A protein called vinculin moves cylinder-like fingers to form a hand to which an arm extended by a protein partner called alpha-actinin can bind, according to St. Jude researchers
As a cell moves forward, physical stress on its skeleton triggers molecular fingers and arms to grasp each other in reinforcing links that stabilize the skeleton, according to images produced by investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.
The images show how a protein called alpha-actinin partly unravels its structure to free an internal molecular "arm" that reaches out to another protein, called vinculin. This triggers vinculin to partly unravel as well, freeing several molecular "fingers" that assume a shape that allows alpha-actinin to bind to its partner.
Carrie Strehlau | EurekAlert!
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