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Membranes confining cells and cellular compartments are essential for life. Membrane proteins are molecular machines that equip cell membranes with highly sophisticated functionality. Examples of such functions are signaling, ion pumping, energy conversion, molecular transport, specific ligand binding, cell adhesion and protein trafficking. However, it is(More)
Atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful tool for studying the mechanical properties, intermolecular and intramolecular interactions, unfolding pathways, and energy landscapes of membrane proteins. One limiting factor for the large-scale applicability of SMFS on membrane proteins is its low efficiency in data(More)
We used single molecule dynamic force spectroscopy to unfold individual serine/threonine antiporters SteT from Bacillus subtilis. The unfolding force patterns revealed interactions and energy barriers that stabilized structural segments of SteT. Substrate binding did not establish strong localized interactions but appeared to be facilitated by the formation(More)
Gap junction channels regulate cell-cell communication by passing metabolites, ions, and signaling molecules. Gap junction channel closure in cells by acidification is well documented; however, it is unknown whether acidification affects connexins or modulating proteins or compounds that in turn act on connexins. Protonated aminosulfonates directly inhibit(More)
Since its invention in the 1990s single-molecule force spectroscopy has been increasingly applied to study protein (unfolding g, cell adhesion, and ligand–receptor interactions. In most force spectroscopy studies, the cantilever of an atomic force microscope (AFM) is separated from a surface at a constant velocity, thus applying an increasing force to(More)
Disulfide bonds provide major contributions to the conformational stability of proteins, and their cleavage often leads to unfolding. The gene-3-protein of the filamentous phage fd contains two disulfides in its N1 domain and one in its N2 domain, and these three disulfide bonds are essential for the stability of this protein. Here, we employed in vitro(More)
Aggregation of Tau into amyloid-like fibrils is a key process in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer. To understand how natively disordered Tau stabilizes conformations that favor pathological aggregation, we applied single-molecule force spectroscopy. Intramolecular interactions that fold polypeptide stretches of ~19 and ~42 amino acids in the(More)
Corneal epithelium is maintained throughout life by well-orchestrated proliferation of limbal epithelial stem cells, followed by migration and maturation centripetally across the ocular surface. The present study sets out to explore the role tissue stiffness (compliance) may have in directing both differentiation and centripetal migration of limbal(More)
Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins play a key role during oligodendrogenesis. While fibronectin (FN) is involved in the maintenance and proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), merosin (MN) promotes differentiation into oligodendrocytes (OLs). Mechanical properties of the ECM also seem to affect OL differentiation, hence this study aimed(More)
A gating mechanism of the beta-barrel-forming outer membrane protein G (OmpG) from Escherichia coli was recently presented. The mechanism was based on X-ray structures revealed from crystals grown from solubilized OmpG at both neutral pH and acidic pH. To investigate whether these conformations represent the naturally occurring gating mechanism, we(More)