Amphipols: Amphiphatic Polymers Designed To Stabilize Membrane Proteins In Aqueous Solutions

Keeping membrane proteins water-soluble without denaturing them is notoriously difficult, due to the destabilizing properties of detergents. Amphipols are "short amphipathic polymers that are able to keep individual MPs soluble under the form of small hydrophilic complexes". They have proven extremely efficient at stabilizing membrane proteins in detergent-free aqueous solutions and have found many applications.
An introduction to the design, properties and applications of amphipols is available on Amphipol Website.


To introduce academic and industrial scientists to the use of amphipols for such applications as membrane protein stabilization, folding, cell-free synthesis and immobilization, drug screening, diagnostics, vaccination, and structural studies by NMR and cryo-electron microscopy.

This is the third edition of the Amphipol Workshop, and the first to be held outside Europe (previous editions took place in Paris in 2010 and, under a simplified form, in Copenhagen in 2011).

Audience: Students and academic or industrial scientists experienced in working with membrane proteins in vitro.

Organizers: Jean-Luc Popot, Manuela Zoonens, Christel Le Bon, Edith Godard, CNRS/Université Paris 7 UMR 7099.

Venue: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA.

Date: April 17-19, 2012.

Outline: The workshop will comprise two parts:i) a series of presentations (Theoretical part), and ii) hands-on training (Practicals).

Amphipol Workshop Contents

Theoretical part

One day. Will include presentations about membrane protein structure, the use of detergents, membrane protein (in)stability in aqueous solutions, structure and properties of amphipols, functionalized amphipols, trapping membrane proteins with amphipols, structure and properties of membrane protein/amphipol complexes, amphipol-assisted membrane protein folding and cell-free synthesis, amphipol-mediated membrane protein immobilization and its application to drug screening and diagnostics, NMR and electron microscopy studies of amphipol-trapped membrane proteins, using amphipols to formulate vaccines.


Two days. Practicals will include training to membrane protein trapping with amphipols, amphipol-assisted membrane protein folding, and characterization by size exclusion chromatography of membrane protein/amphipol complexes. Periods will be set aside for discussions with interested participants of their own projects. Following the theoretical course is a prerequisite to taking part in the practicals.