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November 12, 2012

Tools for the Expression and Crystallization of Membrane Proteins

Speaker for this Event:
  • James Fairman, Ph.D., Group Leader, Membrane Protein Crystallography, Emerald Bio   Learn More
  • Tools for the Expression and Crystallization of Membrane Proteins

    Membrane proteins are important targets in the pharmaceutical industry, and compose an estimated 50 to 60 percent of potential novel drug targets. In addition, approximately 40 percent of prescription drug molecules currently on the market target the GPCR family of membrane proteins.

    Determination of structural information on these targets is of immense benefit, as it enables pharmaceutical companies to further fill their drug development pipeline with structure-based drug design. However, membrane proteins are notoriously difficult to express, purify, and crystallize. Thus any information about their structure is of high value.

    In this webinar we will present and discuss some tools that Emerald Bio uses for the expression and crystallization of membrane proteins. In particular, we will cover fluorescence coupled size exclusion chromatography (FSEC) and its application to expression and detergent solubility screening of membrane proteins.

    We will also review the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) method and its relevance to improving crystallization conditions of membrane proteins in the lipidic cubic phase.


    This topic will appeal to crystallographers in general, as well as scientists involved in membrane protein drug discovery. Target companies include all major Pharma and biotechs with stated interest in GPCRs and ion channel protein targets.


    James Fairman, Ph.D., Group Leader, Membrane Protein Crystallography, Emerald Bio

    Jim received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2009 working with Dr. Chris Dealwis, where he studied macromolecular crystallography. There he solved the structure of human ribonucleotide reductase, an important anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drug target, in complex with substrate and allosteric effector molecules. He then went on to do a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in the Intramural Research Training program at the National Institutes of Health under the supervision of Dr. Susan Buchanan, where he studied purification and crystallization of membrane proteins. His research at the NIH centered on the bacterial adhesion membrane proteins intimin and invasin, and lead to the first ever Se-Met de novo phased lipidic cubic phase membrane protein X-ray crystal structure. Jim joined Emerald BioStructures in 2011, where he applies his experience in membrane protein crystallography to client projects. Jim has published 8 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 as first author.


    Emerald Bio is a protein resource company. We are leveraging our unique assets and know-how in protein biochemistry and structural biology to bring our customers our protein resource operating system. The Emerald Bio Protein Resource Operating System (PROS) furthers our clients' understanding of proteins ultimately leading to improved human health. Emerald Bio is a privately-owned company that maintains facilities in the Seattle and Boston areas. Our dedicated teams support leading research institutes and commercial therapeutic and diognostic companies worldwide. Emerald Bio has deposited over 500 protein structures in the Protein Databank and delivered as many proprietary structures to our clients. Emerald has also catalogued over 1500 protein constructs into a Protein Information Management System and contributed to the submission of two NCEs since 2011. By leveraging our expertise, insight and resources for protein science, we provide solutions for your next challenging protein project.

    For information about the recorded archive for this event contact Xtalks at (416) 977-6555 ext 371, or email register@xtalks.com

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