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News

DARTS new protein crystallisation service

CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory : 01 October, 2003  (New Product)
Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of producing drugs designed to interact with specific protein targets. The drug/target interaction is first tested in order to elicit an effect, either boosting the protein's biological activity or reducing it. To fine tune the interaction, further detailed information is usually required, which often means structure determination of the protein coupled to its target molecule. DARTS is well disposed to offer a complete protein crystallisation service to satisfy your needs.
Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of producing drugs designed to interact with specific protein targets. The drug/target interaction is first tested in order to elicit an effect, either boosting the protein's biological activity or reducing it. To fine tune the interaction, further detailed information is usually required, which often means structure determination of the protein coupled to its target molecule. DARTS is well disposed to offer a complete protein crystallisation service to satisfy your needs.

As the customer, you may want to provide DARTS with a 'ready to use' concentrated sample i.e. stable at 5 - 10 mgml-1, monodisperse and with known characteristic profiles. DARTS can pre-check these characteristics after shipping either by SDS-PAGE or UV-VIS in addition to DLS measurements to assess monodispersity. DLS can also be applied to determine the most suitable temperature and/or pH for producing crystals. If stability is an issue during transportation, DARTS can provide a range of final purification steps and concentration of dilute protein samples.

DARTS uses commercial crystallisation screens to probe 100-200 different conditions at two different temperatures. The initial screen requires 500 l of concentrated protein. The screen is then refined until diffraction quality crystals are obtained. Most common crystallisation problems arise due to poorly ordered protein crystals such as those with glycosylation sites containing flexible sugar molecules or membrane proteins with a high solvent content and containing detergent molecules. DARTS can also try crystallisation conditions that have already been reported in the literature for similar target proteins.

DARTS staff have been successful in crystallising a number of globular and membrane proteins e.g. light-harvesting complexes, plant lectins and bacterial phosphatases. Some of these crystals diffracted to atomic resolution (better than 1.2 ). In addition, staff are technically adept in data acquisition, structure solution and refinement. This powerhouse of expertise can be made available for the most pressing needs of today's pharmaceutical industries. We are confident that DARTS can provide a service to suit your needs.
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