Protein Crystallography

Module Code
Module Coordinators
Andreas Peter Dominik
various Teachers
Short Description
The course introduces the principles of protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography (protein crystallography). Following a condensed introduction (or recapitulation) to the physical basics of crystallography, the procedure for elucidating a protein structure from protein crystals will be explained. Practical training by applying public domain software to selected examples will facilitate the acquisition of concepts and the problems associated with crystallographic model building.
Learning Objectives

Students will know the physical principles of X-ray crystallography for protein structure determination. They will understand the process of solving protein structures from the crystallisation to structural refinement. They will understand the crystallographic model building process as a reconstruction, along with the limitations associated with the method. Students will be capable of using public domain software tools for assessing the quality of protein structure models for use in, for example, computer-aided drug discovery.

  • Crystals, crystal classes, symmetry
  • X-ray diffraction, crystallographic resolution, structure factors, phase problem
  • Overview of the process of protein structure elucidation (crystallisation, data collection, evaluation and analysis, calculation of phases, structural refinement)
  • Application of the public domain software tool COOT for assessing the quality of structural models by visual inspection of election density maps
Duration in Semester
Instruction Language
Total Effort
3 CrP; an estimated 90 hours, of which approximately 30 are spent in class.
Weekly School Hours
Method of Instruction

Lecture 1 SWS, Exercises 1 SWS

Requirements for the awarding of Credit Points

Examination prerequisite: Acceptance of exercises

Examination: Written or oral exam (The form of the examination will be announced to the students in a timely and appropriate manner)

Evaluation Standard
according to examination regulations (§ 9)
  • Vorlesungsunterlagen
  • COOT Tutorial und Publikation
  • Wlodawer, A., Minor, W., Dauter, Z. & Jaskolski, M. Protein crystallography for non-crystallographers, or how to get the best (but not more) from published macromolecular structures. FEBS J. 275, 1–21 (2008).
Prerequisite Modules