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Sigma-Aldrich, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collaborate to Offer Nanodisc Membrane Proteins

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma-Aldrich and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced a licensing deal today to offer to the research community two membrane scaffold proteins used in nanodisc technology.

The technology was developed by Stephen Sligar, director of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the university.

Nanodiscs are synthetic model membrane systems used in the study of membrane proteins. They render targets soluble, which otherwise are typically insoluble, and which are biologically and pharmacologically significant. Such targets include receptors, transporters, enzymes, and viral antigens.

In addition, nanodiscs are a versatile tool with which to study membrane proteins such as GPCRs, cytochrome P450s, bacetriorhodopsins, coagulation factors, cholera toxins, and Tar receptors, the partners said.

Under the deal announced on Thursday, Sigma-Aldrich will offer the membrane scaffold proteins MSP1D1 and MSP1E3D1.

"The nanodisc technology is enabling life science researchers to elucidate the structure and function of critical membrane proteins in a way not previously possible," Robert Gates, market segment manager for Sigma-Aldrich, said in a statement. "The diversity of applications and the significance of the advancement each time a new protein is incorporated into a nanodisc demonstrate the importance of having a universal tool for such a broad scope of fundamental research."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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