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Protein crystal nucleation in pores

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Title: Protein crystal nucleation in pores
Authors: Nanev, CN
Saridakis, E
Chayen, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The most powerful method for protein structure determination is X-ray crystallography which relies on the availability of high quality crystals. Obtaining protein crystals is a major bottleneck, and inducing their nucleation is of crucial importance in this field. An effective method to form crystals is to introduce nucleation-inducing heterologous materials into the crystallization solution. Porous materials are exceptionally effective at inducing nucleation. It is shown here that a combined diffusion-adsorption effect can increase protein concentration inside pores, which enables crystal nucleation even under conditions where heterogeneous nucleation on flat surfaces is absent. Provided the pore is sufficiently narrow, protein molecules approach its walls and adsorb more frequently than they can escape. The decrease in the nucleation energy barrier is calculated, exhibiting its quantitative dependence on the confinement space and the energy of interaction with the pore walls. These results provide a detailed explanation of the effectiveness of porous materials for nucleation of protein crystals, and will be useful for optimal design of such materials.
Issue Date: 16-Jan-2017
Date of Acceptance: 26-Sep-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/43685
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep35821
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 7
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 35821
Appears in Collections:Department of Surgery and Cancer
Faculty of Natural Sciences