IDAT - Integrated Diffraction Analysis Technologies

Critical cellular processes are coordinated and regulated by large, dynamically-changing, multi-component complexes. Structures of these macromolecular machines are central to a detailed molecular and mechanistic understanding of all living systems. To achieve accurate and dynamic structural information of biologically relevant molecular complexes, the Structurally Integrated Biology for Life Sciences (SIBYLS) beamline and the UCB/UCSF beamline at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) have joined strengths in this Integrated Diffraction Analysis Technologies (IDAT) Program Proposal. Together these beamlines provide powerful, complementary facilities that drive improvements in macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to deliver advanced methods for DOE researchers and programs. IDAT MX facilities produce high-resolution structures of macromolecules and complexes, and IDAT SAXS facilities characterize shape and assembly of flexible macromolecular complexes in solution. Major objectives of IDAT are to 1) provide productive facilities and technologies for collaborative characterizations of molecular machines, including integrated and independent biophysical characterizations by MX and SAXS, 2) advance the technological limits of structural investigation to accommodate large and dynamic macromolecular assemblies that determine biological outcomes, and 3) innovate new computational tools to facilitate experiment design, data analyses and interpretation, and aid assessment of data and model quality for MX and SAXS. IDAT seeks to develop advanced technologies and collaborations to fulfill DOE missions in biology from atomic to nanometer scales. Quantitative measurements of solution conformations, plus high and low-resolution X-ray diffraction experiments, unify isolated molecular structures with their ultimate functions in complex biological systems.