Folded, embedded, and functional membrane proteins.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play critical roles in a wide variety of physiological processes, and mutations in GPCRs are implicated in many diseases. GPCR receptors must be embedded in a cell membrane to fold correctly and are difficult to express in traditional recombinant expression systems. The most common method used to study GPCRs is to overexpress them in transfected mammalian cell lines. However, the transfected cells also contain endogenous receptors, making it a challenge to interpret experimental results.
Our new VirD™ viral-based expression technology expresses individual GPCR proteins embedded in a cell membrane. Purified virions displaying correctly-folded GPCRs are printed onto glass to create VirD arrays. This method eliminates the problem of endogenous receptor competition when using traditional methods, and yields much cleaner data.