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Title: Solving the RNA polymerase I structural puzzle

Details of the RNA polymerase I crystal structure determination provide a framework for solution of the structures of other multi-subunit complexes. Simple crystallographic experiments are described to extract relevant biological information such as the location of the enzyme active site. Knowing the structure of multi-subunit complexes is critical to understand basic cellular functions. However, when crystals of these complexes can be obtained they rarely diffract beyond 3 Å resolution, which complicates X-ray structure determination and refinement. The crystal structure of RNA polymerase I, an essential cellular machine that synthesizes the precursor of ribosomal RNA in the nucleolus of eukaryotic cells, has recently been solved. Here, the crucial steps that were undertaken to build the atomic model of this multi-subunit enzyme are reported, emphasizing how simple crystallographic experiments can be used to extract relevant biological information. In particular, this report discusses the combination of poor molecular replacement and experimental phases, the application of multi-crystal averaging and the use of anomalous scatterers as sequence markers to guide tracing and to locate the active site. The methods outlined here will likely serve as a reference for future structural determination of large complexes at low resolution.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [5]
  1. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid (Spain)
  3. Georg-August-University, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
  4. SOLEIL Synchrotron, L’Orme de Merisiers, Saint Aubin, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
  5. (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22347756
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography; Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: Pt 10; Other Information: PMCID: PMC4188003; PMID: 25286842; PUBLISHER-ID: tz5059; OAI: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:4188003; Copyright (c) Moreno-Morcillo et al. 2014; 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; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; CRYSTALS; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; PRECURSOR; RESOLUTION; SOLUTIONS