X-ray Scattering for Bio-Molecule Structure Characterization
One of the challenges in photosynthesis research lies in resolving the molecular basis for function with atomic-scale precision across the full time-scale of photosynthetic events. While crystallography provides the most detailed and accurate measurement of molecular structure, structure determination is necessarily confi ned to specifi c crystalline states. Critical issues that can be left unresolved by crystallography include the range, amplitudes, and time-scales of molecular motions, and a determination of how these dynamic events are linked to biological function. Advances in synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques offer new opportunities for characterization of photosynthetic structure and dynamics in non-crystalline media that build upon crystallographic, NMR, and molecular dynamics databases, but are applied to conditions most closely relevant to in-situ function. Recent advances in the application of synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques include the extension to the high-angle, high-resolution domain, where measurements can be routinely made to a spatial resolution of 1 Å or better, and the development of coordinate-based analyses of X-ray scattering data that allows scattering data to be analyzed in terms of detailed coordinate models for structure and dynamics. Promising new directions include application of element specifi c anomalous X-ray scattering and ultrafast time-resolved scattering techniques. This chapter will review recent progress in the application of synchrotron scattering techniques for the in-situ characterization of molecular structure. This work has focused primarily on proof-of-principle and technique development using model compounds and molecular systems. These studies demonstrate opportunities for using in-situ solution diffraction for the resolution of conformational landscapes for photosynthetic complexes in non-crystalline states and for extending these studies to the picosecond time domain using pulsed synchrotron techniques.
KeywordsScatter Pattern Scattering Pattern Bacterial Reaction Center Linac Coherent Light Source Photoactive Yellow Protein
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