Institute for Medicine and Engineering Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

October 2002


Postprint version. Published in FEBS Letters, Volume 531, Issue 3, October 2002, pages 397-401
Publisher URL:


Lateral projections of neuro¢laments (NF) called sidearms (SA) a¡ect axon stability and caliber. SA phosphorylation is thought to modulate inter-NF distance and interactions between NF and other subcellular organelles. SA were probed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) as a function of phosphorylation and ATP content. DLS shows SA are larger when phosphorylated, and AFM shows four unfoldable domains in SA regardless of phosphorylation state or the presence of ATP. However, the native phosphorylated SA requires three-fold higher force to unfold by AFM than dephosphorylated SA, suggesting a less pliant as well as larger structure when phosphorylated.


neurofilament, sidearm, phosphorylation, intermediate filament



Date Posted: 27 July 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.