Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

Researchers investigate using small-angle X-ray scattering for membrane protein crystallization

Research from Professor Paul J. A. Kenis' group appears on the cover and in the October 2013 Biophysical Journal.
Research from Professor Paul J. A. Kenis’ group appears on the cover and in the October 2013 Biophysical Journal.

Paul J. A. Kenis, William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor and Department Head, and graduate students Daria S. Khvostichenko, Johnathan J. D. Ng, Sarah L. Perry, and Monisha Menon, had their work on the “Effects of Detergent b-Octylglucoside and Phosphate Salt Solutions on Phase Behavior of Monoolein Mesophases” appear on the cover of the October 2013 issue of Biophysical Journal.

“This cover image shows how small-angle X-ray scattering can be used to characterize the lipidic mesophases that are used in the crystallization of membrane proteins,” Perry said. “The size and shape of the interconnected lipid bilayers is critical for the success of membrane protein crystallization. By understanding the relationship between the structure of the mesophases and various chemical additives that might be present in a crystallization trial, we hope to eventually improve our ability to crystallize and understand the function of these critical molecular machines.”

Read about how the cover image was created by Sarah Perry, former Illinois graduate student and now postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.