Preparation and storage of functional membrane proteins such as G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are crucial to the processes of drug delivery and discovery. Here, we describe a method of preparing powdered GPCRs using rhodopsin as the prototype. We purified rhodopsin in CHAPS detergent with low detergent to protein ratio so the bulk of the sample represented protein (ca. 72% w/w). Our new method for generating powders of membrane proteins followed by rehydration paves the way for conducting functional and biophysical experiments. As an illustrative application, powdered rhodopsin was prepared with and without the cofactor 11-cis-retinal to enable partial rehydration of the protein with D2O in a controlled manner. Quasi-elastic neutron scattering studies using both spatial motion and energy landscape models form the basis for crucial insights into structural fluctuations and thermodynamics of GPCR activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)