Talin, a well-known mechanosensor, is able to buffer forces through the stochastic folding and unfolding of its various rod domains. By buffering cellular forces, talin defines the physiological force range in which a number of mechanosensitive cellular processes can take place.
These findings were published in Nature Communications in 2016.
Yao M et al. The mechanical response of talin. Nature Communications. 7. 11966. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11966.
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Figure: The schematic depicts the extension of talin due to stochastic unfolding of its rod domains. The length to which each talin molecule extends depends on the forces acting on it as well as its binding to focal adhesion components like vinculin and actin cytoskeleton. However, regardless of the length of talin extension, the force across the molecule remains stable at 5-10 pN.