We review the current state of membrane protein structure determination using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Multidimensional magic-angle-spinning correlation NMR combined with oriented-sample experiments has made it possible to measure a full panel of structural constraints of membrane proteins directly in lipid bilayers. These constraints include torsion angles, interatomic distances, oligomeric structure, protein dynamics, ligand structure and dynamics, and protein orientation and depth of insertion in the lipid bilayer. Using solid-state NMR, researchers have studied potassium channels, proton channels, Ca2+ pumps, G protein–coupled receptors, bacterial outer membrane proteins, and viral fusion proteins to elucidate their mechanisms of action. Many of these membrane proteins have also been investigated in detergent micelles using solution NMR. Comparison of the solid-state and solution NMR structures provides important insights into the effects of the solubilizing environment on membrane protein structure and dynamics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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