Meeting report

Bio-Crystallography near Berlin

[Conference attendees] Participants at the 2nd Heart of Europe Meeting on Bio-Crystallography in September.
The 2nd Heart of Europe Meeting on Bio-Crystallography in Lübben in the Spreewald south of Berlin September 30 - October 2, 1999 was organized by Y. Muller and U. Heinemann from the MDC in Berlin-Buch and sponsored by MarResearch, Nonius, and Oxford Instruments. The meeting provided a platform for young researchers to present their work in an informal workshop-like atmosphere. With a total of 54 participants from Berlin, Braunschweig, Halle, Hamburg, Jena, Poznan, Prague and Ceske-Budejovice. Thanks to the sponsors, stipends could be given to three students from the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

Selecting highlights from the many excellent presentations is difficult, but necessary (for additional details, see: http://www.mdc-berlin.de/~crystal/heart/hec.html). Highlights of the meeting included a description of innovative ideas and techniques in the field of cryo-crystallography by S. Panjikar (IMB in Jena). The guest speaker, V. Lamzin (EMBL) discussed electron density maps and their interpretation, with a focus on his ARP/wARP method. J. Brynda (Prague) presented crystals of crystallin which were removed from a patients eye. The doctors brought the crystals to the crystallography group, where the structure was solved and the cause for the formation of crystals in vivo determined. J. Müller (MDC in Berlin-Buch) talked about a complex between adrenodoxin and adrenodoxin reductase in a crystal form with a 600 Å long cell axis. C. Betzel reported on the current status of the joint IMB Jena/U. of Hamburg/ EMBL-beamline at the DESY synchrotron in Hamburg, and T. Knoefel (Free U. of Berlin) described an unusually large domain rotation upon activation of a 5'-nucleotidase. Finally, M. Wahl (FMP in Berlin) presented the structure of an NADPH-oxidase signalling domain. Martin, an NMR spectroscopist, experienced difficulties in trying to solve the structure by NMR, went to the crystallography group at the MDC in Berlin, crystallized the protein and the Se-Met protein, and solved the structure.

Mariusz Jaskolski from the CBB in Poznan and his group will organize the 3rd Heart of Europe Meeting on Bio-Crystallography in the fall of 2000.

Manfred S. Weiss