Mapping Mechanical Force Propagation through Biomolecular Complexes

Nano Lett., 2015, 15 (11), pp 7370–7376, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02727

Nano Lett., online article


Here we employ single-molecule force spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM) and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to reveal force propagation pathways through a mechanically ultrastable multidomain cellulosome protein complex. We demonstrate a new combination of network-based correlation analysis supported by AFM directional pulling experiments, which allowed us to visualize stiff paths through the protein complex along which force is transmitted. The results implicate specific force-propagation routes nonparallel to the pulling axis that are advantageous for achieving high dissociation forces.


TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry