Crystallization of two bacterial enzymes on an unmanned space mission

Rolf Hilgenfeld*, Alexander Liesum, Rüdiger Storm, Andreas Plaas-Link

*Corresponding author for this work
21 Citations (Scopus)


We have grown crystals of two bacterial enzymes, thermolysin from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus and a novel 23 kD lysozyme from Streptomyces coelicolor, on the unmanned COSIMA-2 space mission. The crystals obtained under microgravity conditions were compared with crystals grown in a ground control experiment using identical hardware, and with those obtained in 'hanging drops' in the laboratory. For both enzymes, the space-grown crystals tended to be longer but thinner than their terrestrial counterparts. The diffraction properties of each type of crystals were assessed by collecting nearly complete diffraction data sets using an area detector. Space-grown crystals of the enzymes showed much weaker diffraction than both the ground control and the laboratory-grown crystals. Possible reasons for this are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 02.08.1992

Research Areas and Centers

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


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