Special Issue "Novel Strategies for Improved Protein Crystallization"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ana Luísa Carvalho Website E-Mail
UCIBIO, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, NOVA University of Lisbon, Department of Chemistry, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: structural biology; protein crystallization; macromolecular interactions; integrative methods; science outreach
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maria João Romão Website E-Mail
UCIBIO, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, NOVA University of Lisbon, Department of Chemistry, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: structural biology; protein crystallization; metalloenzymes and enzymatic mechanisms; molybdoenzymes; science outreach and teaching

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although new structural biology approaches are arising, X-ray crystallography is still the most powerful and common method for gaining detail on the 3D structure of proteins. However, its success relies strongly on the availability of suitable crystals. Macromolecular crystallization is a critical step and the major bottleneck in solving a structure, since no generalized method exists that allows one to obtain the best conditions to crystallize a protein of interest. Therefore, important biological structures and details on their active sites remain unsolved due to the lack of suitable crystals, and there is an urgent need for more general and rational crystallization methods.

This is the motivation for this Special Issue on "Novel Strategies for Improved Protein Crystallization", which will tackle the problem by gathering current knowledge on novel approaches to improve the rate-determining nucleation step and/or to optimize existing crystallization conditions.

In the search for more universal crystallization tools, in particular nucleation-based techniques applicable to soluble and membrane proteins, recent methodologies include, for example, functionalized nano- and microparticles, tailored ionic liquids, and controlled crystallization devices. These methods intend to promote nucleation and crystal growth of difficult-to-crystallize macromolecules, and studies generally involve model proteins, to test and validate the new approaches.

This Special Issue is an opportunity to gather the expertise from chemists, biochemical engineers, biotechnologists, and crystallographers that will present strategies to tackle the crystallization problems of biological macromolecules. This Issue is expected to have a broad impact not only in academia but also in the pharmaceutic and biotechnological industries, which are continuously searching for reliable and robust methods that will speed up the crystal structure determination of valuable protein targets.

Candidate manuscripts are welcome reporting advances in the crystallisation of macromolecules not only limited to tradicional X-ray crystallography methods. Protein crystallization is also a challenge in the production of nano-sized crystals for Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SFX) or large-sized crystals for Neutron Diffraction.

Dr. Ana Luísa Carvalho
Prof. Dr. Maria João Romão
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 1400 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.

Keywords

  • protein crystallization methods
  • triggers of crystal nucleation
  • functional materials for protein stabilization and nucleation
  • protein crystal growth
  • nanoparticles in crystallization
  • ionic liquids in crystallization
  • devices for crystallization
  • automated crystallization
  • protein crystal stabilization and manipulation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Analysis of Glulisine Crystallisation Utilising Phase Diagrams and Nucleants
Crystals 2019, 9(9), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9090462 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
Glulisine is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved insulin analogue, used for controlling hyperglycaemia in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). It is fast acting which better approximates physiological insulin secretion, improving patient outcome. Crystallisation of Glulisine was analysed by its crystallisation [...] Read more.
Glulisine is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved insulin analogue, used for controlling hyperglycaemia in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). It is fast acting which better approximates physiological insulin secretion, improving patient outcome. Crystallisation of Glulisine was analysed by its crystallisation phase diagram and nucleation-inducing materials. Both the hanging drop vapour diffusion and microbatch-under-oil methods were used and compared. We have shown that the same protein can have different solubility behaviours depending on the nature of the salt in the precipitating agent. In the case of Glulisine with magnesium formate, lowering the precipitant concentration drove the system further into supersaturation resulting in the formation of crystals and precipitation. This was the opposite effect to the usual scenario where raising the precipitant concentration leads to supersaturation. Glulisine with sodium potassium tartrate tetrahydrate (NaKT) followed the expected trend of forming crystals or precipitate at higher concentrations and clear drops at lower concentrations of the precipitant. The outcomes of crystallisation using the different crystallisation methods is also described. Glulisine was successfully crystallised and the crystals diffracted up to a resolution limit of 1.4 Å. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Strategies for Improved Protein Crystallization)
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