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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 May;1818(5):1142-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2012.01.007. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Magnetically oriented dodecylphosphocholine bicelles for solid-state NMR structure analysis.

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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Organic Chemistry and DFG-Center for Functional Nanostructures, Fritz-Haber-Weg 6, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany.


A mixture of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) with the short-chain detergent n-dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) is introduced here as a new membrane-mimetic bicelle system for solid-state NMR structure analysis of membrane proteins in oriented samples. Magnetically aligned DMPC/DPC bicelles are stable over a range of concentrations, with an optimum lipid ratio of q=3:1, and they can be flipped with lanthanide ions. The advantage of DMPC/DPC over established bicelle systems lies in the possibility to use one and the same detergent for purification and NMR analysis of the membrane protein, without any need for detergent exchange. Furthermore, the same batch of protein can be studied in both micelles and bicelles, using liquid-state and solid-state NMR, respectively. The applicability of the DMPC/DPC bicelles is demonstrated here with the (15)N-labeled transmembrane protein TatA.

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