Direct visualization of polypeptide shell of ferritin molecule by atomic force microscopy

S. Ohnishi, M. Hara, T. Furuno, T. Okada, H. Sasabe

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Abstract

The polypeptide shell of the ferritin molecule has been imaged in water by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The central dip and the quaternary structure could be observed on the surface of the ferritin molecule anchored inhomogeneously in two dimensions. These structures observed in the AFM images are quite similar to the electron density map near the top of the apoferritin viewed down from a 4-fold axis structure reported previously (S. H. Banyard, D. K. Stammers, and P. M. Harrison, 1978. Nature (Lond.). 271:282–284). It has been achieved by introducing a "self-screening effect" of the surface charges of the AFM sample (S. Ohnishi, M. Hara, T. Furuno, and H. Sasabe. 1992. Biophys. J. 63:1425–1431) and the specially sharpened stylus of AFM cantilever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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