Structure determination

Structure determination is a procedure by which the three-dimensional atomic coordinates of a molecule or biomolecule are solved using an analytical technique. Many techniques are used in structure determination, most commonly X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy and molecular modelling.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News |

    MicroED for structure determination without a model and with heavy metal guitar riffs.

    • Vivien Marx
    Nature Methods 19, 631
  • News & Views |

    Eukaryotes possess several clamp loaders comprising four common subunits and a fifth subunit unique to each complex. The RFC-A–E clamp loader loads the PCNA clamp at 3′-recessed structures for DNA replication. However, swapping a single subunit, Rad24, for RFC-A yields a clamp loader that prefers the 911 clamp and 5′-recessed DNA. Three new studies reveal detailed views of the clamp loading reaction and provide insights into substrate preferences of each loader.

    • David Jeruzalmi
  • Comments & Opinion |

    High-resolution structural information is critical for rapid development of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging human pathogens. Structural biology methods have been at the forefront of research on SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These technologies will continue to be powerful tools to fend off future public health threats.

    • Jun Zhang
    •  & Bing Chen
    Nature Methods 19, 381-383
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Automated single-particle picking in electron cryo-microscopy data has seen important advances in the past couple of years and now enables computer-assisted particle selection even for challenging datasets. These advances have implications for streamlined and automated image processing, with potential benefits for improving the resolution of resulting structures.

    • Thorsten Wagner
    •  & Stefan Raunser