New reverse micelle surfactant systems optimized for high-resolution NMR spectroscopy of encapsulated proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate (AOT) is a surfactant commonly used to encapsulate water soluble proteins within the aqueous core of a reverse micelle. In the context of high-resolution NMR studies of encapsulated proteins the size of the resulting reverse micelle is critically important. We have designed and synthesized a short AOT analogue, 3,3-dimethyl-1-butylsulfosuccinate sodium salt and determined that it is able to form reverse micelles and to encapsulate the protein ubiquitin with high structural fidelity. AOT is often found to significantly destabilize encapsulated proteins, largely through charge-charge interactions between the anionic headgroup and the surface of the protein. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that proportional mixtures of anionic and cationic surfactants can form reverse micelles that are also capable of protein encapsulation with high fidelity.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

author list (cited authors)

  • Shi, Z., Peterson, R. W., & Wand, A. J.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Shi, Zhengshuang||Peterson, Ronald W||Wand, A Joshua

publication date

  • November 2005