Deuteration for biological SANS: case studies, success and challenges in chemistry and biology

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Small angle neutron scattering is a powerful complementary technique in structural biology. It generally requires, or benefits from, deuteration to achieve its unique potentials. Molecular deuteration has become a mature expertise, with deuteration facilities located worldwide to support access to the technique for a wide breadth of structural biology and life sciences. The sorts of problems well answered by small angle scattering and deuteration involve large (> 10 Å) scale flexible movements, and this approach is best used where high-resolution methods (crystallography, NMR, cryo-EM) leave questions unanswered. This chapter introduces deuteration, reviewing biological deuteration of proteins, lipids and sterols, and then steps through the ever-expanding range of deuterated molecules being produced by chemical synthesis and enabling sophisticated experiments using physiologically relevant lipids. Case studies of recent successful use of deuteration may provide illustrative examples for strategies for future experiments. We discuss issues of nomenclature for synthesised molecules of novel labeling and make recommendations for their naming. We reflect on our experiences, with cost associated with achieving an arbitrary deuteration level, and on the benefits of experimental co-design by user scientist, deuteration scientist, and neutron scattering scientist working together. Although methods for biological and chemical deuteration are published in the public domain, we recommend that the best method to deuterate is to engage with a deuteration facility. © 2022 Elsevier
Deuteration, Small angle scattering, Chemistry, Biology, Crystallography, NMR imaging, Proteins, Lipids
Duff, A. P., Cagnes, M., Darwish, T. A., Krause-Heuer, A. M., Moir, M., Recsei, C., Rekas, A., Russell, R. A., Wilde, K. L., & Yepuri, N. R. (2022). Deuteration for biological SANS: Case studies, success and challenges in chemistry and biology. In J. A. Tainer (Ed), Small Angle Scattering Part A: Methods for Structural Investigation, (pp. 85-126), Methods in Enzymology (Vol. 677). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/bs.mie.2022.08.030