Stepwise unfolding of titin under force-clamp atomic force microscopy

Andres F. Oberhauser, Paul K. Hansma, Mariano Carrion-Vazquez, Julio M. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

363 Scopus citations


Here we demonstrate the implementation of a single-molecule force clamp adapted for use with an atomic force microscope. We show that under force-clamp conditions, an engineered titin protein elongates in steps because of the unfolding of its modules and that the waiting times to unfold are exponentially distributed. Force-clamp measurements directly measure the force dependence of the unfolding probability and readily captures the different mechanical stability of the 127 and 128 modules of human cardiac titin. Force-clamp spectroscopy promises to be a direct way to probe the mechanical stability of elastic proteins such as those found in muscle, the extracellular matrix, and cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-472
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Stepwise unfolding of titin under force-clamp atomic force microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this