Reconstitution of membrane proteins: a GPCR as an example

Methods Enzymol. 2015;556:405-24. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2015.01.004. Epub 2015 Mar 20.


Membrane proteins are the gatekeepers to the cell and are essential to the function of all cells, controlling the flow of molecules and information across the cell membrane. Much effort has been put into the development of systems for studying membrane proteins in simplified environments that nevertheless mimic their native lipid environment. After isolation and production of purified membrane proteins in detergent, it is often necessary to reconstitute them into a lipid structure such as liposome, nanodisc, or lipodisq. Each of these has the advantage of returning the protein to a defined lipid environment, and the choice of system depends on the application. Regardless of the system to be used, the fundamental process involves the removal of detergent and incorporation of the protein into a stable lipid system. This chapter details methodologies we have developed, mainly focussed on the model G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) neurotensin receptor 1, and the GPCR-homologue and model, bacteriorhopdopsin.

Keywords: Bacteriorhopdopsin; Cell membrane; G protein-coupled receptor; GPCR-homologue; Lipid structure; Membrane proteins; Neurotensin receptor 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism*
  • Liposomes / chemistry
  • Liposomes / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Liposomes
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled