Single-particle cryo-EM studies of transmembrane proteins in SMA copolymer nanodiscs

Chang Sun, Robert B. Gennis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers can extract membrane proteins from native membranes along with lipids as nanodiscs. Preparation with SMA is fast, cost-effective, and captures the native protein-lipid interactions. On the other hand, cryo-EM has become increasingly successful and efficient for structural determinations of membrane proteins, with biochemical sample preparation often the bottleneck. Three recent cryo-EM studies on the efflux transporter AcrB and the alternative complex III: cyt c oxidase supercomplex have demonstrated the potential of SMA nanodisc samples to yield high-resolution structure information of membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Alternative complex III
  • Cryo-EM
  • Lipid-protein interaction
  • Membrane protein
  • Multidrug transporter AcrB
  • Nanodisc
  • SMA
  • Styrene-maleic acid copolymer
  • Triacylated cysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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