Formation of SMALPs


Experimental characterization of membrane proteins often requires their solubilization. A recent approach is to use styrene maleic acid (SMA) copolymers to isolate membrane proteins in nanometer-sized membrane discs, so called SMA lipid particles (SMALPs). The approach has the advantage of allowing direct extraction of proteins, keeping their native lipid environment. Despite the growing popularity of using SMALPs, the molecular mechanism behind the process remains poorly understood.

In this paper, we unravel the molecular details of the nanodisc formation based on Martini simulations:

M. Xue, L. Cheng, I. Faustino, W. Guo, S.J. Marrink, Biophys. J., 2018, online.