ContaMiner is a rapid automated large-scale detection of contaminant crystals.
Protein contaminants, from the expression host, purification buffers or from the affinity tags used, may crystallise instead of a protein of interest. Unfortunately, this only becomes clear once the crystal structure has been determined...
ContaMiner allows rapid screening of X-ray diffraction data against the most likely proteins contaminants.
Given an mtz or cif data file, ContaMiner uses an optimized molecular replacement procedure, based on the MoRDa automatic molecular replacement pipeline. Contaminants tested include 39 Proteins in E. coli, 2 Proteins in yeast, 8 Tags, 16 Proteins used during purification or crystallization, 4 Microbial contaminants of host cell and reagents and 2 From other expression systems. The full list is available here. Any additional suggestions or comments? -- Please let us know.
Possible benefits of using ContaMiner may include not wasting your time for solving that chloramphenicol acetyltransferase crystal, or reassuring reviewers and yourself that your Crystallisation and Preliminary X-ray Analysis paper does not report, in fact, another structure of MBP.
If ContaMiner gives you a positive result, you are encouraged to check if the submitted dataset is of significantly higher resolution as the currently available MR template. This case might justify deposition of you model and data at the PDB.
To cite ContaMiner and/or ContaBase, please use:
Hungler A, Momin A, Diederichs K, Arold ST (2016)
ContaMiner and ContaBase: a web server and database for early identification of unwantedly crystallized protein contaminants
J. Appl. Cryst. 2016, 49:2252-2258
Read it here