About GCC Protein Crystallography

The Gulf Coast Consortium for Protein Crystallography (GCC PC) received funding to build a protein crystallography Multiple-wavelength Anomalous Diffraction (MAD) beamline. The consortium formed out of the needs of local users for greater access to synchrotron radiation sources for the determination of protein crystallographic structures.

After several years of discussion, which grew out of a regional, annual protein crystallography meeting, members of the consortium began to evaluate beamline designs for the CAMD synchrotron at LSU. This site has the advantage of proximity to the consortium members. The installation of an energy-shifting wiggler makes the CAMD source characteristics well suited to the demands of the user base.

Specifically, the consortium members wanted increased access to synchrotron beam time with MAD phasing capabilities. Many projects are currently delayed while waiting for available beam time at national facilities. MAD phasing is becoming an increasingly important method of solving protein structures in general and specifically for consortium members. The regional accessibility of the facility is important in that it reduces travel expenses and allows groups to bring graduate students along on data collection trips as part of their training.

The GCC PC beamline will be capable of standard macromolecular MAD phasing experiments over an energy range of 7-17.5 keV. Rather than design a system de novo, the GCC PC has taken the information and experience learned at the national labs over many years to implement an effective protein crystallographic beamline design that will deliver the desired flux.