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Sample records for mechanical single molecule

  1. Mechanical studies on single molecules: general considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Elements of molecular biology * Advantages and drawbacks of single molecule studies * Order of magnitude of the relevant parameters at the single molecule level * Single molecule manipulation techniques * Comparison of the different techniques * DNA mechanical properties * Conclusion * Bibliography

  2. Single-molecule studies of collagen mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, Nancy; Rezaei, Naghmeh; Kirkness, Michael

    Collagen is the fundamental structural protein in vertebrates. Its triple helical structure at the molecular level is believed to be strongly related to its mechanical role in connective tissues. However, the mechanics of collagen at the single-molecule level remain contentious. Estimates of its persistence length span an order of magnitude, from 15-180 nm for this biopolymer of 300 nm contour length. How collagen responds to applied force is also controversial, with different single-molecule studies suggesting one of three different responses: extending entropically, overwinding, or unwinding, all at forces below 10 pN. Using atomic force microscopy to image collagens deposited from solution, we find that their flexibility depends strongly on ionic strength and pH. To study force-dependent structural changes, we are performing highly parallelized enzymatic cleavage assays of triple helical collagen in our new compact centrifuge force microscope. Because proteolytic cleavage requires a locally unwound triple helix, these experiments are revealing how local collagen structure changes in response to applied force. Our results can help to resolve long-standing debates about collagen mechanics and structure at the molecular level.

  3. Protein mechanics: from single molecules to functional biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongbin; Cao, Yi

    2010-10-19

    Elastomeric proteins act as the essential functional units in a wide variety of biomechanical machinery and serve as the basic building blocks for biological materials that exhibit superb mechanical properties. These proteins provide the desired elasticity, mechanical strength, resilience, and toughness within these materials. Understanding the mechanical properties of elastomeric protein-based biomaterials is a multiscale problem spanning from the atomistic/molecular level to the macroscopic level. Uncovering the design principles of individual elastomeric building blocks is critical both for the scientific understanding of multiscale mechanics of biomaterials and for the rational engineering of novel biomaterials with desirable mechanical properties. The development of single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques has provided methods for characterizing mechanical properties of elastomeric proteins one molecule at a time. Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) is uniquely suited to this purpose. Molecular dynamic simulations, protein engineering techniques, and single-molecule AFM study have collectively revealed tremendous insights into the molecular design of single elastomeric proteins, which can guide the design and engineering of elastomeric proteins with tailored mechanical properties. Researchers are focusing experimental efforts toward engineering artificial elastomeric proteins with mechanical properties that mimic or even surpass those of natural elastomeric proteins. In this Account, we summarize our recent experimental efforts to engineer novel artificial elastomeric proteins and develop general and rational methodologies to tune the nanomechanical properties of elastomeric proteins at the single-molecule level. We focus on general design principles used for enhancing the mechanical stability of proteins. These principles include the development of metal-chelation-based general methodology, strategies to control the unfolding hierarchy of

  4. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2015-01-01

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions. PMID:26112999

  5. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions. PMID:26112999

  6. Single molecule insights on conformational selection and induced fit mechanism.

    PubMed

    Hatzakis, Nikos S

    2014-02-01

    Biomolecular interactions regulate a plethora of vital cellular processes, including signal transduction, metabolism, catalysis and gene regulation. Regulation is encoded in the molecular properties of the constituent proteins; distinct conformations correspond to different functional outcomes. To describe the molecular basis of this behavior, two main mechanisms have been advanced: 'induced fit' and 'conformational selection'. Our understanding of these models relies primarily on NMR, computational studies and kinetic measurements. These techniques report the average behavior of a large ensemble of unsynchronized molecules, often masking intrinsic dynamic behavior of proteins and biologically significant transient intermediates. Single molecule measurements are emerging as a powerful tool for characterizing protein function. They offer the direct observation and quantification of the activity, abundance and lifetime of multiple states and transient intermediates in the energy landscape, that are typically averaged out in non-synchronized ensemble measurements. Here we survey new insights from single molecule studies that advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying biomolecular recognition. PMID:24342874

  7. Mechanics and Single-Molecule Interrogation of DNA Recombination.

    PubMed

    Bell, Jason C; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C

    2016-06-01

    The repair of DNA by homologous recombination is an essential, efficient, and high-fidelity process that mends DNA lesions formed during cellular metabolism; these lesions include double-stranded DNA breaks, daughter-strand gaps, and DNA cross-links. Genetic defects in the homologous recombination pathway undermine genomic integrity and cause the accumulation of gross chromosomal abnormalities-including rearrangements, deletions, and aneuploidy-that contribute to cancer formation. Recombination proceeds through the formation of joint DNA molecules-homologously paired but metastable DNA intermediates that are processed by several alternative subpathways-making recombination a versatile and robust mechanism to repair damaged chromosomes. Modern biophysical methods make it possible to visualize, probe, and manipulate the individual molecules participating in the intermediate steps of recombination, revealing new details about the mechanics of genetic recombination. We review and discuss the individual stages of homologous recombination, focusing on common pathways in bacteria, yeast, and humans, and place particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms illuminated by single-molecule methods. PMID:27088880

  8. Single-molecule mechanics of protein-labelled DNA handles

    PubMed Central

    Wruck, Florian

    2016-01-01

    Summary DNA handles are often used as spacers and linkers in single-molecule experiments to isolate and tether RNAs, proteins, enzymes and ribozymes, amongst other biomolecules, between surface-modified beads for nanomechanical investigations. Custom DNA handles with varying lengths and chemical end-modifications are readily and reliably synthesized en masse, enabling force spectroscopic measurements with well-defined and long-lasting mechanical characteristics under physiological conditions over a large range of applied forces. Although these chemically tagged DNA handles are widely used, their further individual modification with protein receptors is less common and would allow for additional flexibility in grabbing biomolecules for mechanical measurements. In-depth information on reliable protocols for the synthesis of these DNA–protein hybrids and on their mechanical characteristics under varying physiological conditions are lacking in literature. Here, optical tweezers are used to investigate different protein-labelled DNA handles in a microfluidic environment under different physiological conditions. Digoxigenin (DIG)-dsDNA-biotin handles of varying sizes (1000, 3034 and 4056 bp) were conjugated with streptavidin or neutravidin proteins. The DIG-modified ends of these hybrids were bound to surface-modified polystyrene (anti-DIG) beads. Using different physiological buffers, optical force measurements showed consistent mechanical characteristics with long dissociation times. These protein-modified DNA hybrids were also interconnected in situ with other tethered biotinylated DNA molecules. Electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) imaging control experiments revealed that quantum dot–streptavidin conjugates at the end of DNA handles remain freely accessible. The experiments presented here demonstrate that handles produced with our protein–DNA labelling procedure are excellent candidates for grasping single molecules exposing tags suitable for molecular recognition

  9. Electrical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Nongjian

    2014-08-20

    The specific aims of the prior DOE grant are to determine the stability of a single molecule bound to two electrodes, study local heating in single molecule junctions due to electron-phonon and electron-electron interactions, measure electron-phonon interactions in single molecule wires; and explore piezoelectric properties of single molecules. We have completed all the major tasks, and also expanded naturally the scope of the project to address several other critical issues in single molecule properties, developed new experimental capabilities, and observed a number of unexpected phenomena. We summarized here some of the findings that are most relevant to the present renewal proposal. More details can be found in the publications resulted from this grant and annual progress reports.

  10. Structure and mechanics of proteins from single molecules to cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Andre E.

    2009-07-01

    Physical factors drive evolution and play important roles in motility and attachment as well as in differentiation. As animal cells adhere to survive, they generate force and "feel" various mechanical features of their surroundings and respond to externally applied forces. This mechanosensitivity requires a substrate for cells to adhere to and a mechanism for cells to apply force, followed by a cellular response to the mechanical properties of the substrate. We have taken an outside-in approach to characterize several aspects of cellular mechanosensitivity. First, we used single molecule force spectroscopy to measure how fibrinogen, an extracellular matrix protein that forms the scaffold of blood clots, responds to applied force and found that it rapidly unfolds in 23 nm steps at forces around 100 pN. Second, we used tensile testing to measure the force-extension behavior of fibrin gels and found that they behave almost linearly to strains of over 100%, have extensibilities of 170 +/- 15%, and undergo a large volume decrease that corresponds to a large and negative peak in compressibility at low strain, which indicates a structural transition. Using electron microscopy and X-ray scattering we concluded that these properties are likely due to coiled-coil unfolding, as observed at the single molecule level in fibrinogen. Moving inside cells, we used total internal reflection fluorescence and atomic force microscopy to image self-assembled myosin filaments. These filaments of motor proteins that are responsible for cell and muscle contractility were found to be asymmetric, with an average of 32% more force generating heads on one half than the other. This could imply a force imbalance, so that rather than being simply contractile, myosin filaments may also be motile in cells.

  11. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis. PMID:26906294

  12. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis. PMID:26906294

  13. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis.

  14. Single-Molecule Manipulation Studies of a Mechanically Activated Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botello, Eric; Harris, Nolan; Choi, Huiwan; Bergeron, Angela; Dong, Jing-Fei; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2009-10-01

    Plasma von Willebrand factor (pVWF) is the largest multimeric adhesion ligand found in human blood and must be adhesively activated by exposure to shear stress, like at sites of vascular injury, to initiate blood clotting. Sheared pVWF (sVWF) will undergo a conformational change from a loose tangled coil to elongated strings forming adhesive fibers by binding with other sVWF. VWF's adhesion activity is also related to its length, with the ultra-large form of VWF (ULVWF) being hyper-actively adhesive without exposure to shear stress; it has also been shown to spontaneously form fibers. We used single molecule manipulation techniques with the AFM to stretch pVWF, sVWF and ULVWF and monitor the forces as a function of molecular extension. We showed a similar increase in resistance to unfolding for sVWF and ULVWF when compared to pVWF. This mechanical resistance to forced unfolding is reduced when other molecules known to disrupt their fibril formation are present. Our results show that sVWF and ULVWF domains unfold at higher forces than pVWF, which is consistent with the hypothesis that shear stress induces lateral association that alters adhesion activity of pVWF.

  15. Two mechanisms for fluorescence intermittency of single violamine R molecules.

    PubMed

    Riley, Erin A; Bingham, Chris; Bott, Eric D; Kahr, Bart; Reid, Philip J

    2011-02-01

    The environment and temperature-dependent photoluminescence (PL) intermittency or "blinking" demonstrated by single violamine R (VR) molecules is investigated in two environments: poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVOH) and single crystals of potassium acid phthalate (KAP). In addition, temperatures ranging from 23 °C to 85 °C are studied, spanning the glass-transition temperature of PVOH (T(g) = 72 °C). The PL intermittency exhibited by VR is analyzed using probability histograms of emissive and non-emissive periods. In both PVOH and KAP, these histograms are best fit by a power law, consistent with the kinetics for dark state production and decay being dispersed as observed in previous studies. However, these systems have different temperature dependences, signifying two different blinking mechanisms for VR. In PVOH, the on- and off-event probability histograms do not vary with temperature, consistent with electron transfer via tunneling between VR and the polymer. In KAP the same histograms are temperature dependent, and show that blinking slows down at higher temperatures. This result is inconsistent with an electron-transfer process being responsible for blinking. Instead, a non-adiabatic proton-transfer between VR and KAP is presented as a model consistent with this temperature dependence. In summary, the results presented here demonstrate that for a given luminophore, the photochemical processes responsible for PL intermittency can change with environment. PMID:21218221

  16. Mechanisms of small molecule-DNA interactions probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Almaqwashi, Ali A; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C

    2016-05-19

    There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA-ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules. PMID:27085806

  17. Identifying Mechanisms of Interfacial Dynamics Using Single-Molecule Tracking

    PubMed Central

    Kastantin, Mark; Walder, Robert; Schwartz, Daniel K.

    2012-01-01

    The “soft” (i.e. non-covalent) interactions between molecules and surfaces are complex and highly-varied (e.g. hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, ionic) often leading to heterogeneous interfacial behavior. Heterogeneity can arise either from spatial variation of the surface/interface itself or from molecular configurations (i.e. conformation, orientation, aggregation state, etc.). By observing adsorption, diffusion, and desorption of individual fluorescent molecules, single-molecule tracking can characterize these types of heterogeneous interfacial behavior in ways that are inaccessible to traditional ensemble-averaged methods. Moreover, the fluorescence intensity or emission wavelength (in resonance energy transfer experiments) can be used to simultaneously track molecular configuration and directly relate this to the resulting interfacial mobility or affinity. In this feature article, we review recent advances involving the use of single-molecule tracking to characterize heterogeneous molecule-surface interactions including: multiple modes of diffusion and desorption associated with both internal and external molecular configuration, Arrhenius activated interfacial transport, spatially dependent interactions, and many more. PMID:22716995

  18. Conduction mechanisms in biphenyl dithiol single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bürkle, M.; Viljas, J. K.; Vonlanthen, D.; Mishchenko, A.; Schön, G.; Mayor, M.; Wandlowski, T.; Pauly, F.

    2012-02-01

    Based on density-functional theory calculations, we report a detailed study of the single-molecule charge-transport properties for a series of recently synthesized biphenyl-dithiol molecules [D. Vonlanthen , Angew. Chem., Int. Ed.1433-785110.1002/anie.200903946 48, 8886 (2009); A. Mishchenko , Nano Lett.NALEFD1530-698410.1021/nl903084b 10, 156 (2010)]. The torsion angle ϕ between the two phenyl rings, and hence the degree of π conjugation, is controlled by alkyl chains and methyl side groups. We consider three different coordination geometries, namely, top-top, bridge-bridge, and hollow-hollow, with the terminal sulfur atoms bound to one, two, and three gold surface atoms, respectively. Our calculations show that different coordination geometries give rise to conductances that vary by one order of magnitude for the same molecule. Irrespective of the coordination geometries, the charge transport calculations predict a cos2ϕ dependence of the conductance, which is confirmed by our experimental measurements. We demonstrate that the calculated transmission through biphenyl dithiols is typically dominated by a single transmission eigenchannel formed from π electrons. For perpendicular orientation of the rings a residual conductance arises from σ-π couplings. But only for a single molecule with a completely broken conjugation we find a nearly perfect degeneracy of the σ-π eigenchannels for the hollow-hollow-type contact in our theory.

  19. Single Molecule Spectrin Mechanics in Relation to in Situ Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Discher, Dennis; Kwok, Carol; Lee, James; Carl, Philippe

    2000-03-01

    Spectrin is the principal biopolymer of the membrane network which underlies and critically fortifies the red cell against shear. Recent AFM experiments show that an individual spectrin molecule is worm-like in its non-linear elasticity and extensible up to and beyond the point of domain unfolding. Importantly, spectrin's folded contour length of 200 nm is, upon unfolding, increased more than sixfold. To capture some of this molecule's mechanical behavior and with an eye on equilibrium responses, coarse-grained statistical mechanical models have been developed at various length scales. Complementary cell manipulations provide further insight into the possibility that spectrin unfolding does occur as a red cell is pushed and pulled upon.

