Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy of Polycystic Kidney Disease Proteins

  • Liang Ma
  • Meixiang Xu
  • Andres F. OberhauserEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 875)


Atomic force microscopy in its single-molecule force spectroscopy mode is a nanomanipulation technique that is extensively used for the study of the mechanical properties of proteins. It is particularly suited to examine their response to stretching (i.e., molecular elasticity and mechanical stability). Here, we describe protein engineering strategies and single-molecule AFM techniques for probing protein mechanics, with special emphasis on polycystic kidney disease (PKD) proteins. We also provide step-by-step protocols for preparing proteins and performing single-molecule force measurements.

Key words

Atomic force microscopy Single-molecule force spectroscopy Protein mechanics Mechanical properties Protein elasticity Polycystic kidney disease Polycystin 



This work was funded by NIH grant R01DK073394, the John Sealy Memorial Endowment Fund for Biomedical Research, and by the Polycystic Kidney Foundation (grant 116a2r).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience and Cell BiologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular BiophysicsThe University of Texas Medical Branch at GalvestonGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular BiophysicsThe University of Texas Medical Branch at GalvestonGalvestonUSA

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