AFM-Based Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy of Proteins.
Single-molecule force spectroscopy by AFM (AFM-SMFS) is an experimental methodology that allows unequivocal sensitivity and control for investigating and manipulating the mechanical properties of single molecules. The past 20 years of AFM-SMFS has provided numerous breakthroughs in the understanding of the mechanical properties and force-induced structural rearrangements of sugars, DNA, and proteins. Here, we focus on the application of AFM-SMFS to study proteins, since AFM-SMFS has succeeded in providing abundant information about protein folding pathways, kinetics, interactions, and misfolding. In this chapter we describe the experimental procedures for conducting a SMFS-AFM experiment-including purification of protein samples, setup and calibration of the AFM instrumentation, and the thorough and unbiased analysis of resulting AFM data.
Scholl, ZN; Marszalek, PE
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