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Diffraction Methods of Structural Biology

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Code Completion Credits Range
11DMSX Z,ZK 3 2P+1C
Garant předmětu:
Jan Dohnálek
Jan Dohnálek
Jan Dohnálek
Department of Solid State Engineering

Determination of 3D structure of biological macromolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids or their complexes, by the means of physical methods is crucial for new trends in biotechnologies, biomedicine and also in basic molecular biology research. Individual methods of three-dimensional structure determination will be explained with a focus on the individual steps of single crystal diffraction analysis. Practical examples of application in biotechnologies and medicine will be discussed. The practicals will cover several basic steps leading to determination of a new molecular structure.

Syllabus of lectures:

1. Introduction to physical methods of structural biology. 2. Structure and properties of proteins and nucleic acids. 3. Crystallization methods. 4. Single crystal diffraction of proteins and nucleic acids. 5. Overcoming the phase problem in biological structures. 6. Structure refinement and validation; structure-function relationship and biological significance. 7. Databases of macromolecular structures.

Syllabus of tutorials:

1. Protein sample characterisation. 2. Protein crystallisation. 3. Single crystal diffraction experiment. 4. Diffraction data processing. 5. Model building and refinement using 3D graphics. 6. Structure analysis of a bacterial or viral protein.

Study Objective:


Students with knowledge of mathematics and physics on Bc. level should attend. Some preliminary knowledge of crystallography is an advantage.


In the course students will aquire the knowledge and skills in methods of study of 3D structure of biological molecules, practical appliaction of protein crystallography, and ability to apply the method in drug design or biotechnologies.

Study materials:

Key reference A. Liljas et al. Textbook of structural biology, Recommended reference D. Blow: Protein crystallography for biologists, Media and tools: Crystallographic software (provided), Internet-based access to databases, basic equipment for protein crystallography (provided)

Time-table for winter semester 2023/2024:
Time-table is not available yet
Time-table for summer semester 2023/2024:
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The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-06-13
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