Styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers can extract membrane proteins from native membranes along with lipids as nanodiscs. Preparation with SMA is fast, cost-effective, and captures the native protein-lipid interactions. On the other hand, cryo-EM has become increasingly successful and efficient for structural determinations of membrane proteins, with biochemical sample preparation often the bottleneck. Three recent cryo-EM studies on the efflux transporter AcrB and the alternative complex III: cyt c oxidase supercomplex have demonstrated the potential of SMA nanodisc samples to yield high-resolution structure information of membrane proteins.
Keywords: Alternative complex III; Cryo-EM; Lipid-protein interaction; Membrane protein; Multidrug transporter AcrB; Nanodisc; SMA; Styrene-maleic acid copolymer; Triacylated cysteine.
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