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Title: Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins

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Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 602; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-08-02 11:19:13; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-9861
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

O'Dell, William B., Bodenheimer, Annette M., and Meilleur, Flora. Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/
O'Dell, William B., Bodenheimer, Annette M., & Meilleur, Flora. Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins. United States. doi:10.1016/
O'Dell, William B., Bodenheimer, Annette M., and Meilleur, Flora. 2016. "Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins". United States. doi:10.1016/
title = {Neutron protein crystallography: A complementary tool for locating hydrogens in proteins},
author = {O'Dell, William B. and Bodenheimer, Annette M. and Meilleur, Flora},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/},
journal = {Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics},
number = C,
volume = 602,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/

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  • Many proteins function in the crystalline state, making crystallography a tool that, beside structure, can address mechanism. By initiating biological turnover in the crystal, transient structural species form, which may be filmed 'on the fly' by Laue diffraction or captured by trapping methods. These strategies are jointly referred to as 'kinetic crystallography'. In this article, we review the general concepts of kinetic crystallography in the context of the conformational energy landscape of a protein. Whereas Laue diffraction is best suited to the investigation of cyclic, ultra-fast and light-triggered reactions, trapping approaches, on the other hand, are applicable to a widermore » range of biological systems but require care to avoid artefacts. Complementary methods - mainly UV/visible single-crystal spectroscopy - have proven essential to design, interpret and validate kinetic crystallography experiments. Achievements in the field as well as remaining puzzling questions are considered through the examination of recently published work: real-time-resolved crystallography of dimeric haemoglobin based on pump-probe Laue diffraction, temperature-trapping crystallography of acetylcholinesterase based on photo- and radio-induced ligand cleavage, and lattice-trapping crystallography of superoxide reductase based on product soaking and the combined use of X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy.« less
  • The current version of the Cryobench in crystallo optical spectroscopy facility of the ESRF is presented. The diverse experiments that can be performed at the Cryobench are also reviewed. The analysis of structural data obtained by X-ray crystallography benefits from information obtained from complementary techniques, especially as applied to the crystals themselves. As a consequence, optical spectroscopies in structural biology have become instrumental in assessing the relevance and context of many crystallographic results. Since the year 2000, it has been possible to record such data adjacent to, or directly on, the Structural Biology Group beamlines of the ESRF. A coremore » laboratory featuring various spectrometers, named the Cryobench, is now in its third version and houses portable devices that can be directly mounted on beamlines. This paper reports the current status of the Cryobench, which is now located on the MAD beamline ID29 and is thus called the ID29S-Cryobench (where S stands for ‘spectroscopy’). It also reviews the diverse experiments that can be performed at the Cryobench, highlighting the various scientific questions that can be addressed.« less
  • X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy provide the only sources of experimental data from which protein structures can be analyzed at high or even atomic resolution. The degree to which these methods complement each other as sources of structural knowledge is a matter of debate; it is often proposed that small proteins yielding high quality, readily analyzed NMR spectra are a subset of those that readily yield strongly diffracting crystals. We have examined the correlation between NMR spectral quality and success in structure determination by X-ray crystallography for 159 prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins, prescreened to avoid proteins providing polydisperse and/or aggregatedmore » samples. This study demonstrates that, across this protein sample set, the quality of a protein's [{sup 15}N-{sup 1}H]-heteronuclear correlation (HSQC) spectrum recorded under conditions generally suitable for 3D structure determination by NMR, a key predictor of the ability to determine a structure by NMR, is not correlated with successful crystallization and structure determination by X-ray crystallography. These results, together with similar results of an independent study presented in the accompanying paper (Yee, et al., Journal of the American Chemical Society, accompanying paper), demonstrate that X-ray crystallography and NMR often provide complementary sources of structural data and that both methods are required in order to optimize success for as many targets as possible in large-scale structural proteomics efforts.« less
  • The Protein Crystallography Station (PCS), located at the Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center (LANSCE), was the first macromolecular crystallography beamline to be built at a spallation neutron source. Following testing and commissioning, the PCS user program was funded by the Biology and Environmental Research program of the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-OBER) for 13 years (2002–2014). The PCS remained the only dedicated macromolecular neutron crystallography station in North America until the construction and commissioning of the MaNDi and IMAGINE instruments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which started in 2012. The instrument produced a number of research and technicalmore » outcomes that have contributed to the field, clearly demonstrating the power of neutron crystallography in helping scientists to understand enzyme reaction mechanisms, hydrogen bonding and visualization of H-atom positions, which are critical to nearly all chemical reactions. During this period, neutron crystallography became a technique that increasingly gained traction, and became more integrated into macromolecular crystallography through software developments led by investigators at the PCS. As a result, this review highlights the contributions of the PCS to macromolecular neutron crystallography, and gives an overview of the history of neutron crystallography and the development of macromolecular neutron crystallography from the 1960s to the 1990s and onwards through the 2000s.« less