Subcellomics Creative Proteomics

Membrane Protein Structure Determination

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About a quarter of the human proteome encodes membrane proteins. Membrane proteins (mainly including integral and peripheral membrane proteins) play critical roles in countless cellular functions and are essential in many disease processes. To date, more than 40% of FDA-approved drugs are based on molecular targets of membrane proteins. And the determination of these protein structures will greatly contribute to this process. Creative Proteomics offers three major structure determination methods for membrane proteins, including X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. We are committed to providing our clients with a variety of customized services to meet your special needs.

Membrane Protein Structure Determination

Membrane protein structure determination and analysis

Membrane proteins are important components of the cell surface, acting as receptors, transporters, anchors, or enzymes. Receptor proteins, such as GPCR (G protein-coupled receptors), mediate cellular responses upon binding with extracellular molecules and are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes. Transporter proteins allow ions and small molecules to cross the membrane through pores normally formed by oligomerized subunits. These proteins are normally expressed in organs and play a key role in the uptake, distribution and elimination of specific substances. Elucidating the structural features of these membrane proteins is expected to reveal various conformations associated with different functions and to guide cell biology studies, structural biology studies and drug design.

Our membrane protein structure determination capability

  • X-ray crystallography

The molecular image is directly obtained by measuring the angle and intensity of X-ray scattering by electrons. X-ray crystallography is the leading tool for elucidating the structure of membrane proteins.

  • Cryo-EM

Liquid samples containing biological molecules are rapidly frozen to cryogenic temperatures in liquid ethane. Cryo-EM enables faithful structural information in situ down to molecular resolution. By computational processing and averaging objects across multiple collected images, 3D reconstructions reaching atomic or near-atomic resolution can be generated. For membrane proteins, Cryo-EM is the most reasonable choice for identifying their 3D structures.

  • NMR-based membrane protein structure determination and analysis

NMR spectroscopy does not require protein crystallization and maintains the flexibility and dynamics of the molecule as well as the functional state of the protein during the analysis. This method can be used to resolve the atomic environment within complex molecular assemblies, uniquely providing cell-wide structural information including protein structure, membrane organization, lipid and polysaccharide composition, and conformational changes.

  • Membrane protein preparation

In addition, for membrane protein structure determination, the preparation of membrane proteins is crucial. We offer a comprehensive range of services for membrane protein preparation that will greatly help optimize protein solubilization efficiency, yield and stability, including

-Identify the best detergent or non-detergent alternative

-Membrane protein digestion

-Membrane protein purification

-Separation of membrane proteins from hydrophobic peptides

Advantages of Membrane protein structure determination service

  • Exclusive solutions that can be customized for you
  • Efficient, fast and cost-effective service
  • Guarantee effective after-sales service

Depending on the customer's specific membrane protein classes, we are committed to providing optimal structure determination and analysis strategies, including optimal selection of future detergents/membrane mimetics, structure determination techniques and structure determination conditions. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information on our services.


  1. Choy, Brendon C., et al. "A 10-year meta-analysis of membrane protein structural biology: detergents, membrane mimetics, and structure determination techniques." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes 1863.3 (2021): 183533.
  2. Yeh, Vivien, Alice Goode, and Boyan B. Bonev. "Membrane protein structure determination and characterisation by solution and solid-state nmr." Biology 9.11 (2020): 396.

* For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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