ContaMiner and ContaBase: a webserver and database for early identification of unwantedly crystallized protein contaminants

Arnaud Hungler, Afaque Ahmad Imtiyaz Momin, Kay Diederichs, Stefan T. Arold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solving the phase problem in protein X-ray crystallography relies heavily on the identity of the crystallized protein, especially when molecular replacement (MR) methods are used. Yet, it is not uncommon that a contaminant crystallizes instead of the protein of interest. Such contaminants may be proteins from the expression host organism, protein fusion tags or proteins added during the purification steps. Many contaminants co-purify easily, crystallize and give good diffraction data. Identification of contaminant crystals may take time, since the presence of the contaminant is unexpected and its identity unknown. A webserver (ContaMiner) and a contaminant database (ContaBase) have been established, to allow fast MR-based screening of crystallographic data against currently 62 known contaminants. The web-based ContaMiner (available at http://strube.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/contaminer/) currently produces results in 5 min to 4 h. The program is also available in a github repository and can be installed locally. ContaMiner enables screening of novel crystals at synchrotron beamlines, and it would be valuable as a routine safety check for 'crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis' publications. Thus, in addition to potentially saving X-ray crystallographers much time and effort, ContaMiner might considerably lower the risk of publishing erroneous data. A web server, titled ContaMiner, has been established, which allows fast molecular-replacement-based screening of crystallographic data against a database (ContaBase) of currently 62 potential contaminants. ContaMiner enables systematic screening of novel crystals at synchrotron beamlines, and it would be valuable as a routine safety check for 'crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis' publications. © Arnaud Hungler et al. 2016.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2252-2258
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'ContaMiner and ContaBase: a webserver and database for early identification of unwantedly crystallized protein contaminants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this