The MX2 beamline is an experimental station dedicated to Macromolecular Crystallography in the hard x-rays energy range (5 to 15 keV) with maximum flux at 8.5 keV. The station is available for conventional single wavelength data collection as well as for Single and Multiple-wavelength Anomalous Diffraction (SAD/MAD) experiments.
MX2 operates on a 2.0 T hybrid 30-pole wiggler and its optical layout includes collimating mirror, Si(111) double-crystal monochromator and toroidal bendable mirror. The beamline is equipped with PILATUS2M detector from Dectris.
The research projects developed at the MX2 beamline yield precise information about the atomic constitution and shape of macromolecules, such as enzymes and membrane-bound proteins, the building blocks of life inside and outside living cells. This information can lead to a fuller understanding of the biological processes carried by these molecules and by consequence, to the development of new and more efficient medications, cosmetics, biofuels and biomaterials.
Starting from a protein crystal, researchers can obtain information about the three-dimensional shape of the protein, and also run screening studies, where atomic details of small molecules that interact with the protein under study can reveal new avenues for the design of inhibitors. These studies can reveal the detailed mechanisms of the interactions between substrates and enzymes, suggesting improvement or inhibition routes that can guide synthetic or natural products chemists in the development of new commodities.