Schoeler, Constantin; Bernardi, Rafael C.; Malinowska, Klara H.; Durner, Ellis; Ott, Wolfgang; Bayer, Edward A.; Schulten, Klaus; Nash, Michael A.; Gaub, Hermann E.
Mapping Mechanical Force Propagation through Biomolecular Complexes
NANO LETTERS, 15:7370-7376, NOV 2015

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.


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