Protein crystallization, from crystallography to biotechnological applications José A. Gavira, Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, CSIC-UGR, Avd. las Palmeras, 4, 18100 Armilla, Spain - firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: Obtaining crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction is still the
Protein crystallization, from crystallography to biotechnological applications
José A. Gavira, Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, CSIC-UGR, Avd. las Palmeras, 4, 18100 Armilla, Spain – email@example.com
Abstract: Obtaining crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction is still the least understood step in the way to obtaining the needed protein structures since it relies on the trial-and-error approach . To facilitate this search, we have been working on the implementation of new techniques based on the minimization of convection mass transport to ensure the growth of crystals of sufficient quality for X-ray diffraction. Chaotic mixing and convection can be reduced when crystallization proceed in any media with mass transport controlled by diffusion: gels, capillaries, microfluidic devices or microgravity. This effect can be achieved with liquid-liquid diffusion (free-interface diffusion) techniques in which protein and precipitant are allowed to diffuse one against each other . Implementation and some relevant results will be shown.
We have applied the knowledge acquired from crystallization in convection-free environments to produce protein crystals for a purpose other than the structural determination, i.e. for biotechnological applications. A brief summary of the potential uses of protein crystals assayed in our lab includes: i) cross-linked enzyme crystals for the development of enhanced-robust biosensors , ii) reinforced cross-linked enzyme crystals, for large scale enzymatic reactions with durable auto-supported catalysts and iii) reinforced protein crystals for controlled drug delivery systems .
 Gavira, J.A. (2016) ABB, 602, 3-11.
 Otálora, F., Gavira, J.A., Ng, J. D. & García-Ruiz, J.M., (2009) Prog. in Biophy. and Mol. Biol. , 101, 26-37.
 Conejero-Muriel, M. et al. (2015). Lab Chip, 15, 4083-4089.
 de Cienfuegos, L.A., Gavira, J.A., Díaz-Mochón, J.J, Conejero-Muriel, M. & Contreras-Montoya, R. Pharmaceutically active protein crystals grown in-situ within a hydrogel. Patent: P201630584, Spain.
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