The first goal of the platform is to provide research teams working in the field of macromolecular crystallography at the Institut Pasteur with the expertise and technology required for automated crystallogenesis, X-ray diffraction measurements, and crystallographic computing as a core facility. The platform has obtained significant funding from the Institut Pasteur and from external sources such as the National Genopole Network (RNG-France), and from GIS-IBISA allowing us to upgrade or to acquire new equipment. Our crystallogenesis pipeline today is the most fully automated in academic institutions in France. Each year more than 900 different protein samples are submitted to automated crystallization assays. Most of these samples (about 80%) originated from crystallographic research groups within the department of Structural Biology & Chemistry and the department of Virology at Pasteur. The remaining 20% originated from outside Pasteur (Institut de biologie physico-chimique, CEA-Saclay, and Universités Paris 7, Paris 6, etc…).
Our second mission is to offer expertise in bio-crystallography, from crystallogenesis to resolution of 3D crystal structures. We ensure this mission by participating as a partner in scientific research projects (ANR, PTR, and individual collaborations) involving structural studies of single proteins and protein complexes. These projects arise from direct collaboration with research groups at the Institut Pasteur and outside research organisations.
Automated system for crystallization service :
– The Tecan workstation Gemini 150 for liquid handling.
– The MOSQUITO robot can be used for the sitting or hanging drops (varying from 100 to 1000nl).
– The MATRIXMAKER robot can automatically design the desired crystallization screens on different supports (50 ml tube, 15 ml tube, 96 deep-well block or 24 wells VDX plate).
X-ray diffraction service :
– A RIGAKU micromax 007 X-ray generator with standard rotating anode (wavelength 1.54 Å, copper).
– A system of multi-layer X-ray optics from OSMIC.
– A mar345dtb image plate X-ray detector from MARESEARCH.
– A Cryo-system from OXFORD INSTRUMENTS to collect diffraction data at liquid nitrogen temperature.
With this system, users can answer several questions :
– Are my crystals proteins or salts?
– What is the unit cell or the space group of my crystal?
– What is the best cryo-solution to freeze my crystal?
It is also possible to collect complete data-sets for native proteins crystals.