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Crystals 2019, 9(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9020090

Very Low Nucleation Rates of Glucose Isomerase Crystals under Microgravity in the International Space Station

1
Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Sciences, Tokushima University, 2-1 Minamijosanjima, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan
2
Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
3
School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki, Aoba, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
4
Advanced Engineering Services Co., Ltd., 1-6-1 Takezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0032, Japan
5
Japan Space Forum, 3-2-1 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0062, Japan
6
Graduate School of Advanced Technology and Science, Tokushima University, 2-1 Minamijosanjima, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan
7
Faculty of Engineering, Tokushima University, 2-1 Minamijosanjima, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan
8
Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation, 2-1-6 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, Japan
9
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8505, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Crystallography)
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Abstract

In situ observation of the nucleation and growth of glucose isomerase (GI) crystals under microgravity was conducted using an optical microscope during the first flight of the Advanced Nano Step project undertaken in the International Space Station (ISS). Very low apparent nucleation rates (J’) of GI crystals in the solution and on the substrate of the growth container were confirmed compared with those on the ground. In particular, J’ of GI crystals in the solution were a few times lower than that on the substrate. The growth rates (R) of the {101} faces of GI crystals on the substrate and the apparent growth rates (R’) in the solution were measured. The very low nucleation rates allowed us to successfully measure R at a very high supersaturation region (up to ln(C/Ce) = 6), at which R cannot be measured on the ground. View Full-Text
Keywords: nucleation; growth; glucose isomerase; microgravity; International Space Station nucleation; growth; glucose isomerase; microgravity; International Space Station
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Suzuki, Y.; Fujiwara, T.; Tsukamoto, K.; Fukuyama, S.; Shimaoka, T.; Tsuchiya, K.; Ninomiya, A.; Murakumo, Y.; Ikeuchi, A.; Minamizono, H.; Yamazaki, T.; Sone, T.; Sakashita, T.; Nagai, M.; Arai, Y. Very Low Nucleation Rates of Glucose Isomerase Crystals under Microgravity in the International Space Station. Crystals 2019, 9, 90.

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