3D-MiXD: 3D-printed X-ray-compatible microfluidic devices for rapid, low-consumption serial synchrotron crystallography data collection in flow.
ABSTRACT: Serial crystallography has enabled the study of complex biological questions through the determination of biomolecular structures at room temperature using low X-ray doses. Furthermore, it has enabled the study of protein dynamics by the capture of atomically resolved and time-resolved molecular movies. However, the study of many biologically relevant targets is still severely hindered by high sample consumption and lengthy data-collection times. By combining serial synchrotron crystallography (SSX) with 3D printing, a new experimental platform has been created that tackles these challenges. An affordable 3D-printed, X-ray-compatible microfluidic device (3D-MiXD) is reported that allows data to be collected from protein microcrystals in a 3D flow with very high hit and indexing rates, while keeping the sample consumption low. The miniaturized 3D-MiXD can be rapidly installed into virtually any synchrotron beamline with only minimal adjustments. This efficient collection scheme in combination with its mixing geometry paves the way for recording molecular movies at synchrotrons by mixing-triggered millisecond time-resolved SSX.
Project description:Serial synchrotron crystallography (SSX) is an emerging technique for static and time-resolved protein structure determination. Using specifically patterned silicon chips for sample delivery, the `hit-and-return' (HARE) protocol allows for efficient time-resolved data collection. The specific pattern of the crystal wells in the HARE chip provides direct access to many discrete time points. HARE chips allow for optical excitation as well as on-chip mixing for reaction initiation, making a large number of protein systems amenable to time-resolved studies. Loading of protein microcrystals onto the HARE chip is streamlined by a novel vacuum loading platform that allows fine-tuning of suction strength while maintaining a humid environment to prevent crystal dehydration. To enable the widespread use of time-resolved serial synchrotron crystallography (TR-SSX), detailed technical descriptions of a set of accessories that facilitate TR-SSX workflows are provided.
Project description:Over the last decade, serial crystallography, a method to collect complete diffraction datasets from a large number of microcrystals delivered and exposed to an X-ray beam in random orientations at room temperature, has been successfully implemented at X-ray free-electron lasers and synchrotron radiation facility beamlines. This development relies on a growing variety of sample presentation methods, including different fixed target supports, injection methods using gas-dynamic virtual-nozzle injectors and high-viscosity extrusion injectors, and acoustic levitation of droplets, each with unique requirements. In comparison with X-ray free-electron lasers, increased beam time availability makes synchrotron facilities very attractive to perform serial synchrotron X-ray crystallography (SSX) experiments. Within this work, the possibilities to perform SSX at BioMAX, the first macromolecular crystallography beamline at MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, Sweden, are described, together with case studies from the SSX user program: an implementation of a high-viscosity extrusion injector to perform room temperature serial crystallography at BioMAX using two solid supports - silicon nitride membranes (Silson, UK) and XtalTool (Jena Bioscience, Germany). Future perspectives for the dedicated serial crystallography beamline MicroMAX at MAX IV Laboratory, which will provide parallel and intense micrometre-sized X-ray beams, are discussed.
Project description:Serial crystallography, in which single-shot diffraction images are collected, has great potential for protein microcrystallography. Although serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) has been successfully demonstrated, limited beam time prevents its routine use. Inspired by SFX, serial synchrotron crystallography (SSX) has been investigated at synchrotron macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Unlike SFX, the longer exposure time of milliseconds to seconds commonly used in SSX causes radiation damage. However, in SSX, crystals can be rotated during the exposure, which can achieve efficient coverage of the reciprocal space. In this study, mercury single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (Hg-SAD) phasing of the luciferin regenerating enzyme (LRE) was performed using serial synchrotron rotation crystallography. The advantages of rotation and influence of dose on the data collected were evaluated. The results showed that sample rotation was effective for accurate data collection, and the optimum helical rotation step depended on multiple factors such as multiplicity and partiality of reflections, exposure time per rotation angle and the contribution from background scattering. For the LRE microcrystals, 0.25° was the best rotation step for the achievable resolution limit, whereas a rotation step larger than or equal to 1° was favorable for Hg-SAD phasing. Although an accumulated dose beyond 1.1?MGy caused specific damage at the Hg site, increases in resolution and anomalous signal were observed up to 3.4?MGy because of a higher signal-to-noise ratio.
