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Current Opinion in Structural Biology

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Electron microscopy, Crystallography, Lipids, Lipid membranes, Membrane proteins


Electron crystallography is arguably the only electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) technique able to deliver an atomic-resolution structure of membrane proteins embedded in the lipid-bilayer. In the electron crystallographic structures of the light driven ion pump, bacteriorhodopsin, and the water channel, aquaporin-0, sufficiently high resolution was obtained and both lipid and protein were visualized, modeled and described in detail. An extensive network of lipid-protein interactions mimicking native membranes is established and maintained in two-dimensional (2D) crystalline vesicles used for structural analysis by electron crystallography. Lipids are tightly integrated into the protein's architecture where they can affect the function, structure, quaternary assembly and the stability of the membrane protein


This is the authors' version of a paper that was subsequently appeared in Current Opinion in Structural Biology, October 2010; 19(5): 560-565. Maybe found at

Note: At the time of writing, Steve Reichow was affiliated with the University of Washington.



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