Efficient crystallization of a tuberculosis drug target using a dragonfly crystal screen optimizer

dragonfly crystal

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Protein crystal optimization is vital to ensure high quality X-ray diffraction data for the solving of high resolution structures. This process involves the set-up of a series of complex screening combinations where the ratios of the individual components identified from primary crystallization studies are varied.

In order to reduce the effort and tedium of this process, SPT Labtech have designed dragonfly® crystal for crystallization screening as an addition to their successful mosquito® liquid handling portfolio. Enzymes that are essential for the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis) are valuable drug targets. During the hit validation step of drug discovery, there is a requirement for structure determination of the target.

However crystallization of the hit protein continues to remain the bottle neck of this process sometimes taking many months to achieve a suitable crystal. The use of reliable, low volume automated systems such as SPT Labtech’s mosquito crystal has improved the time and accuracy of primary screening. This poster will describe how Dr. Michal Blaszczyk at Cambridge University, UK has used dragonfly crystal to optimize the conditions for the crystallization of target enzymes involved in the growth of Mtb.