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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Apr 20;54(17):5069-73. doi: 10.1002/anie.201412359. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

A fluorinated detergent for membrane-protein applications.

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Molecular Biophysics, University of Kaiserslautern, Erwin-Schrödinger-Str. 13, 67663 Kaiserslautern (Germany).


Surfactants carrying fluorocarbon chains hold great promise as gentle alternatives to conventional hydrocarbon-based detergents for the solubilization and handling of integral membrane proteins. However, their inertness towards lipid bilayer membranes has limited the usefulness of fluorinated surfactants in situations where detergent-like activity is required. We demonstrate that fluorination does not necessarily preclude detergency, as exemplified by a fluorinated octyl maltoside derivative termed F6 OM. This nonionic compound readily interacts with and completely solubilizes phospholipid vesicles in a manner reminiscent of conventional detergents without, however, compromising membrane order at subsolubilizing concentrations. Owing to this mild and unusual mode of detergency, F6 OM outperforms a lipophobic fluorinated surfactant in chaperoning the functional refolding of an integral membrane enzyme by promoting bilayer insertion in the absence of micelles.


biomembranes; liposomes; micelles; proteins; surfactants

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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