Crystallisation of membrane proteins mediated by antibody fragments

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2002 Aug;12(4):503-8. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(02)00354-8.


X-ray structures of three different membrane proteins in complex with antibody fragments have been published. The binding of Fv or Fab fragments enlarges the hydrophilic part of integral membrane proteins, thereby providing additional surface for crystal contacts and space for the detergent micelle. In all reported cases, antibody binding was either essential for the crystallisation of the membrane protein or it substantially improved the diffraction quality of the crystals. Antibody-fragment-mediated crystallisation appears to be a valuable tool in particular for membrane proteins with very small hydrophilic or flexible domains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / chemistry
  • Crystallization / methods*
  • Crystallization / trends
  • Crystallography / methods
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods
  • Electron Transport Complex III / chemistry
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Paracoccus denitrificans / enzymology
  • Potassium Channels / chemistry
  • Protein Binding
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Electron Transport Complex III