  20. Single Molecule Mechanical Probing of the SNARE Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Liu, W.; Montana, Vedrana; Bai, Jihong; Chapman, Edwin R.; Mohideen, U.; Parpura, Vladimir

    2006-01-01

    Exocytotic release of neurotransmitters is mediated by the ternary soluble N-ethyl maleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) complex, comprised of syntaxin (Sx), synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP25), and synaptobrevin 2 (Sb2). Since exocytosis involves the nonequilibrium process of association and dissociation of bonds between molecules of the SNARE complex, dynamic measurements at the single molecule level are necessary for a detailed understanding of these interactions. To address this issue, we used the atomic force microscope in force spectroscopy mode to show from single molecule investigations of the SNARE complex, that Sx1A and Sb2 are zippered throughout their entire SNARE domains without the involvement of SNAP25. When SNAP25B is present in the complex, it creates a local interaction at the 0 (ionic) layer by cuffing Sx1A and Sb2. Force loading rate studies indicate that the ternary complex interaction is more stable than the Sx1A-Sb2 interaction. PMID:16648158

  1. Mechanics of single kinesin molecules measured by optical trapping nanometry.

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, H; Muto, E; Higuchi, H; Yanagida, T

    1997-01-01

    We have analyzed the mechanics of individual kinesin molecules by optical trapping nanometry. A kinesin molecule was adsorbed onto a latex bead, which was captured by an optical trap and brought into contact with an axoneme that was bound to a glass surface. The displacement of kinesin during force generation was determined by measuring the position of the beads with nanometer accuracy. As the displacement of kinesin was attenuated because of the compliance of the kinesin-to-bead and kinesin-to-microtubule linkages, the compliance was monitored during force generation and was used to correct the displacement of kinesin. Thus the velocity and the unitary steps could be obtained accurately over a wide force range. The force-velocity curves were linear from 0 to a maximum force at 10 microM and 1 mM ATP, and the maximum force was approximately 7 pN, which is larger by approximately 30% than values previously reported. Kinesin exhibited forward and occasionally backward stepwise displacements with a size of approximately 8 nm. The histograms of step dwell time show a monotonic decrease with time. Model calculations indicate that each kinesin head steps by 16-nm, whereas kinesin molecule steps by 8-nm. Images FIGURE 4 FIGURE 8 PMID:9336196

  2. Single molecule studies reveal new mechanisms for microtubule severing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer; Diaz-Valencia, Juan Daniel; Morelli, Margaret; Zhang, Dong; Sharp, David

    2011-03-01

    Microtubule-severing enzymes are hexameric complexes made from monomeric enzyme subunits that remove tubulin dimers from the microtubule lattice. Severing proteins are known to remodel the cytoskeleton during interphase and mitosis, and are required in proper axon morphology and mammalian bone and cartilage development. We have performed the first single molecule imaging to determine where and how severing enzymes act to cut microtubules. We have focused on the original member of the group, katanin, and the newest member, fidgetin to compare their biophysical activities in vitro. We find that, as expected, severing proteins localize to areas of activity. Interestingly, the association is very brief: they do not stay bound nor do they bind cooperatively at active sites. The association duration changes with the nucleotide content, implying that the state in the catalytic cycle dictates binding affinity with the microtubule. We also discovered that, at lower concentrations, both katanin and fidgetin can depolymerize taxol-stabilized microtubules by removing terminal dimers. These studies reveal the physical regulation schemes to control severing activity in cells, and ultimately regulate cytoskeletal architecture. This work is supported by the March of Dimes Grant #5-FY09-46.

  3. Controlled switching of single-molecule junctions by mechanical motion of a phenyl ring.

    PubMed

    Kitaguchi, Yuya; Habuka, Satoru; Okuyama, Hiroshi; Hatta, Shinichiro; Aruga, Tetsuya; Frederiksen, Thomas; Paulsson, Magnus; Ueba, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical methods for single-molecule control have potential for wide application in nanodevices and machines. Here we demonstrate the operation of a single-molecule switch made functional by the motion of a phenyl ring, analogous to the lever in a conventional toggle switch. The switch can be actuated by dual triggers, either by a voltage pulse or by displacement of the electrode, and electronic manipulation of the ring by chemical substitution enables rational control of the on-state conductance. Owing to its simple mechanics, structural robustness, and chemical accessibility, we propose that phenyl rings are promising components in mechanical molecular devices. PMID:26665080

  4. Controlled switching of single-molecule junctions by mechanical motion of a phenyl ring

    PubMed Central

    Kitaguchi, Yuya; Habuka, Satoru; Hatta, Shinichiro; Aruga, Tetsuya; Paulsson, Magnus; Ueba, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mechanical methods for single-molecule control have potential for wide application in nanodevices and machines. Here we demonstrate the operation of a single-molecule switch made functional by the motion of a phenyl ring, analogous to the lever in a conventional toggle switch. The switch can be actuated by dual triggers, either by a voltage pulse or by displacement of the electrode, and electronic manipulation of the ring by chemical substitution enables rational control of the on-state conductance. Owing to its simple mechanics, structural robustness, and chemical accessibility, we propose that phenyl rings are promising components in mechanical molecular devices. PMID:26665080

  5. Nanoengineering a single-molecule mechanical switch using DNA self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halvorsen, Ken; Schaak, Diane; Wong, Wesley P.

    2011-12-01

    The ability to manipulate and observe single biological molecules has led to both fundamental scientific discoveries and new methods in nanoscale engineering. A common challenge in many single-molecule experiments is reliably linking molecules to surfaces, and identifying their interactions. We have met this challenge by nanoengineering a novel DNA-based linker that behaves as a force-activated switch, providing a molecular signature that can eliminate errant data arising from non-specific and multiple interactions. By integrating a receptor and ligand into a single piece of DNA using DNA self-assembly, a single tether can be positively identified by force-extension behavior, and receptor-ligand unbinding easily identified by a sudden increase in tether length. Additionally, under proper conditions the exact same pair of molecules can be repeatedly bound and unbound. Our approach is simple, versatile and modular, and can be easily implemented using standard commercial reagents and laboratory equipment. In addition to improving the reliability and accuracy of force measurements, this single-molecule mechanical switch paves the way for high-throughput serial measurements, single-molecule on-rate studies, and investigations of population heterogeneity.

  6. Mechanism of transcriptional repression at a bacterial promoter by analysis of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Alvaro; Osborne, Melisa L; Friedman, Larry J; Kondev, Jane; Gelles, Jeff

    2011-10-01

    The molecular basis for regulation of lactose metabolism in Escherichia coli is well studied. Nonetheless, the physical mechanism by which the Lac repressor protein prevents transcription of the lactose promoter remains unresolved. Using multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, we visualized individual complexes of fluorescently tagged RNA polymerase holoenzyme bound to promoter DNA. Quantitative analysis of the single-molecule observations, including use of a novel statistical partitioning approach, reveals highly kinetically stable binding of polymerase to two different sites on the DNA, only one of which leads to transcription. Addition of Lac repressor directly demonstrates that bound repressor prevents the formation of transcriptionally productive open promoter complexes; discrepancies in earlier studies may be attributable to transcriptionally inactive polymerase binding. The single-molecule statistical partitioning approach is broadly applicable to elucidating mechanisms of regulatory systems including those that are kinetically rather than thermodynamically controlled. PMID:21829165

  7. Rigid DNA beams for high-resolution single-molecule mechanics.

    PubMed

    Pfitzner, Emanuel; Wachauf, Christian; Kilchherr, Fabian; Pelz, Benjamin; Shih, William M; Rief, Matthias; Dietz, Hendrik

    2013-07-22

    Bridging the gap: Rigid DNA linkers (blue, see picture) between microspheres (green) for high-resolution single-molecule mechanical experiments were constructed using DNA origami. The resulting DNA helical bundles greatly reduce the noise generated in studies of conformation changes using optical tweezers and were applied to study small DNA secondary structures. PMID:23794413

  8. Kinetics of small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells measured with mechanical amplification

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yan; Shan, Xiaonan; Zhang, Fenni; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hong-Yuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-01

    Measuring small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells is critical for understanding many cellular processes and for screening drugs. However, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge. We show that molecular interactions with membrane proteins induce a mechanical deformation in the cellular membrane, and real-time monitoring of the deformation with subnanometer resolution allows quantitative analysis of small molecule–membrane protein interaction kinetics in single cells. This new strategy provides mechanical amplification of small binding signals, making it possible to detect small molecule interactions with membrane proteins. This capability, together with spatial resolution, also allows the study of the heterogeneous nature of cells by analyzing the interaction kinetics variability between different cells and between different regions of a single cell. PMID:26601298

  9. A simple DNA handle attachment method for single molecule mechanical manipulation experiments.

    PubMed

    Min, Duyoung; Arbing, Mark A; Jefferson, Robert E; Bowie, James U

    2016-08-01

    Manipulating single molecules and systems of molecules with mechanical force is a powerful technique to examine their physical properties. Applying force requires attachment of the target molecule to larger objects using some sort of molecular tether, such as a strand of DNA. DNA handle attachment often requires difficult manipulations of the target molecule, which can preclude attachment to unstable, hard to obtain, and/or large, complex targets. Here we describe a method for covalent DNA handle attachment to proteins that simply requires the addition of a preprepared reagent to the protein and a short incubation. The handle attachment method developed here provides a facile approach for studying the biomechanics of biological systems. PMID:27222403

  10. Single-Molecule Imaging to Characterize the Transport Mechanism of the Nuclear Pore Complex.

    PubMed

    Jeremy, Grace; Stevens, James; Lowe, Alan R

    2016-01-01

    In the eukaryotic cell, a large macromolecular channel, known as the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC), mediates all molecular transport between the nucleus and cytoplasm. In recent years, single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) imaging has emerged as a powerful tool to study the molecular mechanism of transport through the NPC. More recently, techniques such as single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) have enabled the spatial and temporal distribution of cargos, transport receptors and even structural components of the NPC to be determined with nanometre accuracy. In this protocol, we describe a method to study the position and/or motion of individual molecules transiting through the NPC with high spatial and temporal precision. PMID:27283299

  11. Tuning the Thermoelectric Properties of a Single-Molecule Junction by Mechanical Stretching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontes, Renato; Torres, Alberto; da Silva, Antonio J. R.; Fazzio, Adalberto

    2015-03-01

    We theoretically investigate, as a function of the stretching, the behaviour of the thermoelectric properties - Seebeck coefficient (S), the electronic heat conductance (κel) and the figure of merit (ZT) - of a molecule-based junction composed by benzene-1,4-dithiol molecule (BDT) coupled to Au(111) surfaces at room temperature. We show that the thermoelectric properties of a single molecule junction can be tuned by mechanic stretching. The Seebeck coefficient is positive, indicating that it is dominated by the HOMO. Furthermore, it increases as the HOMO level, which is associated to the sulphur atom, goes to energies close to the Fermi energy. By modelling the transmission coefficient of the system as a single lorentzian peak, we propose a scheme to obtain the maximum ZT of any molecular junction. The authors thank the Brazilian funding agencies CNPq, CAPES and FAPESP. We also thank CENAPAD-SP for the computational facilities.

  12. Identifying the Mechanism for Amyloid Formation Using Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messina, Troy

    2005-03-01

    We are investigating the mechanism for the initial stages of protein self-assembly leading to amyloid growth using single molecule spectroscopy (SMS). β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) has been shown to form amyloid under denaturing conditions and has been chosen as a model protein for this study. Initial bulk experiments have been performed utilizing dynamic light scattering along with steady state and time-resolved fluorescence of conformationally sensitive fluorophores, and a preliminary mechanism of amyloid growth has been formulated. However, SMS directly identifies critical intermediates that may only be hypothesized by bulk experiments. A single molecule imaging experiment utilizing incubated samples of mono-labeled TMR-(β-LG) has been designed to count number of precursor monomers per aggregate species by counting the number of photobleaching steps required to extinguish a single particle's fluorescence. The time evolution of the particle number distribution is fit to a kinetic model representing a mechanism of amyloid growth. Results of bulk and single-molecule experiments will be discussed.

  13. Drug transport mechanism of P-glycoprotein monitored by single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, S.; Verhalen, B.; Zarrabi, N.; Wilkens, S.; Börsch, M.

    2011-03-01

    In this work we monitor the catalytic mechanism of P-glycoprotein (Pgp) using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Pgp, a member of the ATP binding cassette family of transport proteins, is found in the plasma membrane of animal cells where it is involved in the ATP hydrolysis driven export of hydrophobic molecules. When expressed in the plasma membrane of cancer cells, the transport activity of Pgp can lead to the failure of chemotherapy by excluding the mostly hydrophobic drugs from the interior of the cell. Despite ongoing effort, the catalytic mechanism by which Pgp couples MgATP binding and hydrolysis to translocation of drug molecules across the lipid bilayer is poorly understood. Using site directed mutagenesis, we have introduced cysteine residues for fluorescence labeling into different regions of the nucleotide binding domains (NBDs) of Pgp. Double-labeled single Pgp molecules showed fluctuating FRET efficiencies during drug stimulated ATP hydrolysis suggesting that the NBDs undergo significant movements during catalysis. Duty cycle-optimized alternating laser excitation (DCO-ALEX) is applied to minimize FRET artifacts and to select the appropriate molecules. The data show that Pgp is a highly dynamic enzyme that appears to fluctuate between at least two major conformations during steady state turnover.

  14. Towards single molecule switches.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia Lin; Zhong, Jian Qiang; Lin, Jia Dan; Hu, Wen Ping; Wu, Kai; Xu, Guo Qin; Wee, Andrew T S; Chen, Wei

    2015-05-21

    The concept of using single molecules as key building blocks for logic gates, diodes and transistors to perform basic functions of digital electronic devices at the molecular scale has been explored over the past decades. However, in addition to mimicking the basic functions of current silicon devices, molecules often possess unique properties that have no parallel in conventional materials and promise new hybrid devices with novel functions that cannot be achieved with equivalent solid-state devices. The most appealing example is the molecular switch. Over the past decade, molecular switches on surfaces have been intensely investigated. A variety of external stimuli such as light, electric field, temperature, tunneling electrons and even chemical stimulus have been used to activate these molecular switches between bistable or even multiple states by manipulating molecular conformations, dipole orientations, spin states, charge states and even chemical bond formation. The switching event can occur either on surfaces or in break junctions. The aim of this review is to highlight recent advances in molecular switches triggered by various external stimuli, as investigated by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM) and the break junction technique. We begin by presenting the molecular switches triggered by various external stimuli that do not provide single molecule selectivity, referred to as non-selective switching. Special focus is then given to selective single molecule switching realized using the LT-STM tip on surfaces. Single molecule switches operated by different mechanisms are reviewed and discussed. Finally, molecular switches embedded in self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) and single molecule junctions are addressed. PMID:25757483

  15. Electrical properties and mechanical stability of anchoring groups for single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Frisenda, Riccardo; Tarkuç, Simge; Galán, Elena; Perrin, Mickael L; Eelkema, Rienk; Grozema, Ferdinand C; van der Zant, Herre S J

    2015-01-01

    We report on an experimental investigation of transport through single molecules, trapped between two gold nano-electrodes fabricated with the mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) technique. The four molecules studied share the same core structure, namely oligo(phenylene ethynylene) (OPE3), while having different aurophilic anchoring groups: thiol (SAc), methyl sulfide (SMe), pyridyl (Py) and amine (NH2). The focus of this paper is on the combined characterization of the electrical and mechanical properties determined by the anchoring groups. From conductance histograms we find that thiol anchored molecules provide the highest conductance; a single-level model fit to current-voltage characteristics suggests that SAc groups exhibit a higher electronic coupling to the electrodes, together with better level alignment than the other three groups. An analysis of the mechanical stability, recording the lifetime in a self-breaking method, shows that Py and SAc yield the most stable junctions while SMe form short-lived junctions. Density functional theory combined with non-equlibrium Green's function calculations help in elucidating the experimental findings. PMID:26425407

  16. Mechanisms of small molecule–DNA interactions probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Almaqwashi, Ali A.; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C.

