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Force Transduction and Lipid Binding in MscL: A Continuum-Molecular Approach

Figure 2

Effects of tension on the surface traction of MscL.

The mass-density iso-contours on the left (A and D) show the surface of the protein, which defines the normal unit vector . The location of key amino acids at the lipid-water interface for MscL in a tensionless state ( bar) and under tension ( bar) has been highlighted. The traction is calculated from the local stress tensor (, see Methods) and is decomposed into a component along the direction normal to the surface, of magnitude , and a tangential component, , so that . (B) and (C) show and for the tensionless system, and similarly, (E) and (F) show the same quantities for the system under tension. The inset on the right illustrates a conceptual link between and forces induced by hydrophobic mismatch, , as well as and forces induced by lateral tension, .

Figure 2