Single-molecule microscopy and force spectroscopy of membrane proteins Book Section

Author(s): Engel, Andreas; Janovjak, Harald; Fotiadis, Dimtrios; Kedrov, Alexej; Cisneros, David; Mueller, Daniel J
Article/Chapter Title: Single-molecule microscopy and force spectroscopy of membrane proteins
Abstract: Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides novel ways to characterize the structure-function relationship of native membrane proteins. High-resolution AFM topographs allow observing the structure of single proteins at sub-nanometer resolution as well as their conformational changes, oligomeric state, molecular dynamics and assembly. We will review these feasibilities illustrating examples of membrane proteins in native and reconstituted membranes. Classification of individual topographs of single proteins allows understanding the principles of motions of their extrinsic domains, to learn about their local structural flexibilities and to find the entropy minima of certain conformations. Combined with the visualization of functionally related conformational changes these insights allow understanding why certain flexibilities are required for the protein to function and how structurally flexible regions allow certain conformational changes. Complementary to AFM imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) experiments detect molecular interactions established within and between membrane proteins. The sensitivity of this method makes it possible to measure interactions that stabilize secondary structures such as transmembrane α-helices, polypeptide loops and segments within. Changes in temperature or protein-protein assembly do not change the locations of stable structural segments, but influence their stability established by collective molecular interactions. Such changes alter the probability of proteins to choose a certain unfolding pathway. Recent examples have elucidated unfolding and refolding pathways of membrane proteins as well as their energy landscapes.
Book Title: Single Molecules and Nanotechnology
Volume: 12
ISBN: 978-3-540-73923-4
Publisher: Springer  
Publication Place: Berlin, Heidelberg
Date Published: 2008-01-08
Start Page: 279
End Page: 311
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-73924-1_11
Open access: no