A critical strand length controls the strength of beta-sheet protein structures

Sinan Keten*, Markus J. Buehler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We report a theoretical fracture mechanics framework for describing underlying physical mechanism of H-bond rupture events that control the strength of beta-sheet protein structures found in materials such as silk, muscle and amyloid fibers. Using largescale atomistic simulation and theory, we show that rupture of H-bonds assemblies is governed by geometric confinement effects, suggesting that clusters of at most 3-4 H-bonds break concurrently, even under uniform shear loading of a large number of H-bonds. This universal result leads to an intrinsic size-dependent strength limit that suggests that shorter beta-strands with less H-bonds achieve the highest shear strength, which is comparable to theoretical values obtained for metals. The asymptotical nearequilibrium strength limit predicted by our theory agrees very well with singlebiomolecule experiments on beta-proteins. Our results also explain recent experimental proteomics data, suggesting a correlation between strength and the prevalence of betastrand lengths in biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics 2008 - 2nd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, ICHMM 2008
Pages259-265
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Nov 28 2008
EventAdvances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics 2008 - 2nd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, ICHMM 2008 - Huangshan, China
Duration: Jun 3 2008Jun 8 2008

Other

OtherAdvances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics 2008 - 2nd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, ICHMM 2008
CountryChina
CityHuangshan
Period6/3/086/8/08

Keywords

  • Beta-sheet
  • H-bonds
  • Mechanics
  • Protein
  • Shear strength
  • Size-effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Chemistry

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  • Cite this

    Keten, S., & Buehler, M. J. (2008). A critical strand length controls the strength of beta-sheet protein structures. In Advances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics 2008 - 2nd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, ICHMM 2008 (pp. 259-265)