Strength and lifetime of the bond between actin and skeletal muscle α-actinin studied with an optical trapping technique

Hidetake Miyata*, Ryohei Yasuda, Kazuhiko Kinosita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The force required to break the bond between skeletal muscle actin and α-actinin (unbinding force) was measured at the level of individual molecules with an optical trapping technique. An actin filament, to the barbed-end of which was attached a gelsolin-coated polystyrene bead, was bound to α-actinin molecules adsorbed to a nitrocellulose-coated glass surface (~ 1 α-actinin molecule per 1 μm actin filament). The filament-bound bead was held by the optical trap and the force was applied to break the bond by pulling the bead. The unbinding force ranged from 1.4 to 44 pN. The average magnitude of the force was ~ 18 pN. As the probability of the bond breakage has been suggested to be governed by the magnitude of the external force, the relationship was studied between the magnitude of the unbinding force and the time required to break the bond (unbinding time). The unbinding time ranged from ~ 0.1 to ~ 20 seconds, and tended to become shorter as the unbinding force became larger. The unbinding time seemed to be classifiable into two major groups: one group having a time value of 1 sec or less and the other having a time value ranging from several to 20 seconds. This suggests the existence of at least two classes of the actin-actinin bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996 May 21
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin-actinin bond
  • Bond lifetime
  • Intermolecular force
  • Surface denaturation
  • Unbinding force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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