    2016-01-01

    There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA–ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules. PMID:27085806

  17. Electrical properties and mechanical stability of anchoring groups for single-molecule electronics

    PubMed Central

    Frisenda, Riccardo; Tarkuç, Simge; Galán, Elena; Perrin, Mickael L; Eelkema, Rienk; Grozema, Ferdinand C

    2015-01-01

    Summary We report on an experimental investigation of transport through single molecules, trapped between two gold nano-electrodes fabricated with the mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) technique. The four molecules studied share the same core structure, namely oligo(phenylene ethynylene) (OPE3), while having different aurophilic anchoring groups: thiol (SAc), methyl sulfide (SMe), pyridyl (Py) and amine (NH2). The focus of this paper is on the combined characterization of the electrical and mechanical properties determined by the anchoring groups. From conductance histograms we find that thiol anchored molecules provide the highest conductance; a single-level model fit to current–voltage characteristics suggests that SAc groups exhibit a higher electronic coupling to the electrodes, together with better level alignment than the other three groups. An analysis of the mechanical stability, recording the lifetime in a self-breaking method, shows that Py and SAc yield the most stable junctions while SMe form short-lived junctions. Density functional theory combined with non-equlibrium Green’s function calculations help in elucidating the experimental findings. PMID:26425407

  18. Single-molecule Studies of Origin Licensing Reveal Mechanisms Ensuring Bidirectional Helicase Loading

    PubMed Central

    Ticau, Simina; Friedman, Larry J.; Ivica, Nikola A.; Gelles, Jeff; Bell, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Loading of the ring-shaped Mcm2-7 replicative helicase around DNA licenses eukaryotic origins of replication. During loading, Cdc6, Cdt1 and the origin-recognition complex (ORC) assemble two heterohexameric Mcm2-7 complexes into a head-to-head double hexamer that facilitates bidirectional replication initiation. Using multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence to monitor the events of helicase loading, we demonstrate that double-hexamer formation is the result of sequential loading of individual Mcm2-7 complexes. Loading of each Mcm2-7 molecule involves the ordered association and dissociation of distinct Cdc6 and Cdt1 proteins. In contrast, one ORC molecule directs loading of both helicases in each double hexamer. Based on single-molecule FRET, arrival of the second Mcm2-7 results in rapid double-hexamer formation that anticipates Cdc6 and Cdt1 release, suggesting Mcm-Mcm interactions recruit the second helicase. Our findings reveal the complex protein dynamics that coordinate helicase loading and indicate that distinct mechanisms load the oppositely oriented helicases that are central to bidirectional replication initiation. PMID:25892223

  19. Proton-transfer mechanism for dispersed decay kinetics of single molecules isolated in potassium hydrogen phthalate.

    PubMed

    Bott, Eric D; Riley, Erin A; Kahr, Bart; Reid, Philip J

    2009-08-25

    The excited-state decay kinetics of single 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) molecules oriented and overgrown within crystals of potassium acid phthalate (KAP) are reported. Time-correlated single-photon counting measurements (TCSPC) of 56 DCF molecules in KAP reveal that single-exponential decay is exhibited by roughly half of the molecules. The remainder demonstrates complex excited-state decay kinetics that are well fit by a stretched exponential function consistent with dispersed kinetics. Histograms of single-molecule luminescence energies revealed environmental fluctuations and distinct chemical species. The TCSPC results are compared to Monte Carlo simulations employing a first-passage model for excited-state decay. Agreement between experiment and theory, on both bulk and single-molecule levels, suggests that a subset of the DCF molecules in KAP experience fluctuations in the surrounding environment that modify the energy barrier to proton transfer leading to dispersed kinetics. PMID:19658424

  20. Integrated magnetic tweezers and single-molecule FRET for investigating the mechanical properties of nucleic acid.

    PubMed

    Long, Xi; Parks, Joseph W; Stone, Michael D

    2016-08-01

    Many enzymes promote structural changes in their nucleic acid substrates via application of piconewton forces over nanometer length scales. Magnetic tweezers (MT) is a single molecule force spectroscopy method widely used for studying the energetics of such mechanical processes. MT permits stable application of a wide range of forces and torques over long time scales with nanometer spatial resolution. However, in any force spectroscopy experiment, the ability to monitor structural changes in nucleic acids with nanometer sensitivity requires the system of interest to be held under high degrees of tension to improve signal to noise. This limitation prohibits measurement of structural changes within nucleic acids under physiologically relevant conditions of low stretching forces. To overcome this challenge, researchers have integrated a spatially sensitive fluorescence spectroscopy method, single molecule-FRET, with MT to allow simultaneous observation and manipulation of nanoscale structural transitions over a wide range of forces. Here, we describe a method for using this hybrid instrument to analyze the mechanical properties of nucleic acids. We expect that this method for analysis of nucleic acid structure will be easily adapted for experiments aiming to interrogate the mechanical responses of other biological macromolecules. PMID:27320203

  1. Watching single molecules dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Amit Dinesh

    Molecular motors convert chemical energy, from ATP hydrolysis or ion flow, into mechanical motion. A variety of increasingly precise mechanical probes have been developed to monitor and perturb these motors at the single molecule level. Several outstanding questions can be best approached at the single molecule level. These include: how far does a motor progress per energy quanta consumed? how does its reaction cycle respond to load? how many productive catalytic cycles can it undergo per diffusional encounter with its track? and what is the mechanical stiffness of a single molecule connection? A dual beam optical trap, in conjunction with in vitro ensemble motility assays, has been used to characterize two members of the myosin superfamily: muscle myosin II and chick brain myosin V. Both move the helical polymer actin, but myosin II acts in large ensembles to drive muscle contraction or cytokinesis, while myosin V acts in small numbers to transport vesicles. An optical trapping apparatus was rendered sufficiently precise to identify a myosin working stroke with 1nm or so, barring systematic errors such as those perhaps due to random protein orientations. This and other light microscopic motility assays were used to characterize myosin V: unlike myosin II this vesicle transport protein moves through many increments of travel while remaining strongly bound to a single actin filament. The step size, stall force, and travel distance of myosin V reveal a remarkably efficient motor capable of moving along a helical track for over a micrometer without significantly spiraling around it. Such properties are fully consistent with the putative role of an organelle transport motor, present in small numbers to maintain movement over long ranges relative to cellular size scales. The contrast between myosin II and myosin V resembles that between a human running on the moon and one walking on earth, where the former allows for faster motion when in larger ensembles but for less

  2. Mechanical Unfolding of Acylphosphatase Studied by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy and MD Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Arad-Haase, Gali; Chuartzman, Silvia G.; Dagan, Shlomi; Nevo, Reinat; Kouza, Maksim; Mai, Binh Khanh; Nguyen, Hung Tien; Li, Mai Suan; Reich, Ziv

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Single-molecule manipulation methods provide a powerful means to study protein transitions. Here we combined single-molecule force spectroscopy and steered molecular-dynamics simulations to study the mechanical properties and unfolding behavior of the small enzyme acylphosphatase (AcP). We find that mechanical unfolding of AcP occurs at relatively low forces in an all-or-none fashion and is decelerated in the presence of a ligand, as observed in solution measurements. The prominent energy barrier for the transition is separated from the native state by a distance that is unusually long for α/β proteins. Unfolding is initiated at the C-terminal strand (βT) that lies at one edge of the β-sheet of AcP, followed by unraveling of the strand located at the other. The central strand of the sheet and the two helices in the protein unfold last. Ligand binding counteracts unfolding by stabilizing contacts between an arginine residue (Arg-23) and the catalytic loop, as well as with βT of AcP, which renders the force-bearing units of the protein resistant to force. This stabilizing effect may also account for the decelerated unfolding of ligand-bound AcP in the absence of force. PMID:20655852

  3. Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy Study on the Mechanism of RNA Disassembly in Tobacco Mosaic Virus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ningning; Chen, Ying; Peng, Bo; Lin, Yuan; Wang, Qian; Su, Zhaohui; Zhang, Wenke; Li, Hongbin; Shen, Jiacong

    2013-01-01

    To explore the disassembly mechanism of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), a model system for virus study, during infection, we have used single-molecule force spectroscopy to mimic and follow the process of RNA disassembly from the protein coat of TMV by the replisome (molecular motor) in vivo, under different pH and Ca2+ concentrations. Dynamic force spectroscopy revealed the unbinding free-energy landscapes as that at pH 4.7 the disassembly process is dominated by one free-energy barrier, whereas at pH 7.0 the process is dominated by one barrier and that there exists a second barrier. The additional free-energy barrier at longer distance has been attributed to the hindrance of disordered loops within the inner channel of TMV, and the biological function of those protein loops was discussed. The combination of pH increase and Ca2+ concentration drop could weaken RNA-protein interactions so much that the molecular motor replisome would be able to pull and disassemble the rest of the genetic RNA from the protein coat in vivo. All these facts provide supporting evidence at the single-molecule level, to our knowledge for the first time, for the cotranslational disassembly mechanism during TMV infection under physiological conditions. PMID:24359751

  4. Single Molecule Mechanochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaowei; Zhang, Yanxing; Ho, Wilson; Wu, Ruqian; Ruqian Wu, Yanxing Zhang Team; Wilson Ho, Shaowei Li Team

    Mechanical forces can be used to trigger chemical reactions through bending and stretching of chemical bonds. Using the reciprocating movement of the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), mechanical energy can be provided to a single molecule sandwiched between the tip and substrate. When the mechanical pulse center was moved to the outer ring feature of a CO molecule, the reaction rate was significantly increased compared with bare Cu surface and over Au atoms. First, DFT calculations show that the presence of CO makes the Cu cavity more attractive toward H2 Second, H2 prefers the horizontal adsorption geometry in the Cu-Cu and Au-Cu cavities and no hybridization occurs between the antibonding states of H2 and states of Cu atoms. While H2 loses electrons from its bonding state in all three cavities, the filling of its anti-bonding state only occurs in the CO-Cu cavity. Both make the CO-Cu cavity much more effectively to chop the H2 molecule. Work was supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation on Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) under Grant No. CHE-1414466.

  5. Fluorescence single-molecule imaging of actin turnover and regulatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Naoki

    2012-01-01

    Cells must rapidly remodel the actin filament network to achieve various cellular functions. Actin filament turnover is a dynamic process that plays crucial roles in cell adhesion, locomotion, cytokinesis, endocytosis, phagocytosis, tissue remodeling, etc., and is regulated by cell signaling cascades. Success in elucidating dynamic biological processes such as actin-based motility relies on the means enabling real time monitoring of the process. The invention of live-cell fluorescence single-molecule imaging has opened a window for direct viewing of various actin remodeling processes. In general, assembly and dissociation of actin and its regulators turned out to occur at the faster rates than previously estimated by biochemical and structural analyses. Cells undergo such fast continuous exchange of the components perhaps not only to drive actin remodeling but also to facilitate rapid response in many other cell mechanics and signaling cascades. This chapter describes how epifluorescence single-molecule imaging which visualizes deeper area than the TIRF microscopy is achieved in XTC cells, the currently best platform for this approach. PMID:22289456

  6. Mechanically activated switching of Si-based single-molecule junction as imaged with three-dimensional dynamic probe.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Miki; Yoshida, Shoji; Katayama, Tomoki; Taninaka, Atsushi; Mera, Yutaka; Okada, Susumu; Takeuchi, Osamu; Shigekawa, Hidemi

    2015-01-01

    Understanding and extracting the full functions of single-molecule characteristics are key factors in the development of future device technologies, as well as in basic research on molecular electronics. Here we report a new methodology for realizing a three-dimensional (3D) dynamic probe of single-molecule conductance, which enables the elaborate 3D analysis of the conformational effect on molecular electronics, by the formation of a Si/single molecule/Si structure using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). The formation of robust covalent bonds between a molecule and Si electrodes, together with STM-related techniques, enables the stable and repeated control of the conformational modulation of the molecule. By 3D imaging of the conformational effect on a 1,4-diethynylbenzene molecule, a binary change in conductance with hysteresis is observed for the first time, which is considered to originate from a mechanically activated conformational change. PMID:26439280

  7. Mechanically activated switching of Si-based single-molecule junction as imaged with three-dimensional dynamic probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Miki; Yoshida, Shoji; Katayama, Tomoki; Taninaka, Atsushi; Mera, Yutaka; Okada, Susumu; Takeuchi, Osamu; Shigekawa, Hidemi

    2015-10-01

    Understanding and extracting the full functions of single-molecule characteristics are key factors in the development of future device technologies, as well as in basic research on molecular electronics. Here we report a new methodology for realizing a three-dimensional (3D) dynamic probe of single-molecule conductance, which enables the elaborate 3D analysis of the conformational effect on molecular electronics, by the formation of a Si/single molecule/Si structure using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). The formation of robust covalent bonds between a molecule and Si electrodes, together with STM-related techniques, enables the stable and repeated control of the conformational modulation of the molecule. By 3D imaging of the conformational effect on a 1,4-diethynylbenzene molecule, a binary change in conductance with hysteresis is observed for the first time, which is considered to originate from a mechanically activated conformational change.

  8. Rocket launcher mechanism of collaborative actin assembly defined by single-molecule imaging.

    PubMed

    Breitsprecher, Dennis; Jaiswal, Richa; Bombardier, Jeffrey P; Gould, Christopher J; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L

    2012-06-01

    Interacting sets of actin assembly factors work together in cells, but the underlying mechanisms have remained obscure. We used triple-color single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and the formin mDia1 during filament assembly. Complexes consisting of APC, mDia1, and actin monomers initiated actin filament formation, overcoming inhibition by capping protein and profilin. Upon filament polymerization, the complexes separated, with mDia1 moving processively on growing barbed ends while APC remained at the site of nucleation. Thus, the two assembly factors directly interact to initiate filament assembly and then separate but retain independent associations with either end of the growing filament. PMID:22654058

  9. Insulator-protected mechanically controlled break junctions for measuring single-molecule conductance in aqueous environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthusubramanian, N.; Galan, E.; Maity, C.; Eelkema, R.; Grozema, F. C.; van der Zant, H. S. J.

    2016-07-01

    We present a method to fabricate insulated gold mechanically controlled break junctions (MCBJ) by coating the metal with a thin layer of aluminum oxide using plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition. The Al2O3 thickness deposited on the MCBJ devices was varied from 2 to 15 nm to test the suppression of leakage currents in deionized water and phosphate buffered saline. Junctions coated with a 15 nm thick oxide layer yielded atomically sharp electrodes and negligible conductance counts in the range of 1 to 10-4 G0 (1 G0 = 77 μS), where single-molecule conductances are commonly observed. The insulated devices were used to measure the conductance of an amphiphilic oligophenylene ethynylene derivative in deionized water.

  10. Quantitatively probing propensity for structural transitions in engineered virus nanoparticles by single-molecule mechanical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellanos, Milagros; Carrillo, Pablo J. P.; Mateu, Mauricio G.

