Nonlinear Loading-Rate-Dependent Force Response of Individual Vimentin Intermediate Filaments to Applied Strain
Block, Johanna ; Witt, Hannes ; Candelli, Andrea ; Peterman, Erwin J. G. ; Wuite, Gijs J. L. ; Janshoff, Andreas ; Köster, Sarah
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17056
The mechanical properties of eukaryotic cells are to a great extent determined by the cytoskeleton, a composite network of different filamentous proteins. Among these, intermediate filaments (IFs) are exceptional in their molecular architecture and mechanical properties. Here we directly record stress-strain curves of individual vimentin IFs using optical traps and atomic force microscopy. We find a strong loading rate dependence of the mechanical response, supporting the hypothesis that IFs could serve to protect eukaryotic cells from fast, large deformations. Our experimental results show different unfolding regimes, which we can quantitatively reproduce by an elastically coupled system of multiple two-state elements.
Sponsored by EU