Monolayer crystallization of flagellar L-P rings by sequential addition and depletion of lipid

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Science  14 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5012, pp. 1544-1546
DOI: 10.1126/science.2047860


The L-P ring complex is thought to be a molecular bushing that supports flagellar motor rotation at about 10,000 revolutions per minute with presumably very little friction. Structural studies of this complex have been limited because only very small amount of samples are available. Therefore devising an efficient method of crystallization was essential. The addition of a phospholipid and its subsequent slow depletion by phospholipase A2 have been used to successfully grow well-ordered monolayer crystals that extend up to about 10 micrometers. The interaction of the L-P ring complex with lipid membranes was also visualized during this process.

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