A procedure for model building is described that combines morphing a model to match a density map, trimming the morphed model and aligning the model to a sequence.
A procedure termed ‘morphing’ for improving a model after it has been placed in the crystallographic cell by molecular replacement has recently been developed. Morphing consists of applying a smooth deformation to a model to make it match an electron-density map more closely. Morphing does not change the identities of the residues in the chain, only their coordinates. Consequently, if the true structure differs from the working model by containing different residues, these differences cannot be corrected by morphing. Here, a procedure that helps to address this limitation is described. The goal of the procedure is to obtain a relatively complete model that has accurate main-chain atomic positions and residues that are correctly assigned to the sequence. Residues in a morphed model that do not match the electron-density map are removed. Each segment of the resulting trimmed morphed model is then assigned to the sequence of the molecule using information about the connectivity of the chains from the working model and from connections that can be identified from the electron-density map. The procedure was tested by application to a recently determined structure at a resolution of 3.2 Å and was found to increase the number of correctly identified residues in this structure from the 88 obtained using phenix.resolve sequence assignment alone (Terwilliger, 2003 ▶) to 247 of a possible 359. Additionally, the procedure was tested by application to a series of templates with sequence identities to a target structure ranging between 7 and 36%. The mean fraction of correctly identified residues in these cases was increased from 33% using phenix.resolve sequence assignment to 47% using the current procedure. The procedure is simple to apply and is available in the Phenix software package.
morphing; model building; sequence assignment; model–map correlation; loop-building
The functionality of the molecular-replacement pipeline phaser.MRage is introduced and illustrated with examples.
Phaser.MRage is a molecular-replacement automation framework that implements a full model-generation workflow and provides several layers of model exploration to the user. It is designed to handle a large number of models and can distribute calculations efficiently onto parallel hardware. In addition, phaser.MRage can identify correct solutions and use this information to accelerate the search. Firstly, it can quickly score all alternative models of a component once a correct solution has been found. Secondly, it can perform extensive analysis of identified solutions to find protein assemblies and can employ assembled models for subsequent searches. Thirdly, it is able to use a priori assembly information (derived from, for example, homologues) to speculatively place and score molecules, thereby customizing the search procedure to a certain class of protein molecule (for example, antibodies) and incorporating additional biological information into molecular replacement.
molecular replacement; pipeline; automation; phaser.MRage
A function for estimating the effective root-mean-square deviation in coordinates between two proteins has been developed that depends on both the sequence identity and the size of the protein and is optimized for use with molecular replacement in Phaser. A top peak translation-function Z-score of over 8 is found to be a reliable metric of when molecular replacement has succeeded.
The estimate of the root-mean-square deviation (r.m.s.d.) in coordinates between the model and the target is an essential parameter for calibrating likelihood functions for molecular replacement (MR). Good estimates of the r.m.s.d. lead to good estimates of the variance term in the likelihood functions, which increases signal to noise and hence success rates in the MR search. Phaser has hitherto used an estimate of the r.m.s.d. that only depends on the sequence identity between the model and target and which was not optimized for the MR likelihood functions. Variance-refinement functionality was added to Phaser to enable determination of the effective r.m.s.d. that optimized the log-likelihood gain (LLG) for a correct MR solution. Variance refinement was subsequently performed on a database of over 21 000 MR problems that sampled a range of sequence identities, protein sizes and protein fold classes. Success was monitored using the translation-function Z-score (TFZ), where a TFZ of 8 or over for the top peak was found to be a reliable indicator that MR had succeeded for these cases with one molecule in the asymmetric unit. Good estimates of the r.m.s.d. are correlated with the sequence identity and the protein size. A new estimate of the r.m.s.d. that uses these two parameters in a function optimized to fit the mean of the refined variance is implemented in Phaser and improves MR outcomes. Perturbing the initial estimate of the r.m.s.d. from the mean of the distribution in steps of standard deviations of the distribution further increases MR success rates.
Phaser; maximum likelihood; molecular replacement
A genetic algorithm has been developed to optimize the phases of the strongest reflections in SIR/SAD data. This is shown to facilitate density modification and model building in several test cases.
