UNIT 5.9 Overview of Membrane Protein Solubilization

  1. Michael I. Schimerlik

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0509s02

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Schimerlik, M. I. 2001. Overview of Membrane Protein Solubilization. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 2:5.9:5.9.1–5.9.5.

Author Information

  1. Oregon state University, Corvallis, Oregon

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: FEB 1998


The solubilization of membrane proteins (i.e., extraction of the protein from the membrane in a disperse state in aqueous solution) in a stable state that retains the native activity of the membrane-bound form is more an empirical art than a protocol-driven science. Although a large number of molecules have been invented that display detergent properties, selection of the proper solubilizing agent is largely a matter of trial and error that depends on the protein of interest and the particular goals of the investigator. The purpose of this overview is to describe the methodology for finding the optimal conditions for detergent solubilization and to relate the selection of a specific detergent to explicit experimental goals.