This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Project proposes to continue the development and refinement of a novel membrane protein expression system utilizing a unique group of bacteria capable of synthesizing a vast amount of membrane proteins and supporting extensive internal membrane structures. Membrane proteins are of significant medicinal importance. However, efforts to study membrane proteins are often hampered by their low level of biosynthesis. An efficient membrane protein overexpression system will facilitate their biochemical and biophysical characterization. This will allow for the economical mass production of membrane proteins essential for large-scale structural genomics effort as well as for industrial applications.
The commercial impact of the project will be on drug discovery work by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Additional impact will be in areas of biology and physiology where processes are modulated by membrane proteins (for example, in agriculture).