Experimental phasing of diffraction data from macromolecular crystals involves deriving phase probability distributions. These distributions are often bimodal, making their weighted average, the centroid phase, improbable, so that electron-density maps computed using centroid phases are often non-interpretable. Density modification brings in information about the characteristics of electron density in protein crystals. In successful cases, this allows a choice between the modes in the phase probability distributions, and the maps can cross the borderline between non-interpretable and interpretable. Based on the suggestions by Vekhter [Vekhter (2005 ▶), Acta Cryst. D61, 899–902], the impact of identifying optimized phases for a small number of strong reflections prior to the density-modification process was investigated while using the centroid phase as a starting point for the remaining reflections. A genetic algorithm was developed that optimizes the quality of such phases using the skewness of the density map as a target function. Phases optimized in this way are then used in density modification. In most of the tests, the resulting maps were of higher quality than maps generated from the original centroid phases. In one of the test cases, the new method sufficiently improved a marginal set of experimental SAD phases to enable successful map interpretation. A computer program, SISA, has been developed to apply this method for phase improvement in macromolecular crystallography.
experimental phasing; density modification; genetic algorithms
Recent studies of corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) indicate that it does not merely transport cortisol passively but also actively regulates its release in the circulation. We show how CBG binding affinity can vary to give changes in free cortisol concentration in a physiologically relevant range.
The objective was to determine how the binding affinity of plasma CBG is affected by glycosylation, changes in body temperature, and the conformational change induced by proteases at sites of inflammation.
Binding assays were performed over a range of temperatures with plasma and recombinant CBG to determine the contribution of glycosylation. The role of conformational change was assessed by measuring binding affinities of plasma CBG before and after reactive loop cleavage by neutrophil elastase.
Main Outcome Measures:
Determination of binding constants allows calculation of clinically relevant changes in CBG saturation and free cortisol concentrations.
On reactive loop cleavage at inflammation sites, CBG can continue to act as a buffered source of cortisol, although with a much reduced affinity, to give a potential quadrupling of free cortisol. Predicted increases in systemic free cortisol resulting from elevated body temperatures, previously reported based on affinity measurements using nonglycosylated recombinant CBG, were shown here to be considerably increased using glycosylated plasma CBG, with a doubling for every 2°C rise in body temperature.
The ability of CBG to modulate free cortisol levels in blood must be considered in the understanding and management of disease processes, as illustrated here with predictable changes in inflammation and fever.
BTZ043, a tuberculosis drug candidate with nanomolar whole-cell activity, targets the DprE1 enzyme of the essential decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-ribofuranose-2′-epimerase thus blocking biosynthesis of arabinans, vital cell-wall components of mycobacteria. Crystal structures of DprE1, in its native form and in complex with BTZ043, unambiguously reveal formation of a semimercaptal adduct between the drug and an active-site cysteine, as well as contacts to a neighbouring catalytic lysine residue. Kinetic studies confirm BTZ043 as a mechanism-based, covalent inhibitor. This explains the exquisite potency of BTZ043, which, when fluorescently labelled, localizes DprE1 at the poles of growing bacteria. Menaquinone can reoxidize the FAD cofactor in DprE1 and may be the natural electron acceptor for this reaction in the cell. Our structural and kinetic analysis provides both insight into a critical epimerization reaction and a platform for structure-based design of improved inhibitors. Surprisingly, given the colossal tuberculosis burden globally, BTZ043 is the only new drug candidate to have been co-crystallized with its target.
The statistical effects of translational noncrystallographic symmetry can be characterized by maximizing parameters describing the noncrystallographic symmetry in a likelihood function, thereby unmasking the competing statistical effects of twinning.
In the case of translational noncrystallographic symmetry (tNCS), two or more copies of a component in the asymmetric unit of the crystal are present in a similar orientation. This causes systematic modulations of the reflection intensities in the diffraction pattern, leading to problems with structure determination and refinement methods that assume, either implicitly or explicitly, that the distribution of intensities is a function only of resolution. To characterize the statistical effects of tNCS accurately, it is necessary to determine the translation relating the copies, any small rotational differences in their orientations, and the size of random coordinate differences caused by conformational differences. An algorithm to estimate these parameters and refine their values against a likelihood function is presented, and it is shown that by accounting for the statistical effects of tNCS it is possible to unmask the competing statistical effects of twinning and tNCS and to more robustly assess the crystal for the presence of twinning.
