Conformational changes drive protein function, including catalysis, allostery, and signaling. X-ray diffuse scattering from protein crystals has frequently been cited as a probe of these correlated motions, with significant potential to advance our understanding of biological dynamics. However, recent work challenged this prevailing view, suggesting that diffuse scattering instead originates from rigid body motions and thus could enable phase retrieval.
To reconcile these opposing views about the physical origins -- and thus potential applications -- of diffuse scattering, we recently reconstructed the signal from three protein systems with distinct biological functions. Read about our results on arXiv!