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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1997 Oct;7(5):697-701.

Crystallization of membrane proteins.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8114, USA. osti@laplace.csb.yale.edu


Five new membrane protein structures have been determined since 1995 using X-ray crystallography: bacterial light-harvesting complex; bacterial and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidases; mitochondrial bc1 complex; and alpha-hemolysin. These successes are partly based on advances in the crystallization procedures for integral membrane proteins. Variation of the size of the detergent micelle and/or increasing the size of the polar surface of the membrane protein is the most important route to well-ordered membrane protein crystals. The use of bicontinuous lipidic cubic phases also appears to be promising.

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