Crystallization of proteins under microgravity

Volker A. Erdmann*, Corinna Lippmann, Christian Betzel, Zbyszek Dauter, Keith Wilson, Rolf Hilgenfeld, Julia Hoven, Alexander Liesum, Wolfram Saenger, Anke Müller-Fahrnow, Winfried Hinrichs, Martina Düvel, Georg E. Schulz, Christoph W. Müller, Heinz G. Wittmann, Ada Yonath, Gabriela Weber, Karin Stegen, Andreas Plaas-Link

*Corresponding author for this work
29 Citations (Scopus)


For the crystallization of proteins under microgravity conditions, a Chinese re-entry system was used, in which 101 experiments of 25 different biological macromolecules were accommodated. From the results obtained we conclude that under microgravity conditions crystal growth can only be expected under those crystallization conditions which also permit crystal growthon earth. A number of space-grown crystals were larger in size and of a better quality in their ability to diffract X-rays than the corresponding ground control crystals grown at the Chinese launch site. However, the space-grown crystals have not reached the X-ray diffraction quality of the crystals obtained under optimal conditions in the home laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 18.12.1989

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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