Cryo-EM is poised to break records this year.
Our standards will be at the same high level as
they've always been.

For the past three years, in what has become one of our most popular newsletters annually, we have provided updates on the most recent structures of unique membrane proteins determined by Cryo-EM and the detergents used in those experiments (for previous updates, see our 2016, 2017, and 2018 newsletters). 2019 is shaping up to be a special year for membrane protein structural biology. As of October 5th, there have been 92 unique membrane protein structures deposited, which is on pace to shatter last year’s record of 111 unique membrane protein structures. We can’t wait to see what the final number is!  
Of the 92 unique membrane protein structures determined in 2019, 44 (48%) have been determined using Cryo-EM. This percentage of structures is slightly less than in 2018, where 52% of the membrane protein structures were determined using Cryo-EM, but still clearly demonstrates how this method is revolutionizing membrane protein structural biology.

As in previous years, detergents such as GDN, DDM, DDM+CHS, and LMNG are being used for Cryo-EM structure determination, along with non-detergent systems such as amphipols and nanodiscs. To our excitement, 2019 is the first year where the number of unique membrane protein structures determined using GDN (10 to date) is on pace to eclipse the number of structures determined using Digitonin (7 to date), reinforcing the value of GDN as a synthetic drop-in substitute for Digitonin.

To see all the structures determined to date in 2019, and the detergents used, check out the table below.

Tools for Cryo-EM:

Anatrace and Molecular Dimensions are continually developing tools and reagents to support the membrane and soluble protein Cryo-EM workflow. These include fluorinated surfactants to improve vitrification, amphipols (A8-35, PMAL-C8, and NAPol), protein stability screens, grid boxes and grid box storage pucks, and more. Check out our Cryo-EM workflow page to learn more about all the latest tools we have to support your Cryo-EM experiments!

Recent unique membrane protein structures determined by Cryo-EM (sorted by PDB release date)(1)
PDB Release Date Name Reference MW (kDa) Resolution Detergent
6N3Q 2018-12-19 Sec protein-translocation channel complex (Sec61-Sec63-Sec71-Sec72) link 191 3.68 GDN
Fluorinated FC-8
6GIQ 2019-01-02 Electron Transport Chain (ETC) Super Complex III2IV link 737 3.23 Digitonin
6E0H 2019-02-06 TMEM16 scramblase link 169 4.05 Lipid Nanodiscs
Fluorinated FC-8
6NT3 2019-02-20 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel (NaV), human/cockroach chimera link 187 3.40 Digitonin / CHS
6N2Y 2019-02-20 F1Fo synthase, class 1 link 527 3.00 GDN
6J8E 2019-02-27 NaV1.4-β2 subunit with bound μ-conotoxin KIIIA link 251 3.00 GDN
6J8G 2019-02-27 NaV1.7 with β1β2 subunits in complex with huwentoxin-IV and saxitoxin link 283 3.20 GDN
6NT5 2019-03-06 STING (aka TMEM173, MITA, ERIS, or MPHYS) link 86 4.10 DDM / CHS
6NT6 2019-03-06 STING (aka TMEM173, MITA, ERIS, or MPHYS) link 88 4.00 DDM / CHS
6QPC 2019-03-06 TMEM16F scramblase & ion channel link 214 3.50 Lipid Nanodiscs
6IJJ 2019-03-20 Photosystem I supercomplex with 8 light-harvesting complexes I link 775 2.89 α-DDM
6NQ1 2019-03-27 Two-pore channel TPC2 link 171 3.50 GDN
6NYF 2019-03-27 VacA vacuolating cytotoxin A oligomeric assembly OA-1 link 531 3.20 n/a
6IRT 2019-03-27 SLC7A5 L-type amino acid transporter LAT1 in complex with 4F2hc (SLC3A2) link 131 3.50 Digitonin
6MI7 2019-04-03 Lipopolysaccharide transporter complex LptB2FGC link 161 4.20 Lipid Nanodiscs
6NBF 2019-04-17 Parathyroid hormone receptor-1 (PTH1R) link 166 3.00 LMNG / GDN / CHS
6I9D 2019-04-24 MlotK1 cyclic nucleotide-regulated K+-channel link 151 4.00 E. coli polar lipids
6O84 2019-04-24 OTOP3 otopetrin proton channel link 147 3.92 DDM / CHS
6R7X 2019-05-01 TMEM16K scramblase & ion channel link 166 3.47 UDM / CHS
6R3Q 2019-05-08 Adenylyl cyclase AC9 bound to an activated stimulatory G protein link 230 3.40 Digitonin
6O58 2019-05-22 Mitochondrial calcium uniporter in complex with EMRE link 411 3.80 Lipid Nanodiscs
6NWA 2019-05-29 Photosystem I IsiA super-complex link 2056 3.48 DDM
6NF4 2019-06-05 OTOP1 otopetrin proton channel link 135 2.98 Lipid Nanodiscs
6NF6 2019-06-05 OTOP3 otopetrin proton channel link 128 3.32 Lipid Nanodiscs
6ITC 2019-06-12 SecA-SecYE complex link 204 3.45 Lipid Nanodiscs
6JMQ 2019-06-19 SLC7A5 L-type amino acid transporter LAT1-CD98hc in complex with MEM-108 Fab link 173 3.31 Digitonin
6RB9 2019-06-19 Epsilon toxin (Etx) link 226 3.20 DDM
6J5J 2019-06-26 F1Fo synthase in E-state link 574 3.45 Digitonin
6OCE 2019-07-03 Mechanically-activated ion channel OSCA 1.2 link 178 4.90 UDM / CHS
6ODJ 2019-07-03 Cag type IV secretion system, periplasmic ring complex (PRC) link 434 3.50 NP-40 / Deoxycholate
6ROH 2019-07-03 P4-ATPase lipid flippase, autoinhibited Drs2p-Cdc50p link 213 2.80 LMNG
6RD4 2019-07-03 F1Fo synthase (complete structure; dimeric) link 881 2.90 DDM
6OS9 2019-07-10 NTSR1 neurotensin receptor in complex with Gi1 hetero trimer link 163 3.00 LMNG / CHS / GDN
6P2R 2019-07-10 O-mannosyltransferase Pmt1-Pmt2 complex, bound to sugar donor link 183 3.20 LMNG / CHS
6RTC 2019-07-24 Solute Carrier 26 family member A9 (SLC26A9) anion transporter link 141 3.96 GDN
6JLU 2019-07-31 Photosystem II in complex with Light-Harvesting Complex link 1534 3.02 α-DDM
6NPH 2019-07-31 NKCC1 cation-chloride cotransporter (CCC) transmembrane domain link 107 2.90 Digitonin
6R7L 2019-08-07 SecYEG translocon bound to a ribosome link 61 6.00 Lipid Nanodiscs
Fluorinated OM
6K7G 2019-08-28 P4-ATPase lipid flippase ATP8A1-CDC50 link 173 3.30 GDN
6QTI 2019-08-28 Nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (TH) proton channel link 241 2.90 LMNG
6KG7 2019-09-04 Piezo2 mechanosensitive channel link 981 3.80 GDN
Fluorinated FC-8
6JXR 2019-09-11 T cell receptor-CD3 complex link 184 3.70 Digitonin
6O6A 2019-09-18 TRPM8 cold- & menthol-sensing channel link 510 3.60 PMAL-C8
6U23 2019-09-25 Macrophage-expressed gene 1 (MPEG1/Perforin-2) link 1152 3.49 Lipoosomes
  1. Definition and identity of unique membrane proteins provided by Steve White's "Membrane Proteins of Known 3D Structure".