Liquid-like movements in crystalline insulin

Caspar, D. L. D. ; Clarage, J. ; Salunke, D. M. ; Clarage, M. (1988) Liquid-like movements in crystalline insulin Nature, 332 . 659 - 662. ISSN 0028-0836

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Diffuse X-ray scattering from protein crystals provides information about molecular flexibility and packing irregularities. Here we analyse diffraction patterns from insulin crystals that show two types of scattering related to disorder: very diffuse, liquid-like diffraction, and haloes around the Bragg reflections. The haloes are due to coupled displacements of neighboring molecules in the lattice, and the very diffuse scattering results from variations in atomic positions that are only locally correlated within each molecule. The measured intensity was digitally separated into three components: the Bragg reflections and associated haloes; the water and Compton scattering; and the scattering attributed to internal protein movements. We extend methods used to analyze disorder in membrane structures to simulate the diffuse scattering from crystalline insulin in terms of the Patterson (auto correlation) function of the ideal, ordered crystal structure, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) amplitude of the atomic movements, and (3) the mean distance over which these displacements are coupled. Movements of the atoms within the molecules, with r.m.s. amplitudes of 0.4-0.45 Å , appear to be coupled over a range of ˜ 6 Å , as in a liquid. These locally coupled movements account for most of the disorder in the crystal. Also, the protein molecules, as a whole, jiggle in the lattice with r.m.s. amplitudes of ˜ 0.25 Å that appear to be significantly correlated only between nearest neighbours.

Item Type:Article
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Deposited On:04 Aug 2011 07:48
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