New detector accelerates protein crystallography

60s on the new detector were sufficient to obtain the electron density of the PETase enzyme.

60s on the new detector were sufficient to obtain the electron density of the PETase enzyme. © HZB

<p class="MsoPlainText">The MX-beamline 14.1 has been upgraded with a new, better, faster and more sensitive PILATUS-detector.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;

The MX-beamline 14.1 has been upgraded with a new, better, faster and more sensitive PILATUS-detector.

  © HZB

Last week a new detector was installed at one of the three MX beamlines at HZB. Compared to the old detector the new one is better, faster and more sensitive. It allows to acquire complete data sets of complex proteins within a very short time.

Proteins consist of thousands of building blocks that can form complex architectures with folded or entangled regions. However, their shape plays a decisive role in the function of the protein in the organism. Using macromolecular crystallography at BESSY II, it is possible to decipher the architecture of protein molecules. For this purpose, tiny protein crystals are irradiated with X-ray light from the synchrotron source BESSY II. From the obtained diffraction patterns, the morphology of the molecules can be calculated.

Now the MX team at BESSY II has put a new detector into operation at the MX beamline 14.1, which works about 2 to 3 times faster than before. The team analysed a crystal from the enzyme PETase as a sample. PETase does partially degrade the plastic PET. In less than a minute, the detector was able to record a complete diffraction data set, which includes data from an angular range of 180 degrees. The data set consists of 1200 images, each of which was exposed to X-rays for 45 milliseconds. "The resulting electron density was of excellent quality and showed all structural features of the enzyme," explains Dr. Manfred Weiss, who leads the MX team at BESSY II.

The success of the HZB MX beamlines is documented by more than 3000 PDB entries from experimental beamtime from more than a hundred international user groups from academia and pharmaceutical research companies.

red.


You might also be interested in

  • MXenes for energy storage: Chemical imaging more than just surface deep
    Science Highlight
    17.06.2024
    MXenes for energy storage: Chemical imaging more than just surface deep
    A new method in spectromicroscopy significantly improves the study of chemical reactions at the nanoscale, both on surfaces and inside layered materials. Scanning X-ray microscopy (SXM) at MAXYMUS beamline of BESSY II enables the investigation of chemical species adsorbed on the top layer (surface) or intercalated within the MXene electrode (bulk) with high chemical sensitivity. The method was developed by a HZB team led by Dr. Tristan Petit. The scientists demonstrated among others first SXM on MXene flakes, a material used as electrode in lithium-ion batteries.
  • New joint leadership for BESSY II
    News
    13.06.2024
    New joint leadership for BESSY II
    Andreas Jankowiak as new Technical Director and Facility Spokesperson Antje Vollmer share management responsibilities

    Prof. Andreas Jankowiak has been appointed Technical Director of BESSY II with a term of office of three years as of 1 June 2024 by resolution of the HZB board of directors. Antje Vollmer will start her second term as BESSY II Facility Spokesperson on 1 July 2024. Together, they form the new management duo to coordinate the scientific and technical development of the BESSY II X-ray source on behalf of the HZB management.

  • Chilean President visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    News
    12.06.2024
    Chilean President visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric Font, visited HZB on Tuesday with a delegation of 50 people. Among the highlights of the evening were the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chilean Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO) and HZB and a visit to BESSY II light source.