The X-ray Crystallography Department operates beamline NYX, designed and constructed by NYSBC at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s NSLS-II synchrotron, as well as in-house X-ray sources at NYSBC’s Manhattan facility. Staff in this department collect diffraction data from crystals of biological molecules to determine their 3-dimensional structures.

The NYX beamline is a great advance over NYSBC’s previous beamlines, allowing for smaller crystal size, higher energy resolution, and a greater degree of automation.  Combined with the 10,000-fold increase in X-ray brightness at NSLS-II, this improved instrumentation has made feasible experiments that were previously impossible.

Microdiffraction beamline NYX at NSLS-II
NYSBCʼs new beamline, NYX, is designed to utilize the brightness of the NSLS-II, the third-generation synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Macromolecular complexes and assemblies
Structures of protein-protein complexes and protein-nucleic acid complexes are essential to decipher fundamental biological processes.  Image:  Complex of the Shiga 2 toxin with a C-terminal peptide of ribosomal P stalk proteins. M.J. Rudolph, et al, J Biol Chem 295: 15588-15596

Membrane Proteins
NYX beamline is optimized for structural analyses of membrane proteins with high relevance in health and diseases. Image: structure of MFSD2A which is involved in the transport of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, a omega-3 fatty acid which is essential for neurological development and function) across the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers; Cater RJ, Chua GL, Erramilli SK, Keener JE, Choy BC, Tokarz P, Chin CF, Quek DQY, Kloss B, Pepe JG, Parisi G, Wong BH, Clarke OB, Marty MT, Kossiakoff AA, Khelashvili G, Silver DL, Mancia F, Nature 595: 315-319 (2021)

NYX supports routine structure determination of micron-sized crystals. Even with larger or needle crystals, NYX uses micron-sized beam for reduced radiation damage and reduced background. Image: micron-sized crystals of two membrane proteins.

Optimized anomalous signals measurement
NYX optimizes anomalous scattering from heavy atoms at high energy X-ray for MAD/SAD experiments, and from multiple crystals at lower energy X-ray for direct structure determination without heavy atoms. Image: structure of CysZ transporter solved with anomalous diffraction from multiple native protein crystals at lower x-ray energy; Liu et al. Science 336, 1033 (2012)