The invention provides amphiphiles for manipulating membrane proteins. The amphiphiles can feature carbohydrate-derived hydrophilic groups and branchpoints in the hydrophilic moiety and/or in a lipophilic moiety. Such amphiphiles are useful as detergents for solubilization and stabilization of membrane proteins, including photosynthetic protein superassemblies obtained from bacterial membranes.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. P01 GM75913, awarded by the National Institutes of Health, Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38, awarded by the Department of Energy, and Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357, awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.