AMPHIPOLS: Applications

The original aim behind the design of APols was to make it possible to handle and study in aqueous solutions MPs that are destabilized or whose functional properties are perturbed by detergents. While stabilization indeed is fairly general, it may be acquired at the cost of making some experimental approaches more difficult, as is the case, most conspicuously, for crystallization (Popot et al. (2011)). On the other hand, trapping with APols opens the way to approaches that are not possible with detergents, such as surfactant-mediated immobilization (Charvolin et al. (2009)) or controlled delivery to intact preformed membranes (Pocanschi et al.(2006), Nagy et al. (2001), Kyrychenko et al. (2012)). Before embarking upon a given study, one has, therefore, to weigh the pros and the cons of resorting to APols. A schematic overview of those applications of APols, proven or hypothetical, for which there exists published or unpublished data is given in the following tables. For more details, see ref. (Popot et al. (2011)) and the references provided in the last column. For a discussion of the relative advantages and drawbacks of amphipols, fluorinated surfactants and nanodiscs as alternatives to detergents to handle membrane proteins in aqueous solutions, see ref. (Popot (2010)).