Designing minimalist membrane proteins

Paul Curnow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
145 Downloads (Pure)


The construction of artificial membrane proteins from first principles is of fundamental interest and holds considerable promise for new biotechnologies. This review considers the potential advantages of adopting a strictly minimalist approach to the process of membrane protein design. As well as the practical benefits of miniaturisation and simplicity for understanding sequence-structure-function relationships, minimalism should also support the abstract conceptualisation of membrane proteins as modular components for synthetic biology. These ideas are illustrated with selected examples that focus upon α-helical membrane proteins, and which demonstrate how such minimalist membrane proteins might be integrated into living biosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233–1245
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019

Structured keywords

  • BrisSynBio
  • Bristol BioDesign Institute


  • Synthetic biology


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