The fine art of integral membrane protein crystallisation

James Birch, Danny Axford, James Foadi, Arne Meyer, Annette Eckhardt, Yvonne Thielmann, Isabel Moraes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (SciVal)


Integral membrane proteins are among the most fascinating and important biomolecules as they play a vital role in many biological functions. Knowledge of their atomic structures is fundamental to the understanding of their biochemical function and key in many drug discovery programs. However, over the years, structure determination of integral membrane proteins has proven to be far from trivial, hence they are underrepresented in the protein data bank. Low expression levels, insolubility and instability are just a few of the many hurdles one faces when studying these proteins. X-ray crystallography has been the most used method to determine atomic structures of membrane proteins. However, the production of high quality membrane protein crystals is always very challenging, often seen more as art than a rational experiment. Here we review valuable approaches, methods and techniques to successful membrane protein crystallisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-162
Number of pages13
Early online date18 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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