Nanotech 2010

Polymer-based Catch Bonds for Force Sensing Targeting

H. Chen, A. Alexander-Katz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: catch bond, coarse-grained simulation, multimeric protein, von Willebrand factor, force sensing


In this study we use coarse-grained simulation to demonstrate that a multimeric protein, with self-interacting domain pairs, can display catch-bond behavior. In particular, we show that in the small force regime the two interacting domains along the protein are attached most of the time, masking the binding sites to the ligands. However, under an externally applied force the probability of detaching these domains increases, and in turn the probability to form longer lifetime ligand-receptor bonds also increases. In the large force regime, the mean lifetime is dominated by the force dependence of single ligand-receptor pairs since the two domains are detached most of the time and behave as independent bonding sites. Our results are in agreement with experimental results on the force-bond lifetimes, as well as in the force range for maximum bond lifetimes.
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