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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 60, Issue 8, pp 1559–1574 | Cite as

Amphipols: polymeric surfactants for membrane biology research

  • J.-L. PopotEmail author
  • E. A. Berry
  • D. Charvolin
  • C. Creuzenet
  • C. Ebel
  • D. M. Engelman
  • M. Flötenmeyer
  • F. Giusti
  • Y. Gohon
  • P. Hervé
  • Q. Hong
  • J. H. Lakey
  • K. Leonard
  • H. A. Shuman
  • P. Timmins
  • D. E. Warschawski
  • F. Zito
  • M. Zoonens
  • B. Pucci
  • C. Tribet
Multi-author Review

Abstract

Membrane proteins classically are handled in aqueous solutions as complexes with detergents. The dissociating character of detergents, combined with the need to maintain an excess of them, frequently results in more or less rapid inactivation of the protein under study. Over the past few years, we have endeavored to develop a novel family of surfactants, dubbed amphipols (APs). APs are amphiphilic polymers that bind to the transmembrane surface of the protein in a noncovalent but, in the absence of a competing surfactant, quasi-irreversible manner. Membrane proteins complexed by APs are in their native state, stable, and they remain water-soluble in the absence of detergent or free APs. An update is presented of the current knowledge about these compounds and their demonstrated or putative uses in membrane biology.

Membrane proteins surfactants detergents amphipols 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser-Verlag Basel 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-L. Popot
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. A. Berry
    • 2
  • D. Charvolin
    • 1
  • C. Creuzenet
    • 3
    • 11
  • C. Ebel
    • 4
  • D. M. Engelman
    • 5
  • M. Flötenmeyer
    • 6
  • F. Giusti
    • 1
  • Y. Gohon
    • 1
  • P. Hervé
    • 1
  • Q. Hong
    • 7
  • J. H. Lakey
    • 7
  • K. Leonard
    • 6
  • H. A. Shuman
    • 8
  • P. Timmins
    • 8
  • D. E. Warschawski
    • 1
  • F. Zito
    • 1
  • M. Zoonens
    • 1
  • B. Pucci
    • 9
  • C. Tribet
    • 10
  1. 1.UMR 7099, CNRS and Université Paris-7, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, CNRS IFR 550Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie Moléculaire des Membranes BiologiquesParis
  2. 2.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyCalifornia
  3. 3.Department of Biology and ChemistryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeMassachusetts
  4. 4.Institut de Biologie Structurale, UMR 5075 CEA-CNRS-UJFLaboratoire de Biophysique MoléculaireGrenobleCedex 01
  5. 5.Department of Molecular Biophysics and BiochemistryYale UniversityNew HavenConnecticut
  6. 6.European Molecular Biology LaboratoryHeidelberg
  7. 7.University of Newcastle upon TyneSchool of Cell and Molecular Biosciences, the Medical SchoolNewcastle
  8. 8.Institut Laue-LangevinLarge Scale Structures GroupGrenobleCedex 9
  9. 9.Université d'AvignonLaboratoire de Chimie Bioorganique et des Systèmes Moléculaires VectorielsAvignon
  10. 10.CNRS UMR 7615, ESPCILaboratoire de Physico-Chimie MacromoléculaireParis
  11. 11.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondon

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