    2015-03-01

    Viruses are increasingly being studied from the perspective of fundamental physics at the nanoscale as biologically evolved nanodevices with many technological applications. In viral particles of the minute virus of mice (MVM), folded segments of the single-stranded DNA genome are bound to the capsid inner wall and act as molecular buttresses that increase locally the mechanical stiffness of the particle. We have explored whether a quantitative linkage exists in MVM particles between their DNA-mediated stiffening and impairment of a heat-induced, virus-inactivating structural change. A series of structurally modified virus particles with disrupted capsid-DNA interactions and/or distorted capsid cavities close to the DNA-binding sites were engineered and characterized, both in classic kinetics assays and by single-molecule mechanical analysis using atomic force microscopy. The rate constant of the virus inactivation reaction was found to decrease exponentially with the increase in elastic constant (stiffness) of the regions closer to DNA-binding sites. The application of transition state theory suggests that the height of the free energy barrier of the virus-inactivating structural transition increases linearly with local mechanical stiffness. From a virological perspective, the results indicate that infectious MVM particles may have acquired the biological advantage of increased survival under thermal stress by evolving architectural elements that rigidify the particle and impair non-productive structural changes. From a nanotechnological perspective, this study provides proof of principle that determination of mechanical stiffness and its manipulation by protein engineering may be applied for quantitatively probing and tuning the conformational dynamics of virus-based and other protein-based nanoassemblies.Viruses are increasingly being studied from the perspective of fundamental physics at the nanoscale as biologically evolved nanodevices with many technological

  11. Single-molecule imaging of a three-component ordered actin disassembly mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Silvia; Collins, Agnieszka; Chin, Samantha M.; Ydenberg, Casey A.; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms by which cells destabilize and rapidly disassemble filamentous actin networks have remained elusive; however, Coronin, Cofilin and AIP1 have been implicated in this process. Here using multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence imaging, we show that mammalian Cor1B, Cof1 and AIP1 work in concert through a temporally ordered pathway to induce highly efficient severing and disassembly of actin filaments. Cor1B binds to filaments first, and dramatically accelerates the subsequent binding of Cof1, leading to heavily decorated, stabilized filaments. Cof1 in turn recruits AIP1, which rapidly triggers severing and remains bound to the newly generated barbed ends. New growth at barbed ends generated by severing was blocked specifically in the presence of all three proteins. This activity enabled us to reconstitute and directly visualize single actin filaments being rapidly polymerized by formins at their barbed ends while simultanteously being stochastically severed and capped along their lengths, and disassembled from their pointed ends. PMID:25995115

  12. Role of solvent environments in single molecule conductance used insulator-modified mechanically controlled break junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthusubramanian, Nandini; Maity, Chandan; Galan Garcia, Elena; Eelkema, Rienk; Grozema, Ferdinand; van der Zant, Herre; Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Collaboration; Department of Chemical Engineering Collaboration

    We present a method for studying the effects of polar solvents on charge transport through organic/biological single molecules by developing solvent-compatible mechanically controlled break junctions of gold coated with a thin layer of aluminium oxide using plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (ALD). The optimal oxide thickness was experimentally determined to be 15 nm deposited at ALD operating temperature of 300°C which yielded atomically sharp electrodes and reproducible single-barrier tunnelling behaviour across a wide conductance range between 1 G0 and 10-7 G0. The insulator protected MCBJ devices were found to be effective in various solvents such as deionized water, phosphate buffered saline, methanol, acetonitrile and dichlorobenzene. The yield of molecular junctions using such insulated electrodes was tested by developing a chemical protocol for synthesizing an amphipathic form of oligo-phenylene ethynylene (OPE3-PEO) with thioacetate anchoring groups. This work has further applications in studying effects of solvation, dipole orientation and other thermodynamic interactions on charge transport. Eu Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN). MOLECULAR-SCALE ELECTRONICS: ``MOLESCO'' Project Number 606728.

  13. Identifying Sequential Substrate Binding at the Single-Molecule Level by Enzyme Mechanical Stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Rivas-Pardo, Jaime Andrés; Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Ramírez-Sarmiento, César A.; Fernandez, Julio M.; Guixé, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme-substrate binding is a dynamic process intimately coupled to protein structural changes, which in turn changes the unfolding energy landscape. By the use of single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), we characterize the open-to-closed conformational transition experienced by the hyperthermophilic ADP-dependent glucokinase from Thermococcus litoralis triggered by the sequential binding of substrates. In the absence of substrates, the mechanical unfolding of TlGK shows an intermediate I, which is stabilized in the presence of Mg·ADP-, the first substrate to bind to the enzyme. However, in the presence of this substrate, an additional unfolding event is observed, intermediate-1*. Finally, in the presence of both substrates, the unfolding force of intermediates-1 and -1*, increases as a consequence of the domain closure. These results show that SMFS could be used as a powerful experimental tool to investigate binding mechanisms of different enzymes with more than one ligand, expanding the repertoire of protocols traditionally used in enzymology. PMID:25840594

  14. Mechanism of amyloid β-protein dimerization determined using single-molecule AFM force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Zhengjian; Roychaudhuri, Robin; Condron, Margaret M.; Teplow, David B.; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2013-10-01

    Aβ42 and Aβ40 are the two primary alloforms of human amyloid β-protein (Aβ). The two additional C-terminal residues of Aβ42 result in elevated neurotoxicity compared with Aβ40, but the molecular mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. Here, we used single-molecule force microscopy to characterize interpeptide interactions for Aβ42 and Aβ40 and corresponding mutants. We discovered a dramatic difference in the interaction patterns of Aβ42 and Aβ40 monomers within dimers. Although the sequence difference between the two peptides is at the C-termini, the N-terminal segment plays a key role in the peptide interaction in the dimers. This is an unexpected finding as N-terminal was considered as disordered segment with no effect on the Aβ peptide aggregation. These novel properties of Aβ proteins suggests that the stabilization of N-terminal interactions is a switch in redirecting of amyloids form the neurotoxic aggregation pathway, opening a novel avenue for the disease preventions and treatments.

  15. Single-molecule bioelectronics.

    PubMed

    Rosenstein, Jacob K; Lemay, Serge G; Shepard, Kenneth L

    2015-01-01

    Experimental techniques that interface single biomolecules directly with microelectronic systems are increasingly being used in a wide range of powerful applications, from fundamental studies of biomolecules to ultra-sensitive assays. In this study, we review several technologies that can perform electronic measurements of single molecules in solution: ion channels, nanopore sensors, carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, electron tunneling gaps, and redox cycling. We discuss the shared features among these techniques that enable them to resolve individual molecules, and discuss their limitations. Recordings from each of these methods all rely on similar electronic instrumentation, and we discuss the relevant circuit implementations and potential for scaling these single-molecule bioelectronic interfaces to high-throughput arrayed sensing platforms. PMID:25529538

  16. Single-Molecule Bioelectronics

    PubMed Central

    Rosenstein, Jacob K.; Lemay, Serge G.; Shepard, Kenneth L.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental techniques which interface single biomolecules directly with microelectronic systems are increasingly being used in a wide range of powerful applications, from fundamental studies of biomolecules to ultra-sensitive assays. Here we review several technologies which can perform electronic measurements of single molecules in solution: ion channels, nanopore sensors, carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, electron tunneling gaps, and redox cycling. We discuss the shared features among these techniques that enable them to resolve individual molecules, and discuss their limitations. Recordings from each of these methods all rely on similar electronic instrumentation, and we discuss the relevant circuit implementations and potential for scaling these single-molecule bioelectronic interfaces to high-throughput arrayed sensing platforms. PMID:25529538

  17. Single Molecule Electronics and Devices

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2012-01-01

    The manufacture of integrated circuits with single-molecule building blocks is a goal of molecular electronics. While research in the past has been limited to bulk experiments on self-assembled monolayers, advances in technology have now enabled us to fabricate single-molecule junctions. This has led to significant progress in understanding electron transport in molecular systems at the single-molecule level and the concomitant emergence of new device concepts. Here, we review recent developments in this field. We summarize the methods currently used to form metal-molecule-metal structures and some single-molecule techniques essential for characterizing molecular junctions such as inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy. We then highlight several important achievements, including demonstration of single-molecule diodes, transistors, and switches that make use of electrical, photo, and mechanical stimulation to control the electron transport. We also discuss intriguing issues to be addressed further in the future such as heat and thermoelectric transport in an individual molecule. PMID:22969345

  18. Mechanical Folding and Unfolding of Protein Barnase at the Single-Molecule Level.

    PubMed

    Alemany, Anna; Rey-Serra, Blanca; Frutos, Silvia; Cecconi, Ciro; Ritort, Felix

    2016-01-01

    The unfolding and folding of protein barnase has been extensively investigated in bulk conditions under the effect of denaturant and temperature. These experiments provided information about structural and kinetic features of both the native and the unfolded states of the protein, and debates about the possible existence of an intermediate state in the folding pathway have arisen. Here, we investigate the folding/unfolding reaction of protein barnase under the action of mechanical force at the single-molecule level using optical tweezers. We measure unfolding and folding force-dependent kinetic rates from pulling and passive experiments, respectively, and using Kramers-based theories (e.g., Bell-Evans and Dudko-Hummer-Szabo models), we extract the position of the transition state and the height of the kinetic barrier mediating unfolding and folding transitions, finding good agreement with previous bulk measurements. Measurements of the force-dependent kinetic barrier using the continuous effective barrier analysis show that protein barnase verifies the Leffler-Hammond postulate under applied force and allow us to extract its free energy of folding, ΔG0. The estimated value of ΔG0 is in agreement with our predictions obtained using fluctuation relations and previous bulk studies. To address the possible existence of an intermediate state on the folding pathway, we measure the power spectrum of force fluctuations at high temporal resolution (50 kHz) when the protein is either folded or unfolded and, additionally, we study the folding transition-path time at different forces. The finite bandwidth of our experimental setup sets the lifetime of potential intermediate states upon barnase folding/unfolding in the submillisecond timescale. PMID:26745410

  19. Room temperature single molecule microscopes

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrose, W.P.; Goodwin, P.M.; Enderlein, G.; Semin, D.J.; Keller, R.A.

    1997-12-31

    We have developed three capabilities to image the locations of and interrogate immobilized single fluorescent molecules: near-field scanning optical, confocal scanning optical, and wide-field epi-fluorescence microscopy. Each microscopy has its own advantages. Near-field illumination can beat the diffraction limit. Confocal microscopy has high brightness and temporal resolution. Wide-field has the quickest (parallel) imaging capability. With confocal microscopy, we have verified that single fluorescent spots in our images are due to single molecules by observing photon antibunching. Using all three microscopies, we have observed that xanthene molecules dispersed on dry silica curiously exhibit intensity fluctuations on millisecond to minute time scales. We are exploring the connection between the intensity fluctuations and fluctuations in individual photophysical parameters. The fluorescence lifetimes of Rhodamine 6G on silica fluctuate. The complex nature of the intensity and lifetime fluctuations is consistent with a mechanism that perturbs more than one photophysical parameter.

  20. Transfer matrix approach to the statistical mechanics of single polymer molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livadaru, Lucian

    In this work, we demonstrate, implement and critically assess the capabilities and the limitations of the Transfer Matrix (TM) method to the statistical mechanics of single polymer molecules within their classical models. We first show how the TM can be employed with the help of computers, to provide highly accurate results for the configurational statistics of polymers in theta-conditions. We proceed gradually from simple to complex polymer models, analyzing their statistical properties as we vary the model parameters. In the order of their complexity, the polymer models approached in this work are: (i) the freely jointed chain (FJC); (ii) the freely rotating chain (FRC); (iii) the rotational isomeric state (RIS) model with and without energy parameters; (iv) the continuous rotational potential model (for n-alkanes); (v) an interacting chain model (ICM) with virtual bonds for poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG). The Statistical Mechanics of polymer chains is carried out in both the Helmholtz and Gibbs ensembles, depending on the quantities of interest. In the Helmholtz ensemble the polymer's Green function is generally a function of both the spatial coordinates and orientations of chain bonds. In the Gibbs ensemble its arguments are the bond orientations with respect to an applied external force. This renders the latter ensemble more feasible for an accurate study of the mechanical properties of the mentioned models. We adapt the TM method to study statistical and thermodynamical properties of various models, including: chain end distribution functions, characteristic ratios, mean square radius of gyration, Kuhn length, static structure factor, pair correlation function, force-extension curves, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies. For all cases, the TM calculations yielded accurate results for all these quantities. Wherever possible, we compared our findings to other results, theoretical or experimental in literature. A great deal of effort was focused on precise

  1. Single-molecule electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1995-09-15

    A novel method for the detection and identification of single molecules in solution has been devised, computer simulated, and experimentally achieved. The technique involves the determination of electrophoretic velocities by measuring the time required for individual molecules to travel a fixed distance between two laser beams. Computer simulations of the process were performed before-hand in order to estimate the experimental feasibility of the method and to determine the optimum values for the various experimental parameters. Examples of the use of the technique for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of rhodamine-6G, a mixture of DNA restriction fragments, and a mixture of proteins in aqueous solution are presented. 20 refs., 8 figs.

  2. Single Molecule Investigation of Glycine-Chlorite Interaction by Cross-Correlated Scanning Probe Microscopy and Quantum Mechanics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Moro, Daniele; Ulian, Gianfranco; Valdrè, Giovanni

    2015-04-21

    In this work, we studied the interaction of glycine with the (001) surface of chlorite mineral at a single molecule level by cross-correlating scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and ab initio quantum mechanics (QM) investigations. Chlorite mineral is particularly interesting and peculiar for the interaction with organic molecules because it presents an alternated stacking of brucite-like (hydrophobic) and talc-like (hydrophilic) layers of different polarities. Brucite-like is positive, whereas talc-like is negative. The experimental atomic force microscopy (AFM) observations show that glycine is stably and selectively adsorbed on the brucite-like layer, organized in monolayers with different patterns. The sizes of single molecules of glycine measured by AFM are in agreement with those calculated by QM. Glycine molecules were found to align both at the edges and on the terraces of the brucitic surface. QM simulations confirmed the AFM observations that glycine molecule is adsorbed with high adsorption energy preferentially with its plane parallel to the (001) brucite-like surface. QM also provided the geometry conformation of the molecule and the bonding scheme between glycine and brucite surface. This kind of data can be very helpful both to biotechnological applications of this substrate and to depict some important processes that might have been occurred in prebiotic environments. PMID:25830864

  3. Single-molecule imaging reveals the mechanism of Exo1 regulation by single-stranded DNA binding proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo, Ignacio F.; Zhou, Yi; Gong, Fade; Yang, Soo-Hyun; Wold, Marc S.; Miller, Kyle M.; Paull, Tanya T.

    2016-01-01

    Exonuclease 1 (Exo1) is a 5′→3′ exonuclease and 5′-flap endonuclease that plays a critical role in multiple eukaryotic DNA repair pathways. Exo1 processing at DNA nicks and double-strand breaks creates long stretches of single-stranded DNA, which are rapidly bound by replication protein A (RPA) and other single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs). Here, we use single-molecule fluorescence imaging and quantitative cell biology approaches to reveal the interplay between Exo1 and SSBs. Both human and yeast Exo1 are processive nucleases on their own. RPA rapidly strips Exo1 from DNA, and this activity is dependent on at least three RPA-encoded single-stranded DNA binding domains. Furthermore, we show that ablation of RPA in human cells increases Exo1 recruitment to damage sites. In contrast, the sensor of single-stranded DNA complex 1—a recently identified human SSB that promotes DNA resection during homologous recombination—supports processive resection by Exo1. Although RPA rapidly turns over Exo1, multiple cycles of nuclease rebinding at the same DNA site can still support limited DNA processing. These results reveal the role of single-stranded DNA binding proteins in controlling Exo1-catalyzed resection with implications for how Exo1 is regulated during DNA repair in eukaryotic cells. PMID:26884156

  4. Single Molecule Transcription Elongation

    PubMed Central

    Galburt, Eric A.; Grill, Stephan W.; Bustamante, Carlos

    2009-01-01

    Single molecule optical trapping assays have now been applied to a great number of macromolecular systems including DNA, RNA, cargo motors, restriction enzymes, DNA helicases, chromosome remodelers, DNA polymerases and both viral and bacterial RNA polymerases. The advantages of the technique are the ability to observe dynamic, unsynchronized molecular processes, to determine the distributions of experimental quantities and to apply force to the system while monitoring the response over time. Here, we describe the application of these powerful techniques to study the dynamics of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PMID:19426807

  5. Pulling on super paramagnetic beads with micro cantilevers: single molecule mechanical assay application.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Romina; Aguilar Sandoval, Felipe; Wilson, Christian A M; Melo, Francisco

    2015-07-01

    This paper demonstrates that it is possible to trap and release a super paramagnetic micro bead by fixing three super paramagnetic micro beads in a triangular array at the sensitive end of a micro cantilever, and by simply switching on/off an external magnetic field. To provide evidence of this principle we trap a micro bead that is attached to the free end of single DNA molecule and that has been previously fixed at the other end to a glass surface, using the standard sample preparation protocol of magnetic tweezers assays. The switching process is reversible which preserves the integrity of the tethered molecule, and a local force applied over the tethered bead excludes the neighbouring beads from the magnetic trap. We have developed a quadrature phase interferometer which is able to perform under fluid environments to accurately measure small deflections, which permits the exploration of DNA elasticity. Our results agree with measurements from magnetic tweezer assays performed under similar conditions. Furthermore, compared to the magnetic tweezer methodology, the combination of the magnetic trap with a suitable measurement system for cantilever deflection, allows for the exploration of a wide range of forces using a local method that has an improved temporal resolution. PMID:26200136

  6. Single Molecule Junctions: A Laboratory for Chemistry, Mechanics and Bond Rupture

    SciTech Connect

    Hybertsen M. S.

