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1.  Crystal structure of human CRMP-4: correction of intensities for lattice-translocation disorder 
Crystals of human CRMP-4 showed severe lattice-translocation disorder. Intensities were demodulated using the so-called lattice-alignment method and a new more general method with simplified parameterization, and the structure is presented.
Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are cytosolic phosphoproteins that are mainly involved in neuronal cell development. In humans, the CRMP family comprises five members. Here, crystal structures of human CRMP-4 in a truncated and a full-length version are presented. The latter was determined from two types of crystals, which were either twinned or partially disordered. The crystal disorder was coupled with translational NCS in ordered domains and manifested itself with a rather sophisticated modulation of intensities. The data were demodulated using either the two-lattice treatment of lattice-translocation effects or a novel method in which demodulation was achieved by independent scaling of several groups of intensities. This iterative protocol does not rely on any particular parameterization of the modulation coefficients, but uses the current refined structure as a reference. The best results in terms of R factors and map correlation coefficients were obtained using this new method. The determined structures of CRMP-4 are similar to those of other CRMPs. Structural comparison allowed the confirmation of known residues, as well as the identification of new residues, that are important for the homo- and hetero-oligomerization of these proteins, which are critical to nerve-cell development. The structures provide further insight into the effects of medically relevant mutations of the DPYSL-3 gene encoding CRMP-4 and the putative enzymatic activities of CRMPs.
PMCID: PMC4051505  PMID: 24914979
CRMP-4; lattice-translocation disorder
2.  JLigand: a graphical tool for the CCP4 template-restraint library 
The CCP4 template-restraint library defines restraints for biopolymers, their modifications and ligands that are used in macromolecular structure refinement. JLigand is a graphical editor for generating descriptions of new ligands and covalent linkages.
Biological macromolecules are polymers and therefore the restraints for macromolecular refinement can be subdivided into two sets: restraints that are applied to atoms that all belong to the same monomer and restraints that are associated with the covalent bonds between monomers. The CCP4 template-restraint library contains three types of data entries defining template restraints: descriptions of monomers and their modifications, both used for intramonomer restraints, and descriptions of links for intermonomer restraints. The library provides generic descriptions of modifications and links for protein, DNA and RNA chains, and for some post-translational modifications including glycosylation. Structure-specific template restraints can be defined in a user’s additional restraint library. Here, JLigand, a new CCP4 graphical interface to LibCheck and REFMAC that has been developed to manage the user’s library and generate new monomer entries is described, as well as new entries for links and associated modifications.
PMCID: PMC3322602  PMID: 22505263
macromolecular refinement; restraint library; molecular graphics
3.  REFMAC5 for the refinement of macromolecular crystal structures 
The general principles behind the macromolecular crystal structure refinement program REFMAC5 are described.
This paper describes various components of the macromolecular crystallographic refinement program REFMAC5, which is distributed as part of the CCP4 suite. REFMAC5 utilizes different likelihood functions depending on the diffraction data employed (amplitudes or intensities), the presence of twinning and the availability of SAD/SIRAS experimental diffraction data. To ensure chemical and structural integrity of the refined model, REFMAC5 offers several classes of restraints and choices of model parameterization. Reliable models at resolutions at least as low as 4 Å can be achieved thanks to low-resolution refinement tools such as secondary-structure restraints, restraints to known homologous structures, automatic global and local NCS restraints, ‘jelly-body’ restraints and the use of novel long-range restraints on atomic displacement parameters (ADPs) based on the Kullback–Leibler divergence. REFMAC5 additionally offers TLS parameterization and, when high-resolution data are available, fast refinement of anisotropic ADPs. Refinement in the presence of twinning is performed in a fully automated fashion. REFMAC5 is a flexible and highly optimized refinement package that is ideally suited for refinement across the entire resolution spectrum encountered in macromolecular crystallography.
PMCID: PMC3069751  PMID: 21460454
REFMAC5; refinement
4.  Model preparation in MOLREP and examples of model improvement using X-ray data 
The default model-preparation scheme of MOLREP is described. Two examples are presented of model improvement using X-ray data.
The success of molecular replacement is critically dependent on the quality of the search model. Several model-preparation procedures are integrated in the molecular-replacement program MOLREP. These include model modification on the basis of amino-acid sequence alignment and model correction based on analysis of the solvent-accessibility of the atoms. The packing function used in MOLREP for the translational search is explained in the context of model preparation. In difficult cases, bioinformatics-based modifications are not sufficient for successful molecular replacement. An approach implemented in MOLREP for solving cases with translational noncrystallographic symmetry is an example of model preparation in which analysis of X-ray data plays an essential role. In addition, two examples are presented in which the X-ray data were used to refine partial models for subsequent use in molecular replacement.
PMCID: PMC2394799  PMID: 18094465
MOLREP; model preparation; molecular replacement
5.  Surprises and pitfalls arising from (pseudo)symmetry 
The presence of pseudosymmetry can cause problems in structure determination and refinement. The relevant background and representative examples are presented.
It is not uncommon for protein crystals to crystallize with more than a single molecule per asymmetric unit. When more than a single molecule is present in the asymmetric unit, various pathological situations such as twinning, modulated crystals and pseudo translational or rotational symmetry can arise. The presence of pseudosymmetry can lead to uncertainties about the correct space group, especially in the presence of twinning. The background to certain common pathologies is presented and a new notation for space groups in unusual settings is introduced. The main concepts are illustrated with several examples from the literature and the Protein Data Bank.
PMCID: PMC2394827  PMID: 18094473
pathology; twinning; pseudosymmetry
6.  NCS-constrained exhaustive search using oligomeric models 
Three difficult MR cases are reported in which the orientation of a search oligomer or its internal parameters were determined and the oligomer was positioned according to the maximal value of the correlation coefficient in a series of translation searches. Such an exhaustive search was feasible because of constraints on the model parameters derived from the self-rotation function.
The efficiency of the cross-rotation function step of molecular replacement (MR) is intrinsically limited as it uses only a fraction of the Patterson vectors. Along with general techniques extending the boundaries of the method, there are approaches that utilize specific features of a given structure. In special cases, where the directions of noncrystallographic symmetry axes can be unambiguously derived from the self-rotation function and the structure of the homologue protein is available in a related oligomeric state, the cross-rotation function step of MR can be omitted. In such cases, a small number of yet unknown parameters defining the orientation of the oligomer and/or its internal organization can be optimized using an exhaustive search. Three difficult MR cases are reported in which these parameters were determined and the oligomer was positioned according to the maximal value of the correlation coefficient in a series of translation searches.
PMCID: PMC2394828  PMID: 18094472
molecular replacement; exhaustive search

Results 1-6 (6)