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Macromolecular crystal growth experiments on international microgravity laboratory – 1
Abstract
Macromolecular crystal growth experiments, using satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV) and canavalin from jack beans as samples, were conducted on a US Space Shuttle mission designated International Microgravity Laboratory — 1 (IML-1), flown January 22–29, 1992. Parallel experiments using identical samples were carried out in both a vapor diffusion-based device (PCG) and a liquid-liquid diffusion-based instrument (CRYOSTAT). The experiments in each device were run at 20–22 °C and at colder temperatures. Crystals were grown in virtually every trial, but the characteristics of the crystals were highly dependent on the crystallization technique employed and the temperature experience of the sample. In general, very good results, based on visual inspection of the crystals, were obtained in both PCG and CRYOSTAT. Unusually impressive results were, however, achieved for STMV in the CRYOSTAT instrument. STMV crystals grown in microgravity by liquid-liquid diffusion were more than 10-fold greater in total volume than any STMV crystals previously grown in the laboratory. X-ray diffraction data collected from eight STMV crystals grown in CRYOSTAT demonstrated a substantial improvement in diffraction quality over the entire resolution range when compared to data from crystals grown on Earth. In addition, the extent of the diffraction pattern for the STMV crystals grown in space extended to 1.8 A resolution, whereas the best crystals that were ever grown under conditions of Earth's gravity produced data limited to 2.3 A resolution. Other observations indicate that the growth of macromolecular crystals is indeed influenced by the presence or absence of gravity. These observations further suggest, consistent with earlier results, that the elimination of gravity provides a more favorable environment for such processes.

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  • References (36)
  • Cited By (57)
Alexander McPherson54
Estimated H-index: 54
A complete guide to techniques and procedures for the preparation of proteins for crystallographic studies. Describes methods for protein crystallization; formation of isomorphous heavy atoms; x-ray diffraction and analysis; and photographic and computerbased data collection methods and instrumentation.
972 Citations Source
1986 in Journal of Crystal Growth [IF: 1.74]
Walter Littke5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Freiburg),
Christina John2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Freiburg)
Abstract Crystal growth conditions for proteins under microgravity were investigated with two model compounds (β-galactosidase and lysozyme). The single crystals obtained have been found to be significantly larger than those prepared in the same environment on earth.
49 Citations Source Cite
1987 in Trends in Biotechnology [IF: 13.58]
L.J. DeLucas1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
C.E. Bugg1
Estimated H-index: 1
Major advances in the technology involved in determining protein crystal structures have facilitated several new and existing applications for protein crystallography. Protein crystal growth, the one major bottleneck in this field, has recently received much attention and several new developments hold promise for the future.
29 Citations Source Cite
1989 in Virology [IF: 3.37]
T.E. Mirkov1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of California, Riverside),
D. M. Mathews8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of California, Riverside),
D.H. Du Plessis1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Fort Hare)
... more
Abstract Satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV) is a plant virus with a 17-nm icosahedral particle encapsidating a 0.3 × 10 6 M r ssRNA genome that depends on tobamoviruses for its replication. The complete nucleotide sequence of STMV RNA deduced in the experiments described here was 1059 nucleotides in length. The efficiency of labeling viral RNA with [γ- 32 P]ATP using T4 polynucleotide kinase was not affected by treatment with tobacco acid pyrophosphatase and/or bacterial alkaline phosphatase,...
52 Citations Source Cite
1982 in Plant Physiology [IF: 5.95]
Stephanie Campbell Smith2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Stephen Johnson3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
James R. Andrews5
Estimated H-index: 5
... more
The structure of canavalin, a jack bean ( Canavalis ensiformis ) protein homologous to phaseolin, the major seed storage protein of Phaseolus vulgaris , has been investigated by x-ray crystallography and found to be a hexamer composed of three identical pairs of similar but nonidentical subunits related by a perfect 3-fold axis and pseudo dyad axes (strict C 3 and pseudo D 3 ). One member of each pair of subunits is derived from the amino terminal half of a precursor polypeptide of molecular wei...
30 Citations Download PDF Cite
1993 in Journal of Crystal Growth [IF: 1.74]
Alexander J. Malkin17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of California, Riverside),
Alexander McPherson54
Estimated H-index: 54
(University of California, Riverside)
Abstract Quasi-elastic light scattering (QELS) was used to investigate nucleation and post nucleation events in the crystallization of satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV). The diameter of monomer STMV was measured to be ≈ 16 nm, which corresponds well with data from electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction results. The data suggests that the rate limiting factor in STMV crystal growth is the diffusion of virus clusters to the growing crystal nucleus rather than the probability of incorporatio...
