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Magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy of membrane proteins

  • Steven O. Smith (a1), Kathryn. Aschheim (a1) and Michel Groesbeek (a1)

Extract

The passage of molecules and information across cell membranes is mediated largely by membrane-spanning proteins acting as channels, pumps, receptors and enzymes. These proteins perform many tasks: they control electrochemical gradients across the membrane, receive signals from the environment or from other cells, convert light energy into chemical signals, transport small molecules into and out of cells, and harness proton gradients to generate the energy consumed in metabolism. Indeed, of the estimated 50000–100000 genes in the human genome, fully 20–40 % are thought to encode integral membrane proteins. If one also includes membrane-associated proteins, which are attached to the membrane surface through fatty acyl chains or electrostatic interactions, this percentage is likely to be much higher.

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