BioSAXS Beamline BM29

Biological small angle X-ray scattering (bioSAXS) is a technique for obtaining ‘low’ resolution (~nm) structural information from macromolecules in solution that is complementary to Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) and becoming more widely used in structural biology. The bioSAXS beamline on BM29 at the ESRF has an optimised optical layout for solution scattering experiments with a multilayer monochromator for maximising the available flux and a toroidal focusing mirror for the generation of a small 100 µm2 beamsize.

The beamline was recently upgraded to maximise its scientific potential after the ESRF- EBS upgrade and is back in full user operation since September 2020. BM29 is currently equipped with a new sample exposure unit and liquid handling robot that were designed by the Instrumentation team as part of a trilateral agreement between the ESRF, EMBL Grenoble and EMBL Hamburg, as well as a newly installed PILATUS3 2M X-ray detector. A Shimatzu HPLC system with an auto-sampler is also available for optimal experimental SEC-SAXS measurements from difficult biological systems. As part of the upgrade, the EMBL Full Stack Software Engineer Jean Baptise Florial from the Synchrotron crystallography team, is heavily involved in the development and implementation of BsxCuBE, a new web based graphical user interface (GUI) for BioSAXS experiments.

Currently, users can investigate a wide range of proteins under physiological conditions and undertake functional studies investigating the effects of differing temperatures (2-50 degrees ºC), pH (4-10), salt concentration and/or the addition of ligands in samples as small as 5 µl (25-30 µl are recommended). The bioSAXS beamline is dedicated to measuring biological macromolecules in solution with the aim of providing a simple to use facility with rapid access using the ESRF MX BAG or rolling application procedures.

A high level of automation is implemented to aid users with data collection, rapid preliminary analysis and online quality control using an EMBL-ESRF implementation of the data analysis tools developed by EMBL Hamburg and displayed in the Extended ISPyB for bioSAXS (Exi-ISPyBB) experimental database. This provides users with valuable feedback regarding their experiment to maximise throughput, dataset completeness and the possible need for additional measurements.

As part of the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB) Small Angle Scattering (SAS) platform there is a unified application procedure within the ILL application procedure to enable joint SAXS/SANS experiments at the ILL and the ESRF facilities in one visit to the EPN site.

The BioSAXS beamline is run as a collaboration between the EMBL Grenoble Synchrotron Crystallography Team and the ESRF Structural Biology Group. See the beamline webpage for more information on the technical details and the ESRF website for application details.

lab equipment
View of the bioSAXS experimental hutch on BM29

Reference publications

Oskarsson, M.C., Beteva, A., De Sanctis, D., Leonard, G., Pernod, P., Tully, M.D., Florial, J.B., McCarthy, A.A. From MxCuBE3 to BSXCuBE3 a web based application for BioSAXS experiment control. 17th Int. Conf. on Accelerator and Large Experimental Physics Control Systems (ICALEPCS'19), New York, NY, USA, (2019), WEPHA115

Rodríguez-Ruiz, I., Radajewski, D., Charton, S., Phamvan, N., Brennich, M., Pernot, P., Bonneté, F., Teychené, S.  Innovative High-Throughput SAXS Methodologies Based on Photonic Lab-on-a-Chip Sensors: Application to Macromolecular Studies. Sensors (Basel) 17 (2017)

Brooks-Bartlett, J.C., Batters, R.A., Bury, C.S., Lowe, E.D., Ginn, H.M., Round, A., Garman, E.F. Development of tools to automate quantitative analysis of radiation damage in SAXS experiments. J Synchrotron Radiat 24, 63-72 (2017).

Costa, L., Andriatis, A., Brennich, M., Teulon, J.M., Chen, S.W.W, Pellequer, J.L., Round, A. Combined small angle X-ray solution scattering with atomic force microscopy for characterizing radiation damage on biological macromolecules. BMC STRUCT BIOL 16, 1-13 (2016)

Hutin, S., Brennich, M., Maillot, B., Round, A. Online ion-exchange chromatography for small-angle X-ray scattering. Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol 72,1090-1099 (2016).

De Maria Antolinos, A., Pernot, P., Brennich, M. E., Kieffer, J., Bowler, M. W., Delageniere, S., Ohlsson, S., Malbet Monaco, S., Ashton, A., Franke, D., Svergun, D., McSweeney, S., Gordon, E., Round, A. ISPyB for BioSAXS, the gateway to user autonomy in solution scattering experiments. Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr. 71, 76-85 (2015).

Round, A., Felisaz, F., Fodinger, L., Gobbo, A., Huet, J., Villard, C., Blanchet, C. E., Pernot, P. McSweeney, S., Roessle, M., Svergun, D. I., Cipriani, F. BioSAXS Sample Changer: a robotic sample changer for rapid and reliable high-throughput X-ray solution scattering experiments Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr. 71, 67-75 (2015).

Pernot, P., Round, A., Barrett, R., De Maria Antolinos, A., Gobbo, A., Gordon, E., Huet, J., Kieffer, J., Lentini, M., Mattenet, M., Morawe, C., Mueller-Dieckmann, C., Ohlsson, S., Schmid, W., Surr, J., Theveneau, P., Zerrad, L., McSweeney, S. Upgraded ESRF BM29 beamline for SAXS on macromolecules in solution. J. Synchrotron Rad. 20, 660-664 (2013).

Synchrotron Beamline Access

EMBL Grenoble collaborates with the Structural Biology group at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) in the design, construction, operation and development of synchrotron beamlines for macromolecular crystallography (MX) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).