Protein Crystal Structure Determination
Service Manager: Dr Ehmke Pohl
Protein crystallography is by far the most powerful method to determine the 3-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules. The laboratory for protein crystallography at Durham University is located in the newly refurbished Centre of Bioactive Chemistry and is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for protein purification, crystallization and structure determination.
The availability of high-quality crystals remains in many cases the bottle-neck in a successful crystal structure determination. Purity and homogeneity of the target often limits the crystallization. The service offered therefore begins with protein expression and purification. Both steps are optimized with the particular focus of obtaining a sample more amenable to crystallization. If protein of high purity has already been obtained, hi-throughput nanoliter crystallization experiments are offered. Nowadays as little as 50 µl of sample are needed to setup 192 crystallization experiments. Crystals as small as 50 µm can be tested using the in-house generator and may in favorable cases be sufficient for structure determination. We offer crystallization and structure determination of novel biological macromolecules as well as the structure solution of known proteins with novel ligands and/or inhibitors. These studies may be of particular interest for the pharmaceutical industry.