The Wong Lab

Single-molecule Force Studies


Using techniques in single-molecule manipulation, we have illuminated a fundamental feedback mechanism that the body uses to regulate the clotting of blood. Small tensile forces, such as those experienced in the circulation, can unfold the von Willebrand factor A2 domain, enabling its cleavage by the ADAMTS13 enzyme. This, in turn varies the body’s hemostatic potential.

photo credit: Gentile

relevent group publications

X. Zhang*, K. Halvorsen*, C.-Z. Zhang, W.P. Wong^, and T.A. Springer^, “Mechanoenzymatic cleavage of the ultralarge vascular protein, von Willebrand Factor,” Science 324 (5932), 1330-1334 (2009). [pdf]

*contributed equally

^co-corresponding/senior author