Chapter

The Next Generation in Membrane Protein Structure Determination

Volume 922 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 151-160

Date:

Serial Femtosecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins

  • Lan ZhuAffiliated withSchool of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State UniversityCenter for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
  • , Uwe WeierstallAffiliated withCenter for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State UniversityDepartment of Physics, Arizona State University
  • , Vadim CherezovAffiliated withBridge Institute, University of Southern CaliforniaDepartment of Chemistry, University of Southern California
  • , Wei LiuAffiliated withSchool of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State UniversityCenter for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University Email author 

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Abstract

Membrane proteins, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), constitute the most important drug targets. The increasing number of targets requires new structural information, which has proven tremendously challenging due to the difficulties in growing diffraction-quality crystals. Recent developments of serial femtosecond crystallography at X-ray free electron lasers combined with the use of membrane-mimetic gel-like matrix of lipidic cubic phase (LCP-SFX) for crystal growth and delivery hold significant promise to accelerate structural studies of membrane proteins. This chapter describes the development and current status of the LCP-SFX technology and elaborates its future role in structural biology of membrane proteins.

Keywords

Serial femtosecond crystallography X-ray free electron laser Lipidic cubic phase LCP-SFX LCP injector Membrane proteins G protein-coupled receptors