High-speed magnetic tweezers for mechanical characterization of biomolecules

Recent advances in single-molecule force spectroscopy enabled scientists to include mechanical force as another thermodynamic variable that can be precisely controlled. We developed high-speed, high-resolution magnetic tweezers that interrogate nucleic acids, proteins, and their complexes. Applications of these methods often revealed the unexpected force-dependent nature of a molecular interaction. Expanding the toolkit for mechanobiology, we will investigate the response of cells toward mechanical stimuli through a multiscale approach at the levels of signaling molecules, cytoskeleton, and cellular network.


  • Submicrometer elasticity of double-stranded DNA revealed by precision force-extension measurements with magnetic tweezers
    Min Ju Shon*†, Sang-Hyun Rah* & Tae-Young Yoon
    Sci. Adv. 5, eaav1697 (2019)
  • Watching helical membrane proteins fold reveals a common N-to-C-terminal folding pathway
    Hyun-Kyu Choi*, Duyoung Min*, Hyunook Kang*, Min Ju Shon, Sang-Hyun Rah, Hak Chan Kim, Hawoong Jeong, Hee-Jung Choi, James U. Bowie & Tae-Young Yoon
    Science 366, 1150–1156 (2019)
  • Focused clamping of a single neuronal SNARE complex by complexin under high mechanical tension
    Min Ju Shon*, Haesoo Kim* & Tae-Young Yoon
    ‎Nat. Commun 9, 3639 (2018)