The Norwegian Crystallography Consortium (NORCRYST) provides instrumentation and expertise covering crystallization, structure determination and analysis of biologically relevant macromolecules (proteins, DNA, and RNA) and their intermolecular and ligand interactions to users from both academia and industry in Norway. The determination of 3-dimensional structures at atomic resolution using X-ray crystallography has a central role in elucidating the roles and mechanisms of action of the macromolecules and their complexes both in living systems and when applied for example in biotechnology processes. This knowledge, combined with biophysical property analysis, is in turn crucial for understanding disease mechanisms (human and animal medicine), and for the development of new drugs and biotechnology tools.
NORCRYST is led by the Norwegian Structure Biology Centre at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, and is a consortium of 4 partners: University of Oslo, University of Bergen, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and UiT - the Arctic University of Norway. The 4 nodes have differing specialized roles in the consortium
The Norwegian Structural Biology Centre (NorStruct) in Tromsø has been in operation since 2003 providing services and collaboration to more than 150 projects (more than 200 different proteins) in Norway. NorStruct has provided expertise and services along a pipeline from target gene evaluation and selection, protein expression and purification, biophysical and biochemical characterization, crystallization and structure determination by X-ray crystallographic methods. In light of the development in the field and structural changes in Norwegian research it is now timely to build a national consortium with specialized nodes that can serve the nation with both generic services and more specialized tasks.
Four institutions (UiT, UiO, UiB and NMBU) in Norway is establishing 4 nodes and are by this joining forces to be able to meet the demands from external as well as in-house projects that have a significant increase in volume and complexity. The consortium will be led by NorStruct, where 3 of the 4 nodes will serve both local and national users with more general crystallographic tasks, and all 4 nodes will have national responsibilities for more specialized tasks within the consortium.
The present proposal covers new equipment for increasing the capacity and efficiency, and to implement a high through-put format in line with the international trends in the field. In particular, the new investment aims at meeting the new and increased demand for high through-put screening facilities in the many drug discovery and bioprospecting initiatives nationwide, as well as a partner in international research programs in drug discovery. The present proposal covers equipment for temperature controlled crystallization storage facilities with high capacity (crystallization plate hotels), automated crystallization drop imaging system, and a new efficient generator and detector systems for X-ray measurements. Equipment for protein-ligand interaction measurements is also included.