Protein crystallography

The Protein crystallography core facility of Biocenter Oulu has the infrastructure for protein structural studies from crystallization to x-ray data collection and structure determination. During the Strucbiocat project the crystallization screening step has been improved by purchasing a new nanopipetting robot for crystallization.

The Mosquito LCP (TTP Labtech) can be used for crystallization of both soluble and membrane proteins. It pipettes crystallization drops at nanolitre scale, from 25-1200 nl, whereas a conventional drop size is about 1-2 µl. The possibility of pipetting nanodrops enables a much larger number of crystallization trials from one batch of purified protein than before. The instrument uses disposable positive displacement pipettes to avoid contamination. Because of this amount of crystallization trials made at the core facility has radically increased.

For the automated visualization of the crystallization drops we have two Formulatrix Rock Imagers, one at room temperature and one at 4°C. These instruments are incubators for crystallization plates and they take pictures at user-specified time intervals of each crystallization drop. In the Biochemistry Department browser-based PiMS software has been developmed such that the crystallization results can be viewed from any computer, inside or outside the University. Thus, it is not anymore necessary to individually check each crystallization plate with a microscope. For the X-ray data collection the core facility has Microstar X8 Proteum X-ray generator.

Last updated: 12.9.2016