AFM visualization of clathrin triskelia under fluid and in air

Svetlana Kotova, Kondury Prasad, Paul D. Smith, Eileen M. Lafer, Ralph Nossal, Albert J. Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used to characterize the structure and interactions of clathrin triskelia. Time sequence images of individual, wet triskelia resting on mica surfaces clearly demonstrate conformational fluctuations of the triskelia. AFM of dried samples yields images having nanometric resolution comparable to that obtainable by electron microscopy of shadowed samples. Increased numbers of triskelion dimers and assembly intermediates, as well as structures having dimensions similar to those of clathrin cages, are observed when the triskelia were immersed in a low salt, low pH buffer. These entities have been quantified by AFM protein volume computation. Structured summary: MINT-7299119, MINT-7299136:. Clathrin (uniprotkb:P49951) and Clathrin (uniprotkb:P49951) bind (MI:0407) by atomic force microscopy (MI:0872).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2010


  • Biological AFM
  • Clathrin triskelion
  • Endocytosis
  • Macromolecular assembly
  • Molecular flexibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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