Special Issue "Macromolecular Serial Crystallography"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomolecular Crystals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. José Manuel Martín-García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Arizona State University, Tempe, United States
Interests: Serial crystallography; X-ray free-electron lasers; time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography; pink-beam serial crystallography; structure-based drug discovery.
Dr. Shibom Basu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Grenoble, France
Interests: Serial synchrotron crystallography; beamlines at synchrotrons; X-ray free-electron lasers; experimental phasing by native-SAD; time-resolved crystallography; structure-based drug discovery; automation for data processing and analysis.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Within the structural biology field, X-ray crystallography prevails as the dominant technique to determine the structures of macromolecules, producing more than one hundred thousand structures since its inception. New technologies developed such as X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) and their implementation in the field of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) has opened up a new era in structural biology. SFX relies on exceptionally bright, micro-focused, and ultra-short X-ray beam pulses used to probe nano/micrometer-sized crystals in a serial fashion at room temperature, resulting in data sets comprised of individual snapshots. As a result, the field is quickly expanding and allowing structural biologists access to previously restricted scientific areas. This emerging field has also cultivated new methods for crystallization, and assessment of nano/microcrystals, sample delivery, and data processing. In addition to its use in XFELs, the serial synchrotron crystallography (SSX) approach is currently experiencing rapid growth and maturing as a routine. Third-generation synchrotron sources, being equipped with beamlines using sophisticated focusing optics, submicron beam diameters, and fast low-noise photon-counting detectors, offer tremendous complementarity to XFELs for structural biology studies.

The main goal of this Special Issue on “Macromolecular Serial Crystallography” will be to gather research manuscripts from experts in the filed (chemists, biologists, physicists, and structural biologists) to create an international platform to provide rich reference information on the latest advances and exciting discoveries in the still emerging technology of serial crystallography in XFELs and synchrotron radiation sources.

Dr. José Manuel Martín-García
Dr. Shibom Basu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Serial femtosecond crystallography
  • X-ray free-electron lasers
  • Synchrotron radiation sources
  • Pink-beam serial crystallography
  • Sample delivery techniques
  • Data processing and analysis for serial crystallography
  • Submicron-crystals

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Reaction Initiation in Enzyme Crystals by Diffusion of Substrate
Crystals 2020, 10(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10020116 - 13 Feb 2020
Ever since the first structure of an enzyme, lysozyme, was solved, scientists have been eager to explore how these molecules perform their catalytic function. There has been an overwhelmingly large body of publications that report the X-ray structures of enzymes determined after substrate [...] Read more.
Ever since the first structure of an enzyme, lysozyme, was solved, scientists have been eager to explore how these molecules perform their catalytic function. There has been an overwhelmingly large body of publications that report the X-ray structures of enzymes determined after substrate and ligand binding. None of them truly show the structures of an enzyme working freely through a sequence of events that range from the formation of the enzyme–substrate complex to the dissociation of the product. The technical difficulties were too severe. By 1969, Sluyterman and de Graaf had pointed out that there might be a way to start a reaction in an enzyme crystal by diffusion and following its catalytic cycle in its entirety with crystallographic methods. The crystal only has to be thin enough so that the diffusion is not rate limiting. Of course, the key questions are as follows: How thin should the crystal be? Will the existing X-ray sources be able to collect data from a thin enough crystal fast enough? This review shines light on these questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromolecular Serial Crystallography)
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