Refinement of severely incomplete structures with maximum likelihood in BUSTER-TNT

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2004 Dec;60(Pt 12 Pt 1):2210-21. doi: 10.1107/S0907444904016427. Epub 2004 Nov 26.


BUSTER-TNT is a maximum-likelihood macromolecular refinement package. BUSTER assembles the structural model, scales observed and calculated structure-factor amplitudes and computes the model likelihood, whilst TNT handles the stereochemistry and NCS restraints/constraints and shifts the atomic coordinates, B factors and occupancies. In real space, in addition to the traditional atomic and bulk-solvent models, BUSTER models the parts of the structure for which an atomic model is not yet available ('missing structure') as low-resolution probability distributions for the random positions of the missing atoms. In reciprocal space, the BUSTER structure-factor distribution in the complex plane is a two-dimensional Gaussian centred around the structure factor calculated from the atomic, bulk-solvent and missing-structure models. The errors associated with these three structural components are added to compute the overall spread of the Gaussian. When the atomic model is very incomplete, modelling of the missing structure and the consistency of the BUSTER statistical model help structure building and completion because (i) the accuracy of the overall scale factors is increased, (ii) the bias affecting atomic model refinement is reduced by accounting for some of the scattering from the missing structure, (iii) the addition of a spatial definition to the source of incompleteness improves on traditional Luzzati and sigmaA-based error models and (iv) the program can perform selective density modification in the regions of unbuilt structure alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • CD55 Antigens / chemistry
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / statistics & numerical data*
  • Likelihood Functions*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Normal Distribution
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Software*
  • Temperature


  • CD55 Antigens
  • Proteins