Mueller-Dieckmann, C.; Kauffmann, B.; Weiss, M.S. : Trimethylamine N-oxide as a versatile cryoprotective agent in macromolecular crystallography. Journal of Applied Crystallography 44 (2011), p. 433-436
The surge of Macromolecular Crystallography is intimately linked to the advent of methods for cryo-protecting macromolecular crystals. Only if crystals are kept cold during data collection, can they withstand the effects of radiation damage during a diffraction experiment, especially at third generation synchrotron sources. While a number of different cryo-protective agents and procedures have been described in literature over the last three decades, it is still a time and crystal consuming process to establish and optimise a good cryo-condition for a specific crystal. In this study, we have identified Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a very versatile cryo-protectant for macromolecular crystals. In a few test cases it was shown that diffraction data collected from crystals treated with TMAO are of very good quality.