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The structure determination of a macromolecule from a hemihedrally twinned crystal specimen with a twinning fraction of one-half is described. Twinning was detected by analysis of crystal-packing density and intensity statistics. The structure was solved using molecular replacement, and the positioned search model was used to overcome the twinning by a novel method of `detwinning' the observed data. Estimates of the unobservable crystallographic intensities from each of the twin domains were obtained and used to refine the model. The structure of a new algal plastocyanin from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was determined by this method to 1.6 Å resolution with a `twinned' R factor of 15.6%. Additional data from a crystal specimen with a low twinning fraction were used to establish the accuracy of the structure solution from the perfectly twinned data, and to finalize the refinement to 1.5 Å resolution and a true R factor of 16.8%. Methods for detecting twinning and obtaining a molecular-replacement solution in the presence of twinning are discussed.

Supporting information

PDB reference: 2plt

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