Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Membrane Proteins: Structure and Organization

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_748-1
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Synonyms

Definition

Membrane proteins are those which are integral to, or associated with, the various lipid membranes within and around cells.

Introduction

Membrane proteins are classified by their method of attachment into four main groups: integral, peripheral, partially penetrating, and lipid-anchored. Additionally, integral proteins can be further divided by the type of fold they possess – either alpha-helical or beta-barrel. These proteins have been challenging to study due to their hydrophobic nature and low natural abundance.

Integral Membrane Proteins

Integral membrane proteins constitute a significant proportion of the total protein of most cells and are characterized by insertion through the plasma membrane, resulting in permanent attachment. As such their removal can require relatively harsh methods including detergent solubilization or the use of nonpolar solvents. The advent of some detergent-free methods has enabled the extraction of...
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References

  1. Engelman DM, Russ WP (2000) The GxxxG motif: a framework for transmembrane helix-helix association. J Mol Biol 296:911–919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Engelman DM, Chen Y, Chin CN, Curran AR, Dixon AM, Dupuy AD, Lee AS, Lehnert U, Matthews EE, Reshetnyak YK et al (2003) Membrane protein folding: beyond the two stage model. FEBS Lett 555:122–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Popot JL, Engelman DM (1990) Membrane protein folding and oligomerization: the two-stage model. Biochemistry 29:4031–4037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. White SH, Wimley WC (1999) Membrane protein folding and stability: physical principles. Annu Rev Biophys Biomol Struct 28:319–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life and Health SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Biomembrane Structure Unit, Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anthony Watts
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomembrane Structure Unit, Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK