Core Facilities

The Structural Biology Core is currently the only advanced, comprehensive protein laboratory in Qatar, and is unique to the region. This advanced core provides full biochemical and biophysical characterization, including protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. In addition, X-ray crystallography and other structural tools are available to afford atomic level descriptions of systems.

Structural Biology Core

The core supports protein biophysics and The Structural Biology Core. The nature and complexity of protein research requires highly sophisticated technologies and advanced instrumentation. The needs of protein studies are very diverse, comprising studies of single proteins, protein complexes and interactions of groups of proteins, which may relate to structure, function or biology. This core is committed to facilitate these needs within QBRI and Qatar. The Protein Biophysics unit houses a Mosquito LCP crystallization robot, which can carry out both membrane and non-membrane protein crystallizations. X-ray crystallography is supported by the latest generation microfocus source with high intensity, as well as a robust and sensitive CMOS detector.

The unit also has a cryostream with an air compressor. Instrumentation facilitates rapid screening of macromolecular crystals, as well as data collection for structure determination. In addition, several nitrogen dewars are housed for the storage and transport of crystals to synchrotron facilities. Support staff maintains all crystallographic software.

QBRI’s Structural Biology Core is well established and highly functional. Research collaborations with various stakeholders are ongoing, including with QBRI’s diabetes and neurological disorders teams.

Resources and Services

Protein Biophysics Equipment

  • Nikon A1+ MultiPhoton microscope
  • Shaker/Incubator (Innova 44R)
  • Fermenter (BioFlow 115)
  • Ultracentrifuge (Sorvall)
  • FPLC (AktaXpress)
  • TyphoonScanner (FLA 9500)
  • Sonicator (Qsonica)
  • CD (Applied Photophysics)
  • ITC (Microcal AutoITC-200)
  • Crystallization Robots (Mosquito LCP)
  • X-ray Diffractometer (Bruker D8 Venture with Cobra Cooling system)
  • NanoIR (Anasys/Bruker)

Bimolecular and Macromolecular Analysis

  • (e.g., X-ray Crystallography, Thermodynamics, etc.)
  • Mosquito LCP for crystallization screening (TTP Labtech)
  • D8 VENTURE X-ray Diffractometer for 3-D structure determination (Bruker)
  • Circular Dichroism (CD Spectrometer) for detailed structure analysis of biomolecules, e.g., secondary structure and protein refolding (Applied Photophysics)
  • Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) from GE Healthcare Lifesciences for the characterization of biomolecular and macromolecular interactions, and thermodynamic analysis

Major Instruments and Services

Major Instruments
  • X-Ray System
  • ITC
  • Biacore (SPR)
  • CD
  • NanoIR
  • Fermenter
  • Mosquito LCP
Major Services
  • Protein Production and Crystallization
  • Protein Characterization
  • Structure Determination
  • Protein Interaction Analysis