Mechanical force generation by G proteins

Ioan Kosztin, Robijn Bruinsma, Paul O'Lague, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GTP-hydrolyzing G proteins are molecular switches that play a critical role in cell signaling processes. Here we use molecular dynamics simulations to show that Ras, a monomeric G protein, can generate mechanical force upon hydrolysis. The generated force levels are comparable to those produced by ATP-hydrolyzing motor proteins, consistent with the structural similarities of the catalytic region of motor proteins and G proteins. The force transduction mechanism is based on an irreversible structural change, produced by the hydrolysis, which triggers thermal switching between force-generating substates through changes in the configurational space of the protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3575-3580
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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