Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to visualize CWALP(19)23 peptides ((+)H(3)N-ACAGAWWLALALALALALALWWA-COO(-)) inserted in gel-phase DPPC and DSPC bilayers. The peptides assemble in stable linear structures and domains. A model for the organization of the peptides is given from AFM images and a 20 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Gold-coated AFM cantilevers were used to extract single peptides from the bilayer through covalent bonding to the cystein residue. Experimental and simulated force curves show two distinct force maxima. In the simulations these two maxima correspond to the extraction of the two pairs of tryptophan residues from the membrane. Unfolding of the peptide precedes extraction of the second distal set of tryptophans. To probe the energies involved, AFM force curves were obtained from 10 to 10(4) nm/s and MD force curves were simulated with 10(8)-10(11) nm/s pulling velocities (V). The velocity relationship with the force, F, was fitted to two fluctuation adhesive potential models. The first assumes the pulling produces a constant bias in the potential and predicts an F approximately ln (V) relationship. The second takes into account the ramped bias that the linker feels as it is being driven out of the adhesion complex and scales as F approximately (ln V)2/3.

Original publication




Journal article


Biophys J

Publication Date





3129 - 3140


1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, Carnitine, Cell Adhesion, Cell Membrane, Computer Simulation, Hot Temperature, Lipid Bilayers, Microscopy, Atomic Force, Models, Molecular, Molecular Conformation, Peptides, Phosphatidylcholines, Protein Denaturation, Protein Folding, Protein Structure, Secondary, Pyrenes, Spectrophotometry, Spectrum Analysis, Thermodynamics, Tryptophan