Membranes of cells are active barriers, in which membrane proteins perform essential remodelling, transport and recognition functions that are vital to cells. Membrane proteins are key regulatory components of cells and represent essential targets for the modulation of cell function and pharmacological intervention. However, novel folds, low molarity and the need for lipid membrane support present serious challenges to the characterisation of their structure and interactions. We describe the use of solid state NMR as a versatile and informative approach for membrane and membrane protein studies, which uniquely provides information on structure, interactions and dynamics of membrane proteins. High resolution approaches are discussed in conjunction with applications of NMR methods to studies of membrane lipid and protein structure and interactions. Signal enhancement in high resolution NMR spectra through DNP is discussed as a tool for whole cell and interaction studies.

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