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Development of Synchrotron Footprinting at NSLS and NSLS-II

[ Vol. 26 , Issue. 1 ]


Jen Bohon*   Pages 55 - 60 ( 6 )


Background: First developed in the 1990’s at the National Synchrotron Light Source, xray synchrotron footprinting is an ideal technique for the analysis of solution-state structure and dynamics of macromolecules. Hydroxyl radicals generated in aqueous samples by intense x-ray beams serve as fine probes of solvent accessibility, rapidly and irreversibly reacting with solvent exposed residues to provide a “snapshot” of the sample state at the time of exposure. Over the last few decades, improvements in instrumentation to expand the technology have continuously pushed the boundaries of biological systems that can be studied using the technique.

Conclusion: Dedicated synchrotron beamlines provide important resources for examining fundamental biological mechanisms of folding, ligand binding, catalysis, transcription, translation, and macromolecular assembly. The legacy of synchrotron footprinting at NSLS has led to significant improvement in our understanding of many biological systems, from identifying key structural components in enzymes and transporters to in vivo studies of ribosome assembly. This work continues at the XFP (17-BM) beamline at NSLS-II and facilities at ALS, which are currently accepting proposals for use.


Synchrotron, footprinting, x-ray, beamline, radiolysis, NSLS, NSLS-II, XFP.


Center for Synchrotron Biosciences, Department of Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

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