Volume 94 Issue 3 | p. 8 | News of The Week
Issue Date: January 18, 2016 | Web Date: January 14, 2016

How X-ray Photons Could Damage Metalloproteins

Theoretical Chemistry: X-rays cause radiation damage around metal centers in biomolecules within femtoseconds
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: photochemistry, theoretical chemistry, metalloproteins

Determining the crystal structures of biomolecules containing metal ions, such as metalloproteins, can be problematic. The X-rays used in the techniques can damage the metals’ surroundings, altering the molecules’ structure.

Kirill Gokhberg and coworkers at Germany’s Heidelberg University have now teased apart the mechanism behind such radiation damage using computational methods. Their findings suggest that even fast X-ray methods could distort biomolecules.

The researchers show that the metal . . .

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