This is a happy day for us because one of the architecturally complex macrocycles we have been working on succumbed to crystallization and diffracted really well. I am showing the main parties to this feat: Joanne Tan (an undergraduate student from McMaster who has been doing a great job with us over the past 3 months as part of her NSERC-funded Summer research position), Jen Hickey (Jen is working with Encycle) and Serge Zaretsky (my PhD student). Hats off to these guys for making the molecule. Importantly, we were able to show that we can employ protein crystallization conditions in order to get perfect (you can see) crystals of significantly smaller molecules (in this case – medium-sized macrocycles). I am amazed by the power of this method as we only needed 2 mgs to screen 96 crystallization conditions! If you do the math, crystals in the two wells that you see below (each well is 3 mm in diameter) came from 0.02 mgs of material in each case. Powerful stuff. Alan Lough has solved this structure (and we are working on another one with Aiping Dong from SGC, who is very excited about the project).
Sorry that I cannot show you the structure in full – I don’t want to jeopardize the publication. You will see why. One of these days.
Cross-fertilization between biology and chemistry is in action!