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Answer to Question #62175 in Cell Biology for Paul Clement

Question #62175
Although transport proteins can be isolated from membranes and purified, the functional properties of these proteins can be studies only when they are associated with a membrane.
Most cellular membranes contain many different types of transport proteins but a relatively low concentration of any particular one, making functional studies of a single protein difficult
1. To facilitate such studies, researchers use two approaches for enriching a transport protein of interest so that it predominates the membrane. Briefly describe these two methods
Expert's answer
Two approaches for enriching a transport protein of interest so that it predominates the membrane are:
- purification and reconstitution into artificial membranes (here a specific transport protein is extracted and purified; then it is reincorporated into pure phospholipid bilayer membranes, such as liposomes);
- overexpression in recombinant cells (it is cell-free protein expression is the in vitro synthesis of protein using translation-compatible extracts of whole cells).

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