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The shapes of eukaryotic cells and ultimately the organisms that they form are defined by cycles of mechanosensing, mechanotransduction and mechanoresponse. Local sensing of force or geometry is transduced into biochemical signals that result in cell responses even for complex mechanical parameters such as substrate rigidity and cell-level form. These(More)
Titin, a 1-microm-long protein found in striated muscle myofibrils, possesses unique elastic and extensibility properties in its I-band region, which is largely composed of a PEVK region (70% proline, glutamic acid, valine, and lysine residue) and seven-strand beta-sandwich immunoglobulin-like (Ig) domains. The behavior of titin as a multistage entropic(More)
To investigate how substrate properties influence stem-cell fate, we cultured single human epidermal stem cells on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel surfaces, 0.1 kPa-2.3 MPa in stiffness, with a covalently attached collagen coating. Cell spreading and differentiation were unaffected by polydimethylsiloxane stiffness. However,(More)
Surface adhesion of bacteria generally occurs in the presence of shear stress, and the lifetime of receptor bonds is expected to be shortened in the presence of external force. However, by using Escherichia coli expressing the lectin-like adhesin FimH and guinea pig erythrocytes in flow chamber experiments, we show that bacterial attachment to target cells(More)
The 10th type III module of fibronectin possesses a beta-sandwich structure consisting of seven beta-strands (A-G) that are arranged in two antiparallel sheets. It mediates cell adhesion to surfaces via its integrin binding motif, Arg78, Gly79, and Asp80 (RGD), which is placed at the apex of the loop connecting beta-strands F and G. Steered molecular(More)
Evidence is emerging that mechanical stretching can alter the functional states of proteins. Fibronectin (Fn) is a large, extracellular matrix protein that is assembled by cells into elastic fibrils and subjected to contractile forces. Assembly into fibrils coincides with expression of biological recognition sites that are buried in Fn's soluble state. To(More)
How the integrin head transitions to the high-affinity conformation is debated. Although experiments link activation with the opening of the hinge angle between the betaA and hybrid domains in the ligand-binding headpiece, this hinge is closed in the liganded alpha(v)beta3 integrin crystal structure. We replaced the RGD peptide ligand of this structure with(More)
Experimental studies have indicated that FN-III modules undergo reversible unfolding as a mechanism of elasticity. The unfolding of FN-III modules, including the cell-binding FN-III(10) module, has further been suggested to be functionally relevant by exposing buried cryptic sites or modulating cell binding. While steered molecular dynamics (SMD)(More)
Whether mechanically unfolded fibronectin (Fn) is present within native extracellular matrix fibrils is controversial. Fn extensibility under the influence of cell traction forces has been proposed to originate either from the force-induced lengthening of an initially compact, folded quaternary structure as is found in solution (quaternary structure model,(More)
  • Viola Vogel
  • Annual review of biophysics and biomolecular…
  • 2006
Cells can sense and transduce a broad range of mechanical forces into distinct sets of biochemical signals that ultimately regulate cellular processes, including adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Deciphering at the nanoscale the design principles by which sensory elements are integrated into structural protein motifs whose(More)