Welcome to XRD2 @ Elettra.

X-rays are an invaluable probe of the structure of matter, and the range of problems where X-rays have proved to be decisive in unravelling a material structure is very wide. XRD2 is the new beamline that has been constructed at section 11.2 and is now operational and accepting proposals. The high photon flux provided by the Super Conducting multipole Wiggler (SCW), installed at the 11.2 section, permits the operation of three beamlines, a central tunable and two fixed energy beamlines (Xpress).

The XRD2 variable energy beamline (8 to 35 keV) is  complementary to XRD1 and dedicated to high throughput macromolecular crystallography (MX) experiments: large tunable energy range for SAD/MAD experiments, automated sample mounting in cryogenic environment and high speed large area detector are some of the important features of this beamline.

The XRD2 project is developed in partnership with the Indian scientific community and administered through Elettra and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

Research Highlights

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Studenti @ XRD2 - 2019

Un gruppo di studenti della laurea magistrale in Chimica dell’Università di Parma, sotto la guida del visiting professor prof. Pietro Roversi, ha cristallizzato e ottenuto la struttura di una nuova forma cristallina della proteina PCNA umana. L'esperimento di diffrazione è stato effettuato durante uno stage presso XRD2.

Da: UniPr.it - notizie

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Inhibition of PD-1/PD-L1 protein-protein interaction

Novel PD-1/PD-L1 protein-protein interaction inhibitors were designed and evaluated for activity and mechanism using XRD2 structural data.

(Ref: Basu E. et al, JMedChem, 62(15), 7520-7263 (2019))

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Digging into error control during DNA replication

The presence of ribonucleotides (rNTPs) in DNA can lead to genomic instability and cellular lethality. Adventitious rNTP incorporation is prevented during DNA polymerases copy activity through mechanisms that have been better understood using XRD2 structural data.

(Ref:  Johnson M. K. et al, NAR, 47(20), 10693–10705 (2019))

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Irreversible Covalent Small Molecule Inhibitors of Cathepsin K

The formation of a covalent linkage between catalytic Cys25 on hCatK and the candidate drug was confirmed by solving the crystal structure of CatK–inhibitor complex on XRD2.

(Ref: Mons E. et al, JACS, 141(8), 3507-3514 (2019))

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Extreme energy capture antennas from vulcanic Algae

Extremophils are fascinating organisms with super-powers, that allow them to survive in extreme conditions. XRD2 data have been used to decrypt molecular secrets of outstanding Galdieria algae heat resistant photosynthetic machinery.

(Ref: Ferraro G. et al, BBA-Bioenergetics, xxx(xxx), xxxx-xxxx (2020))

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Attacking pneumonia at the molecular level!

Atomic details of a molecular crowbar that breaks Klebsiella Pneumoniae polysaccaride shielding, have been obtained from XRD2 structural data. It represents a potential new tool to fight this tough nosocomial pathogen!

(Ref: Squeglia F. et al, Structure, 28(6),613–624.e4 (2020))

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Breaking cancer cells immortality

Cancer cells growth relies on molecular mechanisms that make them immortal. Multiple crucial enzymes involved in tumors survival can be blocked by the same drugs, as shown from XRD2 structural data.

(Ref: Berrino E. et al, J.Med.Chem., 63(13), 7392–7409 (2020))

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Combining Raman and XRD to study heme proteins

XRD2 structural data have been used to interpret resonance Raman spectra of neuroglobin mutants, where two protein conformers (with different heme insertion orientations) can be found.

(Ref:  Milazzo, L. et al, FEBS J., 287(17), 4082–4097 (2020))

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Studenti @ XRD2 - 2020

“From Gene to Protein Crystal Structure“ is the school for young PhD, postdoc and researchers taking first steps in the field of Protein Crystallography.

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Working towards designing improved chronic pain medication

Structural data from XRD2 provided important information in understanding a mechanism for specific block of noradrenaline uptake by chronic pain medication with the potential to design better pain medication.

(Ref: Shabareesh P. et al, Nat. Comm. 12, 2199 (2021))

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User Area  

Get beamtime! - Monthly MX Proposals

A FAST allocation mechanism – dedicated to Macromolecular Crystallography experiments – is available from your VUO account!
The following improvements have been implemented:

- No deadline: it is possible to submit a proposal at any time;
- Proposal evaluation on a monthly basis;
- Reduced dead-time between proposal submission and
- Automatic re-submission in case of overbooking.

We strongly encourage MX users to take advantage of this new procedure.

NB: Users from India can find additional information about DST funding on IISc portal.


  • Mesh : faster Raster to locate the crystal. Easy to move to the desired position.
  • X-Ray Centring  : 2 Meshes performed to find the position of the maximum signal in a loop
  • DoubleGripper : to streamline mounting samples we now have a gripper that can unmount and mount in a dual action, with great reproducibility in less time. We can now go back to previous positions after remounting the xtals.

To address the difficulties linked to travel during the pandemic, Elettra is offering extra support to cover the cost of shipping samples for remote operations.
Problems with your dewar ?  Get in touch with XRD2 beamline scientists to see if we can send you a loaner dewar / pucks .

Reference paper

It's a good practice to report the associated proposal number in the acknowledgments. It's compulsory to report funding references for economically supported visits. The reference paper to be cited in your papers following measurements at the XRD2&XRD1 beamlines is:

Status of the crystallography beamlines at Elettra
A. Lausi, M. Polentarutti, S. Onesti, J. R. Plaisier, E. Busetto, G. Bais, L. Barba, A. Cassetta, G. Campi, D. Lamba, A. Pifferi, S.C. Mande, D.D. Sarma, S.M. Sharma, G.Paolucci
The European Physical Journal Plus130:43, pp. 1-8 (2015) - DOI: 10.1140/epjp/i2015-15043-3 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2022 15:43