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Issue 13, 2020
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A new azobenzene-based design strategy for detergents in membrane protein research

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Abstract

Mass spectrometry enables the in-depth structural elucidation of membrane protein complexes, which is of great interest in structural biology and drug discovery. Recent breakthroughs in this field revealed the need for design rules that allow fine-tuning the properties of detergents in solution and gas phase. Desirable features include protein charge reduction, because it helps to preserve native features of protein complexes during transfer from solution into the vacuum of a mass spectrometer. Addressing this challenge, we here present the first systematic gas-phase study of azobenzene detergents. The utility of gas-phase techniques for monitoring light-driven changes of isomer ratios and molecular properties are investigated in detail. This leads to the first azobenzene detergent that enables the native mass spectrometry analysis of membrane proteins and whose charge-reducing properties can be tuned by irradiation with light. More broadly, the presented work outlines new avenues for the high-throughput characterization of supramolecular systems and opens a new design strategy for detergents in membrane protein research.

Graphical abstract: A new azobenzene-based design strategy for detergents in membrane protein research

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Feb 2020
Accepted
09 Mar 2020
First published
13 Mar 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 3538-3546
Article type
Edge Article

A new azobenzene-based design strategy for detergents in membrane protein research

L. H. Urner, M. Schulze, Y. B. Maier, W. Hoffmann, S. Warnke, I. Liko, K. Folmert, C. Manz, C. V. Robinson, R. Haag and K. Pagel, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 3538
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC01022G

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