Serial synchrotron crystallography enables the study of protein structures under physiological temperature and reduced radiation damage by collection of data from thousands of crystals. The Structural Biology Center at Sector 19 of the Advanced Photon Source has implemented a fixed-target approach with a new 3D-printed mesh-holder optimized for sample handling. The holder immobilizes a crystal suspension or droplet emulsion on a nylon mesh, trapping and sealing a near-monolayer of crystals in its mother liquor between two thin Mylar films. Data can be rapidly collected in scan mode and analyzed in near real-time using piezoelectric linear stages assembled in an XYZ arrangement, controlled with a graphical user interface and analyzed using a high-performance computing pipeline. Here, the system was applied to two β-lactamases: a class D serine β-lactamase from Chitinophaga pinensis DSM 2588 and L1 metallo-β-lactamase from Stenotrophomonas maltophilia K279a.
Keywords: X-ray free-electron lasers; fixed-target serial synchrotron crystallography; structural biology.