Model Membranes

Over 50% of current pharmaceuticals target membrane proteins, but they represent less than 2% of known protein structures. This discrepancy is largely due to the difficulty in working with membrane proteins. In order to study membrane proteins in vitro, a membrane mimetic must be used. This membrane mimic must shield the hydrophobic transmembrane residues of the membrane protein so that it is stable and able to be studied in an aqueous environment. Several studies in the Columbus Lab aim to better characterize model membranes used to study membrane proteins. Detergents self-associate to form micelles, while detergents and lipids associate to form bicelles. The classically described bicelle contains a central disk-shaped lipid bilayer encircled by a rim of detergents which screen the hydrophobic lipid tails from water. We study the morphology and detergent-lipid segregation in bicelles using SAXS, SANS, MD, and fluorescence anisotropy. 

DHPC

detergent

Ideal bicelle

Mixed micelle/bicelle

DMPC

lipid

Call

T: (434) 924-3241 

Follow us  

© 2020 by The Columbus Lab.

 Proudly created with Wix.com

The Columbus Lab is committed to a diverse and inclusive multidisciplinary research culture that enables lab members to obtain individual success, advance our research outcomes, and mentor and train the next generation of scientists. All members of the Columbus Lab contribute to an environment that values and respects all individuals and their unique perspectives. A scientific and laboratory culture where everyone feels they belong is our priority and critical to scientific advancement.

  • Twitter Clean