Regular Article - Living Systems
Pincus blob elasticity in an intrinsically disordered protein
Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
2 The Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy and The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
3 The Center of Physics and Chemistry of Living Systems, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
4 Biomolecular Sciences and Engineering Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
5 Physics Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Accepted: 29 September 2023
Published online: 17 October 2023
Understanding the dynamic structure of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is important to deciphering their biological functions. Here, we exploit precision entropic elasticity measurements to infer the conformational behavior of a model IDP construct formed from the disordered tail of the neurofilament low molecular weight protein. The IDP construct notably displays a low-force power-law elastic regime, consistent with the Pincus blob model, which allows direct extraction of the Flory exponent, , from the force–extension relationship. We find increases with added denaturant, transitioning from a nearly ideal chain to a swollen chain in a manner quantitatively consistent with measurements of IDP dimensions from other experimental techniques. We suggest that measurements of entropic elasticity could be broadly useful in the study of IDP structure.
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