Membrane protein dynamics studied by X-ray lasers – or why only time will tell

Jörg Standfuss
2019 Current Opinion in Structural Biology  
Membrane proteins are the gatekeepers of cellular membranes where they act as enzymes, transporters, signaling receptors, or in energy conversion. Traditionally seen as a difficult field, the last decade has brought dramatic progress to membrane protein structural biology. Here, I describe recent advances in studying the conformational dynamics of membrane proteins by X-ray free electron lasers. By integrating sample efficient high viscosity injectors into pump probe setups, it has become
more » ... le to determine whole series of structural snapshots by time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography and assemble them to molecular movies of proteins in action. According to the current studies on bacteriorhodopsin, photosystem II and nitric oxide reductase, I outline the technical challenges as well as new possibilities to study membrane protein function.
doi:10.1016/ pmid:30861431 fatcat:hmyni7ntv5hqbdkvrgeldw3ziq