Mechanical behavior of actin and spectrin subjected to high strain rate: A molecular dynamics simulation study

Md Ishak Khan, Sheikh Fahad Ferdous, Ashfaq Adnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent nanoscopy and super-resolution microscopy studies have substantiated the structural contribution of periodic actin-spectrin lattice to the axonal cytoskeleton of neuron. However, sufficient mechanical insight is not present for spectrin and actin-spectrin network, especially in high strain rate scenario. To quantify the mechanical behavior of actin-spectrin cytoskeleton in such conditions, this study determines individual stretching characteristics of actin and spectrin at high strain rate by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The actin-spectrin separation criteria are also determined. It is found that both actin and spectrin have high stiffness when susceptible to high strain rate and show strong dependence on applied strain rate. The stretching stiffness of actin and forced unfolding mechanism of spectrin are in harmony with the current literature. Actin-spectrin model provides novel insight into their interaction and separation stretch. It is shown that the region vulnerable to failure is the actin-spectrin interface at lower strain rate, while it is the inter-repeat region of spectrin at higher strain rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1738-1749
Number of pages12
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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