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Two structural biology special issues in IUCr Journals

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This August IUCr Journals have published two special issues on structural biology.

Edited by Paul Langan, the August 2018 issue of Acta Cryst. D gives a flavour of the research reported at the 5th International Symposium on Diffraction Structural Biology (ISDSB) held in Knoxville, TN, USA. This meeting brought together researchers from academic and industrial backgrounds and covered X-ray, neutron and electron diffraction, together with complementary techniques such as small-angle scattering, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy and advanced computational approaches.

Articles in the issue report recent structural results and describe developments in biological small-angle neutron scattering, X-ray solution scattering and the story of how neutron cryo-crystallography is becoming increasingly popular. The highlights of the first five years of the high-intensity, quasi-Laue neutron crystallography beamline IMAGINE are also reviewed. Finally, there is a discussion of the models determined by neutron diffraction, and improvements to their validation and deposition are proposed.

The August 2018 issue of Acta Cryst. F is dedicated to the crystallography of glycoproteins and protein-carbohydrate complexes. Edited by Jon Agirre and Mark van Raaij, this special issue also has a mix of structural information and cutting-edge methodology. It includes topical reviews on structural and mechanistic aspects of protein O-fucosylation, and on using NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to elucidate protein–glycan interactions in a complementary way.

Our knowledge of the structure of carbohydrates, but especially of their function as post- and co-translational modifications, is now increasing exponentially after perhaps lagging behind that of protein and nucleic aids. However, there is still some work to do on methodology and this issue presents a number of developments in this area. The issue also reports some recent structures. These include the highly glycosylated human leukocyte elastase in complex with an inhibitor, several enzymes that act on carbohydrates and finally a transcriptional regulator bound to a glycan effector.

10 August 2018

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