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The experimental setup of beamline ID26 at ESRF (Grenoble) has been successfully exploited to obtain high-quality XAS (X-ray absorption spectroscopy) data from a biological sample where the metal concentration is about 100 µM. The sample consists of the adenosine monophosphate deaminase (AMPD) histidine proline rich glycoprotein (HPRG) complex that contains 3-4 Zn(II) ions per dimer of approximately 320 kDa molecular weight. The experiment shows that third-generation X-ray sources equipped with insertion devices and appropriate optics and detectors allow the investigation of complex biological systems where the metal concentration is intrinsically low. The availability of such experimental setups makes possible a completely new set of experiments in biological XAS.

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