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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2017 Aug;45:45-52. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Outer membrane protein design.

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Center for Computational Biology and Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, 4010 Haworth Hall, 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Lawrence, KS 66045, United States. Electronic address:


Membrane proteins are the gateway to the cell. These proteins are also a control center of the cell, as information from the outside is passed through membrane proteins as signals to the cellular machinery. The design of membrane proteins seeks to harness the power of these gateways and signal carriers. This review will focus on the design of the membrane proteins that are in the outer membrane, a membrane which only exists for gram negative bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. Unlike other membrane proteins, outer membrane proteins are uniquely shaped as β-barrels. Herein, I describe most known examples of membrane β-barrel design to date, focusing particularly on categorizing designs as: Firstly, structural deconstruction; secondly, structural changes; thirdly, chemical function design; and finally, the creation of new folds.

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