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Difficult Macromolecular Structures Determined Using X-ray Diffraction Techniques

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Macromolecular crystallography has been, for the last few decades, the main source of structural information of biological macromolecular systems and it is one of the most powerful techniques for the analysis of enzyme mechanisms and macromolecular interactions at the atomic level. In addition, it is also an extremely powerful tool for drug design. Recent technological and methodological developments in macromolecular X-ray crystallography have allowed solving structures that until recently were considered difficult or even impossible, such as structures at atomic or subatomic resolution or large macromolecular complexes and assemblies at low resolution. These developments have also helped to solve the 3D-structure of macromolecules from twin crystals. Recently, this technique complemented with cryo-electron microscopy and neutron crystallography has provided the structure of large macromolecular machines with great precision allowing understanding of the mechanisms of their function.
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Keywords: Atomic resolution; X-ray crystallography; cryo-electron microscopy; crystallography software; dynamic disorder; high-quality crystals; low-resolution; macromolecular complexes; protein crystallography; twin crystal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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