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Keywords:

  • direct methods;
  • proteins;
  • SAD phasing;
  • model completion;
  • phase extension

Apart from solving the heavy-atom substructure in proteins and ab initio phasing of protein diffraction data at atomic resolution, direct methods have also been successfully combined with other protein crystallographic methods in dealing with diffraction data far below atomic resolution, leading to significantly improved results. In this respect, direct methods provide phase constraints in reciprocal space within a dual-space iterative framework rather than solve the phase problem independently. Applications of this type of direct methods to difficult SAD phasing, model completion and low-resolution phase extension will be described in detail.