Alkyl Maltosides are a class of detergents composed of a hydrophilic maltose and a hydrophobic alkyl chain. Variation in the alkyl chain confers a range of detergent properties including CMC and solubility. Maltosides are most often used for the solubilization and purification of membrane proteins.


In 1980 Ferguson-Miller et al. at Michigan State developed n-dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranoside (DDM) as part of a successful effort to purify an active, stable, monodisperse form of cytochrome c oxidase.[1] Maltosides have been used extensively to stabilize membrane proteins for biophysical and structural studies.

Table of detergent properties

Maltosideabbr.CMC (mM)MW (g/mol)Micelle (kDa)
n-Decyl-β-D-maltopyranosideDM1.8 [2] (H2O)482.6~33 (69 molecules) [3]
n-Dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranosideDDM0.17 [4]510.6~72 (~78-149 molecules) [5]


  1. Rosevear, P; VanAken, T; Baxter, J; Ferguson-Miller, S (Aug 19, 1980). "Alkyl glycoside detergents: a simpler synthesis and their effects on kinetic and physical properties of cytochrome c oxidase". Biochemistry. 19 (17): 4108–15. doi:10.1021/bi00558a032. PMID 6250583.
  2. Alpes, H., Apell, H.-J., Knoll, G., Plattner, H. and Riek, R. (1998). "Reconstitution of Na+/K+-ATPase into phosphatidylcholine vesicles by dialysis of nonionic alkyl maltoside detergents" (PDF). Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 946 (2): 379–388. doi:10.1016/0005-2736(88)90413-0. PMID 2850005.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. VanAken, T., Foxall-VanAken, S., Castleman, S. and Ferguson-Miller, S. (1986). Alkyl glycoside detergents: Synthesis and applications to the study of membrane proteins. Methods Enzymol. Methods in Enzymology. 125. pp. 27–35. doi:10.1016/S0076-6879(86)25005-3. ISBN 9780121820251. PMID 3012259.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Strop, P. and Brunger, A T. (2005). "Refractive index-based determination of detergent concentration and its application to the study of membrane proteins". Protein Sci. 14 (8): 2207–2211. doi:10.1110/ps.051543805. PMC 2279333. PMID 16046633.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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