issue contents

Journal logoSTRUCTURAL
ISSN: 2059-7983

December 2018 issue

Neutron scattering for the study of biological systems

Edited by Trevor Forsyth and Peter Moody

Highlighted illustration

Cover illustration: Lysozyme crystals obtained in silica gel (dark part of the crystal schematized as linked spheres) regrown from fresh solution [Gavira et al. (2018), Acta Cryst. D74, 1200-1207]. A microscopic photo of the crystal (insert) is shown here with transmitted polarized light. Reinforced gel-grown protein crystals can be a good strategy for the production of stable seeds for the regrowth procedure required for neutron diffraction.


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An introduction to the special issue on neutron scattering for the study of biological systems.

lead articles

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A wide variety of neutron scattering techniques can be applied to obtain information on the structure and dynamics of biological systems on multiple scales. Recent progress is summarized, as are hoped-for future developments in the context of the advent of next-generation neutron sources on various continents.

research papers

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Recent work applying neutron and X-ray scattering to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of volatile anesthetics is reviewed.

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Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is coupled with online size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). The obtained SEC–SANS was combined with SEC–SAXS and utilized to investigate solution structures of phospholipid nanodiscs with and without incorporated membrane proteins.

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Using the unique ability of small-angle neutron scattering to resolve a hydrogen-rich surfactant from a deuterated membrane protein, the results of removing free surfactant from the equilibrium are revealed.

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Lysozyme crystals grown in silica gel were reinforced by the incorporation of 100% of the gel, qualifying them as the best source of seeds for the growth of large crystals for neutron crystallography.

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Exploring strategies for growing large membrane-protein crystals and the challenges of using neutron macromolecular crystallography to locate H atoms.

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Using neutron reflectivity, a comprehensive structural characterization is provided of each step in the formation of a protein-tethered bilayer lipid membrane. Relevant physical parameters of self-assembled monolayers, surface-captured detergent-stabilized protein and the bilayer lipid membrane reconstituted by dialysis around the surface-captured tethering proteins are reported.

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This article reports the fabrication and characterization of simple lipid-bilayer models of fungal membranes to allow study of their dynamics and interactions under modelled in vivo conditions.
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