Magnetically Directed Two-Dimensional Crystallization of OmpF Membrane Proteins in Block Copolymers

Steven S. Klara, Patrick O. Saboe, Ian T. Sines, Mahnoush Babaei, Po Lin Chiu, Rita Dezorzi, Kaushik Dayal, Thomas Walz, Manish Kumar, Meagan S. Mauter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional (2D) alignment and crystallization of membrane proteins (MPs) is increasingly important in characterizing their three-dimensional (3D) structure, in designing pharmacological agents, and in leveraging MPs for biomimetic devices. Large, highly ordered MP 2D crystals in block copolymer (BCP) matrices are challenging to fabricate, but a facile and scalable technique for aligning and crystallizing MPs in thin-film geometries would rapidly translate into applications. This work introduces a novel method to grow larger and potentially better ordered 2D crystals by performing the crystallization process in the presence of a strong magnetic field. We demonstrate the efficacy of this approach using a β-barrel MP, outer membrane protein F (OmpF), in short-chain polybutadiene-poly(ethylene oxide) (PB-PEO) membranes. Crystals grown in a magnetic field were up to 5 times larger than conventionally grown crystals, and a signal-to-noise (SNR) analysis of diffraction peaks in Fourier transforms of specimens imaged by negative-stain electron microscopy (EM) and cryo-EM showed twice as many high-SNR diffraction peaks, indicating that the magnetic field also improves crystal order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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