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Increasing the X-ray Diffraction Power of Protein Crystals by Dehydration: The Case of Bovine Serum Albumin and a Survey of Literature Data

1
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant’Angelo, Via Cinthia, Naples I-80126, Italy
2
Institute of Biostructures and Bioimages, CNR, Via Mezzocannone 16, Naples I-80134, Italy
3
Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, I-84084 Fisciano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(3), 3782-3800; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms13033782
Received: 9 February 2012 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 8 March 2012 / Published: 21 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Serum albumin is one of the most widely studied proteins. It is the most abundant protein in plasma with a typical concentration of 5 g/100 mL and the principal transporter of fatty acids in plasma. While the crystal structures of human serum albumin (HSA) free and in complex with fatty acids, hemin, and local anesthetics have been characterized, no crystallographic models are available on bovine serum albumin (BSA), presumably because of the poor diffraction power of existing hexagonal BSA crystals. Here, the crystallization and diffraction data of a new BSA crystal form, obtained by the hanging drop method using MPEG 5K as precipitating agent, are presented. The crystals belong to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 216.45 Å, b = 44.72 Å, c = 140.18 Å, β = 114.5°. Dehydration was found to increase the diffraction limit of BSA crystals from ~8 Å to 3.2 Å, probably by improving the packing of protein molecules in the crystal lattice. These results, together with a survey of more than 60 successful cases of protein crystal dehydration, confirm that it can be a useful procedure to be used in initial screening as a method of improving the diffraction limits of existing crystals. View Full-Text
Keywords: serum albumin; protein crystallization; crystal dehydration; crystal quality; X-ray crystallography; post-crystallization treatment serum albumin; protein crystallization; crystal dehydration; crystal quality; X-ray crystallography; post-crystallization treatment
MDPI and ACS Style

Russo Krauss, I.; Sica, F.; Mattia, C.A.; Merlino, A. Increasing the X-ray Diffraction Power of Protein Crystals by Dehydration: The Case of Bovine Serum Albumin and a Survey of Literature Data. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 3782-3800.

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