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Disordered Nanowrinkle Substrates for Inducing Crystallization over a Wide Range of Concentration of Protein and Precipitant

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-04-02, 00:00 authored by Anindita Sengupta Ghatak, Animangsu Ghatak
There are large number of proteins, the existence of which are known but not their crystal structure, because of difficulty in finding the exact condition for their crystallization. Heterogeneous nucleation on disordered porous substrates with small yet large distribution of pores is considered a panacea for this problem, but a universal nucleant suitable for crystallizing large variety of proteins does not really exist. To this end, we report here a nanowrinkled substrate which displays remarkable ability and control over protein crystallization. Experiments with different proteins show that on these substrates crystals nucleate even at very low protein concentration in buffer. A small number of very large crystals appear for precipitant concentrations varied over orders of magnitude, ∼0.003–0.3 M; for some proteins, crystals appear even without addition of any precipitant, not seen with any other heterogeneous substrates. In essence, these substrates significantly diminish the influence of the above two parameters, thought to be key factors for crystallization, signifying that this advantage can be exploited for finding out crystallization condition for other yet-to-be-crystallized proteins.