Mechanoenzymatics and nanoassembly of single molecules

Elias M. Puchner, Hermann E. Gaub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


We investigated the muscle enzyme, titin kinase, by means of single- molecule force spectroscopy. Our results show that the binding of ATP, which is the first step of its signaling cascade controlling the muscle gene expression and protein turnover, is mechanically induced. The detailed determination of barrier positions in the mechanical activation pathway and the corresponding functional states allow structural insight by comparing the experiment with molecular dynamics simulations. From our results, we conclude that titin kinase acts as a natural force sensor controlling the muscle build-up. To study the interplay of functional units, we developed the single-molecule cut-and-paste technique which combines the precision of AFM with the selectivity of DNA hybridization. Functional units can be assembled one-by-one in an arbitrarily predefined pattern, with an accuracy that is better than 11 nm. The cyclic assembly process is optically monitored and mechanically recorded by force-extension traces. Using biotin as a functional unit attached to the transported DNA, patterns of binding sites may be created, to which streptavidin- modified nanoobjects like fluorescent nanoparticles can specifically self-assemble in a second step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSingle Molecule Spectroscopy in Chemistry, Physics and Biology
Subtitle of host publicationNobel Symposium
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783642025969
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Chemical Physics
ISSN (Print)0172-6218

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank S.K. Kufer, S. Stahl, M. Strackharn, H. Gumpp and M. Gautel, H. Grubmüller and their groups for collaborations and helpful discussions and SFB 486, Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) and Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM) for financial support.


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