Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doing more with less: in cellulo structure determinations

Date:
June 2, 2014
Source:
International Union of Crystallography
Summary:
Anyone involved in macromolecular crystallography will know that for many years scientists have had to rely on a multi-stage process utilizing protein, usually expressed in engineered cells, which is then extracted and purified before crystallization in vitro and finally prepared for analysis. As a counter to this time-consuming and substantial scientific effort, there are a number of examples of protein crystallization events occurring in vivo, with next to no human input. In a case presented in a recent paper, an insect virus exploits the phenomenon as part of its life cycle.

Anyone involved in macromolecular crystallography will know that for many years scientists have had to rely on a multi-stage process utilizing protein, usually expressed in engineered cells, which is then extracted and purified before crystallization in vitro and finally prepared for analysis.

As a counter to this time-consuming and substantial scientific effort, there are a number of examples of protein crystallization events occurring in vivo, with next to no human input. In a case presented in a recent paper an insect virus exploits the phenomenon as part of its life cycle. Not surprisingly an issue with intracellular protein crystals is that they are typically very small, limited by the size of the cell. However, microfocus beamlines at synchrotron light sources prove here to be capable and refined in the analysis of micron-scale in vivo samples.

A group of scientists from the Diamond Light Source and the University of Oxford, UK has been able to study crystals inside the cells directly using X-ray analysis without complex attempts to extract and prepare samples. It would not be out of place to assume that the presence of cellular material might compromise the experiment. However, the researchers’ results show that the exact opposite may actually be true; the cell maintains the crystals in an environment amenable to the collection of data.

It will be interesting to see if an improved understanding of protein crystallization in vivo can bring more targets within reach of such analysis. Certainly continued technical developments, including increased photon flux and reduced beam size, will improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Together with more efficient data processing, this means that we will be able to do more with less and exploit novel microcrystal targets of increasing complexity for in vivo structural studies.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Union of Crystallography. The original article was written by Jonathan Agbenyega. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Danny Axford, Xiaoyun Ji, David I. Stuart, Geoff Sutton. In cellulostructure determination of a novel cypovirus polyhedrin. Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography, 2014; 70 (5): 1435 DOI: 10.1107/S1399004714004714

Cite This Page:

International Union of Crystallography. "Doing more with less: in cellulo structure determinations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602104756.htm>.
International Union of Crystallography. (2014, June 2). Doing more with less: in cellulo structure determinations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602104756.htm
International Union of Crystallography. "Doing more with less: in cellulo structure determinations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602104756.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins