Bringing diffuse X-ray scattering into focus

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2018 Jun:50:109-116. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 Feb 16.


X-ray crystallography is experiencing a renaissance as a method for probing the protein conformational ensemble. The inherent limitations of Bragg analysis, however, which only reveals the mean structure, have given way to a surge in interest in diffuse scattering, which is caused by structure variations. Diffuse scattering is present in all macromolecular crystallography experiments. Recent studies are shedding light on the origins of diffuse scattering in protein crystallography, and provide clues for leveraging diffuse scattering to model protein motions with atomic detail.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Scattering, Radiation*
  • X-Ray Diffraction* / methods
  • X-Rays*


  • Proteins