The flexibilities of extracellular loops determine ligand binding and activation of membrane receptors. Arising from fluctuations in inter- and intraproteinaceous interactions, flexibility manifests in thermal motion. Here we demonstrate that quantitative flexibility values can be extracted from directly imaging the thermal motion of membrane protein moieties using high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM). Stiffness maps of the main periplasmic loops of single reconstituted water channels (AqpZ, GlpF) revealed the spatial and temporal organization of loop-stabilizing intraproteinaceous H-bonds and salt bridges.
- high speed atomic force microscopy
- membrane proteins
- Single molecule
- Protein Structure, Secondary
- Escherichia coli Proteins/chemistry
- Microscopy, Atomic Force/methods
- Escherichia coli/chemistry