Investigation of possible free-radical scavengers and metrics for radiation damage in protein cryocrystallography.
Murray J., Garman E.
The introduction of highly intense wiggler and undulator beamlines has reintroduced the problem of X-ray radiation damage in protein crystals even at cryogenic temperatures. Several metrics for monitoring radiation damage are considered and unit-cell volume expansion is systematically investigated using crystals of three different types, but it is found to be too variable to be a useful metric. Radical scavengers of secondary radiation damage are investigated as possible mitigating agents. Styrene is found to be ineffective. A method of spectroscopically measuring the radiation damage with a microspectrophotometer was used and, in conjunction with crystallographic data, provided tentative but suggestive evidence for the efficacy of ascorbate as a free-radical scavenging agent in cryocooled hen egg-white lysozyme crystals.