The biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology, and cell biology of membrane proteins are important parts of modern life science research. Given the difficulties in handling and studying membrane proteins in vitro, novel methods for handling the membrane proteins in a native-like, homogeneous membrane environment are needed. Nanodiscs are a new class of model membranes for the dissolution and study of integral membrane proteins and membrane-associated proteins. Nanodiscs are self-assembled discoidal particles consisting of phospholipids and amphiphilic helical band proteins called membrane scaffold proteins (MSP). The current MSP based lipoprotein nanodiscs are direct descendants of the human high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles and the helical MSPs from the primary HDL protein component, apolipoprotein-A1 (Apo-AI).
Nanodiscs offer the possibility to render a membrane protein soluble in a detergent free aqueous medium whilst still incorporated in a membrane. The membrane diameter is controlled and as a consequence homogeneous and monodisperse preparations can be prepared. Additionally, nanodiscs allow simultaneous access to both faces of the membrane bilayer in an unrestricted manner, and the possibility to control the composition of the lipids surrounding the membrane protein.
Amerigo Scientific offers a range wide of nanodisc products to provide a native-like, homogeneous membrane environment for handling the membrane proteins.