Selecting Optimum Eukaryotic Integral Membrane Proteins for Structure Determination by Rapid Expression and Solubilization Screening

Min Li, Franklin A. Hays, Zygy Roe-Zurz, Linda Vuong, Libusha Kelly, Chi Min Ho, Renée M. Robbins, Ursula Pieper, Joseph D. O'Connell, Larry J.W. Miercke, Kathleen M. Giacomini, Andrej Sali, Robert M. Stroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


A medium-throughput approach is used to rapidly identify membrane proteins from a eukaryotic organism that are most amenable to expression in amounts and quality adequate to support structure determination. The goal was to expand knowledge of new membrane protein structures based on proteome-wide coverage. In the first phase, membrane proteins from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were selected for homologous expression in S. cerevisiae, a system that can be adapted to expression of membrane proteins from other eukaryotes. We performed medium-scale expression and solubilization tests on 351 rationally selected membrane proteins from S. cerevisiae. These targets are inclusive of all annotated and unannotated membrane protein families within the organism's membrane proteome. Two hundred seventy-two targets were expressed, and of these, 234 solubilized in the detergent n-dodecyl-β-d-maltopyranoside. Furthermore, we report the identity of a subset of targets that were purified to homogeneity to facilitate structure determinations. The extensibility of this approach is demonstrated with the expression of 10 human integral membrane proteins from the solute carrier superfamily. This discovery-oriented pipeline provides an efficient way to select proteins from particular membrane protein classes, families, or organisms that may be more suited to structure analysis than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-830
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 23 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • discovery-oriented screen
  • eukaryotic integral membrane protein
  • membrane protein structure
  • structural genomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Selecting Optimum Eukaryotic Integral Membrane Proteins for Structure Determination by Rapid Expression and Solubilization Screening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this