18 Citations Source Cite
  • References (36)
  • Cited By (57)
Gilles Clément8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Ohio University),
Angie Bukley3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Ohio University)
Source Cite
Daniel N. Riahi16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Texas–Pan American),
Charles W. Obare (University of Texas at Austin)
We consider the problem of steady flow around a growing protein crystal in a medium of its solution in a normal gravity environment. The whole flow system is assumed to be rotating with a constant angular velocity about a vertical axis which is anti-parallel to the gravity vector. Convective flow takes place due to the solute depletion around the growing crystal which leads to a buoyancy driven flow. Such convective flow can produce inhomogeneous solute concentration, which subsequently generate...
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Daniel N. Riahi16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
This is a review article on modeling convective flows due to either buoyancy force or surface tension gradient force during protein crystallization that have been studied in the past. The modeling and computational studies of such flows have provided useful results about the effects of the undesirable convection, which need to be minimized in order to produce protein crystal with higher quality and better order in the structure. Ramachandran et al. [1] developed analytical and numerical models t...
2 Citations Source
Howard Einspahr7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Bristol-Myers Squibb)
Protein crystal growth experiments in microgravity are reviewed and the frequency with which beneficial effects of microgravity growth are encountered is assessed.
Source Cite
D. Boulter2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Durham University),
R.R.D. Croy1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Durham University)
Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the structure and biosynthesis of legume seed storage. The importance of legume storage proteins as a major food protein resource world wide has always attracted a significant research effort by plant scientists. In addition, at various times, legume storage proteins or their encoding genes have been among the few plant experimental materials at the cutting edge of plant science research. Storage proteins can be isolated in large amounts from any commonly...
28 Citations Source Cite
1998 in Journal of Molecular Biology [IF: 4.89]
Steven B. Larson7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of California, Riverside),
John Day13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of California, Riverside),
Aaron Greenwood8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of California, Riverside)
... more
Abstract The molecular structure of satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV) has been refined to 1.8 A resolution using X-ray diffraction data collected from crystals grown in microgravity. The final R value was 0.179 and R free was 0.184 for 219,086 independent reflections. The final model of the asymmetric unit contained amino acid residues 13 to 159 of a coat protein monomer, 21 nucleotides, a sulfate ion, and 168 water molecules. The nucleotides were visualized as 30 helical segments of nine ba...
96 Citations Source Cite
1997 in Trends in Biotechnology [IF: 13.58]
Alexander McPherson54
Estimated H-index: 54
(University of California, Riverside)
21 Citations Source Cite
Pratik Bhattacharjee2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Daniel N. Riahi16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
The effect of rotation on surface tension gradient driven flow, also known as Marangoni convective flow, during protein crystallization is modeled and studied computationally under microgravity conditions, where the surface tension gradient force is the main significant driving force. The main parameters are the solutal Marangoni number Mc, representing the surface tension gradient force and the Taylor number Ta representing the rotational effect. The numerical computations for various values of...
43 Citations Source Cite
1997 in Journal of Crystal Growth [IF: 1.74]
Madeleine Riès-Kautt13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Isabelle Broutin20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Arnaud Ducruix20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
... more
Abstract The Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF), a new protein crystallization device developed by ESA for the IML-2 Mission in 1994, was tested in its maiden flight on STS-57 Mission in SpaceHab-01 with a physico-chemical experiment on lysozyme crystallization. In pre-flight ground experiments, prior to the Shuttle Mission, the protocol for lysozyme crystallization with NaCl was based on its solubility diagram at 18°C and pH 4.5. Crystallization was conducted under microgravity in...
26 Citations Source Cite
1998 in Journal of Crystal Growth [IF: 1.74]
H.-X Cang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
R.-C Bi1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The numerical simulation method is used to study the solute transport in a real case of protein crystallization with the liquid/liquid diffusion method. The results of the study show that the ratio of the volumes of protein and salt solutions in a growth tube of constant diameter, plus the salt concentration in the protein solution are the principal causes of the spatial and temporal distributions of supersaturation, which may in turn affect the nucleation region and the number of nuclei. The co...
7 Citations Source Cite

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