About the Core
Single crystal X-ray diffraction remains the most powerful technique to determine the three-dimensional structure of biologically important macromolecules and their functional ligand complexes at or near atomic resolution. The purpose of the Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography ATC is to provide a cost-efficient solution for scientists, researchers, and trainees at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Medical Center to pursue high-resolution structural studies. X-ray crystallography is not limited by the size or nature of the specimen, making it possible to determine the three-dimensional structure of nucleic acids and other small macromolecules to multi-subunit macromolecular assemblies.
One of the major advantages of X-ray crystallography is that atomic or near atomic resolution structural information can be obtained routinely, thereby revealing intimate details regarding the stereo-chemistry of the molecular interactions underlying the biological function of the macromolecule of interest. Finally, X-ray crystallography allows the three-dimensional structure determination of a macromolecule bound to an agonist or antagonist with little additional effort. The structure of such a complex is highly valuable, and the molecular insight thus obtained is frequently exploited for rationale structure-based drug design.