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Nanotechnology Reviews

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Volume 6, Issue 1


Membrane mimetics for solution NMR studies of membrane proteins

Konstantin S. MineevORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2418-9421 / Kirill D. Nadezhdin
  • Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Structural Biology, Mikluho-Maklaya Str, 16/10, Moscow 117997, Russian Federation
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-12-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2016-0074


Membrane proteins are one of the most challenging and attractive objects in modern structural biology, as they are targets for the majority of medicines. However, studies of membrane proteins are hindered by several obstacles, including their low ability to crystallize, highly dynamic behavior of some of their domains, and need for membrane-like environment. Although solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a very powerful technique of structural biology in terms of the amount of provided data, it imposes several limitations on the object under investigation, with the main constraint being related to the size of the object. For this reason, the membrane mimetic has to form particles of small size and simultaneously to properly simulate the bilayer membrane to be applicable for solution NMR spectroscopy. Here we review the recent advances in the field of membrane mimetics for solution NMR studies, discuss the advantages and drawbacks of specific membrane-like environments, and formulate the criteria for the selection of proper environment for a particular membrane protein or domain.

Keywords: bicelles; membrane mimetics; micelles; nanodiscs; NMR


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About the article

Konstantin S. Mineev

Konstantin S. Mineev is a senior research scientist in the laboratory of biomolecular NMR spectroscopy at the Shemyakin-Ovchnnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Moscow. He received his master’s degree at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in 2007 and his PhD in Biophysics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2010. He is working as an adjunct professor in MIPT since 2014. The current research of Dr. Mineev is focused on elucidating the structural basis of the activation mechanisms of type I integral membrane proteins and development and characterization of various membrane mimetics.

Kirill D. Nadezhdin

Kirill D. Nadezhdin is a research fellow in the laboratory of biomolecular NMR spectroscopy at the Shemyakin-Ovchnnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Moscow. He received his master’s degree at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in 2006 and his PhD in Biophysics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2012. He is working as an assistant professor and deputy dean at the Department of Biological and Medical Physics in MIPT since 2015. Scientific interests of Dr. Nadezhdin are focused in the area of structural investigations of amyloid precursor protein and membrane-active peptides.

Received: 2016-08-30

Accepted: 2016-11-01

Published Online: 2016-12-20

Published in Print: 2017-02-01

Citation Information: Nanotechnology Reviews, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 15–32, ISSN (Online) 2191-9097, ISSN (Print) 2191-9089, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2016-0074.

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