Minireview: structural insights into early folding events using continuous-flow time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering

Biopolymers. 2011 Aug;95(8):550-8. doi: 10.1002/bip.21628. Epub 2011 Mar 25.


Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a powerful method for obtaining quantitative structural information on the size and shape of proteins, and it is increasingly used in kinetic studies of folding and association reactions. In this minireview, we discuss recent developments in using SAXS to obtain structural information on the unfolded ensemble and early folding intermediates of proteins using continuous-flow mixing devices. Interfacing of these micromachined devices to SAXS beamlines has allowed access to the microsecond time regime. The experimental constraints in implementation of turbulence and laminar flow-based mixers with SAXS detection and a comparison of the two approaches are presented. Current improvements and future prospects of microsecond time-resolved SAXS and the synergy with ab initio structure prediction and molecular dynamics simulations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Protein Folding*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Scattering, Small Angle*
  • Solutions / chemistry
  • X-Ray Diffraction / methods*


  • Proteins
  • Solutions