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Bruetzel, Linda K.; Fischer, Stefan; Salditt, Annalena; Sedlak, Steffen M.; Nickel, Bert and Lipfert, Jan (2016): A Mo-anode-based in-house source for small-angle X-ray scattering measurements of biological macromolecules. In: Review of Scientific instruments, Vol. 87, No. 2, 25103

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We demonstrate the use of a molybdenum-anode-based in-house small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) setup to study biological macromolecules in solution. Our system consists of a microfocus X-ray tube delivering a highly collimated flux of 2.5 x 10(6) photons/s at a beam size of 1.2 x 1.2 mm(2) at the collimation path exit and a maximum beam divergence of 0.16 mrad. The resulting observable scattering vectors q are in the range of 0.38 angstrom(-1) down to 0.009 angstrom(-1) in SAXS configuration and of 0.26 angstrom(-1) up to 5.7 angstrom(-1) in wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) mode. To determine the capabilities of the instrument, we collected SAXS data on weakly scattering biological macromolecules including proteins and a nucleic acid sample with molecular weights varying from similar to 12 to 69 kDa and concentrations of 1.5-24 mg/ml. The measured scattering data display a high signal-to-noise ratio up to q-values of similar to 0.2 angstrom(-1) allowing for an accurate structural characterization of the samples. Moreover, the in-house source data are of sufficient quality to perform ab initio 3D structure reconstructions that are in excellent agreement with the available crystallographic structures. In addition, measurements for the detergent decyl-maltoside show that the setup can be used to determine the size, shape, and interactions (as characterized by the second virial coefficient) of detergent micelles. This demonstrates that the use of a Mo-anode based in-house source is sufficient to determine basic geometric parameters and 3D shapes of biomolecules and presents a viable alternative to valuable beam time at third generation synchrotron sources. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

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