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Biosciences Division

APCF Research

The APCF’s long-term goal is to advance the molecular and structural understanding of proteins by providing high-quality structural models for a significant fraction of biomedically and biologically important proteins and protein families. We will continue to improve the structure determination platform so that it can be applied to production of these challenging proteins and protein complexes, including membrane proteins.

Argonne National Laboratory, The University of Chicago, and other institutions engaged in systems, synthetic, and structural biology are performing their research at the Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF). Three of the largest research projects are as follows:

Midwest Center for Structural Genomics

  • The Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (MCSG), a component of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI), is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The MCSG has developed a platform that produces more protein structures than almost any other organization in the world. Earlier MCSGlaboratories were dated and did not provide the space or environmental controls necessary to support the advancement of research programs, development facilities, and planned growth. The APCF establishes a state-of-the-art, highly automated laboratory and scientific collaboration facility to produce and characterize proteins and growing protein crystals. Single protein crystals are needed to take full advantage of Argonne’s capacity for determining the three-dimensional structures of proteins and other macromolecules.

Center of Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases

Structural Biology Center

  • The Structural Biology Center (SBC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), provides advanced, semi-automated data collection and structure determination facilities for the structural biology community at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. SBCresearch focuses on proteins relevant to the BER mission, especially plant and bacterial proteins, and on improving hardware and software for data collection at synchrotron beamlines.

As part of their mandates, the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (MCSG), the Center of Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), and the Structural Biology Center (SBC) will also continue to develop new, advanced technologies, and to refine rapid, highly integrated, and cost-effective methods for structure determination by X-ray crystallography using high-efficiency beamlines at third-generation synchrotron sources and future fourth-generation sources. The APCF’s ultimate goal is to build, together with our Protein Structure Initiative colleagues and the systems and structural biology communities, a foundation for 21st century biology where the high-quality structural models of virtually any protein or protein complex will be available through the Protein Data Bank, an international repository of protein structures, or computer modeling.