    2013-07-08

    Simultaneous measurement [1] of junction conductance and sustained force in single molecule junctions bridging metal electrodes provides a powerful tool in the quantitative study of the character of molecule-metal bonds. In this talk I will discuss three topics. First, I will describe chemical trends in link bond strength based on experiments and Density Functional Theory based calculations. Second, I will focus on the specific case of pyridine-linked junctions. Bond rupture from the high conductance junction structure shows a requires a force that exceeds the rupture force of gold point contacts and clearly indicates the role of additional forces, beyond the specific N-Au donor acceptor bond. DFT-D2 calculations with empirical addition of dispersion interactions illustrates the interplay between the donor-acceptor bonding and the non-specific van der Waals interactions between the pyridine rings and Au asperities. Third, I will describe recent efforts to characterize the diversity of junction structures realized in break-junction experiments with suitable models for the potential surfaces that are observed. [1] Venkataraman Group, Columbia University.

  7. Single-Molecule Observation of a Mechanically Activated Cis-to-Trans Cyclopropane Isomerization.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junpeng; Kouznetsova, Tatiana B; Craig, Stephen L

    2016-08-24

    The mechanochemical activation of cis-gem-difluorocyclopropane (cis-gDFC) mechanophore in toluene was characterized with single-molecule force spectroscopy. Unlike previously reported behavior in methyl benzoate (MB), two transitions are observed in the force vs extension curves of cis-gDFC polymers in toluene. The first transition occurs at the same force of ∼1300 pN observed previously in MB, but a second transition is observed at forces of ∼1800 pN that reveal the partial formation of the trans-gDFC isomer. The behavior is attributed to competing reactions of the cis-gDFC at the 1300 pN plateau: addition of oxygen to a ring-opened diradicaloid intermediate, and isomerization of cis-gDFC to its trans isomer. PMID:27500711

  8. Mechanical Operation and Intersubunit Coordination of Ring-Shaped Molecular Motors: Insights from Single-Molecule Studies

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shixin; Chistol, Gheorghe; Bustamante, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Ring NTPases represent a large and diverse group of proteins that couple their nucleotide hydrolysis activity to a mechanical task involving force generation and some type of transport process in the cell. Because of their shape, these enzymes often operate as gates that separate distinct cellular compartments to control and regulate the passage of chemical species across them. In this manner, ions and small molecules are moved across membranes, biopolymer substrates are segregated between cells or moved into confined spaces, double-stranded nucleic acids are separated into single strands to provide access to the genetic information, and polypeptides are unfolded and processed for recycling. Here we review the recent advances in the characterization of these motors using single-molecule manipulation and detection approaches. We describe the various mechanisms by which ring motors convert chemical energy to mechanical force or torque and coordinate the activities of individual subunits that constitute the ring. We also examine how single-molecule studies have contributed to a better understanding of the structural elements involved in motor-substrate interaction, mechanochemical coupling, and intersubunit coordination. Finally, we discuss how these molecular motors tailor their operation—often through regulation by other cofactors—to suit their unique biological functions. PMID:24806916

  9. A simple two-state protein unfolds mechanically via multiple heterogeneous pathways at single-molecule resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schönfelder, Jörg; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Muñoz, Victor

    2016-06-01

    A major drive in protein folding has been to develop experimental technologies to resolve the myriads of microscopic pathways and complex mechanisms that purportedly underlie simple two-state folding behaviour. This is key for cross-validating predictions from theory and modern computer simulations. Detecting such complexity experimentally has remained elusive even using methods with improved time, structural or single-molecule resolution. Here, we investigate the mechanical unfolding of cold shock protein B (Csp), a showcase two-state folder, using single-molecule force-spectroscopy. Under controlled-moderate pulling forces, the unfolding of Csp emerges as highly heterogeneous with trajectories ranging from single sweeps to different combinations of multiple long-lived mechanical intermediates that also vary in order of appearance. Steered molecular dynamics simulations closely reproduce the experimental observations, thus matching unfolding patterns with structural events. Our results provide a direct glimpse at the nanoscale complexity underlying two-state folding, and postulate these combined methods as unique tools for dissecting the mechanical unfolding mechanisms of such proteins.

  10. A simple two-state protein unfolds mechanically via multiple heterogeneous pathways at single-molecule resolution.

    PubMed

    Schönfelder, Jörg; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Muñoz, Victor

    2016-01-01

    A major drive in protein folding has been to develop experimental technologies to resolve the myriads of microscopic pathways and complex mechanisms that purportedly underlie simple two-state folding behaviour. This is key for cross-validating predictions from theory and modern computer simulations. Detecting such complexity experimentally has remained elusive even using methods with improved time, structural or single-molecule resolution. Here, we investigate the mechanical unfolding of cold shock protein B (Csp), a showcase two-state folder, using single-molecule force-spectroscopy. Under controlled-moderate pulling forces, the unfolding of Csp emerges as highly heterogeneous with trajectories ranging from single sweeps to different combinations of multiple long-lived mechanical intermediates that also vary in order of appearance. Steered molecular dynamics simulations closely reproduce the experimental observations, thus matching unfolding patterns with structural events. Our results provide a direct glimpse at the nanoscale complexity underlying two-state folding, and postulate these combined methods as unique tools for dissecting the mechanical unfolding mechanisms of such proteins. PMID:27248054

  11. A simple two-state protein unfolds mechanically via multiple heterogeneous pathways at single-molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Schönfelder, Jörg; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Muñoz, Victor

    2016-01-01

    A major drive in protein folding has been to develop experimental technologies to resolve the myriads of microscopic pathways and complex mechanisms that purportedly underlie simple two-state folding behaviour. This is key for cross-validating predictions from theory and modern computer simulations. Detecting such complexity experimentally has remained elusive even using methods with improved time, structural or single-molecule resolution. Here, we investigate the mechanical unfolding of cold shock protein B (Csp), a showcase two-state folder, using single-molecule force-spectroscopy. Under controlled-moderate pulling forces, the unfolding of Csp emerges as highly heterogeneous with trajectories ranging from single sweeps to different combinations of multiple long-lived mechanical intermediates that also vary in order of appearance. Steered molecular dynamics simulations closely reproduce the experimental observations, thus matching unfolding patterns with structural events. Our results provide a direct glimpse at the nanoscale complexity underlying two-state folding, and postulate these combined methods as unique tools for dissecting the mechanical unfolding mechanisms of such proteins. PMID:27248054

  12. Piezoresistivity in single DNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Bruot, Christopher; Palma, Julio L.; Xiang, Limin; Mujica, Vladimiro; Ratner, Mark A.; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-01

    Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and piezoresistivity of single DNA molecules with different sequences and lengths, and performing molecular orbital calculations, we show that the piezoresistivity of DNA is caused by force-induced changes in the π–π electronic coupling between neighbouring bases, and in the activation energy of hole hopping. We describe the results in terms of thermal activated hopping model together with the ladder-based mechanical model for DNA proposed by de Gennes. PMID:26337293

  13. Piezoresistivity in single DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruot, Christopher; Palma, Julio L.; Xiang, Limin; Mujica, Vladimiro; Ratner, Mark A.; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-09-01

    Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and piezoresistivity of single DNA molecules with different sequences and lengths, and performing molecular orbital calculations, we show that the piezoresistivity of DNA is caused by force-induced changes in the π-π electronic coupling between neighbouring bases, and in the activation energy of hole hopping. We describe the results in terms of thermal activated hopping model together with the ladder-based mechanical model for DNA proposed by de Gennes.

  14. Piezoresistivity in single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Bruot, Christopher; Palma, Julio L; Xiang, Limin; Mujica, Vladimiro; Ratner, Mark A; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-01

    Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and piezoresistivity of single DNA molecules with different sequences and lengths, and performing molecular orbital calculations, we show that the piezoresistivity of DNA is caused by force-induced changes in the π-π electronic coupling between neighbouring bases, and in the activation energy of hole hopping. We describe the results in terms of thermal activated hopping model together with the ladder-based mechanical model for DNA proposed by de Gennes. PMID:26337293

  15. Single-molecule imaging reveals a common mechanism shared by G-quadruplex-resolving helicases.

    PubMed

    Tippana, Ramreddy; Hwang, Helen; Opresko, Patricia L; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Myong, Sua

    2016-07-26

    G-quadruplex (GQ) is a four stranded DNA secondary structure that arises from a guanine rich sequence. Stable formation of GQ in genomic DNA can be counteracted by the resolving activity of specialized helicases including RNA helicase AU (associated with AU rich elements) (RHAU) (G4 resolvase 1), Bloom helicase (BLM), and Werner helicase (WRN). However, their substrate specificity and the mechanism involved in GQ unfolding remain uncertain. Here, we report that RHAU, BLM, and WRN exhibit distinct GQ conformation specificity, but use a common mechanism of repetitive unfolding that leads to disrupting GQ structure multiple times in succession. Such unfolding activity of RHAU leads to efficient annealing exclusively within the same DNA molecule. The same resolving activity is sufficient to dislodge a stably bound GQ ligand, including BRACO-19, NMM, and Phen-DC3. Our study demonstrates a plausible biological scheme where different helicases are delegated to resolve specific GQ structures by using a common repetitive unfolding mechanism that provides a robust resolving power. PMID:27407146

  16. Single-molecule imaging reveals a common mechanism shared by G-quadruplex–resolving helicases

    PubMed Central

    Tippana, Ramreddy; Hwang, Helen; Opresko, Patricia L.; Bohr, Vilhelm A.; Myong, Sua

    2016-01-01

    G-quadruplex (GQ) is a four stranded DNA secondary structure that arises from a guanine rich sequence. Stable formation of GQ in genomic DNA can be counteracted by the resolving activity of specialized helicases including RNA helicase AU (associated with AU rich elements) (RHAU) (G4 resolvase 1), Bloom helicase (BLM), and Werner helicase (WRN). However, their substrate specificity and the mechanism involved in GQ unfolding remain uncertain. Here, we report that RHAU, BLM, and WRN exhibit distinct GQ conformation specificity, but use a common mechanism of repetitive unfolding that leads to disrupting GQ structure multiple times in succession. Such unfolding activity of RHAU leads to efficient annealing exclusively within the same DNA molecule. The same resolving activity is sufficient to dislodge a stably bound GQ ligand, including BRACO-19, NMM, and Phen-DC3. Our study demonstrates a plausible biological scheme where different helicases are delegated to resolve specific GQ structures by using a common repetitive unfolding mechanism that provides a robust resolving power. PMID:27407146

  17. Extracting physical chemistry from mechanics: a new approach to investigate DNA interactions with drugs and proteins in single molecule experiments.

    PubMed

    Rocha, M S

    2015-09-01

    In this review we focus on the idea of establishing connections between the mechanical properties of DNA-ligand complexes and the physical chemistry of DNA-ligand interactions. This type of connection is interesting because it opens the possibility of performing a robust characterization of such interactions by using only one experimental technique: single molecule stretching. Furthermore, it also opens new possibilities in comparing results obtained by very different approaches, in particular when comparing single molecule techniques to ensemble-averaging techniques. We start the manuscript reviewing important concepts of DNA mechanics, from the basic mechanical properties to the Worm-Like Chain model. Next we review the basic concepts of the physical chemistry of DNA-ligand interactions, revisiting the most important models used to analyze the binding data and discussing their binding isotherms. Then, we discuss the basic features of the single molecule techniques most used to stretch DNA-ligand complexes and to obtain "force × extension" data, from which the mechanical properties of the complexes can be determined. We also discuss the characteristics of the main types of interactions that can occur between DNA and ligands, from covalent binding to simple electrostatic driven interactions. Finally, we present a historical survey of the attempts to connect mechanics to physical chemistry for DNA-ligand systems, emphasizing a recently developed fitting approach useful to connect the persistence length of DNA-ligand complexes to the physicochemical properties of the interaction. Such an approach in principle can be used for any type of ligand, from drugs to proteins, even if multiple binding modes are present. PMID:26287962

  18. Nanometer Resolution Imaging by SIngle Molecule Switching

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Dehong; Orr, Galya

    2010-04-02

    The fluorescence intensity of single molecules can change dramatically even under constant laser excitation. The phenomenon is frequently called "blinking" and involves molecules switching between high and low intensity states.[1-3] In additional to spontaneous blinking, the fluorescence of some special fluorophores, such as cyanine dyes and photoactivatable fluorescent proteins, can be switched on and off by choice using a second laser. Recent single-molecule spectroscopy investigations have shed light on mechanisms of single molecule blinking and photoswitching. This ability to controllably switch single molecules led to the invention of a novel fluorescence microscopy with nanometer spatial resolution well beyond the diffraction limit.

