Serial femtosecond X-ray diffraction of enveloped virus microcrystals

Robert M. Lawrence, Chelsie E. Conrad, Nadia Zatsepin, Thomas D. Grant, Haiguang Liu, Daniel James, Garrett Nelson, Ganesh Subramanian, Andrew Aquila, Mark S. Hunter, Mengning Liang, Sébastien Boutet, Jesse Coe, John Spence, Uwe Weierstall, Wei Liu, Petra Fromme, Vadim Cherezov, Brenda Hogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron lasers has produced high-resolution, room temperature, time-resolved protein structures. We report preliminary SFX of Sindbis virus, an enveloped icosahedral RNA virus with ~700A ° diameter. Microcrystals delivered in viscous agarose medium diffracted to ~40A ° resolution. Small-angle diffuse X-ray scattering overlaid Bragg peaks and analysis suggests this results from molecular transforms of individual particles. Viral proteins undergo structural changes during entry and infection, which could, in principle, be studied with SFX. This is an important step toward determining room temperature structures from virus microcrystals that may enable time-resolved studies of enveloped viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041720
JournalStructural Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy


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