Through established partnerships with Driving Biomedical Project (DBP) laboratories, the Center on Membrane Protein Production and Analysis (COMPPÅ) will develop new methodologies in the Technology Research and Development (TR&D) areas described below. Once these technologies have been sufficiently established, they will be made available to the membrane protein research community at large.
Through mutagenesis approaches, both to expression hosts and gene sequences encoding integral membrane proteins, we will optimize protein expression of targets in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems.
We will use expression screens of homologous protein targets, detergent and amphipol screens, mutagenesis and protein chimeras, to optimize protein samples for structural studies by x-ray crystallography and cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM).
By developing new technologies and improving upon established ones, we will establish generic functional assays so that laboratories may more easily study structure/function relationships of any integral membrane protein of interest.
We will develop improved methods for analysis of poorly diffracting, small, or radiation damage-susceptible crystals, such that valuable structural information may still be obtained from these less-than-ideal samples.