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Biophys J. 1993 Feb;64(2):384-91.

Charge transport by ion translocating membrane proteins on solid supported membranes.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik, Frankfurt, Germany.


A new method for the investigation of ion translocating membrane proteins is presented. Protein containing membrane fragments or vesicles are adsorbed to a solid supported membrane. The solid supported membrane consists of a lipid monolayer on a gold evaporated or gold sputtered glass substrate which is coated with a long chained mercaptan (CH3(CH2)mSH, m = 15, 17). Specific conductance and specific capacitance of the solid supported membrane are comparable to those of a black lipid membrane. However, the solid supported membrane has the advantage of a much higher mechanical stability. The electrical activity of bacteriorhodopsin, Na,K-ATPase, H,K-ATPase, and Ca-ATPase on the solid supported membrane is measured and compared to signals obtained on a conventionally prepared black lipid membrane. It is shown that both methods yield similar results. The solid supported membrane therefore represents an alternative method for the investigation of electrical properties of ion translocating transmembrane proteins.

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