In vivo protein crystallization opens new routes in structural biology

Nat Methods. 2012 Jan 29;9(3):259-62. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1859.


Protein crystallization in cells has been observed several times in nature. However, owing to their small size these crystals have not yet been used for X-ray crystallographic analysis. We prepared nano-sized in vivo-grown crystals of Trypanosoma brucei enzymes and applied the emerging method of free-electron laser-based serial femtosecond crystallography to record interpretable diffraction data. This combined approach will open new opportunities in structural systems biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography / methods*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods*
  • Protein Binding / radiation effects
  • Protein Conformation / radiation effects
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / radiation effects
  • Proteins / ultrastructure*
  • Solubility / radiation effects
  • X-Rays


  • Proteins