Crystallization of a potassium ion channel and X-ray and neutron data collection.
ABSTRACT: The mechanism by which potassium ions are transported through ion channels is currently being investigated by several groups using many different techniques. Clarification of the location of water molecules during transport is central to understanding how these integral membrane proteins function. Neutrons have a unique sensitivity to both hydrogen and potassium, rendering neutron crystallography capable of distinguishing waters from K+ ions. Here, the collection of a complete neutron data set from a potassium ion channel to a resolution of 3.55?Å using the Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer (MaNDi) is reported. A room-temperature X-ray data set was also collected from the same crystal to a resolution of 2.50?Å. Upon further refinement, these results will help to further clarify the ion/water population within the selectivity filter of potassium ion channels.
Project description:The Fenna-Matthews-Olson protein from Prosthecochloris aestuarii (PaFMO) has been crystallized in a new form that is amenable to high-resolution X-ray and neutron analysis. The crystals belonged to space group H3, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 83.64, c = 294.78?Å, and diffracted X-rays to ?1.7?Å resolution at room temperature. Large PaFMO crystals grown to volumes of 0.3-0.5?mm3 diffracted neutrons to 2.2?Å resolution on the MaNDi neutron diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source. The resolution of the neutron data will allow direct determination of the positions of H atoms in the structure, which are believed to be fundamentally important in tuning the individual excitation energies of bacteriochlorophylls in this archetypal photosynthetic antenna complex. This is one of the largest unit-cell systems yet studied using neutron diffraction, and will allow the first high-resolution neutron analysis of a photosynthetic antenna complex.
Project description:The PsbO protein of photosystem II stabilizes the active-site manganese cluster and is thought to act as a proton antenna. To enable neutron diffraction studies, crystals of the ?-barrel core of PsbO were grown in capillaries. The crystals were optimized by screening additives in a counter-diffusion setup in which the protein and reservoir solutions were separated by a 1% agarose plug. Crystals were cross-linked with glutaraldehyde. Initial neutron diffraction data were collected from a 0.25?mm3 crystal at room temperature using the MaNDi single-crystal diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Project description:SENJU is a new single-crystal time-of-flight neutron diffractometer installed at BL18 at the Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility of the Japan Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC). The diffractometer was designed for precise crystal and magnetic structure analyses under multiple extreme sample environments such as low temperature, high pressure and high magnetic field, and for diffraction measurements of small single crystals down to 0.1?mm(3) in volume. SENJU comprises three choppers, an elliptical shape straight supermirror guide, a vacuum sample chamber and 37 scintillator area detectors. The moderator-to-sample distance is 34.8?m, and the sample-to-detector distance is 800?mm. The wavelength of incident neutrons is 0.4-4.4?Å (first frame). Because short-wavelength neutrons are available and the large solid angle around the sample position is covered by the area detectors, a large reciprocal space can be simultaneously measured. Furthermore, the vacuum sample chamber and collimator have been designed to produce a very low background level. Thus, the measurement of a small single crystal is possible. As sample environment devices, a newly developed cryostat with a two-axis (? and ? axes) goniometer and some extreme environment devices, e.g. a vertical-field magnet, high-temperature furnace and high-pressure cell, are available. The structure analysis of a sub-millimetre size (0.1?mm(3)) single organic crystal, taurine, and a magnetic structure analysis of the antiferromagnetic phase of MnF2 have been performed. These results demonstrate that SENJU can be a powerful tool to promote materials science research.
Project description:In comparison with pristine sinomenine and carborane precursors, the calculations of molecular docking with matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and methylcarboranyl-n-butyl sinomenine showed improved interactions. Accordingly, methylcarboranyl-n-butyl sinomenine shows a high potential in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the presence of slow neutrons. The reaction of potassium salt of sinomenie, which is generated from the deprotonation of sinomenine (1) using potassium carbonate in a solvent of N,N-dimethyl formamide, with 4-methylcarboranyl-n-butyl iodide, (2) forms methylcarboranyl-n-butyl sinomenine (3) in 54.3% yield as a new product. This new compound was characterized by 1H, 13C, and 11B NMR spectroscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, and elemental analyses to confirm its molecular composition. In addition to molecular docking interactions with MMPs, the in vitro killing effects of 3, along with its toxicity measurements, exhibited its potential to be the new drug delivery agent for boron neutron capture synovectomy (BNCS) and boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and cancers in the presence of slow neutrons, respectively.
