Biological Small Angle X-ray Scattering at CEITEC-MU

Tomáš Klumpler

CEITEC, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic


Biological Small Angle X-ray Scattering (Bio-SAXS) become mature and popular technique for structural studies of the macromolecules and macromolecular complexes in solution. Development of the software tools available and advances of synchrotron and „home“ X-ray sources brought Bio-SAXS to routine work-flow of number of structural biologists. Bio-SAXS is used for determination of the integral structural parameters, shape reconstruction, determination of the oligomeric and folding state, unraveling the quaternary architecture of the complexes, modeling of molecular flexibility and more. Bio-SAXS characterizes macromolecules in solution, i.e. close to their native and biologically relevant conditions. It is a low-resolution technique, but in combination with other techniques as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, etc., the Bio-SAXS becomes powerful tool of the structural analysis of biological macromolecules.

The Core facility X-ray diffraction and Bio-SAXS of the CEITEC-MU located in Brno facilitates access to the state of art "in house" instrumentation for X-ray structural analysis. Besides the elementary collection of diffraction or scattering data, the facility offers assistance with data processing and interpretation. Year and half after the official opening of the laboratory the most typical Bio-SAXS case studies from users community are presented: ab initio shape reconstruction experiments, oligomeric state determination and oligomeric equilibrium studies, hybrid method approaches for quaternary structure model building of macromolecular complexes and studies of semi-flexible complexes and intrinsically disordered proteins.