolved pump-probe experiments. Here we present a lipidic cubic phase SFX structure of

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron laser sources is an emerging method with considerable potential for time-resolved pump-probe experiments. Here we present a lipidic cubic phase SFX structure of the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to 2.3 Å resolution and a method to investigate protein dynamics with modest sample requirement. Time-resolved SFX (TR-SFX) with a pump-probe delay of 1 ms yields difference Fourier maps compatible with the dark to M state transition of bR. Importantly, the method is very sample efficient and reduces sample consumption to about 1 mg per collected time point. Accumulation of M intermediate within the crystal lattice is confirmed by time-resolved visible absorption spectroscopy. This study provides an important step towards characterizing the complete photocycle dynamics of retinal proteins and demonstrates the feasibility of a sample efficient viscous medium jet for TR-SFX.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-22