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Institute for Life SciencesOur research

Crystallography

The Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility, hosted by the IfLS, is situated in the Life Sciences Building.

Proteins and nucleic acids are macromolecules that can be crystallised into highly ordered solids that can be used in x-ray diffraction experiments to elucidate the atomic structure. This information tells researchers how a drug molecule binds to its macromolecular target, or how macromolecules interact, e.g. in signal transduction pathways or in gene expression. More generally, the technique shows how macromolecules are shaped to perform their biological function.

The caveat is that crystallising macromolecules isn't always easy. The IfLS hosts the Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility to ease entry into macromolecular structure determination. Integration with the Macromolecular Diffraction Facility within the Southampton Diffraction Centre as well as the close neighbourhood to the Synchrotron Radiation Source DIAMOND make Southampton an ideal place to carry out challenging macromolecular experiments.

The Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility uses technology originally developed for high-throughput structural genomics programmes. This technology enables us to rapidly gain access 3D structural information on macromolecules that are being investigated in University research programmes. The Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility provides crystallisation experiments and thus acts as a hub to integrate structural work into investigations of biological phenomena. We also give access for external users, academic or industrial.

For further information please contact Ivo Tews at the Macromolecular Crystallography group of Biological Sciences.

Macromolecular Crystallography

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