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Coherent diffractive imaging of microtubules using an X-ray laser.

Journal article
Authors Gisela Brändén
Greger Hammarin
Rajiv Harimoorthy
Alexander Johansson
David Arnlund
Erik Malmerberg
Anton Barty
Stefan Tångefjord
Peter Berntsen
Daniel P DePonte
Carolin Seuring
Thomas A White
Francesco Stellato
Richard Bean
Kenneth R Beyerlein
Leonard M G Chavas
Holger Fleckenstein
Cornelius Gati
Umesh Ghoshdastider
Lars Gumprecht
Dominik Oberthür
David Popp
Marvin Seibert
Thomas Tilp
Marc Messerschmidt
Garth J Williams
N Duane Loh
Henry N Chapman
Peter Zwart
Mengning Liang
Sébastien Boutet
Robert C Robinson
Richard Neutze
Published in Nature communications
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 2589
ISSN 2041-1723
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 2589
Language en
Subject categories Structural Biology


X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) create new possibilities for structural studies of biological objects that extend beyond what is possible with synchrotron radiation. Serial femtosecond crystallography has allowed high-resolution structures to be determined from micro-meter sized crystals, whereas single particle coherent X-ray imaging requires development to extend the resolution beyond a few tens of nanometers. Here we describe an intermediate approach: the XFEL imaging of biological assemblies with helical symmetry. We collected X-ray scattering images from samples of microtubules injected across an XFEL beam using a liquid microjet, sorted these images into class averages, merged these data into a diffraction pattern extending to 2 nm resolution, and reconstructed these data into a projection image of the microtubule. Details such as the 4 nm tubulin monomer became visible in this reconstruction. These results illustrate the potential of single-molecule X-ray imaging of biological assembles with helical symmetry at room temperature.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-05-29