translational noncrystallographic symmetry; intensity statistics; twinning; maximum likelihood
X-ray crystallography is a critical tool in the study of biological systems. It is able to provide information that has been a prerequisite to understanding the fundamentals of life. It is also a method that is central to the development of new therapeutics for human disease. Significant time and effort are required to determine and optimize many macromolecular structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data, often using many different software packages, and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. The Phenix software package has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for macromolecular crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on automation. This has required the development of new algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input in favour of built-in expert-systems knowledge, the automation of procedures that are traditionally performed by hand, and the development of a computational framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms. The application of automated methods is particularly appropriate in the field of structural proteomics, where high throughput is desired. Features in Phenix for the automation of experimental phasing with subsequent model building, molecular replacement, structure refinement and validation are described and examples given of running Phenix from both the command line and graphical user interface.
Macromolecular Crystallography; Automation; Phenix; X-ray; Diffraction; Python
Gray platelet syndrome (GPS) is a predominantly recessive platelet disorder characterized by a mild thrombocytopenia with large platelets and a paucity of α-granules; these abnormalities cause mostly moderate but in rare cases severe bleeding. We sequenced the exomes of four unrelated cases and identified as the causative gene NBEAL2, a gene with previously unknown function but a member of a gene family involved in granule development. Silencing of nbeal2 in zebrafish abrogated thrombocyte formation.
A density-based procedure is described for improving a homology model that is locally accurate but differs globally. The model is deformed to match the map and refined, yielding an improved starting point for density modification and further model-building.
An approach is presented for addressing the challenge of model rebuilding after molecular replacement in cases where the placed template is very different from the structure to be determined. The approach takes advantage of the observation that a template and target structure may have local structures that can be superimposed much more closely than can their complete structures. A density-guided procedure for deformation of a properly placed template is introduced. A shift in the coordinates of each residue in the structure is calculated based on optimizing the match of model density within a 6 Å radius of the center of that residue with a prime-and-switch electron-density map. The shifts are smoothed and applied to the atoms in each residue, leading to local deformation of the template that improves the match of map and model. The model is then refined to improve the geometry and the fit of model to the structure-factor data. A new map is then calculated and the process is repeated until convergence. The procedure can extend the routine applicability of automated molecular replacement, model building and refinement to search models with over 2 Å r.m.s.d. representing 65–100% of the structure.
molecular replacement; automation; macromolecular crystallography; structure similarity; modeling; Phenix; morphing
A novel pentameric structure which differs from the previously reported tetrameric form of the diarrhea-inducing region of the rotavirus enterotoxin NSP4 is reported here. A significant feature of this pentameric form is the absence of the calcium ion located in the core region of the tetrameric structures. The lysis of cells, the crystallization of the region spanning residues 95 to 146 of NSP4 (NSP495-146) of strain ST3 (ST3:NSP495-146) at acidic pH, and comparative studies of the recombinant purified peptide under different conditions by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and of the crystal structures suggested pH-, Ca2+-, and protein concentration-dependent oligomeric transitions in the peptide. Since the NSP495-146 mutant lacks the N-terminal amphipathic domain (AD) and most of the C-terminal flexible region (FR), to demonstrate that the pentameric transition is not a consequence of the lack of the N- and C-terminal regions, glutaraldehyde cross-linking of the ΔN72 and ΔN94 mutant proteins, which contain or lack the AD, respectively, but possess the complete C-terminal FR, was carried out. The results indicate the presence of pentamers in preparations of these longer mutants. Detailed SEC analyses of ΔN94 prepared under different conditions, however, revealed protein concentration-dependent but metal ion- and pH-independent pentamer accumulation at high concentrations which dissociated into tetramers and lower oligomers at low protein concentrations. While calcium appeared to stabilize the tetramer, magnesium in particular stabilized the dimer. ΔN72 existed primarily in the multimeric form under all conditions. These findings of a calcium-free NSP4 pentamer and its concentration-dependent and largely calcium-independent oligomeric transitions open up a new dimension in an understanding of the structural basis of its multitude of functions.
