International
Tables for Crystallography Volume F Crystallography of biological macromolecules Edited by M. G. Rossmann and E. Arnold © International Union of Crystallography 2006 |
International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. F, ch. 5.2, pp. 117-118
Section 5.2.4. Algebraic concepts^{a}Molecular Biology Consortium, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA |
Let V be the volume of one unit cell of the crystal. Let be the total mass within one unit cell, and , and be the masses, within one unit cell, of the macromolecule, bound solvent and free solvent, respectively. Let , , and , respectively, be the densities of a complete macromolecular crystal, its unsolvated macromolecule, its bound-solvent compartment and its free-solvent compartment. Let , and , respectively, be the fractions of the crystal volume occupied by the unsolvated macromolecule, the bound solvent and the free solvent. By conservation of mass, The volume fractions must all add to unity: The density of the crystal is the total mass divided by the unit-cell volume: The mass in each solvent compartment is the product of its density and the volume it occupies: The mass of the macromolecule in the cell can be defined either from its partial specific volume, , the unit-cell volume, V, and the molecules' volume fraction, , or from the molar weight, M, the number of molecular copies in the unit cell, n, and Avogadro's number, : Now (5.2.4.3) may be rewritten as Define a mean solvent density, : This allows (5.2.4.6) to be rewritten as Upon rearrangement, this gives expressions for the volume fraction of a macromolecule and for the molecular-packing number: In (5.2.4.9), all terms can be measured directly, except . The treatment of will be discussed in Section 5.2.7. (5.2.4.9) defines the total macromolecular mass in the unit cell, , from a measurement of the crystal density . If M were known from the primary sequence of the molecule, this measurement determines the molecular-packing number, n, with considerable certainty. If the molar weight were not accurately known, it could be determined by measuring the crystal density.