Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

X-ray crystalography

Macromolecular structure has now become fully integrated into basic studies of disease and the development of therapies. X-ray crystallography determination methods provide the majority of the high resolution structures which constitute the database for understanding molecular function and interactions at the atomic level. Research ranging from rational design of competitive and mechanism-based inhibitors and effectors of enzyme function to studies of the effects of disease-related mutations on in vivo function draws heavily on structures obtained by X-ray crystallography. 

Instrumentation 

The X-ray crystallography arm of the Structural Biology core laboratory provides the necessary instrumentation and expertise to attack problems of relevance to understanding cancer and developing therapeutic agents. The Structural Biology core's X-ray crystallography suite is located in Biotech I.  Available X-ray crystallographic resources include:  

  • Rigaku Raxis-IV++ imaging plate system (right);
  • MicroMax-007 high frequency rotating anode;
  • Blue Max-Flux Confocal optical system, x-stream cryogenic system;
  • RAXIS-IV++ 2phi stage and Windows-based CrystalClear software for data acquisition and processing. 

Data acquisition with CrystalClear

In addition, the facility has recently acquired a CrysCam digital microscope to facilitate the monitoring of crystal generation screening and the harvesting of crystals.