Structural Medicine     

Protein Crystallography Course


Protein crystallization occurs when the concentration of protein in solution is greater than its limit of solubility and so the protein is in a superstaturated state.

The theory of protein crystallization is presented in three parts

  1. Methods for protein crystallization
  2. Phase diagrams
  3. Screening: searching phase space
Frequently Asked Questions about Crystals for Students contains an introduction to crystal growth (although it is written for small molecule crystallization).

Douglas Instruments have a page on Experimental Design, particularly as it relates to automated screening, with phase diagrams and multivariate design.

Most of the work on the theory of protein crystallization has been done on lysozyme

Molecular Structure Corporation's pages (MSC) have instructions for

It may be possible that the best packed regular or crystalline arrangement is more open (or, more correctly, has a higher free energy) than irregular arrangements. In this case the protein would never crystallize.

Blundell & Johnson
Protein Crystallography (1976)

© 1999-2005 Airlie J McCoy, University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.

Last updated: 7 June, 2005