  19. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Reveals the Unwinding Stepping Mechanism of Replicative Helicase

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Salman; Pandey, Manjula; Patel, Smita S.; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-01-01

    Summary Bacteriophage T7 gp4 serves as a model protein for replicative helicases that couples deoxythymidine triphosphate (dTTP) hydrolysis to directional movement and DNA strand separation. We employed single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer methods to resolve steps during DNA unwinding by T7 helicase. We confirm that the unwinding rate of T7 helicase decreases with increasing base pair stability. For duplexes containing >35% guanine-cytosine (GC) base pairs, we observed stochastic pauses every 2–3 bp during unwinding. The dwells on each pause were distributed nonexponentially, consistent with two or three rounds of dTTP hydrolysis before each unwinding step. Moreover, we observed backward movements of the enzyme on GC-rich DNAs at low dTTP concentrations. Our data suggest a coupling ratio of 1:1 between base pairs unwound and dTTP hydrolysis, and they further support the concept that nucleic acid motors can have a hierarchy of different-sized steps or can accumulate elastic energy before transitioning to a subsequent phase. PMID:24630993

  20. Single molecule FRET reveals pore size and opening mechanism of a mechano-sensitive ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yong; Liu, Yanxin; DeBerg, Hannah A; Nomura, Takeshi; Hoffman, Melinda Tonks; Rohde, Paul R; Schulten, Klaus; Martinac, Boris; Selvin, Paul R

    2014-01-01

    The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance, which serves as a model system for mechanosensitive channels, has previously been crystallized in the closed form, but not in the open form. Ensemble measurements and electrophysiological sieving experiments show that the open-diameter of the channel pore is >25 Å, but the exact size and whether the conformational change follows a helix-tilt or barrel-stave model are unclear. Here we report measurements of the distance changes on liposome-reconstituted MscL transmembrane α-helices, using a ‘virtual sorting’ single-molecule fluorescence energy transfer. We observed directly that the channel opens via the helix-tilt model and the open pore reaches 2.8 nm in diameter. In addition, based on the measurements, we developed a molecular dynamics model of the channel structure in the open state which confirms our direct observations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01834.001 PMID:24550255

  1. Mechanism of Reversible Peptide-Bilayer Attachment: Combined Simulation and Experimental Single-Molecule Study.

    PubMed

    Schwierz, Nadine; Krysiak, Stefanie; Hugel, Thorsten; Zacharias, Martin

    2016-01-26

    The binding of peptides and proteins to lipid membrane surfaces is of fundamental importance for many membrane-mediated cellular processes. Using closely matched molecular dynamics simulations and atomic force microscopy experiments, we study the force-induced desorption of single peptide chains from phospholipid bilayers to gain microscopic insight into the mechanism of reversible attachment. This approach allows quantification of desorption forces and decomposition of peptide-membrane interactions into energetic and entropic contributions. In both simulations and experiments, the desorption forces of peptides with charged and polar side chains are much smaller than those for hydrophobic peptides. The adsorption of charged/polar peptides to the membrane surface is disfavored by the energetic components, requires breaking of hydrogen bonds involving the peptides, and is favored only slightly by entropy. By contrast, the stronger adsorption of hydrophobic peptides is favored both by energy and by entropy and the desorption forces increase with increasing side-chain hydrophobicity. Interestingly, the calculated net adsorption free energies per residue correlate with experimental results of single residues, indicating that side-chain free energy contributions are largely additive. This observation can help in the design of peptides with tailored adsorption properties and in the estimation of membrane binding properties of peripheral membrane proteins. PMID:26717083

  2. Single-molecule exploration of photoprotective mechanisms in light-harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hsiang-Yu; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Gwizdala, Michal; Krüger, Tjaart; Xu, Pengqi; Croce, Roberta; van Grondelle, Rienk; Moerner, W. E.

    2015-03-01

    Plants harvest sunlight by converting light energy to electron flow through the primary events in photosynthesis. One important question is how the light harvesting machinery adapts to fluctuating sunlight intensity. As a result of various regulatory processes, efficient light harvesting and photoprotection are balanced. Some of the biological steps in the photoprotective processes have been extensively studied and physiological regulatory factors have been identified. For example, the effect of lumen pH in changing carotenoid composition has been explored. However, the importance of photophysical dynamics in the initial light-harvesting steps and its relation to photoprotection remain poorly understood. Conformational and excited-state dynamics of multi-chromophore pigment-protein complexes are often difficult to study and limited information can be extracted from ensemble-averaged measurements. To address the problem, we use the Anti-Brownian ELectrokinetic (ABEL) trap to investigate the fluorescence from individual copies of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the primary antenna protein in higher plants, in a solution-phase environment. Perturbative surface immobilization or encapsulation schemes are avoided, and therefore the intrinsic dynamics and heterogeneity in the fluorescence of individual proteins are revealed. We perform simultaneous measurements of fluorescence intensity (brightness), excited-state lifetime, and emission spectrum of single trapped proteins. By analyzing the correlated changes between these observables, we identify forms of LHCII with different fluorescence intensities and excited-state lifetimes. The distinct forms may be associated with different energy dissipation mechanisms in the energy transfer chain. Changes of relative populations in response to pH and carotenoid composition are observed, which may extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

  3. Rotational mechanism of Enterococcus hirae V1-ATPase by crystal-structure and single-molecule analyses.

    PubMed

    Iino, Ryota; Ueno, Hiroshi; Minagawa, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Kano; Murata, Takeshi

    2015-04-01

    In ion-transporting rotary ATPases, the mechanical rotation of inner rotor subunits against other stator subunits in the complex mediates conversion of chemical free energy from ATP hydrolysis into electrochemical potential by pumping ions across the cell membrane. To fully understand the rotational mechanism of energy conversion, it is essential to analyze a target sample by multiple advanced methods that differ in spatiotemporal resolutions and sample environments. Here, we describe such a strategy applied to the water-soluble V1 moiety of Enterococcus hirae V-ATPase; this strategy involves integration of crystal structure studies and single-molecule analysis of rotary dynamics and torque generation. In addition, we describe our current model of the chemo-mechanical coupling scheme obtained by this approach, as well as future prospects. PMID:25796033

  4. Exact results in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics: Formalism and applications in chemical kinetics and single-molecule free energy estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adib, Artur B.

    In the last two decades or so, a collection of results in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics that departs from the traditional near-equilibrium framework introduced by Lars Onsager in 1931 has been derived, yielding new fundamental insights into far-from-equilibrium processes in general. Apart from offering a more quantitative statement of the second law of thermodynamics, some of these results---typified by the so-called "Jarzynski equality"---have also offered novel means of estimating equilibrium quantities from nonequilibrium processes, such as free energy differences from single-molecule "pulling" experiments. This thesis contributes to such efforts by offering three novel results in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics: (a) The entropic analog of the Jarzynski equality; (b) A methodology for estimating free energies from "clamp-and-release" nonequilibrium processes; and (c) A directly measurable symmetry relation in chemical kinetics similar to (but more general than) chemical detailed balance. These results share in common the feature of remaining valid outside Onsager's near-equilibrium regime, and bear direct applicability in protein folding kinetics as well as in single-molecule free energy estimation.

  5. Single-Molecule Enzymology

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Xiaoliang; Lu, H PETER.

    1999-06-04

    Viewing a movie of an enzyme molecule made from molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, we see incredible details of molecular motions, be it a change of the conformation or the action of a chemical reaction.

  6. Direct Measurements of the Mechanical Stability of Zinc-Thiolate Bonds in Rubredoxin by Single-Molecule Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Peng; Li, Hongbin

    2011-01-01

    Zinc (Zn) is one of the most abundant metals and is essential for life. Through ligand interactions, often with thiolate from cysteine residues in proteins, Zn can play important structural roles in organizing protein structure and augmenting protein folding and stability. However, it is difficult to separate the contributions of Zn-ligand interactions from those originating from intrinsic protein folding in experimental studies of Zn-containing metalloproteins, which makes the study of Zn-ligand interactions in proteins challenging. Here, we used single-molecule force spectroscopy to directly measure the mechanical rupture force of the Zn-thiolate bond in Zn-rubredoxin. Our results show that considerable force is needed to rupture Zn-thiolate bonds (∼170 pN, which is significantly higher than the force necessary to rupture the coordination bond between Zn and histidines). To our knowledge, our study not only provides new information about Zn-thiolate bonds in rubredoxin, it also opens a new avenue for studying metal-ligand bonds in proteins using single-molecule force spectroscopy. PMID:21943428

  7. Single-Molecule Pull-down FRET (SiMPull-FRET) to dissect the mechanisms of biomolecular machines

    PubMed Central

    Kahlscheuer, Matthew L.; Widom, Julia; Walter, Nils G.

    2016-01-01

    Spliceosomes are multi-megadalton RNA-protein complexes responsible for the faithful removal of non-coding segments (introns) from pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs), a process critical for the maturation of eukaryotic mRNAs for subsequent translation by the ribosome. Both the spliceosome and ribosome, as well as many other RNA and DNA processing machineries, contain central RNA components that endow biomolecular complexes with precise, sequence-specific nucleic acid recognition and versatile structural dynamics. Single molecule fluorescence (or Förster) resonance energy transfer (smFRET) microscopy is a powerful tool for the study of local and global conformational changes of both simple and complex biomolecular systems involving RNA. The integration of biochemical tools such as immunoprecipitation with advanced methods in smFRET microscopy and data analysis has opened up entirely new avenues towards studying the mechanisms of biomolecular machines isolated directly from complex biological specimens such as cell extracts. Here we detail the general steps for using prism-based total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in exemplary single molecule pull-down FRET (SiMPull-FRET) studies of the yeast spliceosome and discuss the broad application potential of this technique. PMID:26068753

  8. Quantum mechanical single molecule partition function from path integral Monte Carlo simulations.

    PubMed

    Chempath, Shaji; Predescu, Cristian; Bell, Alexis T

    2006-06-21

    An algorithm for calculating the partition function of a molecule with the path integral Monte Carlo method is presented. Staged thermodynamic perturbation with respect to a reference harmonic potential is utilized to evaluate the ratio of partition functions. Parallel tempering and a new Monte Carlo estimator for the ratio of partition functions are implemented here to achieve well converged simulations that give an accuracy of 0.04 kcal/mol in the reported free energies. The method is applied to various test systems, including a catalytic system composed of 18 atoms. Absolute free energies calculated by this method lead to corrections as large as 2.6 kcal/mol at 300 K for some of the examples presented. PMID:16821901

  9. Quantum Mechanical Single Molecule Partition Function from PathIntegral Monte Carlo Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Chempath, Shaji; Bell, Alexis T.; Predescu, Cristian

    2006-10-01

    An algorithm for calculating the partition function of a molecule with the path integral Monte Carlo method is presented. Staged thermodynamic perturbation with respect to a reference harmonic potential is utilized to evaluate the ratio of partition functions. Parallel tempering and a new Monte Carlo estimator for the ratio of partition functions are implemented here to achieve well converged simulations that give an accuracy of 0.04 kcal/mol in the reported free energies. The method is applied to various test systems, including a catalytic system composed of 18 atoms. Absolute free energies calculated by this method lead to corrections as large as 2.6 kcal/mol at 300 K for some of the examples presented.

  10. Extracting Models in Single Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presse, Steve

    2013-03-01

    Single molecule experiments can now monitor the journey of a protein from its assembly near a ribosome to its proteolytic demise. Ideally all single molecule data should be self-explanatory. However data originating from single molecule experiments is particularly challenging to interpret on account of fluctuations and noise at such small scales. Realistically, basic understanding comes from models carefully extracted from the noisy data. Statistical mechanics, and maximum entropy in particular, provide a powerful framework for accomplishing this task in a principled fashion. Here I will discuss our work in extracting conformational memory from single molecule force spectroscopy experiments on large biomolecules. One clear advantage of this method is that we let the data tend towards the correct model, we do not fit the data. I will show that the dynamical model of the single molecule dynamics which emerges from this analysis is often more textured and complex than could otherwise come from fitting the data to a pre-conceived model.

  11. Multiscale Modelling for investigating single molecule effects on the mechanics of actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A, Deriu Marco; C, Bidone Tamara; Laura, Carbone; Cristina, Bignardi; M, Montevecchi Franco; Umberto, Morbiducci

    2011-12-01

    This work presents a preliminary multiscale computational investigation of the effects of nucleotides and cations on the mechanics of actin filaments (F-actin). At the molecular level, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are employed to characterize the rearrangements of the actin monomers (G-actin) in terms of secondary structures evolution in physiological conditions. At the mesoscale level, a coarse grain (CG) procedure is adopted where each monomer is represented by means of Elastic Network Modeling (ENM) technique. At the macroscale level, actin filaments up to hundreds of nanometers are assumed as isotropic and elastic beams and characterized via Rotation Translation Block (RTB) analysis. F-actin bound to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) shows a persistence length around 5 μm, while actin filaments bound to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) have a persistence length of about 3 μm. With magnesium bound to the high affinity binding site of G-actin, the persistence length of F-actin decreases to about 2 μm only in the ADP-bound form of the filament, while the same ion has no effects, in terms of stiffness variation, on the ATP-bound form of F-actin. The molecular mechanisms behind these changes in flexibility are herein elucidated. Thus, this study allows to analyze how the local binding of cations and nucleotides on G-actin induce molecular rearrangements that transmit to the overall F-actin, characterizing shifts of mechanical properties, that can be related with physiological and pathological cellular phenomena, as cell migration and spreading. Further, this study provides the basis for upcoming investigating of network and cellular remodelling at higher length scales.

  12. From single molecule to single tubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Chin-Lin

    2012-02-01

    Biological systems often make decisions upon conformational changes and assembly of single molecules. In vivo, epithelial cells (such as the mammary gland cells) can respond to extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, type I collagen (COL), and switch their morphology from a lobular lumen (100-200 micron) to a tubular lumen (1mm-1cm). However, how cells make such a morphogenetic decision through interactions with each other and with COL is unclear. Using a temporal control of cell-ECM interaction, we find that epithelial cells, in response to a fine-tuned percentage of type I collagen (COL) in ECM, develop various linear patterns. Remarkably, these patterns allow cells to self-assemble into a tubule of length ˜ 1cm and diameter ˜ 400 micron in the liquid phase (i.e., scaffold-free conditions). In contrast with conventional thought, the linear patterns arise through bi-directional transmission of traction force, but not through diffusible biochemical factors secreted by cells. In turn, the transmission of force evokes a long-range (˜ 600 micron) intercellular mechanical interaction. A feedback effect is encountered when the mechanical interaction modifies cell positioning and COL alignment. Micro-patterning experiments further reveal that such a feedback is a novel cell-number-dependent, rich-get-richer process, which allows cells to integrate mechanical interactions into long-range (> 1mm) linear coordination. Our results suggest a mechanism cells can use to form and coordinate long-range tubular patterns, independent of those controlled by diffusible biochemical factors, and provide a new strategy to engineer/regenerate epithelial organs using scaffold-free self-assembly methods.

  13. Nanochannel Based Single Molecule Recycling

    PubMed Central

    Lesoine, John F.; Venkataraman, Prahnesh A.; Maloney, Peter C.; Dumont, Mark

    2012-01-01

    We present a method for measuring the fluorescence from a single molecule hundreds of times without surface immobilization. The approach is based on the use of electroosmosis to repeatedly drive a single target molecule in a fused silica nanochannel through a stationary laser focus. Single molecule fluorescence detected during the transit time through the laser focus is used to repeatedly reverse the electrical potential controlling the flow direction. Our method does not rely on continuous observation and therefore is less susceptible to fluorescence blinking than existing fluorescence-based trapping schemes. The variation in the turnaround times can be used to measure the diffusion coefficient on a single molecule level. We demonstrate the ability to recycle both proteins and DNA in nanochannels and show that the procedure can be combined with single-pair Förster energy transfer. Nanochannel-based single molecule recycling holds promise for studying conformational dynamics on the same single molecule in solution and without surface tethering. PMID:22662745

  14. Cobalt single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, En-Che; Hendrickson, David N.; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Nakano, Motohiro; Zakharov, Lev N.; Sommer, Roger D.; Rheingold, Arnold L.; Ledezma-Gairaud, Marisol; Christou, George

    2002-05-01

    A cobalt molecule that functions as a single-molecule magnet, [Co4(hmp)4(MeOH)4Cl4], where hmp- is the anion of hydroxymethylpyridine, is reported. The core of the molecule consists of four Co(II) cations and four hmp- oxygen atom ions at the corners of a cube. Variable-field and variable-temperature magnetization data have been analyzed to establish that the molecule has a S=6 ground state with considerable negative magnetoanisotropy. Single-ion zero-field interactions (DSz2) at each cobalt ion are the origin of the negative magnetoanisotropy. A single crystal of the compound was studied by means of a micro-superconducting quantum interference device magnetometer in the range of 0.040-1.0 K. Hysteresis was found in the magnetization versus magnetic field response of this single crystal.

