Grease matrix as a versatile carrier of proteins for serial crystallography

Femtosecond X-ray serial crystallography has revolutionized atomic resolution structural investigation by drastically expanding the accessibility to proteins in small-sized crystals, at room temperature and on dynamic reaction. Despite such an enticing opportunity, robust and reliable crystal carrying media are largely lacking. Here, we introduce a grease matrix carrier for protein microcrystals to obtain the structures of lysozyme, glucose isomerase, thaumatin and fatty acid-binding protein type-3 beyond 2Å resolution under ambient conditions.

Fig. 1. Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX). (a) A schematic diagram of SFX. Protein crystals are continuously delivered to the interaction point of a free-electron laser. (b) The microcrystal-containing grease was extruded from the injector.
Fig. 2. Example of a protein crystal structure determined by SFX. The electron density map is shown in pink mesh. The oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and sulfur atoms of the stick model are colored red, blue, gray and yellow, respectively.


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