A Lipidic-Sponge Phase Screen for Membrane Protein Crystallization
Journal article, 2008

A major current deficit in structural biology is the lack of high-resolution structures of eukaryotic membrane proteins, many of which are key drug targets for the treatment of disease. Numerous eukaryotic membrane proteins require specific lipids for their stability and activity, and efforts to crystallize and solve the structures of membrane proteins that do not address the issue of lipids frequently end in failure rather than success. To help address this problem, we have developed a sparse matrix crystallization screen consisting of 48 lipidic-sponge phase conditions. Sponge phases form liquid lipid bilayer environments which are suitable for conventional hanging- and sitting-drop crystallization experiments. Using the sponge phase screen, we obtained crystals of several different membrane proteins from bacterial and eukaryotic sources. We also demonstrate how the screen may be manipulated by incorporating specific lipids such as cholesterol; this modification led to crystals being recovered from a bacterial photosynthetic core complex.


Annemarie Wöhri

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Imaging

Linda C Johansson

University of Gothenburg

Pia Jeanette Hindrichsen

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Pharmaceutical Technology

Weixiao Yuan Wahlgren

University of Gothenburg

Gerhard Fischer

University of Gothenburg

Rob Horsefield

University of Gothenburg

Gergely Katona

University of Gothenburg

Anna Maria Nyblom

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Imaging

Fredrik Öberg

University of Gothenburg

G Young

Glasgow Biomedical Reseach Centre

Richard J Cogdell

Glasgow Biomedical Reseach Centre

N J Fraser

Glasgow Biomedical Reseach Centre

Sven Engström

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry

Richard Neutze

University of Gothenburg


0969-2126 (ISSN)

Vol. 16 7 1003-1009

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Chemical Sciences



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