Serial femtosecond crystallography of soluble proteins in lipidic cubic phase

Raimund Fromme, Andrii Ishchenko, Markus Metz, Shatabdi Roy Chowdhury, Shibom Basu, Sébastien Boutet, Petra Fromme, Thomas A. White, Anton Barty, John Spence, Uwe Weierstall, Wei Liu, Vadim Cherezov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) enables high-resolution protein structure determination using micrometre-sized crystals at room temperature with minimal effects from radiation damage. SFX requires a steady supply of microcrystals intersecting the XFEL beam at random orientations. An LCP-SFX method has recently been introduced in which microcrystals of membrane proteins are grown and delivered for SFX data collection inside a gel-like membrane-mimetic matrix, known as lipidic cubic phase (LCP), using a special LCP microextrusion injector. Here, it is demonstrated that LCP can also be used as a suitable carrier medium for microcrystals of soluble proteins, enabling a dramatic reduction in the amount of crystallized protein required for data collection compared with crystals delivered by liquid injectors. High-quality LCP-SFX data sets were collected for two soluble proteins, lysozyme and phycocyanin, using less than 0.1 mg of each protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • lipidic cubic phase
  • serial femtosecond crystallography
  • soluble protein
  • X-ray free-electron laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Fromme, R., Ishchenko, A., Metz, M., Chowdhury, S. R., Basu, S., Boutet, S., Fromme, P., White, T. A., Barty, A., Spence, J., Weierstall, U., Liu, W., & Cherezov, V. (2015). Serial femtosecond crystallography of soluble proteins in lipidic cubic phase. IUCrJ, 2, 545-551.