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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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  • Open Access

S-layer stabilized lipid membranes (Review)

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  • Received: 26 November 2007
  • Accepted: 7 February 2008


The present review focuses on a unique bio-molecular construction kit based on surface-layer S-layer proteins as building blocks and patterning elements, but also major classes of biological molecules such as lipids, membrane-active peptides and membrane proteins, and glycans for the design of functional supported lipid membranes. The biomimetic approach copying the supramolecular building principle of most archaeal cell envelopes merely composed of a plasma membrane and a closely associated S-layer lattice has resulted in robust and fluid lipid membranes. Most importantly, S-layer supported lipid membranes spanning an aperture or generated on solid and porous substrates constitute highly interesting model membranes for the reconstitution of responsive transmembrane proteins and membrane-active peptides. This is of particular challenge as one-third of all proteins are membrane proteins such as pore-forming proteins, ion channels, and receptors. S-layer supported lipid membranes are seen as one of the most innovative strategies in membrane protein-based nanobiotechnology with potential applications that range from pharmaceutical high-throughput drug screening over lipid chips to the detection of biological warfare agents.