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Biotechniques. 2006 May;40(5):601-2, 604, 606, passim.

Functional reconstitution of Beta2-adrenergic receptors utilizing self-assembling Nanodisc technology.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Integral membrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) compose the single most prolific class of drug targets, yet significant functional and structural questions remain unanswered for this superfamily. A primary reason for this gap in understanding arises from the difficulty of forming soluble, monodisperse receptor membrane preparations that maintain the transmembrane signaling activity of the receptor and provide robust biophysical and biochemical assay systems. Here we report a technique for self-assembling functional beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) into a nanoscale phospholipid bilayer system (Nanodisc) that is highly soluble in aqueous solution. The approximately 10-nm nanobilayer particles contain beta2AR in a native-like phospholipid bilayer domain of approximately 100 phospholipid molecules circumferentially bound by a membrane scaffold protein (MSP). The resulting construct allows for access to the physiologically intracellular and extracellular faces of the receptor and thus allows unrestricted access of antagonists, agonists, and G proteins. These Nanodisc-solubilized GPCRs can be directly purified by normal chromatographic procedures. We define the resultant Nanodisc-embedded monomeric beta2AR by antagonist and agonist binding isotherms and demonstrate faithful G protein coupling.

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