The Mechanical Fingerprint of a Parallel Polyprotein Dimer
We use the GCN4 oligomerization domain to engineer a covalently linked parallel polyprotein dimer based on the well-studied I27 domain of titin. We use single molecule atomic force microscopy techniques to stretch single polyprotein fibers and verify their mechanical properties. We find that the engineered polyprotein dimers extend in perfect register, doubling the unfolding force and halving the persistence length while keeping the contour length increase unchanged. These experiments directly confirm the mechanical scaling laws proposed for parallel bundles of modular proteins.