Polymer lipid nanodiscs are an invaluable system for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins in their near-native environment. Despite the recent advances in the development and usage of polymer lipid nanodisc systems, lack of control over size and poor tolerance to pH and divalent metal ions are major limitations for further applications. A facile modification of a low-molecular-weight styrene maleic acid copolymer is demonstrated to form monodispersed lipid bilayer nanodiscs that show ultra-stability towards divalent metal ion concentration over a pH range of 2.5 to 10. The macro-nanodiscs (>20 nm diameter) show magnetic alignment properties that can be exploited for high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins and amyloid proteins using solid-state NMR techniques. The new polymer, SMA-QA, nanodisc is a robust membrane mimetic tool that offers significant advantages over currently reported nanodisc systems.
Keywords: lipid bilayers; magnetic alignment; pH tolerance; polymer nanodiscs; styrene maleimide.
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