Priority access in action at Instruct Centre CZ
Since March 2020, the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB, Instruct Centre CZ), has been offering priority access to its structural biology services for research directly related to SARS-CoV-2, including projects to develop an effective vaccine or treatment. Research projects currently underway at Instruct Centre CZ include:
SARS-CoV-2 proteins for assay development
Development of a quantitative assay for determination of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in human serum.
COVID-19 nucleocapsid phosphoprotein – ss-RNA complex
Cryo-Electron Microscopy structure determination of N-terminal RNA binding nucleocapsid phosphoprotein domain with a single-stranded RNA.
SARS-Cov-2 spike protein interaction morphology
Cryo-Electron Tomography analysis of the incorporation and morphology pf full-length SARS-COV-2 spike proteins into modified Vesicular Stomatitis Virus and Rabies Virus particles.
Cryo-electron tomography of the modified SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein
3D structure determination of SARS-CoV-2 proteins relevant in viral life cycle
X-ray diffraction analysis and 3D atomic resolution structure determination of SARS-Cov-2 proteins.
SARS-CoV-2 methyltransferase studies
X-ray diffraction structural studies of SAR-CoV-2 complexed catalytic enzymes with activating proteins and potential inhibitors.
Funding is available for researchers from Instruct Member Countries.
Cryo-EM Core Facility
The Cryo-electron microscopy core facility CEITEC Masaryk University is expanding its services in the sample preparation for electron microscopy. The facility has recently acquired high-pressure freezer Leica EM ICE for vitrification of bulky biological specimen (up to 200um thickness). In addition, the freeze-substitution unit Leica EM AFS2 for resin embedding of the high-pressure frozen samples and the ultramicrotom Leica EM UC7 with the adapter for cryo-ultramicrotomy were purchased in order to provide the facility users with the complete workflow for preparation of thin section samples for both room-temperature electron microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy.
Proteomics Core Facility
New timsTOF Pro Mass Spectrometer (Bruker) has been installed at the Proteomics Core Facility, CEITEC MU. The new instrument brings another separation dimension (according collisional cross sections) in qualitative and quantitative characterization of complex protein samples as it is equipped by trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) module.
Dual TIMS technology and PASEF (Parallel Accumulation Serial Fragmentation) acquisition method provide almost 100% duty cycle and up to 100 Hz acquisition speed without compromising sensitivity and mass resolution. It opens us a way to deeper insights in proteome even in case of low amounts of samples.
Diffraction techniques Core Facility
Advanced laboratory SAXS systems bring some synchrotron-like features closer to users thanks to the high power X-ray sources and sensitive detectors. The SAXSpoint 2.0 system in Instruct Centre CZ in Vestec near Prague has been recently complemented by a liquid chromatography system AktaGo (GE Healthcare) allowing SEC-SAXS experiments in the laboratory. The method dramatically reduces time otherwise necessary between the last purification step or removal of aggregates and the actual SAXS experiment and enables studies of complex systems with dynamic equilibrium of components in solution. Users are welcome to perform SEC-SAXS backed-up with a wide range of characterization techniques on site, in the Biophysical methods Core Facility.
SAXSpoint 2.0 (Anton Paar) with MetalJet C2+ X-ray source (Excillum) and AktaGo liquid chromatography (GE Healthcare) at Instruct Centre CZ, IBT, Vestec.