Structural Biology Unit

The mission of the Structural Biology Unit is to provide the research groups with access to x-ray crystallography methods aim at elucidating the 3D atomic structure of macromolecules of biological relevance, with a main focus on molecules involved in tumoral processes.
The scientific director of the Unit is Dr José M de Pereda.

The main service offered by the Unit is the access to instrumentation for the analysis of macromolecular crystals and the collection of diffraction data. In addition, it provides consultations and assistance on optimization of crystallization, data collection and processing, and structure solution.

The Unit has an X-ray diffraction system for macromolecular crystallography (Fig 1), which was commissioned in June 2007.
This instrument consists of:
• Microstar (Bruker AXS) rotating anode micro-focus x-ray generator.
• Helios high-brightness multilayer X-ray optics (Bruker AXS).
• A mar345dtb systems (Marresearch) that integrates automated collimator, goniometer and detector mount.
• Large-area Image plate detector mar345 (Marresearch).
• Cryostream 700 low temperature system (Oxford Cryosystems).
• Linux workstation for control of data collection, data storage
and analysis.
The configuration of this equipment makes it ideal for the data collection from crystals of biological macromolecules. It allows for the measurement of data to a maximum resolution of ~1.4 Å. In addition to the collection of data from native crystals, this system has been routinely used to measure data from crystals derivatized with heavy atoms aimed at obtaining phases by experimental methods. The wavelength produced by the generator, Cu-Kα, allows for the collection of anomalous signal from mercurial derivatives and its application to the phasing of structures by single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering (SIRAS). The quality of the data collected in this system from native crystals allows for the identification in the maps of atoms that show anomalous signal, such as sulfurs.

Scientific Coordinator
José María de Pereda
Tel.: 923 294 817
E-mail: pereda@usal.es

Location and contact
Unidad de Biología Estructural
Centro de Investigación del Cáncer
(CSIC-Universidad de Salamanca)
Campus Universitario Miguel de Unamuno s/n
E- 37007 Salamanca (ESPAÑA)
Tel.: 923 294 817
E-mail: pereda@usal.es