With over 60,000 protein structures available in the Protein Data Bank, it is frequently possible use one of them to obtain starting phase information and to solve new crystal structures. Molecular replacement1–4 procedures, which search for placements of a starting model within the crystallographic unit cell that best account for the measured diffraction amplitudes, followed by automatic chain tracing methods5–8, have allowed the rapid solution of large numbers of protein structures. Despite extensive work9–14, molecular replacement or the subsequent rebuilding usually fail with more divergent starting models based on remote homologues with less than 30% sequence identity. Here we show that this limitation can be substantially reduced by combining algorithms for protein structure modeling with those developed for crystallographic structure determination. An approach integrating Rosetta structure modeling with Autobuild chain tracing yielded high-resolution structures for 8 of 13 X-ray diffraction datasets that could not be solved in the laboratories of expert crystallographers and that remained unsolved after application of an extensive array of alternative approaches. We estimate the new method should allow rapid structure determination without experimental phase information for over half the cases where current methods fail, given diffraction datasets of better than 3.2Å resolution, four or fewer copies in the asymmetric unit, and the availability of structures of homologous proteins with >20% sequence identity.
The foundations and current features of a widely used graphical user interface for macromolecular crystallography are described.
A new Python-based graphical user interface for the PHENIX suite of crystallography software is described. This interface unifies the command-line programs and their graphical displays, simplifying the development of new interfaces and avoiding duplication of function. With careful design, graphical interfaces can be displayed automatically, instead of being manually constructed. The resulting package is easily maintained and extended as new programs are added or modified.
macromolecular crystallography; graphical user interfaces; PHENIX
DEN refinement and automated model building with AutoBuild were used to determine the structure of a putative succinyl-diaminopimelate desuccinylase from C. glutamicum. This difficult case of molecular-replacement phasing shows that the synergism between DEN refinement and AutoBuild outperforms standard refinement protocols.
Phasing by molecular replacement remains difficult for targets that are far from the search model or in situations where the crystal diffracts only weakly or to low resolution. Here, the process of determining and refining the structure of Cgl1109, a putative succinyl-diaminopimelate desuccinylase from Corynebacterium glutamicum, at ∼3 Å resolution is described using a combination of homology modeling with MODELLER, molecular-replacement phasing with Phaser, deformable elastic network (DEN) refinement and automated model building using AutoBuild in a semi-automated fashion, followed by final refinement cycles with phenix.refine and Coot. This difficult molecular-replacement case illustrates the power of including DEN restraints derived from a starting model to guide the movements of the model during refinement. The resulting improved model phases provide better starting points for automated model building and produce more significant difference peaks in anomalous difference Fourier maps to locate anomalous scatterers than does standard refinement. This example also illustrates a current limitation of automated procedures that require manual adjustment of local sequence misalignments between the homology model and the target sequence.
reciprocal-space refinement; DEN refinement; real-space refinement; automated model building; succinyl-diaminopimelate desuccinylase
The combination of algorithms from the structure-modeling field with those of crystallographic structure determination can broaden the range of templates that are useful for structure determination by the method of molecular replacement. Automated tools in phenix.mr_rosetta simplify the application of these combined approaches by integrating Phenix crystallographic algorithms and Rosetta structure-modeling algorithms and by systematically generating and evaluating models with a combination of these methods. The phenix.mr_rosetta algorithms can be used to automatically determine challenging structures. The approaches used in phenix.mr_rosetta are described along with examples that show roles that structure-modeling can play in molecular replacement.
Molecular replacement; Automation; Macromolecular crystallography; Rosetta; Phenix
Bacillus subtilis encodes redox-sensing MarR-type regulators of the OhrR and DUF24-families that sense organic hydroperoxides, diamide, quinones or aldehydes via thiol-based redox-switches. In this article, we characterize the novel redox-sensing MarR/DUF24-family regulator HypR (YybR) that is activated by disulphide stress caused by diamide and NaOCl in B. subtilis. HypR controls positively a flavin oxidoreductase HypO that confers protection against NaOCl stress. The conserved N-terminal Cys14 residue of HypR has a lower pKa of 6.36 and is essential for activation of hypO transcription by disulphide stress. HypR resembles a 2-Cys-type regulator that is activated by Cys14–Cys49′ intersubunit disulphide formation. The crystal structures of reduced and oxidized HypR proteins were resolved revealing structural changes of HypR upon oxidation. In reduced HypR a hydrogen-bonding network stabilizes the reactive Cys14 thiolate that is 8–9 Å apart from Cys49′. HypR oxidation breaks these H-bonds, reorients the monomers and moves the major groove recognition α4 and α4′ helices ∼4 Å towards each other. This is the first crystal structure of a redox-sensing MarR/DUF24 family protein in bacteria that is activated by NaOCl stress. Since hypochloric acid is released by activated macrophages, related HypR-like regulators could function to protect pathogens against the host immune defense.
