Fragility and mechanosensing in a thermalized cytoskeleton model with forced protein unfolding.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We describe a model of cytoskeletal mechanics based on the force-induced conformational change of protein cross-links in a stressed polymer network. Slow deformation of simulated networks containing cross-links that undergo repeated, serial domain unfolding leads to an unusual state-with many cross-links accumulating near the critical force for further unfolding. This state is robust to thermalization and does not occur in similar protein unbinding based simulations. Moreover, we note that the unusual configuration of near-critical protein cross-links in the fragile state provides a physical mechanism for the chemical transduction of cell-level mechanical strain and extra-cellular matrix stiffness.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hoffman, BD; Massiera, G; Crocker, JC

Published Date

  • November 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 76 / 5 Pt 1

Start / End Page

  • 051906 -

PubMed ID

  • 18233686

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-2376

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1539-3755

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/physreve.76.051906


  • eng