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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1980 Mar;77(3):1283-5.

Three-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins: bacteriorhodopsin.


The intrinsic membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin has been crystallized by salt precipitation after solubilization by octyl glucoside. Two different crystal forms were obtained, depending on the nature of the salt used and the pH. Needles formed in the presence of sodium phosphate and in ammonium sulfate solutions above pH 4.8. Cubes appeared in sodium citrate solutions or ammonium sulfate. Unlike the cubic crystals, the birefringent needles showed strong linear dichroism, which allowed determination of the orientation of the chromophore's transition moment. The procedure described here may be of general use in crystallographic studies of membrane proteins.

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