Project Work Package 4


Widening and empowering the service capacity for samples screening/optimization for SB technologies

Leader: Dr. Cinzia Giannini

  • Implementation of a BioSAXS laboratory for setup of data collection condition to access to state of art BioSAXS European Facility. (IC-CNR-Bari)
  • Implementation of a crystallization platform. (CNR-IBPM-Roma)
  • Implementation of lab for the high-throughput optimization of high-quality Cryo-EM samples. (CNR-IC-Caserta)

One of the bottlenecks in obtaining a macromolecular structure is crystallization, a “trial and error” method that requires a lot of time and materials. To increase the percentage of success it is necessary to use high throughput crystallization platforms, that use automated methods to very rapidly perform thousands of crystallization trials with only a small amount of protein sample.
For this reason, the biocrystal facility will be implemented with a new generation high throughput crystallization robot. Once the experiment has been set-up, it is necessary to examine periodically the crystallization trials. The identification of crystals is not trivial, since they could be very small or obscured by protein precipitate. Thus, we are planning to upgrade the bio-crystal facility with a crystal imaging systems using intrinsic fluorescence and UV-visible absorption to identify crystals. Moreover, the crystallization platform will be empowered, with an instrument allowing the crystallization, by automated Lipidic Cubic Phase method, of membrane proteins that are arguably the most important class of proteins in terms of their role in cellular interactions and their associated significance in diseases but are difficult to crystallize. Finally, to ensure FAIRNESS of the data we will empower our facility with a workstation for data storage and data handling. In addition a fixed term personnel (researcher/technologist) will be specifically hired for the activity.