This report presents the conclusions of the X-ray Validation Task Force of the worldwide Protein Data Bank (PDB). The PDB has expanded massively since current criteria for validation of deposited structures were adopted, allowing a much more sophisticated understanding of all the components of macromolecular crystals. The size of the PDB creates new opportunities to validate structures by comparison with the existing database, and the now-mandatory deposition of structure factors creates new opportunities to validate the underlying diffraction data. These developments highlighted the need for a new assessment of validation criteria. The Task Force recommends that a small set of validation data be presented in an easily understood format, relative to both the full PDB and the applicable resolution class, with greater detail available to interested users. Most importantly, we recommend that referees and editors judging the quality of structural experiments have access to a concise summary of well-established quality indicators.
► Validation criteria used by the PDB for X-ray crystal structures have been reassessed ► Key scores should be presented prominently in an easily understood format ► A concise validation report should be available to referees of papers on crystal structures
Blood pressure is critically controlled by angiotensins1, vasopressor peptides specifically released by the enzyme renin from the tail of angiotensinogen, a non-inhibitory member of the serpin family of protease inhibitors2,3. Although angiotensinogen has long been regarded as a passive substrate, the crystal structures solved here to 2.1Å resolution show that the angiotensin cleavage-site is inaccessibly buried in its amino-terminal tail. The conformational rearrangement that makes this site accessible for proteolysis is revealed in a 4.4Å structure of the complex of human angiotensinogen with renin. The co-ordinated changes involved are seen to be critically linked by a conserved but labile disulphide bridge. We show that the reduced unbridged form of angiotensinogen is present in the circulation in a near 40:60 ratio with the oxidised sulphydryl-bridged form, which preferentially interacts with receptor-bound renin. We propose that this redox-responsive transition of angiotensinogen to a form that will more effectively release angiotensin at a cellular level contributes to the modulation of blood pressure. Specifically, we demonstrate the oxidative switch of angiotensinogen to its more active sulphydryl-bridged form in the maternal circulation in pre-eclampsia - the hypertensive crisis of pregnancy that threatens the health and survival of both mother and child.
The molecular-replacement model-improvement program Sculptor is described, with an analysis of the algorithms used.
In molecular replacement, the quality of models can be improved by transferring information contained in sequence alignment to the template structure. A family of algorithms has been developed that make use of the sequence-similarity score calculated from residue-substitution scores smoothed over nearby residues to delete or downweight parts of the model that are unreliable. These algorithms have been implemented in the program Sculptor, together with well established methods that are in common use for model improvement. An analysis of the new algorithms has been performed by studying the effect of algorithm parameters on the quality of models. Benchmarking against existing techniques shows that models from Sculptor compare favourably, especially if the alignment is unreliable. Carrying out multiple trials using alternative models created from the same structure but using different algorithm parameters can significantly improve the success rate.
molecular replacement; model improvement; residue-substitution score
SAD data can be used in Phaser to solve novel structures, supplement molecular-replacement phase information or identify anomalous scatterers from a final refined model.
Phaser is a program that implements likelihood-based methods to solve macromolecular crystal structures, currently by molecular replacement or single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD). SAD phasing is based on a likelihood target derived from the joint probability distribution of observed and calculated pairs of Friedel-related structure factors. This target combines information from the total structure factor (primarily non-anomalous scattering) and the difference between the Friedel mates (anomalous scattering). Phasing starts from a substructure, which is usually but not necessarily a set of anomalous scatterers. The substructure can also be a protein model, such as one obtained by molecular replacement. Additional atoms are found using a log-likelihood gradient map, which shows the sites where the addition of scattering from a particular atom type would improve the likelihood score. An automated completion algorithm adds new sites, choosing optionally among different atom types, adds anisotropic B-factor parameters if appropriate and deletes atoms that refine to low occupancy. Log-likelihood gradient maps can also identify which atoms in a refined protein structure are anomalous scatterers, such as metal or halide ions. These maps are more sensitive than conventional model-phased anomalous difference Fouriers and the iterative completion algorithm is able to find a significantly larger number of convincing sites.
