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Integral membrane proteins often present daunting challenges for biophysical characterization, a fundamental issue being how to select a surfactant that will optimally preserve the individual structure and functional properties of a given membrane protein. Bacterial reaction centers offer a rare opportunity to compare the properties of an integral membrane protein in different artificial lipid/surfactant environments with those in the native bilayer. Here, we demonstrate that reaction centers purified using a styrene maleic acid copolymer remain associated with a complement of native lipids and do not display the modified functional properties that typically result from detergent solubilization. Direct comparisons show that reaction centers are more stable in this copolymer/lipid environment than in a detergent micelle or even in the native membrane, suggesting a promising new route to exploitation of such photovoltaic integral membrane proteins in device applications.
Bibliographical note© 2014 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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- 1 Finished
30/01/12 → 30/01/15