  15. Single-Molecule DNA Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efcavitch, J. William; Thompson, John F.

    2010-07-01

    The ability to detect single molecules of DNA or RNA has led to an extremely rich area of exploration of the single most important biomolecule in nature. In cases in which the nucleic acid molecules are tethered to a solid support, confined to a channel, or simply allowed to diffuse into a detection volume, novel techniques have been developed to manipulate the DNA and to examine properties such as structural dynamics and protein-DNA interactions. Beyond the analysis of the properties of nucleic acids themselves, single-molecule detection has enabled dramatic improvements in the throughput of DNA sequencing and holds promise for continuing progress. Both optical and nonoptical detection methods that use surfaces, nanopores, and zero-mode waveguides have been attempted, and one optically based instrument is already commercially available. The breadth of literature related to single-molecule DNA analysis is vast; this review focuses on a survey of efforts in molecular dynamics and nucleic acid sequencing.

  16. Fluorescence Microscopy of Single Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Jan; van Dorp, Arthur; Renn, Alois

    2004-01-01

    The investigation of photochemistry and photophysics of individual quantum systems is described with the help of a wide-field fluorescence microscopy approach. The fluorescence single molecules are observed in real time.

  17. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E.B.

    1987-10-07

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photons are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions. 3 figs.

  18. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E. Brooks

    1988-01-01

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photones are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions.

  19. Trapping Single Molecules by Dielectrophoresis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hölzel, Ralph; Calander, Nils; Chiragwandi, Zackary; Willander, Magnus; Bier, Frank F.

    2005-09-01

    We have trapped single protein molecules of R-phycoerythrin in an aqueous solution by an alternating electric field. A radio frequency voltage is applied to sharp nanoelectrodes and hence produces a strong electric field gradient. The resulting dielectrophoretic forces attract freely diffusing protein molecules. Trapping takes place at the electrode tips. Switching off the field immediately releases the molecules. The electric field distribution is computed, and from this the dielectrophoretic response of the molecules is calculated using a standard polarization model. The resulting forces are compared to the impact of Brownian motion. Finally, we discuss the experimental observations on the basis of the model calculations.

  20. Single-molecule study of protein-DNA target search mechanisms for dimer-active protein complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landry, Markita; Huang, Wai Mun; Chemla, Yann

    2012-02-01

    Protein-DNA interactions are essential to cellular processes, many of which require proteins to recognize a specific DNA target-site. This search process is well-documented for monomeric proteins, but not as well understood for systems that require dimerization at the target site for activity. We present a single-molecule study of the target-search mechanism of Protelomerase TelK, a recombinase-like protein that is only active as a dimer. We observe that TelK undergoes 1D diffusion on non-target DNA as a monomer, as expected, but becomes immobile on DNA as a dimer or oligomer despite the absence of its target site. We further show that TelK condenses non-target DNA upon dimerization, forming a tightly bound nucleo-protein complex. Together with simulations, our results suggest a search model whereby monomers diffuse along DNA, and subsequently dimerize to form an active complex on target DNA. These results show that target-finding occurs faster than nonspecific dimerization at biologically relevant protein concentrations. This model may provide insights into the search mechanisms of proteins that are active as multimeric complexes for a more accurate and comprehensive model for the target-search process by sequence specific proteins.

  1. Combining single-molecule manipulation and single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Juan Carlos; Das, Dibyendu Kumar; Manning, Harris W; Lang, Matthew J

    2014-10-01

    Single molecule force manipulation combined with fluorescence techniques offers much promise in revealing mechanistic details of biomolecular machinery. Here, we review force-fluorescence microscopy, which combines the best features of manipulation and detection techniques. Three of the mainstay manipulation methods (optical traps, magnetic traps and atomic force microscopy) are discussed with respect to milestones in combination developments, in addition to highlight recent contributions to the field. An overview of additional strategies is discussed, including fluorescence based force sensors for force measurement in vivo. Armed with recent exciting demonstrations of this technology, the field of combined single-molecule manipulation and single-molecule detection is poised to provide unprecedented views of molecular machinery. PMID:25255052

  2. Electromechanical Properties of Single Molecule Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruot, Christopher

    Understanding the interplay between the electrical and mechanical properties of single molecules is of fundamental importance for molecular electronics. The sensitivity of charge transport to mechanical fluctuations is a key problem in developing long lasting molecular devices. Furthermore, harnessing this response to mechanical perturbation, molecular devices which can be mechanically gated can be developed. This thesis demonstrates three examples of the unique electromechanical properties of single molecules. First, the electromechanical properties of 1,4-benzenedithiol molecular junctions are investigate. Counterintuitively, the conductance of this molecule is found to increase by more than an order of magnitude when stretched. This conductance increase is found to be reversible when the molecular junction is compressed. The current-voltage, conductance-voltage and inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy characteristics are used to attribute the conductance increase to a strain-induced shift in the frontier molecular orbital relative to the electrode Fermi level, leading to resonant enhancement in the conductance. Next, the effect of stretching-induced structural changes on charge transport in DNA molecules is studied. The conductance of single DNA molecules with lengths varying from 6 to 26 base pairs is measured and found to follow a hopping transport mechanism. The conductance of DNA molecules is highly sensitive to mechanical stretching, showing an abrupt decrease in conductance at surprisingly short stretching distances, with weak dependence on DNA length. This abrupt conductance decrease is attributed to force-induced breaking of hydrogen bonds in the base pairs at the end of the DNA sequence. Finally, the effect of small mechanical modulation of the base separation on DNA conductance is investigated. The sensitivity of conductance to mechanical modulation is studied for molecules of different sequence and length. Sequences with purine-purine stacking

  3. Nanodevices for Single Molecule Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craighead, H. G.; Stavis, S. M.; Samiee, K. T.

    During the last two decades, biotechnology research has resulted in progress in fields as diverse as the life sciences, agriculture and healthcare. While existing technology enables the analysis of a variety of biological systems, new tools are needed for increasing the efficiency of current methods, and for developing new ones altogether. Interest has grown in single molecule analysis for these reasons.

  4. A 3-terminal single molecule nanoscale amperometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hliwa, M.; Ami, S.; Joachim, C.

    2006-07-01

    A 3-terminal single molecule transducer is presented which is able to measure tunnel current intensities. The conformation of a pyrene-phenyl molecule is changed under an intramolecular inelastic current effect. This conformation change is detected by a third lateral electrode interacting also with the molecule. The full multi-channel electronic scattering matrix of the device is calculated taking into account the chemisorption of the molecule at one end and the details mechanics of the conformation change of this molecule. A semi-classical model is used to describe the intramolecular transduction effect between the electrons transferred through the molecule and its conformation change. It results a linear transduction curve between the input and the detection currents of the device for a range of tunnel current of interest for mono-molecular electronics.

  5. Trapping and manipulating single molecules of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shon, Min Ju

    This thesis presents the development and application of nanoscale techniques to trap and manipulate biomolecules, with a focus on DNA. These methods combine single-molecule microscopy and nano- and micro-fabrication to study biophysical properties of DNA and proteins. The Dimple Machine is a lab-on-a-chip device that can isolate and confine a small number of molecules from a bulk solution. It traps molecules in nanofabricated chambers, or "dimples", and the trapped molecules are then studied on a fluorescence microscope at the single-molecule level. The sampling of bulk solution by dimples is representative, reproducible, and automated, enabling highthroughput single-molecule experiments. The device was applied to study hybridization of oligonucleotides, particularly in the context of reaction thermodynamics and kinetics in nanoconfinement. The DNA Pulley is a system to study protein binding and the local mechanical properties of DNA. A molecule of DNA is tethered to a surface on one end, and a superparamagnetic bead is attached to the other. A magnet pulls the DNA taut, and a silicon nitride knife with a nanoscale blade scans the DNA along its contour. Information on the local properties of the DNA is extracted by tracking the bead with nanometer precision in a white-light microscope. The system can detect proteins bound to DNA and localize their recognition sites, as shown with a model protein, EcoRI restriction enzyme. Progress on the measurements of nano-mechanical properties of DNA is included.

  6. Single-molecule junctions beyond electronic transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aradhya, Sriharsha V.; Venkataraman, Latha

    2013-06-01

    The idea of using individual molecules as active electronic components provided the impetus to develop a variety of experimental platforms to probe their electronic transport properties. Among these, single-molecule junctions in a metal-molecule-metal motif have contributed significantly to our fundamental understanding of the principles required to realize molecular-scale electronic components from resistive wires to reversible switches. The success of these techniques and the growing interest of other disciplines in single-molecule-level characterization are prompting new approaches to investigate metal-molecule-metal junctions with multiple probes. Going beyond electronic transport characterization, these new studies are highlighting both the fundamental and applied aspects of mechanical, optical and thermoelectric properties at the atomic and molecular scales. Furthermore, experimental demonstrations of quantum interference and manipulation of electronic and nuclear spins in single-molecule circuits are heralding new device concepts with no classical analogues. In this Review, we present the emerging methods being used to interrogate multiple properties in single molecule-based devices, detail how these measurements have advanced our understanding of the structure-function relationships in molecular junctions, and discuss the potential for future research and applications.

  7. Single Molecule and Single Cell Epigenomics

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Byung-Ryool; McElwee, John L.; Soloway, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Dynamically regulated changes in chromatin states are vital for normal development and can produce disease when they go awry. Accordingly, much effort has been devoted to characterizing these states under normal and pathological conditions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method to characterize where in the genome transcription factors, modified histones, modified nucleotides and chromatin binding proteins are found; bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) and its variants are commonly used to characterize the locations of DNA modifications. Though very powerful, these methods are not without limitations. Notably, they are best at characterizing one chromatin feature at a time, yet chromatin features arise and function in combination. Investigators commonly superimpose separate ChIP-seq or BS-seq datasets, and then infer where chromatin features are found together. While these inferences might be correct, they can be misleading when the chromatin source has distinct cell types, or when a given cell type exhibits any cell to cell variation in chromatin state. These ambiguities can be eliminated by robust methods that directly characterize the existence and genomic locations of combinations of chromatin features in very small inputs of cells or ideally, single cells. Here we review single molecule epigenomic methods under development to overcome these limitations, the technical challenges associated with single molecule methods and their potential application to single cells. PMID:25204781

  8. Protein folding at single-molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Deniz, Ashok A.

    2011-01-01

    The protein folding reaction carries great significance for cellular function and hence continues to be the research focus of a large interdisciplinary protein science community. Single-molecule methods are providing new and powerful tools for dissecting the mechanisms of this complex process by virtue of their ability to provide views of protein structure and dynamics without associated ensemble averaging. This review briefly introduces common FRET and force methods, and then explores several areas of protein folding where single-molecule experiments have yielded insights. These include exciting new information about folding landscapes, dynamics, intermediates, unfolded ensembles, intrinsically disordered proteins, assisted folding and biomechanical unfolding. Emerging and future work is expected to include advances in single-molecule techniques aimed at such investigations, and increasing work on more complex systems from both the physics and biology standpoints, including folding and dynamics of systems of interacting proteins and of proteins in cells and organisms. PMID:21303706

  9. Single-molecule view of basal activity and activation mechanisms of the G protein-coupled receptor β2AR.

    PubMed

    Lamichhane, Rajan; Liu, Jeffrey J; Pljevaljcic, Goran; White, Kate L; van der Schans, Edwin; Katritch, Vsevolod; Stevens, Raymond C; Wüthrich, Kurt; Millar, David P

    2015-11-17

    Binding of extracellular ligands to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) initiates transmembrane signaling by inducing conformational changes on the cytoplasmic receptor surface. Knowledge of this process provides a platform for the development of GPCR-targeting drugs. Here, using a site-specific Cy3 fluorescence probe in the human β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR), we observed that individual receptor molecules in the native-like environment of phospholipid nanodiscs undergo spontaneous transitions between two distinct conformational states. These states are assigned to inactive and active-like receptor conformations. Individual receptor molecules in the apo form repeatedly sample both conformations, with a bias toward the inactive conformation. Experiments in the presence of drug ligands show that binding of the full agonist formoterol shifts the conformational distribution in favor of the active-like conformation, whereas binding of the inverse agonist ICI-118,551 favors the inactive conformation. Analysis of single-molecule dwell-time distributions for each state reveals that formoterol increases the frequency of activation transitions, while also reducing the frequency of deactivation events. In contrast, the inverse agonist increases the frequency of deactivation transitions. Our observations account for the high level of basal activity of this receptor and provide insights that help to rationalize, on the molecular level, the widely documented variability of the pharmacological efficacies among GPCR-targeting drugs. PMID:26578769

  10. Laser-Assisted Single Molecule Refolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Rui; Marshall, Myles; Aleman, Elvin; Lamichhane, Rajan; Rueda, David

    2010-03-01

    In vivo, many RNA molecules can adopt multiple conformations depending on their biological context such as the HIV Dimerization Initiation Sequence (DIS) or the DsrA RNA in bacteria. It is quite common that the initial interaction between the two RNAs takes place via complementary unpaired regions, thus forming a so-called kissing complex. However, the exact kinetic mechanism by which the two RNA molecules reach the dimerized state is still not well understood. To investigate the refolding energy surface of RNA molecules, we have developed new technology based on the combination of single molecule spectroscopy with laser induced temperature jump kinetics, called Laser Assisted Single-molecule Refolding (LASR). LASR enables us to induce folding reactions of otherwise kinetically trapped RNAs at the single molecule level, and to characterize their folding landscape. LASR provides an exciting new approach to study molecular memory effects and kinetically trapped RNAs in general. LASR should be readily applicable to study DNA and protein folding as well.

  11. Electrochemical detection of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Fan, F R; Bard, A J

    1995-02-10

    The electrochemical behavior of a single molecule can be observed by trapping a small volume of a dilute solution of the electroactive species between an ultramicroelectrode tip with a diameter of approximately 15 nanometers and a conductive substrate. A scanning electrochemical microscope was used to adjust the tip-substrate distance ( approximately 10 nanometers), and the oxidation of [(trimethylammonio)methyl] ferrocene (Cp(2)FeTMA(+)) to Cp(2)FeTMA(2+) was carried out. The response was stochastic, and anodic current peaks were observed as the molecule moved into and out of the electrode-substrate gap. Similar experiments were performed with a solution containing two redox species, ferrocene carboxylate (Cp(2)FeCOO(-)) and Os(bpy)(3)(2+) (bpy is 2,2'-bipyridyl). PMID:17813918

  12. Tuning the Magnetic Anisotropy of Single Molecules.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Benjamin W; Braun, Lukas; Pascual, Jose I; Franke, Katharina J

    2015-06-10

    The magnetism of single atoms and molecules is governed by the atomic scale environment. In general, the reduced symmetry of the surrounding splits the d states and aligns the magnetic moment along certain favorable directions. Here, we show that we can reversibly modify the magnetocrystalline anisotropy by manipulating the environment of single iron(II) porphyrin molecules adsorbed on Pb(111) with the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope. When we decrease the tip-molecule distance, we first observe a small increase followed by an exponential decrease of the axial anisotropy on the molecules. This is in contrast to the monotonous increase observed earlier for the same molecule with an additional axial Cl ligand ( Nat. Phys. 2013 , 9 , 765 ). We ascribe the changes in the anisotropy of both species to a deformation of the molecules in the presence of the attractive force of the tip, which leads to a change in the d level alignment. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of a precise tuning of the magnetic anisotropy of an individual molecule by mechanical control. PMID:25942560

  13. A single-molecule diode

    PubMed Central

    Elbing, Mark; Ochs, Rolf; Koentopp, Max; Fischer, Matthias; von Hänisch, Carsten; Weigend, Florian; Evers, Ferdinand; Weber, Heiko B.; Mayor, Marcel

    2005-01-01

    We have designed and synthesized a molecular rod that consists of two weakly coupled electronic π -systems with mutually shifted energy levels. The asymmetry thus implied manifests itself in a current–voltage characteristic with pronounced dependence on the sign of the bias voltage, which makes the molecule a prototype for a molecular diode. The individual molecules were immobilized by sulfur–gold bonds between both electrodes of a mechanically controlled break junction, and their electronic transport properties have been investigated. The results indeed show diode-like current–voltage characteristics. In contrast to that, control experiments with symmetric molecular rods consisting of two identical π -systems did not show significant asymmetries in the transport properties. To investigate the underlying transport mechanism, phenomenological arguments are combined with calculations based on density functional theory. The theoretical analysis suggests that the bias dependence of the polarizability of the molecule feeds back into the current leading to an asymmetric shape of the current–voltage characteristics, similar to the phenomena in a semiconductor diode. PMID:15956208

  14. Single-molecule imaging by optical absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celebrano, Michele; Kukura, Philipp; Renn, Alois; Sandoghdar, Vahid

    2011-02-01

    To date, optical studies of single molecules at room temperature have relied on the use of materials with high fluorescence quantum yield combined with efficient spectral rejection of background light. To extend single-molecule studies to a much larger pallet of substances that absorb but do not fluoresce, scientists have explored the photothermal effect, interferometry, direct attenuation and stimulated emission. Indeed, very recently, three groups have succeeded in achieving single-molecule sensitivity in absorption. Here, we apply modulation-free transmission measurements known from absorption spectrometers to image single molecules under ambient conditions both in the emissive and strongly quenched states. We arrive at quantitative values for the absorption cross-section of single molecules at different wavelengths and thereby set the ground for single-molecule absorption spectroscopy. Our work has important implications for research ranging from absorption and infrared spectroscopy to sensing of unlabelled proteins at the single-molecule level.

