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Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are found in different species from polar, alpine and subarctic regions, where they serve to inhibit ice-crystal growth by adsorption to ice surfaces. Recombinant North Atlantic ocean pout (Macrozoarces americanus) AFP has been used as a model protein to develop protocols for amino-acid-specific hydrogen reverse-labelling of methyl groups in leucine and valine residues using Escherichia coli high-density cell cultures supplemented with the amino-acid precursor α-ketoisovalerate. Here, the successful methyl protonation (methyl reverse-labelling) of leucine and valine residues in AFP is reported. Methyl-protonated AFP was expressed in inclusion bodies, refolded in deuterated buffer and purified by cation-exchange chromatography. Crystals were grown in D2O buffer by the sitting-drop method. Preliminary neutron Laue diffraction at 293 K using LADI-III at ILL showed in a few 24 h exposures a very low background and clear small spots up to a resolution of 1.80 Å from a crystal of dimensions 1.60 × 0.38 × 0.38 mm corresponding to a volume of 0.23 mm3.

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