Polyvalan Crystallophore No1

Can we help with YOUR three 'F's?

Polyvalan Crystallophore No1(patent pending) is a luminescent Terbium complex that is an effective nucleant and provides significant isomorphous and anomalous phasing power. It has been used in a wide range of structure solutions since it's launch, including novel protein complexes and integral membrane proteins. A recent review in J. Appl. Cryst. highlights its wide range of applications for increasing your crystal structure success rates. You can also read more about how Crystallophore No1 works here.

Watch the webinar (left) to hear its developers explain how it works. Alternatively read about how Crystallophore No 1 was important in solving the structure of Archaeal acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase/HMG-CoA synthase complex.


Crystallophore No 1 acts as a nucleating agent and improves crystal quality of pre-existing hits. As shown right for T5 phage with and without Crystallophore No 1.


Crystallophore No1 luminesces strongly in the visible region under UV excitation making detecting crystals in drops and loops easy. See left.


Terbium is a lanthanide and therefore has significant potential for use as an anomalous scatterer and in traditional isomorphous replacement. When Crystallophore No1 has been used as a nucleant, it is often found bound to the protein thus providing high quality phasing power.

(right) P. horikoshii Protease 1 electron density from SAD phasing using the Terbium LIII absorption edge. Crystal grown in 10 mM and then soaked in 100 mM crystallophore No1.

Improve your hit rate

  • set upto 6 trays (with 100 nl protein drops) per vial.
  • Compatible with standard protein crystallization trial conditions:
    • Water soluble.
    • Does not precipitate or self-crystallize in 584 commercial screen conditions tested.
  • Generates novel hits compared to protein alone
  • Improves crystal quality when hit also occurs without Crystallophore No1 (left).
  • Doubles the number of crystal screening hits for many proteins, the effect can be much larger for some targets.
  • Reduces protein AND precipitant concentration required to produce nucleation (left).


  • Crystallophore No 1 excitation possible between 250 and 380 nm.
  • Emission in the visible range between 475 and 635 nm.
  • Crystals glow with a green light and are easy to discern ‘by eye’:
    • Easily identify crystal hits in drops.
    • Simply locate crystal in loop when collecting data.
Phasing Facts
  • Tb3+has 62 electrons making it ideal for heavy atom phasing.
  • Powerful tool for SAD and SIRAS phasing: Terbium’s LIII absorption edge is around 1.6 Å (7.5 KeV, f” ~ 30 electrons), with significant anomalous signal present far from the edge.
  • Crystals grown in presence of our suggested concentration of 10 mM Crystallophore No1, may be soaked in 10x more concentrated compound for optimum phasing.
  • To help build the structure you can download the pdb or cif format co-ordinate files for the Crystallophore No1 complex. Kindly provided by Polyvalan.
(left) Electron density map for pb9 from T5 phage with SAD phases using Crystallophore No1


The development work leading to Crystallophore No1 has now been published in:

Engilberge, S., Riobé, F., Di Pietro, S., Lassalle, L., Coquelle, N., Arnaud, C.-A., Pitrat, D., Mulatier, J.-C., Madern, D., Breyton, C., Maury, O. and Girard, E. Crystallophore: a versatile lanthanide complex for protein crystallography combining nucleating effect, phasing properties and luminescence. Chemical Science8: 5909-5917 (2017).

Polyvalan's Crystallophore No1 is available to purchase here.


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