Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) Products
Crystallization is usually the bottleneck in membrane protein work. Temperature, salt and detergent concentrations all affect the crystallization process. Determining the conditions necessary to crystallize one protein provides very little insight into the conditions needed to crystallize another. The process is truly more of an art than a science. Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) promises to remove the crystallization bottleneck. The Anatrace LCP product range includes both monoolein and monopalmitolein products. Both molecules have the ability in aqueous solution to self-assemble into a lattice structure. Conceptually, the lattice is comprised of a quasi lipid phase and channels. While the quasi lipid component suspends proteins and is chemically similar to a lipid bi-layer, the channels allow water-soluble material to pass through the lattice. The multi-layered lattice structure itself acts as a trap and constrains any membrane protein which slips or diffuses into it. Inside of the lattice, proteins can diffuse laterally through the structure and this process helps separate out water-soluble impurities which affect crystallization. Once proteins are suspended in the lattice, the aqueous solution is allowed to evaporate, and the trapped proteins eventually reach the needed supersaturated state. At this point, the lattice structure contributes one last important service. The LCP limits protein movement and creates the order needed for crystal growth to begin.
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