Femtosecond nanocrystallography using X-ray lasers for membrane protein structure determination

Petra Fromme, John C H Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The invention of free electron X-ray lasers has opened a new era for membrane protein structure determination with the recent first proof-of-principle of the new concept of femtosecond nanocrystallography. Structure determination is based on thousands of diffraction snapshots that are collected on a fully hydrated stream of nanocrystals. This review provides a summary of the method and describes how femtosecond X-ray crystallography overcomes the radiation-damage problem in X-ray crystallography, avoids the need for growth and freezing of large single crystals while offering a new method for direct digital phase determination by making use of the fully coherent nature of the X-ray beam. We briefly review the possibilities for time-resolved crystallography, and the potential for making 'molecular movies' of membrane proteins at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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X Ray Crystallography
Membrane Proteins
Lasers
X-Rays
Crystallography
Motion Pictures
Nanoparticles
Freezing
Electrons
Radiation
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology

Cite this

Femtosecond nanocrystallography using X-ray lasers for membrane protein structure determination. / Fromme, Petra; Spence, John C H.

In: Current Opinion in Structural Biology, Vol. 21, No. 4, 08.2011, p. 509-516.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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