Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography

ACORN2: new developments of the ACORN concept.

PMID 19690365


The density-modification procedures incorporated in ACORN, available in the CCP4 package, have proved to be very successful in solving and refining high-resolution crystal structures from very poor starting sets. These can be calculated from a correctly positioned initial fragment containing between 1 and 8% of the scattering power of the total structure. Improvements of ACORN, reported here and incorporated in the program ACORN2, have lowered the size of the fragment required and examples are given of structures solved with only 0.25% of the scattering power in the fragment, which may be a single atom. Applications of ACORN2 to structures with space group P1 have shown the remarkable property that when the starting point is a pair of equal atoms, or even a single atom placed at the origin, the refinement process breaks the centric nature of the initial phases and converges to phases corresponding to one of the two possible enantiomorphs. Examples are given of the application of ACORN2 to the solution and/or refinement of a number of known trial structures and to the refinement of structures when phases are available either from MAD or from a molecular-replacement model.