Force spectroscopy of cell adhesion molecules

Andres F. Oberhauser, Piotr E. Marszalek, Mariano Carrion-Vazquez, Julio M. Fernandez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Cellular adhesion molecules are placed under force during the highly specific mechanical interactions that occur between proteins of the cell surface and extracellular matrix. In our laboratory we have developed atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques to study the elastic properties of the extracellular matrix proteins at the single molecule level. We demonstrate that extracellular matrix proteins are elastic and that this elasticity involves reversible unfolding of single protein domains. Our data suggest that domain unfolding/refolding could be an important determinant of elasticity in extracellular matrix proteins and that the elastic properties of proteins could play role in cell-cell interactions. Furthermore, we have used protein engineering to construct tandem repeats of a single protein module and stretch it with the AFM. This strategy has allowed us to directly measure the unfolding and refolding rates of a single protein domain. We have compared these rates with chemical folding rates for untethered modules and found that the unfolding rates obtained by the two methods are the same. Our results demonstrate AFM as a unique tool to study the folding reactions of single protein domains and examine in unprecedented detail the molecular basis of protein elasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)0780356756
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 21st Annual Conference and the 1999 Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (1st Joint BMES / EMBS) - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Oct 13 1999Oct 16 1999

Publication series

NameAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
Volume2
ISSN (Print)0589-1019

Other

OtherProceedings of the 1999 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 21st Annual Conference and the 1999 Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (1st Joint BMES / EMBS)
CityAtlanta, GA, USA
Period10/13/9910/16/99

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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