Making the Most of Fusion Tags Technology in Structural Characterization of Membrane Proteins

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Membrane proteins can be investigated at various structural levels, including the topological structure, the high-resolution three-dimensional structure, and the organization and assembly of membrane protein complexes. Gene fusion technology makes it possible to insert a polynucleotide encoding a protein or polypeptide tag into the gene encoding a membrane protein of interest. Resultant recombinant proteins may possess the functions of the original membrane proteins, together with the biochemical properties of the imported fusion tag, greatly enhancing functional and structural studies of membrane proteins. In this article, the latest literature is reviewed in relation to types, applications, strategies, and approaches to fusion tag technology for structural investigations of membrane proteins.

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