Deuterium Labeling and Neutron Scattering for Structural Biology


Neutron scattering applications in structural biology are strongly enhanced by deuterium labeling either of theaqueous solvent or of the macromolecules themselves, or both. In protein crystallography deuteration of the solvent andprotein allows a clear visualization of hydrogen sites (deuterium atoms) as well as increasing signal/noise in thediffraction data. This allows crystals as small as 0.lmm3 to be used. In small angle scattering and reflectometrydeuteration of the aqueous solvent allows one to exploit manipulate the contrast between different componentscomplexes such as proteins, nucleic acids or lipids. In the case of multi-protein complexes the in vivo deuteration ofindividual protein sub-units allows an even more sophisticated contrast variation to be performed.Keywords: Structural biology, neutron scattering, deuterium labeling, contrast variation. Peter Timminslnstitut Laue-Langevin, BP 156, 6 rue Jules Horowitz38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France