Moving phase boundaries in DNA and coiled-coils control mechanical response
Ritwik Raj and Prashant K. Purohit
We use a 1D continuum model with a multi-well free energy to study the sequentialunfolding of coiled-coil proteins and DNA characterized by force plateaus in theirforce-stretch response.
Coiled-coil proteins such as vimentin, desmin, lamin, etc., formintermediate filaments, which in turn, form cytoskeletal andmatrix networks. Diseases, such as, muscular dystrophy arecaused by deficient mechanical response of desmin.
We have shown that force-plateaus in the mechanical response are caused bymoving interfaces between the folded and unfolded regions of the coiled-coil protein.
Raj and Purohit, submitted to EPL, (2010).