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Performance of HomeLab™ Systems for Screening Very Large Unit Cell Macromolecules

Performance of HomeLab™ Systems for Screening Very Large Unit Cell Macromolecules

The Woodlands, TX — May 24, 2004. Rigaku today announced the publication of a new Application Note that describes the ability to screen crystals with very large unit cells using home laboratory equipment. In this document, results are given from a crystal screening experiment, of the 50S Ribosomal Subunit, using a new home laboratory source consisting of a MicroMax™-007 generator and a VariMax-HR optic. The longest cell parameter for the crystalline form reported is 580 Å and is readily resolved with the hardware described.

Titled Macromolecular Crystallography: Screening large unit cells in the home laboratory, the two page document illustrates that the Osmic VariMax-HR Confocal Max-Flux® (CMF) optic, Rigaku MicroMax-007 source, and Rigaku R-AXIS IV++ imaging plate detector combination allows collection of high-quality diffraction data from very challenging macro assemblies—thus helping to accelerate research into the new frontier of structural biology by removing the synchrotron crystal screening bottleneck. To show that screening of such sample is possible outside of a synchrotron environment, screening data was collected on the a 50S Ribosomal Subunit crystal, which contains 3000 nucleotides of RNA and 31different proteins.

A three dimensional understanding of the largest structures in the cell holds the promise of revolutionizing our understanding of disease and it's treatment. To this end, effective screening of macromolecular crystals is central to successful structure determination strategies requiring the use of synchrotron radiation. For macromolecules with very large unit cells, these efforts have traditionally been limited to synchrotron facilities—due to the need for extremely brilliant X-ray sources. However, inefficiencies associated with the use of beam lines for screening have called for a better solution. Principally, there are real advantages to being able to screen at home laboratory prior to going to a synchrotron, and thus speeding up overall structural research of large macromolecular assemblies. Screening crystals in a home laboratory setting offers a variety of efficiency advantages for the macromolecular crystallographer. But these gains have, in the past, been limited in the case of crystals with large unit cells.

Rigaku—Leading With Innovation

Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology. Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on life sciences and general purpose analytical instrumentation. With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in the fields of small molecule and protein crystallography, X-ray spectrometry and diffraction, X-ray optics, as well as semiconductor metrology. Rigaku employs over 1,100 people in the manufacture and support of its analytical equipment. Its products are in use in more than 70 countries—supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities. Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial community.

For further information, contact:

Joseph D. Ferrara, Ph.D.
VP Product Marketing and CSO
Rigaku Americas Corporation
Tel: (281) 362-2300
eMail: Joseph D. Ferrara