Magic™ Membrane Protein Solubilization in Micelles

Creative Biolabs now provides custom service in membrane protein solubilization in micelles. Solubilization of membrane proteins is one of the bottlenecks that greatly hinders numerous research and applications in this field. Although it may be relatively easy to synthesize membrane proteins in large quantity either biologically or chemically, searching for conditions in which membrane proteins can be solubilized, purified and applied in their correctly folded forms and with their native functions is always a major obstacle. Scientists in Creative Biolabs has long been dedicated to solving this problem to help our worldwide clients with their membrane protein related projects. Our scientists have decades of experience in this field and comprehensive knowledge in the features of membrane proteins and micelles. We will work closely with you step by step to ensure the optimal experiment outcomes.

One of the hallmarks of membrane proteins is their hydrophobic transmembrane domains. Due to their hydrophobic feature, membrane proteins tend to aggregate, especially when they are misfolded. In order to keep membrane proteins homogeneously dispersed in aqueous solutions with their native functions intact, it is almost inevitable to apply micelles, cell membrane-like lipid bilayer systems (bicelles, liposomes or nanodiscs) or polymers to solubilize and stabilize them. Among these diverse options, micelles represent one of the most powerful and widely-employed choices because:

Magic™ Membrane Protein Solubilization in MicellesFigure 1. A schematic illustration of the different steps during the solubilization of IMPs from a cell membrane-embedded state. At low concentrations, detergents, short-chain lipids or their mixtures exist in the monomeric form. They can perturb and penetrate into the cell membrane. At higher concentrations of added detergents or short-chain lipids, the cell membrane disintegrates and the micelles form with the membrane proteins solubilized in them. (Robinson, et al. 2011)

Screening for the best detergent or micelle-forming lipid to construct micelles solubilizing a membrane protein can be quite a labor- and capital-intensive task. Each detergent or micelle-forming lipid may have very different stabilizing or destabilizing effects on a membrane protein. Besides, in most cases, different micelles need to be used for membrane protein extraction from different sources, as well as for different applications. With rich experience in this area and a series of detergents and lipids available, Creative Biolabs has built comprehensive detergent screening platform and lipid screening platform in order to find the best micelles for our customers' specific membrane protein targets with high purity, stability, and yield. We also provide lyophilization or freezing service for long-term storage of membrane proteins from weeks to months.

Magic™ Membrane Protein Solubilization in Micelles

Working on membrane proteins can be very time-consuming. Creative Biolabs is always ready to help you save your valuable time through our first-class membrane protein synthesis, reconstitution, purification and characterization services. As an alternative to the micelle system, we also offer services in solubilization/reconstitution of membrane proteins in liposomes, nanodiscs, and amphipols. Please do not hesitate to inquire us for more information.


  1. Robinson, A.S.; et al. Production of Membrane Proteins: Strategies for Expression and Isolation. 2011, ISBN: 978-3-527-32729-4.

All listed services and products are For Research Use Only. Do Not use in any diagnostic or therapeutic applications.

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