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Basic X-ray crystallography techniques: How to solve and understand protein structures (BIOI4303)

Level: Advanced studies

Aim: The aim of the course is to familiarize students and experienced researchers with the various crystallographic programs used in the determination of protein structures. By the end of the course, it is expected that the participants will be able to solve the crystal structure from well-diffracting crystals of a simple protein using X-ray crystallography techniques, understand the terminology used in publications and learn the basics of complementary structural biology techniques.

Content: The course consists of lectures, demonstrations and practicals of all major steps in a crystal structure determination – from crystallization and data collection to computational techniques and validation of the final structure. Key crystallographic programs include MOSFLM for data processing, CCP4i for data handling and refinement, PHASER for molecular replacement, PHENIX for experimental phasing and refinement, COOT for visualization of the structures and manual rebuilding, and Buccaneer for automated building of protein structures. In addition, the course will cover various bioinformatics and computational tools for structure analysis as well as the use of modern complementary techniques in structural biology (such as neutron scattering, NMR, cryo-EM, SAXS, ITC, ab initio structure predictions) for a better understanding of protein structures and complexes.

Starting date: February 2, 2017 at 09:00 (Teutori computer class ATK103)

Duration: 28 hrs (5 hrs lectures + 23 hrs practicals/demonstrations)

Dates: Thu 2 Feb 9-12 (first lecture-compulsory); Tue 7 Feb 9-11 (demo-compulsory); Thu 9 Feb 9-12; Thu 16 Feb 9-12; Thu 23 Feb 9-12; Thu 2 Mar 9-12; Thu 9 Mar 9-12; Thu 16 Mar 9-12; Thu 23 Mar 9-12; Thu 30 Mar 9-11

Place: Teutori computer class ATK103 (except demo)

Demo: Turku Centre for Biotechnology, X-ray core facility

Evaluation: Attendance (>80%) and a written exam (multiple-choice questions + essay); 4 ECTS; grade 1-5

Responsible person: Tassos Papageorgiou. To enroll for the course please send an e-mail (tassos.papageorgiou (at) by January 27 at the latest with the subject line: X-ray crystallography course

Fee: 75€ for students, 150€ for experienced researchers (usually agreed and paid by the faculty/supervisor/degree program)

Other information: Maths are kept at minimum level