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Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin - HZB


Macromolecular Crystallography

The macromolecular crystallography (MX) group of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie is responsible for the operation and further development of three MX-beamlines at the BESSY II electron storage ring in Berlin.

Beamlines BL14.1 and BL14.2 are dedicated to multi-wavelength-anomalous dispersion (MAD) phasing methods operating between 5.5-15.5 keV (2.25 to 0.75 Å), which cover the absorption edges of most commonly used heavy atom derivatives. Beamline 14.3 is a fixed energy station operating at 13.87 keV (0.89 Å). State-of-the-art detector technologies, including two PILATUS detectors (Dectris, Switzerland) enable high quality and rapid data collection.

The infrastructure adjacent to the experimental end stations offers excellent facilities for users of the beamlines and includes office space, a sample preparation lab, a biology lab (safety level 1), and high-end computing resources. The success of the HZB MX-beamlines is documented by more then 2300 PDB entries from experimental beamtime of more than 100 international user groups from academia and pharmaceutical research companies.

Besides the beamline operations, the research program of the MX-group comprises various projects like the structure-functional relationship of human enzymes involved in diseases and the development of novel biomolecule based nanostructures.  Additionally we are offering and actively developing research facilities for fragment based drug discovery using synchrotron radiation and applying this method to relevant drug targets. The research program is complemented with X-ray diffraction methodology developments for long wavelength phasing using the weak anomalous signal of sulfur and UV-induced radiation damage phasing.



Schiebel J, Krimmer SG, Röwer K, Knörlein A, Wang X, Park AY, Stieler M, Ehrmann FR, Fu K, Radeva N, Krug M, Huschmann FU, Glöckner S, Weiss MS, Mueller U, Klebe G & Heine A High-Throughput Crystallography: Reliable and Efficient Identification of Fragment Hits. (2016) Structure 24, 1398-1409.

Sparta KM, Krug M, Heinemann U, Mueller U & Weiss MS XDSAPP 2.0. (2016) J. Appl. Cryst. 49, 1085-1092.

Huschmann FU, Linnik J, Sparta K, Ühlein M, Krug M, Wang X, Metz A, Schiebel J, Heine A, Klebe G, Weiss MS & Mueller U Structures of Endothiapepsin-Fragment Complexes by Crystallographic Fragment-Screening Using a Novel, Diverse and Affordable 96-Compound-Fragment Library. (2015) Acta Cryst. F72, 346-355.

Mueller U, Förster R, Hellmig M, Huschmann F, Kastner A, Malecki P, Pühringer S, Röwer M, Sparta K, Steffien M, Ühlein M, Wilk P& Weiss MS The Macromolecular Crystallography Beamlines at BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin: Current Status and Perspectives. (2015). Eur. Phys. J. Plus, 130:141-150.

Mueller U, Darowski N, Fuchs MR, Forster R, Hellmig M, Paithankar KS, Puhringer S, Steffien M, Zocher G & Weiss MS Facilities for macromolecular crystallography at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin J Synchrotron Radiat. (2012) 19, 442-449.






Dr. Manfred Weiss

Soft Matter and Functional Materials
Macromolecular Crystallography (BESSY-MX) 
Elektronenspeicherring BESSY II
Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin
Albert-Einstein-Str. 15
12489 Berlin


+49 030 8062 - 13149