Single Molecule Probing of SNARE Proteins by Atomic Force Microscopy

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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in force spectroscopy mode has recently emerged as a technique of choice for studying mechanical interactions between the proteins of the core solubleN-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. In these experiments, the rupture force, extension, spontaneous dissociation time, and interaction energy for SNARE protein-protein interactions can be obtained at the single molecule level. These measurements, which are complementary to results and conclusions drawn from other techniques, improve our understanding of the role of the SNARE complex in exocytosis.

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