Using small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), we investigated the phase behavior of mesophases of monoolein (MO) mixed with additives commonly used for the crystallization of membrane proteins from lipidic mesophases. In particular, we examined the effect of sodium and potassium phosphate salts and the detergent β-octylglucoside (βOG) over a wide range of compositions relevant for the crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases. We studied two types of systems: 1), ternary mixtures of MO with salt solutions above the hydration boundary; and 2), quaternary mixtures of MO with βOG and salt solutions over a wide range of hydration conditions. All quaternary mixtures showed highly regular lyotropic phase behavior with the same sequence of phases (Lα, Ia3d, and Pn3m) as MO/water mixtures at similar temperatures. The effects of additives in quaternary systems agreed qualitatively with those found in ternary mixtures in which only one additive is present. However, quantitative differences in the effects of additives on the lattice parameters of fully hydrated mesophases were found between ternary and quaternary mixtures. We discuss the implications of these findings for mechanistic investigations of membrane protein crystallization in lipidic mesophases and for studies of the suitability of precipitants for mesophase-based crystallization methods.
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