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Open data set of live cyanobacterial cells imaged using an X-ray laser

Description

Structural studies on living cells by conventional methods are limited to low resolution because radiation damage kills cells long before the necessary dose for high resolution can be delivered. X-ray

Structural studies on living cells by conventional methods are limited to low resolution because radiation damage kills cells long before the necessary dose for high resolution can be delivered. X-ray free-electron lasers circumvent this problem by outrunning key damage processes with an ultra-short and extremely bright coherent X-ray pulse. Diffraction-before-destruction experiments provide high-resolution data from cells that are alive when the femtosecond X-ray pulse traverses the sample. This paper presents two data sets from micron-sized cyanobacteria obtained at the Linac Coherent Light Source, containing a total of 199,000 diffraction patterns. Utilizing this type of diffraction data will require the development of new analysis methods and algorithms for studying structure and structural variability in large populations of cells and to create abstract models. Such studies will allow us to understand living cells and populations of cells in new ways. New X-ray lasers, like the European XFEL, will produce billions of pulses per day, and could open new areas in structural sciences.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-01

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Structural studies of P-type ATPase-ligand complexes using an X-ray free-electron laser

Description

Membrane proteins are key players in biological systems, mediating signalling events and the specific transport of e.g. ions and metabolites. Consequently, membrane proteins are targeted by a large number of

Membrane proteins are key players in biological systems, mediating signalling events and the specific transport of e.g. ions and metabolites. Consequently, membrane proteins are targeted by a large number of currently approved drugs. Understanding their functions and molecular mechanisms is greatly dependent on structural information, not least on complexes with functionally or medically important ligands. Structure determination, however, is hampered by the difficulty of obtaining well diffracting, macroscopic crystals. Here, the feasibility of X-ray free-electron-laser-based serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) for the structure determination of membrane protein-ligand complexes using microcrystals of various native-source and recombinant P-type ATPase complexes is demonstrated. The data reveal the binding sites of a variety of ligands, including lipids and inhibitors such as the hallmark P-type ATPase inhibitor orthovanadate. By analyzing the resolution dependence of ligand densities and overall model qualities, SFX data quality metrics as well as suitable refinement procedures are discussed. Even at relatively low resolution and multiplicity, the identification of ligands can be demonstrated. This makes SFX a useful tool for ligand screening and thus for unravelling the molecular mechanisms of biologically active proteins.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-01