The Protein Crystallization Center – PCC@UZH – supports the structural biology research community by setting up and monitor high-throughput protein crystallization experiments at the nano-liter scale. PCC@UZH offers a wide range of crystallization techniques for soluble and membrane proteins. The crystallization service is open to academic researchers as well as private industry.
Proteins are the largest group of non-aqueous components in living cells. Almost every chemical reaction in a living cell requires a specific enzyme; this class of protein is also the most diverse. Knowing the 3-D structure of enzymes is vital to understand cellular processes. From the techniques used for the structure determination of macromolecules X-ray crystallography is the most productive method to date.
Crystals of a protein are prerequisite for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Since the crystallization of bio molecules is a poorly understood process, high-throughput crystallization screening methods have to be used to find a successful condition for a new protein. Using vapor diffusion as the most common crystallization technique a combination of condition variables has to be determined for each protein. Condition variables are e.g. the protein concentration, the temperature, pH, and the concentration of a wide range of precipitation agents in combination with various salts. High throughput screening in combination with miniaturizing the crystallization experiment to 100nl is a practical solution for finding a suitable crystallization condition out of a large number of tests by using only a small amount of purified protein.
For more information how to get your protein crystallized go to:
Terese Bergfors - Tutorials:
How to set up protein crystallizations with Terese Bergfors
Oxford Protein Production Facility - UK
Crystal Growth 101 Literature
"Growing Crystals That Will Make Your Crystallographer Happy" by Paul D. Boyle (PDF, 92 KB)