Millisecond time-resolved serial oscillation crystallography of a blue-light photoreceptor at a synchrotron.
ABSTRACT: The recent development of serial crystallography has popularized time-resolved crystallography as a technique to determine the structure of protein-reaction intermediate states. However, most approaches rely on the availability of thousands to millions of microcrystals. A method is reported here, using monochromatic synchrotron radiation, for the room-temperature collection, processing and merging of X-ray oscillation diffraction data from <100 samples in order to observe the build up of a photoreaction intermediate species. Using this method, we monitored with a time resolution of 63?ms how the population of a blue-light photoreceptor domain in a crystal progressively photoconverts from the dark to the light state. The series of resulting snapshots allows us to visualize in detail the gradual rearrangement of both the protein and chromophore during this process.
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:With the recent developments in microcrystal handling, synchrotron microdiffraction beamline instrumentation and data analysis, microcrystal crystallo-graphy with crystal sizes of less than 10?µm is appealing at synchrotrons. However, challenges remain in sample manipulation and data assembly for robust microcrystal synchrotron crystallography. Here, the development of micro-sized polyimide well-mounts for the manipulation of microcrystals of a few micrometres in size and the implementation of a robust data-analysis method for the assembly of rotational microdiffraction data sets from many microcrystals are described. The method demonstrates that microcrystals may be routinely utilized for the acquisition and assembly of complete data sets from synchrotron microdiffraction beamlines.
Project description:Structural studies of challenging targets such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have accelerated during the last several years due to the development of new approaches, including small-wedge and serial crystallography. Here, we describe the deposition of seven datasets consisting of X-ray diffraction images acquired from lipidic cubic phase (LCP) grown microcrystals of two human GPCRs, Cysteinyl leukotriene receptors 1 and 2 (CysLT1R and CysLT2R), in complex with various antagonists. Five datasets were collected using small-wedge synchrotron crystallography (SWSX) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility with multiple crystals under cryo-conditions. Two datasets were collected using X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at the Linac Coherent Light Source, with microcrystals delivered at room temperature into the beam within LCP matrix by a viscous media microextrusion injector. All seven datasets have been deposited in the open-access databases Zenodo and CXIDB. Here, we describe sample preparation and annotate crystallization conditions for each partial and full datasets. We also document full processing pipelines and provide wrapper scripts for SWSX and SFX data processing.
Project description:Lipidic cubic phases (LCPs) have emerged as successful matrixes for the crystallization of membrane proteins. Moreover, the viscous LCP also provides a highly effective delivery medium for serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). Here, the adaptation of this technology to perform serial millisecond crystallography (SMX) at more widely available synchrotron microfocus beamlines is described. Compared with conventional microcrystallography, LCP-SMX eliminates the need for difficult handling of individual crystals and allows for data collection at room temperature. The technology is demonstrated by solving a structure of the light-driven proton-pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) at a resolution of 2.4 Å. The room-temperature structure of bR is very similar to previous cryogenic structures but shows small yet distinct differences in the retinal ligand and proton-transfer pathway.
Project description:Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with an X-ray free-electron laser is used for the structural determination of proteins from a large number of microcrystals at room temperature. To examine the feasibility of pharmaceutical applications of SFX, a ligand-soaking experiment using thermolysin microcrystals has been performed using SFX. The results were compared with those from a conventional experiment with synchrotron radiation (SR) at 100?K. A protein-ligand complex structure was successfully obtained from an SFX experiment using microcrystals soaked with a small-molecule ligand; both oil-based and water-based crystal carriers gave essentially the same results. In a comparison of the SFX and SR structures, clear differences were observed in the unit-cell parameters, in the alternate conformation of side chains, in the degree of water coordination and in the ligand-binding mode.
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:The ability to determine high-quality, artefact-free structures is a challenge in micro-crystallography, and the rapid onset of radiation damage and requirement for a high-brilliance X-ray beam mean that a multi-crystal approach is essential. However, the combination of crystal-to-crystal variation and X-ray-induced changes can make the formation of a final complete data set challenging; this is particularly true in the case of metalloproteins, where X-ray-induced changes occur rapidly and at the active site. An approach is described that allows the resolution, separation and structure determination of crystal polymorphs, and the tracking of radiation damage in microcrystals. Within the microcrystal population of copper nitrite reductase, two polymorphs with different unit-cell sizes were successfully separated to determine two independent structures, and an X-ray-driven change between these polymorphs was followed. This was achieved through the determination of multiple serial structures from microcrystals using a high-throughput high-speed fixed-target approach coupled with robust data processing.
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:A current overview of synchrotron radiation (SR) in macromolecular crystallography (MX) instrumentation, methods and applications is presented. Automation has been and remains a central development in the last decade, as have the rise of remote access and of industrial service provision. Results include a high number of Protein Data Bank depositions, with an increasing emphasis on the successful use of microcrystals. One future emphasis involves pushing the frontiers of using higher and lower photon energies. With the advent of X-ray free-electron lasers, closely linked to SR developments, the use of ever smaller samples such as nanocrystals, nanoclusters and single molecules is anticipated, as well as the opening up of femtosecond time-resolved diffraction structural studies. At SR sources, a very high-throughput assessment for the best crystal samples and the ability to tackle just a few micron and sub-micron crystals will become widespread. With higher speeds and larger detectors, diffraction data volumes are becoming long-term storage and archiving issues; the implications for today and the future are discussed. Together with the rise of the storage ring to its current pre-eminence in MX data provision, the growing tendency of central facility sites to offer other centralized facilities complementary to crystallography, such as cryo-electron microscopy and NMR, is a welcome development.
Project description:High-resolution structural information was obtained from lysozyme microcrystals (20 µm in the largest dimension) using raster-scanning serial protein crystallography on micro- and nano-focused beamlines at the ESRF. Data were collected at room temperature (RT) from crystals sandwiched between two silicon nitride wafers, thereby preventing their drying, while limiting background scattering and sample consumption. In order to identify crystal hits, new multi-processing and GUI-driven Python-based pre-analysis software was developed, named NanoPeakCell, that was able to read data from a variety of crystallographic image formats. Further data processing was carried out using CrystFEL, and the resultant structures were refined to 1.7 Å resolution. The data demonstrate the feasibility of RT raster-scanning serial micro- and nano-protein crystallography at synchrotrons and validate it as an alternative approach for the collection of high-resolution structural data from micro-sized crystals. Advantages of the proposed approach are its thriftiness, its handling-free nature, the reduced amount of sample required, the adjustable hit rate, the high indexing rate and the minimization of background scattering.