Project description:An approach is demonstrated to obtain, in a sample- and time-efficient manner, multiple dose-resolved crystal structures from room-temperature protein microcrystals using identical fixed-target supports at both synchrotrons and X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). This approach allows direct comparison of dose-resolved serial synchrotron and damage-free XFEL serial femtosecond crystallography structures of radiation-sensitive proteins. Specifically, serial synchrotron structures of a heme peroxidase enzyme reveal that X-ray induced changes occur at far lower doses than those at which diffraction quality is compromised (the Garman limit), consistent with previous studies on the reduction of heme proteins by low X-ray doses. In these structures, a functionally relevant bond length is shown to vary rapidly as a function of absorbed dose, with all room-temperature synchrotron structures exhibiting linear deformation of the active site compared with the XFEL structure. It is demonstrated that extrapolation of dose-dependent synchrotron structures to zero dose can closely approximate the damage-free XFEL structure. This approach is widely applicable to any protein where the crystal structure is altered by the synchrotron X-ray beam and provides a solution to the urgent requirement to determine intact structures of such proteins in a high-throughput and accessible manner.
Project description:Since the first successful serial crystallography (SX) experiment at a synchrotron radiation source, the popularity of this approach has continued to grow showing that third-generation synchrotrons can be viable alternatives to scarce X-ray free-electron laser sources. Synchrotron radiation flux may be increased ?100 times by a moderate increase in the bandwidth ('pink beam' conditions) at some cost to data analysis complexity. Here, we report the first high-viscosity injector-based pink-beam SX experiments. The structures of proteinase K (PK) and A<sub>2A</sub> adenosine receptor (A<sub>2A</sub>AR) were determined to resolutions of 1.8 and 4.2?Å using 4 and 24 consecutive 100?ps X-ray pulse exposures, respectively. Strong PK data were processed using existing Laue approaches, while weaker A<sub>2A</sub>AR data required an alternative data-processing strategy. This demonstration of the feasibility presents new opportunities for time-resolved experiments with microcrystals to study structural changes in real time at pink-beam synchrotron beamlines worldwide.
Project description:Historically, room-temperature structure determination was succeeded by cryo-crystallography to mitigate radiation damage. Here, we demonstrate that serial millisecond crystallography at a synchrotron beamline equipped with high-viscosity injector and high frame-rate detector allows typical crystallographic experiments to be performed at room-temperature. Using a crystal scanning approach, we determine the high-resolution structure of the radiation sensitive molybdenum storage protein, demonstrate soaking of the drug colchicine into tubulin and native sulfur phasing of the human G protein-coupled adenosine receptor. Serial crystallographic data for molecular replacement already converges in 1,000-10,000 diffraction patterns, which we collected in 3 to maximally 82?minutes. Compared with serial data we collected at a free-electron laser, the synchrotron data are of slightly lower resolution, however fewer diffraction patterns are needed for de novo phasing. Overall, the data we collected by room-temperature serial crystallography are of comparable quality to cryo-crystallographic data and can be routinely collected at synchrotrons.Serial crystallography was developed for protein crystal data collection with X-ray free-electron lasers. Here the authors present several examples which show that serial crystallography using high-viscosity injectors can also be routinely employed for room-temperature data collection at synchrotrons.