SAD phasing; likelihood; molecular replacement
The release of hormones from thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is regulated by movement of the reactive center loop in and out of the β-sheet A of the molecule. To investigate how these changes are transmitted to the hormone-binding site, we developed a sensitive assay using a synthesized thyroxine fluorophore and solved the crystal structures of reactive loop cleaved TBG together with its complexes with thyroxine, the thyroxine fluorophores, furosemide, and mefenamic acid. Cleavage of the reactive loop results in its complete insertion into the β-sheet A and a substantial but incomplete decrease in binding affinity in both TBG and CBG. We show here that the direct interaction between residue Thr342 of the reactive loop and Tyr241 of the hormone binding site contributes to thyroxine binding and release following reactive loop insertion. However, a much larger effect occurs allosterically due to stretching of the connecting loop to the top of the D helix (hD), as confirmed in TBG with shortening of the loop by three residues, making it insensitive to the S-to-R transition. The transmission of the changes in the hD loop to the binding pocket is seen to involve coherent movements in the s2/3B loop linked to the hD loop by Lys243, which is, in turn, linked to the s4/5B loop, flanking the thyroxine-binding site, by Arg378. Overall, the coordinated movements of the reactive loop, hD, and the hormone binding site allow the allosteric regulation of hormone release, as with the modulation demonstrated here in response to changes in temperature.
Crystal Structure; Fluorescence; Hormones; Protein Drug Interactions; Serpin; Steroid Hormone; Cortisol; Fluorescein; Thyroxine
Central to crystallographic structure solution is obtaining accurate phases in order to build a molecular model, ultimately followed by refinement of that model to optimize its fit to the experimental diffraction data and prior chemical knowledge. Recent advances in phasing and model refinement and validation algorithms make it possible to arrive at better electron density maps and more accurate models.
The pitfalls of experimental phasing are described.
Developments in protein crystal structure determination by experimental phasing are reviewed, emphasizing the theoretical continuum between experimental phasing, density modification, model building and refinement. Traditional notions of the composition of the substructure and the best coefficients for map generation are discussed. Pitfalls such as determining the enantiomorph, identifying centrosymmetry (or pseudo-symmetry) in the substructure and crystal twinning are discussed in detail. An appendix introduces combined real–imaginary log-likelihood gradient map coefficients for SAD phasing and their use for substructure completion as implemented in the software Phaser. Supplementary material includes animated probabilistic Harker diagrams showing how maximum-likelihood-based phasing methods can be used to refine parameters in the case of SIR and MIR; it is hoped that these will be useful for those teaching best practice in experimental phasing methods.
enantiomers; handedness; absolute configuration; chirality; twinning; experimental phasing
The PHENIX software for macromolecular structure determination is described.
Macromolecular X-ray crystallography is routinely applied to understand biological processes at a molecular level. However, significant time and effort are still required to solve and complete many of these structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data using many software packages and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. PHENIX has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for macromolecular crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on the automation of all procedures. This has relied on the development of algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input, the development of algorithms that automate procedures that are traditionally performed by hand and, finally, the development of a framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms.
PHENIX; Python; macromolecular crystallography; algorithms
Ten measures of experimental electron-density-map quality are examined and the skewness of electron density is found to be the best indicator of actual map quality. A Bayesian approach to estimating map quality is developed and used in the PHENIX AutoSol wizard to make decisions during automated structure solution.
Estimates of the quality of experimental maps are important in many stages of structure determination of macromolecules. Map quality is defined here as the correlation between a map and the corresponding map obtained using phases from the final refined model. Here, ten different measures of experimental map quality were examined using a set of 1359 maps calculated by re-analysis of 246 solved MAD, SAD and MIR data sets. A simple Bayesian approach to estimation of map quality from one or more measures is presented. It was found that a Bayesian estimator based on the skewness of the density values in an electron-density map is the most accurate of the ten individual Bayesian estimators of map quality examined, with a correlation between estimated and actual map quality of 0.90. A combination of the skewness of electron density with the local correlation of r.m.s. density gives a further improvement in estimating map quality, with an overall correlation coefficient of 0.92. The PHENIX AutoSol wizard carries out automated structure solution based on any combination of SAD, MAD, SIR or MIR data sets. The wizard is based on tools from the PHENIX package and uses the Bayesian estimates of map quality described here to choose the highest quality solutions after experimental phasing.
structure solution; scoring; Protein Data Bank; phasing; decision-making; PHENIX; experimental electron-density maps