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1.  How the ESRF helps industry and how they help the ESRF 
The key features of the functionality facilitating proprietary use of the ESRF’s structural biology beamlines are described, as are the major advantages, in terms of beamline evolution, of the interaction of the ESRF with the pharmaceutical industry.
The ESRF has worked with, and provided services for, the pharmaceutical industry since the construction of its first protein crystallography beamline in the mid-1990s. In more recent times, industrial clients have benefited from a portfolio of beamlines which offer a wide range of functionality and beam characteristics, including tunability, microfocus and micro-aperture. Included in this portfolio is a small-angle X-­ray scattering beamline dedicated to the study of biological molecules in solution. The high demands on throughput and efficiency made by the ESRF’s industrial clients have been a major driving force in the evolution of the ESRF’s macromolecular crystallography resources, which now include remote access, the automation of crystal screening and data collection, and a beamline database allowing sample tracking, experiment reporting and real-time at-a-distance monitoring of experiments. This paper describes the key features of the functionality put in place on the ESRF structural biology beamlines and outlines the major advantages of the interaction of the ESRF with the pharmaceutical industry.
PMCID: PMC3689532  PMID: 23793155
synchrotron MX beamlines; proprietary access; service data collection; automation
2.  Automatic processing of macromolecular crystallography X-ray diffraction data at the ESRF 
Journal of Applied Crystallography  2013;46(Pt 3):804-810.
A system for the automatic reduction of single- and multi-position macromolecular crystallography data is presented.
The development of automated high-intensity macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines at synchrotron facilities has resulted in a remarkable increase in sample throughput. Developments in X-ray detector technology now mean that complete X-ray diffraction datasets can be collected in less than one minute. Such high-speed collection, and the volumes of data that it produces, often make it difficult for even the most experienced users to cope with the deluge. However, the careful reduction of data during experimental sessions is often necessary for the success of a particular project or as an aid in decision making for subsequent experiments. Automated data reduction pipelines provide a fast and reliable alternative to user-initiated processing at the beamline. In order to provide such a pipeline for the MX user community of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), a system for the rapid automatic processing of MX diffraction data from single and multiple positions on a single or multiple crystals has been developed. Standard integration and data analysis programs have been incorporated into the ESRF data collection, storage and computing environment, with the final results stored and displayed in an intuitive manner in the ISPyB (information system for protein crystallography beamlines) database, from which they are also available for download. In some cases, experimental phase information can be automatically determined from the processed data. Here, the system is described in detail.
PMCID: PMC3654316  PMID: 23682196
automation; data processing; macromolecular crystallography; computer programs
3.  A triclinic crystal form of Escherichia coli 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase and reassessment of the quaternary structure 
The structure of a triclinic crystal form of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase has been determined. Comparisons with a previously reported monoclinic crystal form raise questions about our knowledge of the quaternary structure of this enzyme.
4-Diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase (IspE; EC contributes to the 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate or mevalonate-independent biosynthetic pathway that produces the isomers isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. These five-carbon compounds are the fundamental building blocks for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids. The mevalonate-independent pathway does not occur in humans, but is present and has been shown to be essential in many dangerous pathogens, i.e. Plasmodium species, which cause malaria, and Gram-negative bacteria. Thus, the enzymes involved in this pathway have attracted attention as potential drug targets. IspE produces 4-­diphosphos­phocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2-phosphate by ATP-dependent phosphorylation of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol. A triclinic crystal structure of the Escherichia coli IspE–ADP complex with two molecules in the asymmetric unit was determined at 2 Å resolution and compared with a monoclinic crystal form of a ternary complex of E. coli IspE also with two molecules in the asymmetric unit. The molecular packing is different in the two forms. In the asymmetric unit of the triclinic crystal form the substrate-binding sites of IspE are occluded by structural elements of the partner, suggesting that the ‘triclinic dimer’ is an artefact of the crystal lattice. The surface area of interaction in the triclinic form is almost double that observed in the monoclinic form, implying that the dimeric assembly in the monoclinic form may also be an artifact of crystallization.
PMCID: PMC2833027  PMID: 20208151
mevalonate-independent pathway; isoprenoid biosynthesis; kinases
4.  MxCuBE: a synchrotron beamline control environment customized for macromolecular crystallography experiments 
Journal of Synchrotron Radiation  2010;17(Pt 5):700-707.
