NMR of membrane-associated peptides and proteins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In living cells, membrane proteins are essential to signal transduction, nutrient use, and energy exchange between the cell and environment. Due to challenges in protein expression, purification and crystallization, deposition of membrane protein structures in the Protein Data Bank lags far behind existing structures for soluble proteins. This review describes recent advances in solution NMR allowing the study of a select set of peripheral and integral membrane proteins. Surface-binding proteins discussed include amphitropic proteins, antimicrobial and anticancer peptides, the HIV-1 gp41 peptides, human α-synuclein and apolipoproteins. Also discussed are transmembrane proteins including bacterial outer membrane β-barrel proteins and oligomeric α-helical proteins. These structural studies are possible due to solubilization of the proteins in membrane-mimetic constructs such as detergent micelles and bicelles. In addition to protein dynamics, protein-lipid interactions such as those between arginines and phosphatidylglycerols have been detected directly by NMR. These examples illustrate the unique role solution NMR spectroscopy plays in structural biology of membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-69
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Protein and Peptide Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Bicelles
  • HMQC
  • Membrane proteins
  • Micelles
  • Paramagnetic NMR
  • Protein dynamics
  • RDC
  • Structural biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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