Project description:The Frontier Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography (FMX) beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source II with its 1?µm beam size and photon flux of 3 × 1012 photons?s-1 at a photon energy of 12.66?keV has reached unprecedented dose rates for a structural biology beamline. The high dose rate presents a great advantage for serial microcrystallography in cutting measurement time from hours to minutes. To provide the instrumentation basis for such measurements at the full flux of the FMX beamline, a high-speed, high-precision goniometer based on a unique XYZ piezo positioner has been designed and constructed. The piezo-based goniometer is able to achieve sub-100?nm raster-scanning precision at over 10 grid-linepairs?s-1 frequency for fly scans of a 200?µm-wide raster. The performance of the scanner in both laboratory and serial crystallography measurements up to the maximum frame rate of 750?Hz of the Eiger 16M's 4M region-of-interest mode has been verified in this work. This unprecedented experimental speed significantly reduces serial-crystallography data collection time at synchrotrons, allowing utilization of the full brightness of the emerging synchrotron radiation facilities.
Project description:Recent developments in serial crystallography at X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) and synchrotrons have been driven by two scientific goals in structural biology - first, static structure determination from nano or microcrystals of membrane proteins and large complexes that are difficult for conventional cryocrystallography, and second, direct observations of transient structural species in biochemical reactions at near atomic resolution. Since room-temperature diffraction experiments naturally demand a large quantity of purified protein, sample economy is critically important for all steps of serial crystallography from crystallization, crystal delivery to data collection. Here we report the development and applications of "crystal-on-crystal" devices to facilitate large-scale in situ serial diffraction experiments on protein crystals of all sizes - large, small, or microscopic. We show that the monocrystalline quartz as a substrate material prevents vapor loss during crystallization and significantly reduces background X-ray scattering. These devices can be readily adopted at XFEL and synchrotron beamlines, which enable efficient delivery of hundreds to millions of crystals to the X-ray beam, with an overall protein consumption per dataset comparable to that of cryocrystallography.
Project description:Crystal structure determination of biological macromolecules using the novel technique of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) is severely limited by the scarcity of X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) sources. However, recent and future upgrades render microfocus beamlines at synchrotron-radiation sources suitable for room-temperature serial crystallography data collection also. Owing to the longer exposure times that are needed at synchrotrons, serial data collection is termed serial millisecond crystallography (SMX). As a result, the number of SMX experiments is growing rapidly, with a dozen experiments reported so far. Here, the first high-viscosity injector-based SMX experiments carried out at a US synchrotron source, the Advanced Photon Source (APS), are reported. Microcrystals (5-20?µm) of a wide variety of proteins, including lysozyme, thaumatin, phycocyanin, the human A2A adenosine receptor (A2AAR), the soluble fragment of the membrane lipoprotein Flpp3 and proteinase K, were screened. Crystals suspended in lipidic cubic phase (LCP) or a high-molecular-weight poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO; molecular weight 8?000?000) were delivered to the beam using a high-viscosity injector. In-house data-reduction (hit-finding) software developed at APS as well as the SFX data-reduction and analysis software suites Cheetah and CrystFEL enabled efficient on-site SMX data monitoring, reduction and processing. Complete data sets were collected for A2AAR, phycocyanin, Flpp3, proteinase K and lysozyme, and the structures of A2AAR, phycocyanin, proteinase K and lysozyme were determined at 3.2, 3.1, 2.65 and 2.05?Å resolution, respectively. The data demonstrate the feasibility of serial millisecond crystallography from 5-20?µm crystals using a high-viscosity injector at APS. The resolution of the crystal structures obtained in this study was dictated by the current flux density and crystal size, but upcoming developments in beamline optics and the planned APS-U upgrade will increase the intensity by two orders of magnitude. These developments will enable structure determination from smaller and/or weakly diffracting microcrystals.
Project description:Unravelling the interaction of biological macromolecules with ligands and substrates at high spatial and temporal resolution remains a major challenge in structural biology. The development of serial crystallography methods at X-ray free-electron lasers and subsequently at synchrotron light sources allows new approaches to tackle this challenge. Here, a new polyimide tape drive designed for mix-and-diffuse serial crystallography experiments is reported. The structure of lysozyme bound by the competitive inhibitor chitotriose was determined using this device in combination with microfluidic mixers. The electron densities obtained from mixing times of 2 and 50?s show clear binding of chitotriose to the enzyme at a high level of detail. The success of this approach shows the potential for high-throughput drug screening and even structural enzymology on short timescales at bright synchrotron light sources.