MxCuBE is a beamline control environment optimized for the needs of macromolecular crystallography. This paper describes the design of the software and the features that MxCuBE currently provides.
The design and features of a beamline control software system for macromolecular crystallography (MX) experiments developed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) are described. This system, MxCuBE, allows users to easily and simply interact with beamline hardware components and provides automated routines for common tasks in the operation of a synchrotron beamline dedicated to experiments in MX. Additional functionality is provided through intuitive interfaces that enable the assessment of the diffraction characteristics of samples, experiment planning, automatic data collection and the on-line collection and analysis of X-ray emission spectra. The software can be run in a tandem client-server mode that allows for remote control and relevant experimental parameters and results are automatically logged in a relational database, ISPyB. MxCuBE is modular, flexible and extensible and is currently deployed on eight macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the ESRF. Additionally, the software is installed at MAX-lab beamline I911-3 and at BESSY beamline BL14.1.
PMCID: PMC3025540  PMID: 20724792
automation; macromolecular crystallography; synchrotron beamline control; graphical user interface
5.  Structure of the Pho85-Pho80 CDK-cyclin Complex of the Phosphate-responsive Signal Transduction Pathway 
Molecular cell  2007;28(4):614-623.
The ability to sense and respond appropriately to environmental changes is a primary requirement of all living organisms. In response to phosphate limitation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae induces transcription of a set of genes involved in the regulation of phosphate acquisition from the ambient environment. A signal transduction pathway (the PHO pathway) mediates this response, with Pho85-Pho80 playing a vital role. Here we report the x-ray structure of Pho85-Pho80, the first for CDK-cyclin complex functioning in transcriptional regulation in response to environmental changes. The structure revealed a specific salt link between a Pho85 arginine and a Pho80 aspartate that makes phosphorylation of the Pho85 activation loop dispensable and that maintains a Pho80 loop conformation for possible substrate recognition. It further showed two new sites on the Pho80 cyclin for high affinity binding of the transcription factor substrate (Pho4) and the CDK inhibitor (Pho81) that are markedly distant to each other and the active site.
PMCID: PMC2175173  PMID: 18042456
6.  Structure of the manganese superoxide dismutase from Deinococcus radiodurans in two crystal forms 
The crystal structures of two crystal forms of manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) from the radiation-resistant bacterium D. radiodurans are reported and compared with the crystal structure of Mn-SOD from E. coli.
The structure of the manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD; DR1279) from Deinococcus radiodurans has been determined in two different crystal forms. Both crystal forms are monoclinic with space group P21. Form I has unit-cell parameters a = 44.28, b = 83.21, c = 59.52 Å, β = 110.18° and contains a homodimer in the asymmetric unit, with structure refinement (R = 16.8%, R free = 23.6%) carried out using data to d min = 2.2 Å. Form II has unit-cell parameters a = 43.57, b = 87.10, c = 116.42 Å, β = 92.1° and an asymmetric unit containing two Mn-SOD homodimers; structure refinement was effected to a resolution of 2.0 Å (R = 17.2%, R free = 22.3%). The resulting structures are compared with that of Mn-SOD from Escherichia coli, with which they are shown to be essentially isostructural.
PMCID: PMC2222570  PMID: 16582477
manganese superoxide dismutase; Deinococcus radiodurans; radiation resistance
7.  Characterization of different crystal forms of the α-­glucosidase MalA from Sulfolobus solfataricus  
Crystallization of the α-glucosidase MalA from S. solfataricus belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 31.
MalA is an α-glucosidase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. It belongs to glycoside hydrolase family 31, which includes several medically interesting α-glucosidases. MalA and its selenomethionine derivative have been overproduced in Escherichia coli and crystallized in four different crystal forms. Microseeding was essential for the formation of good-quality crystals of forms 2 and 4. For three of the crystal forms (2, 3 and 4) full data sets could be collected. The most suitable crystals for structure determination are the monoclinic form 4 crystals, belonging to space group P21, from which data sets extending to 2.5 Å resolution have been collected. Self-rotation functions calculated for this form and for the orthorhombic (P212121) form 2 indicate the presence of six molecules in the asymmetric unit related by 32 symmetry.
PMCID: PMC1978162  PMID: 16511229
α-glucosidases; glycoside hydrolase family 31; carbohydrate metabolism; protein expression

Results 1-7 (7)