Innovative extraction to crystallization technology of functional membrane proteins in solution

MPEC est accrédité par Lyonbiopôle

Identity card

Global budget: 250 k€

Public funding: 250 k€

Public funders: ANR, Agence Nationale de la Recherche

Call for projects: ANR (ANR2010 - EMERGENCE)

Year start: 2010

Completed project (2013-11)

Accredited by the French competitiveness cluster Lyonbiopôle

Strategic business area: Medical Technologies

Application fields: Allergology, Infectious diseases, Oncology

Technological approaches / Keywords: Structural Biology

Stage of development at the beginning of the project: Basic research


Efficacy of antibodies raised against membrane proteins depends of their folding, those proteins being unstable outside their lipid environment. Current detergents do not stabilize them enough once extracted. We solved this problem by setting up surfactants generating a salt bridges network with basic residues located at the cytosol-membrane interface of those proteins. Such compounds were validated with ABC transporters, leading to 2 patents. The project aims at testing them with 16 different membrane proteins covering extraction, purification biophysical characterization and crystallization.


A first objective is to show that our technology can be used for membrane proteins in general, for extracting and stabilizing them in solution, and more efficiently than commercial detergents. A second objective is to show that our technology can promote crystallization of a large panel of membrane proteins by carrying out such tests in different specialized laboratories.

Innovative assets
Actual results

Innovative assets

- 1 assay detergent (french patent method for qualification of detergent by mass spectrometry and its applications No. 2,987,894, 09/13/13) - 1 item in preparation of this assay, another on a membrane protein structure - 1 article: Stoichiometry of the MexA-OprM binding, as Investigated by blue native gel electrophoresis. Ferrandez Y Monlezun L, Phan G, H Benabdelhak, Benas P, N Ulryck, Falson P, Ducruix A, Picard M, Broutin I. Electrophoresis. 2012 Apr, 33 (8) : 1282-7