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Preliminary investigations of protein crystal growth using the Space Shuttle

Published on Aug 1, 1986in Journal of Crystal Growth1.573
· DOI :10.1016/0022-0248(86)90185-5
Lawrence J. DeLucas25
Estimated H-index: 25
,
F.L. Suddath5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UCR: University of California, Riverside)
+ 10 AuthorsCharles E. Bugg36
Estimated H-index: 36
Abstract
Abstract Protein crystal growth in space is of interest because of the potential applications for unique studies of crystallization processes. Theoretical and experimental research indicates that gravitational fields produce density-driven convective flow patterns which can influence crystal growth, and these convective effects can be controlled under microgravity conditions. Microgravity can also be used to control sedimentation effects. As part of a program to investigate the influence of gravity on protein crystal growth, ground and shuttle-based experiments are in progress, and suitable techniques and equipment for protein crystal growth in space are being developed. The research program includes several phases of hardware development, beginning with a simple prototype system, and evolving to an automated protein crystal growth unit that will permit the major variables in protein crystallization to be monitored and controlled during the crystal growth processes. As part of the first step in hardware development, protein crystal growth experiments have been performed on four different shuttle flight missions.
  • References (4)
  • Citations (110)
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References4
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#1Walter Littke (University of Freiburg)H-Index: 6
#2Christina John (University of Freiburg)H-Index: 3
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Abstract This is a review of the influence of convection on the growth of crystals from solution. The growth rate is increased by convection up to the point where interface kinetics becomes rate controlling. Compositional inhomogeneity and morphological instability (inclusion formation) are probably worse for gentle convection than for either no convection or for vigorous stirring. Stirring, particularly of crystal suspensions, can cause an orders of magnitude increase in the rate of formation o...
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#1William R. Wilcox (State University of Campinas)H-Index: 24
Abstract Stability parameters are proposed and evaluated for interface breakdown by coalescence of steps emanating from apexes of cubic crystals. Formation of waves and trapping of inclusions are thereby predicted to become more severe as crystal size increases and as solubility decreases. The influence of interface kinetics is ambiguous; more rapid kinetics decrease the probability of step formation at the corners becoming significant, but makes wave and inclusion formation easier when such ste...
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#1James F. Yee (SC: University of Southern California)H-Index: 1
#2Mu-Ching Lin (SC: University of Southern California)H-Index: 1
Last. William R. Wilcox (SC: University of Southern California)H-Index: 24
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Abstract In x Ga 1− x Sb melts with x = 0.5, 0.3 and 0.1 were solidified by a gradient freeze technique on earth and in Skylab 3 and Skylab 4. The three ingots processed in Skylab 3 had diameters less than those of their carbon-coated silica ampoules, while those processed in Skylab 4 (with a higher initial heater temperature) completely filed their ampoules. All six of the earth-processed ingots were sufficiently bireflectant that grains and twins were easily observed with incident polarized li...
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Cited By110
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#1Arayik Martirosyan (UHH: University of Hamburg)
#2L.J. DeLucas (The Aerospace Corporation)H-Index: 1
Last. Christian Betzel (UHH: University of Hamburg)H-Index: 39
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#1Troy J. Scott (RTP: Research Triangle Park)H-Index: 4
#2Nicholas S. Vonortas (GW: George Washington University)H-Index: 26
A basic mission of NASA is to use the United States’ segment of the International Space Station (ISS), designated a national laboratory, to facilitate the growth of a commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit for scientific research, technology development, observation and communications. Protein crystallization research has long been promoted as a promising commercial application of the ISS for drug development. In this paper we examine the case for microgravity protein crystallization under di...
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#1Günter Ruyters (DLR: German Aerospace Center)H-Index: 1
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The utilization of microgravity for improving protein crystallization and thereby structure determination started in the early 1980s onboard of TEXUS sounding rockets and of the US Space Shuttle. After the successful pioneering work by Prof. Littke, especially the German space life sciences program put much effort into this topic. In spite of some technical and methodological drawbacks, early successes could be obtained as well. In some cases, microgravity experiments enabled crystallization of ...
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#1Gwen E. Owens (California Institute of Technology)H-Index: 7
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Huntington's disease is one of nine neurodegenerative diseases caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ)-repeat expansion. An anti-polyQ antigen-binding fragment, MW1 Fab, was crystallized both on Earth and on the International Space Station, a microgravity environment where convection is limited. Once the crystals returned to Earth, the number, size and morphology of all crystals were recorded, and X-ray data were collected from representative crystals. The results generally agreed with previous microg...
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To clarify the growth mechanism of a protein crystal, it is essential to measure its growth rate with respect to the supersaturation. We developed a compartment (growth cell) for measuring the growth rate (<0.1 nm s−1) of the face of a protein crystal at a controlled supersaturation by interferometry over a period of half a year in space. The growth cell mainly consists of quartz glass, in which the growth solution and a seed crystal are enclosed by capillaries, the screw sample holder, and a he...
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#1Gwen E. OwensH-Index: 7
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease. HD has no cure, and patients pass away 10-20 years after the onset of symptoms. The causal mutation for HD is a trinucleotide repeat expansion in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene that leads to a polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansion in the N-terminal region of the huntingtin protein. Interestingly, there is a threshold of 37 polyQ repeats under which little or no disease exists; and above which, patients invariably ...
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#1Alexander McPherson (UCI: University of California, Irvine)H-Index: 51
#2Lawrence J. DeLucas (UAB: University of Alabama at Birmingham)H-Index: 25
Over the past 20 years a variety of technological advances in X-ray crystallography have shortened the time required to determine the structures of large macromolecules (i.e., proteins and nucleic acids) from several years to several weeks or days. However, one of the remaining challenges is the ability to produce diffraction-quality crystals suitable for a detailed structural analysis. Although the development of automated crystallization systems combined with protein engineering (site-directed...
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The nucleation of glycine was investigated in supersaturated aqueous solutions exposed to well-controlled fluid shear under isothermal conditions. Shear rates between 25 s–1 and 1000 s–1 were studied using Couette and capillary flow devices. Induction times were obtained from imaging, transmission and scattering measurements, or visual monitoring. Great care was taken to eliminate any seeding in order to avoid secondary nucleation preceding formation of first crystals through primary nucleation....
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#1V. I. Strelov (RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 5
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The results of studying crystallization in space are reviewed with focus on the growth of semiconductor and protein crystals. The history of the problem is considered, the influence of microgravity on the crystal growth is investigated, and the main experimental data on crystal growth in zero gravity are analyzed. The studies performed in this field at the Institute of Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences (IC RAS), are reviewed in detail.
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The two-dimensional (2D) distributions of surface supersaturation of sodium chlorate crystals with and without solutal convection have been measured by means of a multidirectional interferometry (MDI) technique coupled with the principles of three-dimensional (3D) computer tomography. When solutal convection was present over a top face, the supersaturation at the center of the face was depleted by a factor of >0.9 with reference to the value at the edges of the crystal. When the convection was s...
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