Measuring the Biomechanical Loosening Action of Bacterial Expansins on Paper and Plant Cell Walls

  • Daniel J. Cosgrove
  • Nathan K. Hepler
  • Edward R. Wagner
  • Daniel M. Durachko
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1588)


Expansins are proteins that loosen plant cell walls but lack enzymatic activity. Here, we describe two protocols tailored to measure the biomechanical activity of bacterial expansin. The first assay relies on weakening of filter paper by expansin. The second assay is based on induction of creep (long-term, irreversible extension) of plant cell wall samples.

Key words

Cellulose Creep Expansin Filter paper Plant cell wall Wall loosening proteins 



This work was supported by United States Department of Energy Grant DE-FG02-84ER13179 from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Cosgrove
    • 1
  • Nathan K. Hepler
    • 1
  • Edward R. Wagner
    • 1
  • Daniel M. Durachko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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