Protein Crystallography and Structure Determination

Our protein structure determination service is driven by an outstanding team of experienced crystallographers with a strong publication record in solving a wide variety of protein structures, including novel ones.

Stable, purified protein constructs enter into our crystallisation screening process using both commercial and in-house designed sparse matrix crystallisation screens, together with relevant screens designed around any literature precedents. Tool compounds are used, where available, to explore the options for co-crystallisation.

Further optimisation to improve crystal size and quality utilises a whole armoury of tips and tricks gained from many years of experience in X-ray structural determination from many different protein classes (e.g. kinases, phosphatases, proteases, receptors, Fab-antigen complexes and more). These include iterative variations of the precipitant formulation, seeding from poor quality crystals, varying the protein concentration and changing the temperature.

Protein crystals are then cryo-cooled in preparation for X-ray data collection at state-of-the-art synchrotron facilities. We have regular access at number of synchrotrons in Europe and also use specialist beamlines at these locations when appropriate. The output from data collection is progressed to structure solution via molecular replacement or de-novo phasing by Se-Met, SAD/MAD (when necessary). Multiple rounds of structure refinement follow using the industry standard CCP4 software package together with modelling and visualisation software such as Coot and PyMOL.

Other Services

Protein Expression and Purification

We design, express and purify customised proteins reagents to support all stages of the drug discovery process. Our cell and protein scientists have a wealth of experience, many from large pharma organisations. We have many peer reviewed publications describing these techniques. We apply all our expertise and knowledge to your protein, providing an interactive, innovative and flexible approach to every project. Every protein and end use is different. We provide a tailored service, taking the time to understand your specific needs to deliver success. We express proteins using a range of platforms including mammalian HEK293 suspension cells, baculovirus/insect cells, and E. coli.

Protein Mass spectrometry

We now provide intact protein and peptide mapping as a stand-alone service to anyone requiring detailed protein or antibody characterisation.  Key to this service is the flexibility and quick turnaround times we offer with no detailed contract set-up. Our expert mass spectrometrist, Rachel Rowlinson, will initially discuss your specific needs. Help will be giving with planning and interpretation of the samples analysed and a comprehensive data summary package will be provided with follow-up discussion if required. Whether you have one sample or larger numbers on a regular basis will be reflected in our pricing.


For further information or simply to say hello please contact us on 01625 238892 or email us