Analytical ultracentrifugation in structural biology
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Researchers in the field of structural biology, especially X-ray crystallography and protein nuclear magnetic resonance, are interested in knowing as much as possible about the state of their target protein in solution. Not only is this knowledge relevant to studies of biological function, it also facilitates determination of a protein structure using homogeneous monodisperse protein samples. A researcher faced with a new protein to study will have many questions even after that protein has been purified. Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) can provide all of this information readily from a small sample in a non-destructive way, without the need for labeling, enabling structure determination experiments without any wasting time and material on uncharacterized samples. In this article, I use examples to illustrate how AUC can contribute to protein structural analysis. Integrating information from a variety of biophysical experimental methods, such as X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering, electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, AUC allows a more complete understanding of the structure and function of biomacromolecules.
KeywordsProtein AUC Crystallography Interaction
I would like to thank my colleagues at Yokohama City University for their support during my stay, when the main results of this article were obtained.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
Satoru Unzai declares that he has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.
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