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An Insight into Biomolecular Flexibility: Its Measuring, Modeling and Regulating on Function at Single Molecule Level

Jiangguo Lin1, Botao Xiao1,2, Quhuan Li1, Ying Fang1, Jianhua Wu1,*
Institute of Biomechanics/School of Biosciences and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China.
School of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China.
* Corresponding author: Jianhua Wu. Email: .

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2018, 15(1), 37-49.


The protein structure-function paradigm implies that the structure of a protein defines its function. Crystallization techniques such as X-ray, electron microscopy (EM) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) have been applied to resolve the crystal structure of numerous proteins, provided beautiful and informative models of proteins. However, proteins are not intrinsically in static state but in dynamic state, which is lack in crystal models. The protein flexibility, a key mechanical property of proteins, plays important roles in various biological processes, such as ligand-receptor interaction, signaling transduction, substrate recognition and post-translational modifications. Advanced time-resolved crystallography has been developed recent years to visualize and characterize the dynamic of proteins and reviewed in literatures. In the present review, we will focus on the single-molecule based techniques and theoretical methods in determining the flexibility of proteins, exhibit some interest examples of proteins and DNA molecular flexibility to their functions, and provide an insight in molecular flexibility from the biomechanics point of view.


Molecular flexibility, single molecule, biomechanics, DNA.

Cite This Article

Lin, J., Xiao, B., Li, Q., Fang, Y., Wu, J. (2018). An Insight into Biomolecular Flexibility: Its Measuring, Modeling and Regulating on Function at Single Molecule Level. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 15(1), 37–49.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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