Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
RESEARCH FRONT

Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering for the Discerning Macromolecular Crystallographer

Lachlan W. Casey A D , Alan E. Mark A B and Bostjan Kobe A B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

B Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

C Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: uqlcase3@uq.edu.au




Lachlan Casey studied biochemistry at the University of Queensland, and is currently completing his Ph. D. His research is focused on the evaluation of ensemble models from small angle scattering data in combination with molecular dynamics simulation, together with the solution verification and interrogation of structures from macromolecular crystallography.



Professor Alan E. Mark studied chemistry and biochemistry at Sydney University. He obtained his Ph. D. in physical biochemistry at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University (ANU). He went on to hold positions at the Research School of Chemistry at ANU, the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and ETH-Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005, he moved to the University of Queensland as a Federation Fellow. His primary interests are in understanding the dynamic and thermodynamic properties of biomolecular systems at an atomic level. Professor Mark currently holds an ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award.



Professor Bostjan Kobe studied chemistry at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He obtained his Ph. D. in biophysics and biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in the US. He then worked at St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and moved to the University of Queensland in 2000, where he is now Professor of Structural Biology and NHMRC Research Fellow. His primary interests are in understanding the structure and function of proteins involved in infection and immunity.

Australian Journal of Chemistry 67(12) 1786-1792 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH14396
Submitted: 19 June 2014  Accepted: 31 July 2014   Published: 3 September 2014

Abstract

The role of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in structural biology is now well established, and its usefulness in combination with macromolecular crystallography is clear. However, the highly averaged SAXS data present a significant risk of over-interpretation to the unwary practitioner, and it can be challenging to frame SAXS results in a manner that maximises the reliability of the conclusions drawn. In this review, a series of recent examples are used to illustrate both the challenges for interpretation and approaches through which these can be overcome.


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