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 fourth edition of the Amphipol Workshop, previous editions took place in Paris in 2010 and in Copenhagen in 2011 and in Cleveland in 2012.

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

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

Venue: Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, 13 rue Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, F-75005 PARIS, France.

Date: October 21-24, 2013.

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 and a half day. Open to 40 people.
Will include presentations about membrane protein structure, the use of detergents, membrane protein (in)stability in aqueous solution, 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 expression (CFE), amphipol-mediated membrane protein immobilization and its application to drug screening and diagnostics, NMR, mass spectrometry and electron microscopy studies of amphipol-trapped membrane proteins, amphipol-assisted crystallization of membrane proteins in lipid 3D phase and the use of amphipols to formulate vaccines.

Speakers whose participation has been confirmed.
A. Ashcroft, J.-L. Banères, L.J. Catoire, D.M. Engelman, V. Gordeliy, W. Kühlbrandt, K.L. Martinez, J.-L. Popot, F. Zito, M. Zoonens


Two and a half days. Open to a maximum of 12 people.
Practicals will include training to membrane protein trapping with amphipols, amphipol-assisted membrane protein folding, characterization by size exclusion chromatography of membrane protein/amphipol complexes, membrane protein cell-free expression and membrane protein immobilization onto solid supports. Possibility to test the plasmid encoding your protein of interest for CFE trials.
Following the theoretical course is a prerequisite to taking part in the practicals.
Teachers. Staff of CNRS/Paris‑7 University UMR 7099, Copenhagen University and Columbia University.