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The Nucleation and Growth of Protein CrystalsObtaining crystals of suitable size and high quality continues to be a major bottleneck in macromolecular crystallography. Currently, structural genomics efforts are achieving on average about a 10% success rate in going from purified protein to a deposited crystal structure. Growth of crystals in microgravity was proposed as a means of overcoming size and quality problems, which subsequently led to a major NASA effort in microgravity crystal growth, with the agency also funding research into understanding the process. Studies of the macromolecule crystal nucleation and growth process were carried out in a number of labs in an effort to understand what affected the resultant crystal quality on Earth, and how microgravity improved the process. Based upon experimental evidence, as well as simple starting assumptions, we have proposed that crystal nucleation occurs by a series of discrete self assembly steps, which 'set' the underlying crystal symmetry. This talk will review the model developed, and its origins, in our laboratory for how crystals nucleate and grow, and will then present, along with preliminary data, how we propose to use this model to improve the success rate for obtaining crystals from a given protein.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pusey, Marc
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Meeting Information
Meeting: Fall Seminar Series
Location: Toledo, OH
Country: United States
Start Date: November 4, 2004
End Date: November 6, 2004
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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