Protein crystals

The big problem with protein crystallography is that so many proteins do not form crystals or are very stubborn to do so. A team in Japan has now found a way to increase the probability of obtaining well-ordered crystals by minimizing the conformational heterogeneity in a target protein. In a proof of principle, the team has created a new chimeric antibody fragment that was part of an essentially uncrystallizable. This, the Osaka University researchers suggest, allows them to access a drug target because the fragment is functionally identical to the whole protein.