Location & dates EMBL Hamburg, Germany 7 - 14 Sep 2020 Register interest
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Course Overview

Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) are encoded by almost 30% of all open reading frames and provide key functions in the cell. Due to their hydrophobic nature, they are difficult to study and structural information is lacking far behind their soluble counterparts. This EMBO Practical Course will teach participants in the latest developments in membrane protein production, characterisation and structure determination. Modern protein expression techniques using various hosts will be presented and students will get acquainted with new crystallisation and reconstitution techniques. An attitude to combine protein purification and characterisation will be taught to impress the necessity on the students that proteins have to be conditioned with care to achieve structural information. The presence of a crystallisation facility and beamlines for SAXS and macromolecular crystallography at the venue will be employed to perform novel integrated structural biology experiments. The course has an emphasis on practicals in small groups, and a "Meet the scientist" session at the beginning of the course will ensure a close interaction between students and tutors.


  • Expression of integral membrane proteins in eukaryotic hosts

  • SAXS on integral membrane proteins

  • Crystallization of integral membrane proteins in lipidic cubic phase

  • Quality control of integral membrane proteins

  • Reconstitution of IMPs in a detergent free environment using disc technology

  • Reconstitution of IMPs in proteoliposomes and functional assays

  • Bioinformatics on IMPs and modelling of membrane proteins

  • Crystal harvesting and serial crystallography of small IMP crystals grown in Crystal Direct plates

  • Electron microscopy of integral membrane proteins (neg. stain and data analysis)