Cells exert and respond to mechanical forces, but investigating how these signals are transduced is a challenge. By measuring differential labeling of cysteines in stressed and relaxed cells, Johnson et al. identify proteins that change their structure in response to stress. Using mass spectroscopy, they determined the specific Cys residues that experience structural changes. In red blood cells, spectrin unfolds as cells are stressed, and in mesenchymal stem cells, both myosin IIA and vimentin show differential labeling in tensed versus drug-relaxed cells.
- Monitoring Cellular Mechanical Stress
Fluorescent labeling of cysteines in living cells reveals how mechanical stress can cause force-induced conformational changes in cellular proteins.Permalink: