Chapter 11 - Reconstitution of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs

Methods Enzymol. 2009;464:211-31. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(09)64011-8.


Self-assembled phospholipid bilayer Nanodiscs have become an important and versatile tool among model membrane systems to functionally reconstitute membrane proteins. Nanodiscs consist of lipid domains encased within an engineered derivative of apolipoprotein A-1 scaffold proteins, which can be tailored to yield homogeneous preparations of disks with different diameters, and with epitope tags for exploitation in various purification strategies. A critical aspect of the self-assembly of target membranes into Nanodiscs lies in the optimization of the lipid:protein ratio. Here we describe strategies for performing this optimization and provide examples for reconstituting bacteriorhodopsin as a trimer, rhodopsin, and functionally active P-glycoprotein. Together, these demonstrate the versatility of Nanodisc technology for preparing monodisperse samples of membrane proteins of wide-ranging structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Bacteriorhodopsins / chemistry
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / chemistry
  • Phospholipids / chemistry*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phospholipids
  • Bacteriorhodopsins
  • 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine