Structure determination

Structure determination is a procedure by which the three-dimensional atomic coordinates of a molecule or biomolecule are solved using an analytical technique. Many techniques are used in structure determination, most commonly X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy and molecular modelling.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Eukaryotes possess several clamp loaders comprising four common subunits and a fifth subunit unique to each complex. The RFC-A–E clamp loader loads the PCNA clamp at 3′-recessed structures for DNA replication. However, swapping a single subunit, Rad24, for RFC-A yields a clamp loader that prefers the 911 clamp and 5′-recessed DNA. Three new studies reveal detailed views of the clamp loading reaction and provide insights into substrate preferences of each loader.

    • David Jeruzalmi
  • Comments & Opinion |

    High-resolution structural information is critical for rapid development of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging human pathogens. Structural biology methods have been at the forefront of research on SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These technologies will continue to be powerful tools to fend off future public health threats.

    • Jun Zhang
    •  & Bing Chen
    Nature Methods 19, 381-383
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Automated single-particle picking in electron cryo-microscopy data has seen important advances in the past couple of years and now enables computer-assisted particle selection even for challenging datasets. These advances have implications for streamlined and automated image processing, with potential benefits for improving the resolution of resulting structures.

    • Thorsten Wagner
    •  & Stefan Raunser
  • News & Views |

    Cryo-EM structures of Mas-related G-protein-coupled receptors (MRGPRs) that are involved in the allergic reaction and itch response reveal structural insights into their activation mechanism, and offer the potential to discover new therapeutic agents for pain and hypersensitivity reactions.

    • Jagannath Maharana
    • , Parishmita Sarma
    •  & Arun K. Shukla