From Art to Science in Protein Crystallization by Means of Thin Film Nanotechnology

Eugenia Pechkova and Claudio Nicolini

Department of Biophysical M&O Sciences and Technologies, Genoa University, Corso Europa 30, I-16132, Genoa, Italy, and Fondazione EL.B.A., via delle Testuggini snc, I-00134 Rome, Italy



A new method of protein crystallization based on homologous Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) protein thin film template proves to successfully stimulate crystal nucleation and growth of the four different proteins being studied, under different crystallization conditions including those failing to lead to crystal formation in solution. Protein microcrystals were obtained by modified vapor diffusion hanging drop method. This report is focused on recombinant bovine cytochrome P450scc crystallization and subsequent crystals characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy under appropriate chamber. The results are discussed in terms of a possible transition in protein crystallization from art to science by means of LS thin film nanotechnology.