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Molecular Replacement in Action

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Molecular Replacement in Action.
The NK1 fragment crystal structure solution by Molecular Replacement method.

by Dima Chirgadze

July 3, 2001



When identical or similar structures exist in different crystallographic environments (like space group, unit cell parameters), similarities between their diffraction patterns, which are directly associated with the Fourier transforms of these structures, would be expected. The technique of Molecular Replacement in protein X-ray crystallography utilises this similarity in order to derive the initial phase information. This paper introduces the theory underlying the Molecular Replacement method as applied to the solution of protein crystal structures. It also describes the application of this method to the NK1 fragment crystal structure solution using the NMR model of HGF/SF (Hepatocyte Growth Factor/Scatter Factor) N-domain and the crystal structure of human plasminogen kringle 1 domain as molecular replacement search probes.


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