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Title: Experimental phasing for structure determination using membrane-protein crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase method

Very little information is available in the literature concerning the experimental heavy-atom phasing of membrane-protein structures where the crystals have been grown using the lipid cubic phase (in meso) method. In this paper, pre-labelling, co-crystallization, soaking, site-specific mercury binding to genetically engineered single-cysteine mutants and selenomethionine labelling as applied to an integral membrane kinase crystallized in meso are described. An assay to assess cysteine accessibility for mercury labelling of membrane proteins is introduced. Despite the marked increase in the number of membrane-protein structures solved using crystals grown by the lipid cubic phase or in meso method, only ten have been determined by SAD/MAD. This is likely to be a consequence of the technical difficulties associated with handling proteins and crystals in the sticky and viscous hosting mesophase that is usually incubated in glass sandwich plates for the purposes of crystallization. Here, a four-year campaign aimed at phasing the in meso structure of the integral membrane diacylglycerol kinase (DgkA) from Escherichia coli is reported. Heavy-atom labelling of this small hydrophobic enzyme was attempted by pre-labelling, co-crystallization, soaking, site-specific mercury binding to genetically engineered single-cysteine mutants and selenomethionine incorporation. Strategies and techniques for special handling are reported, as well as the typicalmore » results and the lessons learned for each of these approaches. In addition, an assay to assess the accessibility of cysteine residues in membrane proteins for mercury labelling is introduced. The various techniques and strategies described will provide a valuable reference for future experimental phasing of membrane proteins where crystals are grown by the lipid cubic phase method.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Trinity College Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22347742
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography; Journal Volume: 71; Journal Issue: Pt 1; Other Information: PMCID: PMC4304691; PMID: 25615865; PUBLISHER-ID: ba5218; OAI: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:4304691; Copyright (c) Li et al. 2015; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
Denmark
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ATOMS; CRYSTALLIZATION; CRYSTALS; CYSTEINE; ESCHERICHIA COLI; GLASS; MEMBRANES; MERCURY; PLATES