Project description:The hydration of the coenzyme cob(II)alamin has been studied using high-resolution monochromatic neutron crystallographic data collected at room temperature to a resolution of 0.92 Å on the original D19 diffractometer with a prototype 4° × 64° detector at the high-flux reactor neutron source run by the Institute Laue-Langevin. The resulting structure provides hydrogen-bonding parameters for the hydration of biomacromolecules to unprecedented accuracy. These experimental parameters will be used to define more accurate force fields for biomacromolecular structure refinement. The presence of a hydrophobic bowl motif surrounded by flexible side chains with terminal functional groups may be significant for the efficient scavenging of ligands. The feasibility of extending the resolution of this structure to ultrahigh resolution was investigated by collecting time-of-flight neutron crystallographic data during commissioning of the TOPAZ diffractometer with a prototype array of 14 modular 2° × 21° detectors at the Spallation Neutron Source run by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Project description:Crystals of left-handed Z-DNA [d(CGCGCG)]2 diffract X-rays to beyond 1?Å resolution, feature a small unit cell (?18 × 31 × 44?Å) and are well hydrated, with around 90 water molecules surrounding the duplex in the asymmetric unit. The duplex shows regular hydration patterns in the narrow minor groove, on the convex surface and around sugar-phosphate backbones. Therefore, Z-DNA offers an ideal case to test the benefits of low-temperature neutron diffraction data collection to potentially determine the donor-acceptor patterns of first- and second-shell water molecules. Nucleic acid fragments pose challenges for neutron crystallography because water molecules are located on the surface rather than inside sequestered spaces such as protein active sites or channels. Water molecules can be expected to display dynamic behavior, particularly in cases where water is not part of an inner shell and directly coordinated to DNA atoms. Thus, nuclear density maps based on room-temperature diffraction data with a resolution of 1.6?Å did not allow an unequivocal determination of the orientations of water molecules. Here, cryo-neutron diffraction data collection for a Z-DNA crystal on the Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the outcome of an initial refinement of the structure are reported. A total of 12 diffraction images were recorded with an exposure time of 3.5?h per image, whereby the crystal was static for each diffraction image with a 10° ? rotation between images. Initial refinements using these neutron data indicated the positions and orientations of 30 water molecules within the first hydration shell of the DNA molecule. This experiment constitutes a state-of-the-art approach and is the first attempt to our knowledge to determine the low-temperature neutron structure of a DNA crystal.
Project description:Heterotrimeric glutamine amidotransferase CAB (GatCAB) possesses an ammonia-self-sufficient mechanism in which ammonia is produced and used in the inner complex by GatA and GatB, respectively. The X-ray structure of GatCAB revealed that the two identified active sites of GatA and GatB are markedly distant, but are connected in the complex by a channel of 30?Å in length. In order to clarify whether ammonia is transferred through this channel in GatCAB by visualizing ammonia, neutron diffraction studies are indispensable. Here, GatCAB crystals were grown to approximate dimensions of 2.8 × 0.8 × 0.8?mm (a volume of 1.8?mm3) with the aid of a polymer using microseeding and macroseeding processes. Monochromatic neutron diffraction data were collected using the neutron single-crystal diffractometer BIODIFF at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum, Germany. The GatCAB crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 74.6, b = 94.5, c = 182.5?Å and with one GatCAB complex (molecular mass 119?kDa) in the asymmetric unit. This study represented a challenge in current neutron diffraction technology.
Project description:Visualizing hydrogen atoms in biological materials is one of the biggest remaining challenges in biophysical analysis. While X-ray techniques have unrivaled capacity for high-throughput structure determination, neutron diffraction is uniquely sensitive to hydrogen atom positions in crystals of biological materials and can provide a more complete picture of the atomic and electronic structures of biological macromolecules. This information can be essential in providing predictive understanding and engineering control of key biological processes, for example, in catalysis, ligand binding and light harvesting, and to guide bioengineering of enzymes and drug design. One very common and large capability gap for all neutron atomic resolution single-crystal diffractometers is the weak flux of available neutron beams, which results in limited signal-to-noise ratios giving a requirement for sample volumes of at least 0.1 mm3. The ability to operate on crystals an order of magnitude smaller (0.01 mm3) will open up new and more complex systems to studies with neutrons which will help in our understanding of enzyme mechanisms and enable us to improve drugs against multi resistant bacteria. With this is mind, an extended wide-angle Laue diffractometer, 'Ewald', has been designed, which can collect data using crystal volumes below 0.01 mm3.
Project description:Electrochemical energy conversion and storage is key for the use of regenerative energies at large scale. A thorough understanding of the individual components, such as the ion conducting membrane and the electrode layers, can be obtained with scattering techniques on atomic to molecular length scales. The largely heterogeneous electrode layers of High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells are studied in this work with small- and wide-angle neutron scattering at the same time with the iMATERIA diffractometer at the spallation neutron source at J-PARC, opening a view on structural properties on atomic to mesoscopic length scales. Recent results on the proton mobility from the same samples measured with backscattering spectroscopy are put into relation with the structural findings.
Project description:Bystander effects have been observed repeatedly in mammalian cells following photon and alpha particle irradiation. However, few studies have been performed to investigate bystander effects arising from neutron irradiation. Here we asked whether neutrons also induce a bystander effect in two normal human lymphoblastoid cell lines. These cells were exposed to fast neutrons produced by targeting a near-monoenergetic 50.5 MeV proton beam at a Be target (17 MeV average neutron energy), and irradiated-cell conditioned media (ICCM) was transferred to unirradiated cells. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was used to quantify genetic damage in radiation-naïve cells exposed to ICCM from cultures that received 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 or 4 Gy neutrons. Cells grown in ICCM from irradiated cells showed no significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or nucleoplasmic bridges compared to cells grown in ICCM from sham irradiated cells for either cell line. However, the neutron beam has a photon dose-contamination of 5%, which may modulate a neutron-induced bystander effect. To determine whether these low doses of contaminating photons can induce a bystander effect, cells were irradiated with cobalt-60 at doses equivalent to the percent contamination for each neutron dose. No significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or bridges was observed at these doses of photons for either cell line when cultured in ICCM. As expected, high doses of photons induced a clear bystander effect in both cell lines for micronuclei and bridges (p<0.0001). These data indicate that neutrons do not induce a bystander effect in these cells. Finally, neutrons had a relative biological effectiveness of 2.0 ± 0.13 for micronuclei and 5.8 ± 2.9 for bridges compared to cobalt-60. These results may be relevant to radiation therapy with fast neutrons and for regulatory agencies setting standards for neutron radiation protection and safety.