  15. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time

    PubMed Central

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L.

    2011-01-01

    The last 15 years have witnessed the development of tools that allow the observation and manipulation of single molecules. The rapidly expanding application of these technologies for investigating biological systems of ever-increasing complexity is revolutionizing our ability to probe the mechanisms of biological reactions. Here, we compare the mechanistic information available from single-molecule experiments with the information typically obtained from ensemble studies and show how these two experimental approaches interface with each other. We next present a basic overview of the toolkit for observing and manipulating biology one molecule at a time. We close by presenting a case study demonstrating the impact that single-molecule approaches have had on our understanding of one of life's most fundamental biochemical reactions: the translation of a messenger RNA into its encoded protein by the ribosome. PMID:21685361

  16. Recent topics on single-molecule fluctuation analysis using blinking in surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering: clarification by the electromagnetic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Tamitake; Yamamoto, Yuko S

    2016-08-15

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy has become an ultrasensitive tool for clarifying molecular functions on plasmonic metal nanoparticles (NPs). SERS has been used for in situ probing of detailed behaviors of few or single molecules (SMs) at plasmonic NP junctions. SM SERS signals are commonly observed with temporal and spectral changes known as "blinking", which are related to various physical and chemical interactions between molecules and NP junctions. These temporal and spectral changes simultaneously take place, therefore resulting in serious complexities in interpretations of the SM SERS results. Dual contributions of Raman enhancement mechanisms in SERS (i.e., electromagnetic (EM) and chemical enhancements) also make interpretations more difficult. To resolve these issues and reduce the degree of complexities in SM SERS analyses, the present review is focused on the recent studies of probing SM behaviors using SERS exclusively within the framework of the EM mechanism. The EM mechanism is briefly introduced, and several recent topics on SM SERS blinking analysis are discussed in light of the EM mechanism. This review will provide a basis for clarification of complex SERS fluctuations of various molecules. PMID:27241875

  17. Single-molecule Studies of Riboswitch Folding

    PubMed Central

    Savinov, Andrew; Perez, Christian F.; Block, Steven M.

    2014-01-01

    The folding dynamics of riboswitches are central to their ability to modulate gene expression in response to environmental cues. In most cases, a structural competition between the formation of a ligand-binding aptamer and an expression platform (or some other competing off-state) determines the regulatory outcome. Here, we review single-molecule studies of riboswitch folding and function, predominantly carried out using single-molecule FRET or optical trapping approaches. Recent results have supplied new insights into riboswitch folding energy landscapes, the mechanisms of ligand binding, the roles played by divalent ions, the applicability of hierarchical folding models, and kinetic vs. thermodynamic control schemes. We anticipate that future work, based on improved data sets and potentially combining multiple experimental techniques, will enable the development of more complete models for complex RNA folding processes. PMID:24727093

  18. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

    Jeans, C; Thelen, M P; Noy, A

    2006-02-06

    In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged as chromatin, a highly ordered structure formed through the wrapping of the DNA around histone proteins, and further packed through interactions with a number of other proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the structure of chromatin must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. A number of remodeling enzymes have been described, but our understanding of the remodeling process is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the fine structure of chromatin, and how this structure is modulated in the living cell. We have carried out single molecule experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the packaging arrangements in chromatin from a variety of cell types. Comparison of the structures observed reveals differences which can be explained in terms of the cell type and its transcriptional activity. During the course of this project, sample preparation and AFM techniques were developed and optimized. Several opportunities for follow-up work are outlined which could provide further insight into the dynamic structural rearrangements of chromatin.

  19. Manipulating transport through a single-molecule junction

    SciTech Connect

    Sotthewes, Kai; Heimbuch, René; Zandvliet, Harold J. W.

    2013-12-07

    Molecular Electronics deals with the realization of elementary electronic devices that rely on a single molecule. For electronic applications, the most important property of a single molecule is its conductance. Here we show how the conductance of a single octanethiol molecule can be measured and manipulated by varying the contact's interspace. This mechanical gating of the single molecule junction leads to a variation of the conductance that can be understood in terms of a tunable image charge effect. The image charge effect increases with a decrease of the contact's interspace due to a reduction of the effective potential barrier height of 1.5 meV/pm.

  20. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Piatkowski, Lukasz; Gellings, Esther; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a widely used tool in multiple disciplines of science. The diversity of routinely recorded emission spectra does underpin the strength of the single-molecule approach in resolving the heterogeneity and dynamics, otherwise hidden in the ensemble. In early cryogenic studies single molecules were identified by their distinct excitation spectra, yet measuring excitation spectra at room temperature remains challenging. Here we present a broadband Fourier approach that allows rapid recording of excitation spectra of individual molecules under ambient conditions and that is robust against blinking and bleaching. Applying the method we show that the excitation spectra of individual molecules exhibit an extreme distribution of solvatochromic shifts and distinct spectral shapes. Importantly, we demonstrate that the sensitivity and speed of the broadband technique is comparable to that of emission spectroscopy putting both techniques side-by-side in single-molecule spectroscopy. PMID:26794035

  1. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piatkowski, Lukasz; Gellings, Esther; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a widely used tool in multiple disciplines of science. The diversity of routinely recorded emission spectra does underpin the strength of the single-molecule approach in resolving the heterogeneity and dynamics, otherwise hidden in the ensemble. In early cryogenic studies single molecules were identified by their distinct excitation spectra, yet measuring excitation spectra at room temperature remains challenging. Here we present a broadband Fourier approach that allows rapid recording of excitation spectra of individual molecules under ambient conditions and that is robust against blinking and bleaching. Applying the method we show that the excitation spectra of individual molecules exhibit an extreme distribution of solvatochromic shifts and distinct spectral shapes. Importantly, we demonstrate that the sensitivity and speed of the broadband technique is comparable to that of emission spectroscopy putting both techniques side-by-side in single-molecule spectroscopy.

  2. Single molecule nanometry for biological physics

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Ha, Taekjip

    2013-01-01

    Precision measurement is a hallmark of physics but the small length scale (~ nanometer) of elementary biological components and thermal fluctuations surrounding them challenge our ability to visualize their action. Here, we highlight the recent developments in single molecule nanometry where the position of a single fluorescent molecule can be determined with nanometer precision, reaching the limit imposed by the shot noise, and the relative motion between two molecules can be determined with ~ 0.3 nm precision at ~ 1 millisecond time resolution, and how these new tools are providing fundamental insights on how motor proteins move on cellular highways. We will also discuss how interactions between three and four fluorescent molecules can be used to measure three and six coordinates, respectively, allowing us to correlate movements of multiple components. Finally, we will discuss recent progress in combining angstrom precision optical tweezers with single molecule fluorescent detection, opening new windows for multi-dimensional single molecule nanometry for biological physics. PMID:23249673

  3. Chemical principles of single-molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Timothy A.; Neupane, Madhav; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2016-03-01

    The field of single-molecule electronics harnesses expertise from engineering, physics and chemistry to realize circuit elements at the limit of miniaturization; it is a subfield of nanoelectronics in which the electronic components are single molecules. In this Review, we survey the field from a chemical perspective and discuss the structure-property relationships of the three components that form a single-molecule junction: the anchor, the electrode and the molecular bridge. The spatial orientation and electronic coupling between each component profoundly affect the conductance properties and functions of the single-molecule device. We describe the design principles of the anchor group, the influence of the electronic configuration of the electrode and the effect of manipulating the structure of the molecular backbone and of its substituent groups. We discuss single-molecule conductance switches as well as the phenomenon of quantum interference and then trace their fundamental roots back to chemical principles.

  4. Single Molecule Studies on Dynamics in Liquid Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Täuber, Daniela; von Borczyskowski, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Single molecule (SM) methods are able to resolve structure related dynamics of guest molecules in liquid crystals (LC). Highly diluted small dye molecules on the one hand explore structure formation and LC dynamics, on the other hand they report about a distortion caused by the guest molecules. The anisotropic structure of LC materials is used to retrieve specific conformation related properties of larger guest molecules like conjugated polymers. This in particular sheds light on organization mechanisms within biological cells, where large molecules are found in nematic LC surroundings. This review gives a short overview related to the application of highly sensitive SM detection schemes in LC. PMID:24077123

  5. Understanding Enzyme Activity Using Single Molecule Tracking (Poster)

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Y.-S.; Zeng, Y.; Luo, Y.; Xu, Q.; Himmel, M.; Smith S.; Wei, H.; Ding, S.-Y.

    2009-06-01

    This poster describes single-molecule tracking and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. It discusses whether the carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) moves on cellulose, how the CBM binds to cellulose, and the mechanism of cellulosome assembly.

  6. Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Koichi; Nishida, Kohji

    2012-01-01

    Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes. PMID:22896768

  7. Rapid and Robust Polyprotein Production Facilitates Single-Molecule Mechanical Characterization of β-Barrel Assembly Machinery Polypeptide Transport Associated Domains.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Toni; Tych, Katarzyna M; Crosskey, Thomas; Schiffrin, Bob; Brockwell, David J; Dougan, Lorna

    2015-09-22

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy exploits the use of multimeric protein constructs, namely, polyproteins, to decrease the impact of nonspecific interactions, to improve data accumulation, and to allow the accommodation of benchmarking reference domains within the construct. However, methods to generate such constructs are either time- and labor-intensive or lack control over the length or the domain sequence of the obtained construct. Here, we describe an approach that addresses both of these shortcomings that uses Gibson assembly (GA) to generate a defined recombinant polyprotein rapidly using linker sequences. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we used GA to make a polyprotein composed of alternating domains of I27 and TmCsp, (I27-TmCsp)3-I27)(GA), and showed the mechanical fingerprint, mechanical strength, and pulling speed dependence are the same as an analogous polyprotein constructed using the classical approach. After this benchmarking, we exploited this approach to facilitiate the mechanical characterization of POTRA domain 2 of BamA from E. coli (EcPOTRA2) by assembling the polyprotein (I27-EcPOTRA2)3-I27(GA). We show that, as predicted from the α + β topology, EcPOTRA2 domains are mechanically robust over a wide range of pulling speeds. Furthermore, we identify a clear correlation between mechanical robustness and brittleness for a range of other α + β proteins that contain the structural feature of proximal terminal β-strands in parallel geometry. We thus demonstrate that the GA approach is a powerful tool, as it circumvents the usual time- and labor-intensive polyprotein production process and allows for rapid production of new constructs for single-molecule studies. As shown for EcPOTRA2, this approach allows the exploration of the mechanical properties of a greater number of proteins and their variants. This improves our understanding of the relationship between structure and mechanical strength

  8. Single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging over the decades.

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E; Shechtman, Yoav; Wang, Quan

    2015-01-01

    As of 2015, it has been 26 years since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in condensed matter. This area of science has expanded far beyond the early low temperature studies in crystals to include single molecules in cells, polymers, and in solution. The early steps relied upon high-resolution spectroscopy of inhomogeneously broadened optical absorption profiles of molecular impurities in solids at low temperatures. Spectral fine structure arising directly from the position-dependent fluctuations of the number of molecules in resonance led to the attainment of the single-molecule limit in 1989 using frequency-modulation laser spectroscopy. In the early 1990s, a variety of fascinating physical effects were observed for individual molecules, including imaging of the light from single molecules as well as observations of spectral diffusion, optical switching and the ability to select different single molecules in the same focal volume simply by tuning the pumping laser frequency. In the room temperature regime, researchers showed that bursts of light from single molecules could be detected in solution, leading to imaging and microscopy by a variety of methods. Studies of single copies of the green fluorescent protein also uncovered surprises, especially the blinking and photoinduced recovery of emitters, which stimulated further development of photoswitchable fluorescent protein labels. All of these early steps provided important fundamentals underpinning the development of super-resolution microscopy based on single-molecule localization and active control of emitting concentration. Current thrust areas include extensions to three-dimensional imaging with high precision, orientational analysis of single molecules, and direct measurements of photodynamics and transport properties for single molecules trapped in solution by suppression of Brownian motion. Without question, a huge variety of studies of single molecules performed by many

  9. Exploded view of higher order G-quadruplex structures through click-chemistry assisted single-molecule mechanical unfolding.

    PubMed

    Selvam, Sangeetha; Yu, Zhongbo; Mao, Hanbin

    2016-01-01

    Due to the long-range nature of high-order interactions between distal components in a biomolecule, transition dynamics of tertiary structures is often too complex to profile using conventional methods. Inspired by the exploded view in mechanical drawing, here, we used laser tweezers to mechanically dissect high-order DNA structures into two constituting G-quadruplexes in the promoter of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene. Assisted with click-chemistry coupling, we sandwiched one G-quadruplex with two dsDNA handles while leaving the other unit free. Mechanical unfolding through these handles revealed transition dynamics of the targeted quadruplex in a native environment, which is named as native mechanical segmentation (NMS). Comparison between unfolding of an NMS construct and that of truncated G-quadruplex constructs revealed a quadruplex-quadruplex interaction with 2 kcal/mol stabilization energy. After mechanically targeting the two G-quadruplexes together, the same interaction was observed during the first unfolding step. The unfolding then proceeded through disrupting the weaker G-quadruplex at the 5'-end, followed by the stronger G-quadruplex at the 3'-end via various intermediates. Such a pecking order in unfolding well reflects the hierarchical nature of nucleic acid structures. With surgery-like precisions, we anticipate this NMS approach offers unprecedented perspective to decipher dynamic transitions in complex biomacromolecules. PMID:26626151

  10. Exploded view of higher order G-quadruplex structures through click-chemistry assisted single-molecule mechanical unfolding

    PubMed Central

    Selvam, Sangeetha; Yu, Zhongbo; Mao, Hanbin

    2016-01-01

    Due to the long-range nature of high-order interactions between distal components in a biomolecule, transition dynamics of tertiary structures is often too complex to profile using conventional methods. Inspired by the exploded view in mechanical drawing, here, we used laser tweezers to mechanically dissect high-order DNA structures into two constituting G-quadruplexes in the promoter of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene. Assisted with click-chemistry coupling, we sandwiched one G-quadruplex with two dsDNA handles while leaving the other unit free. Mechanical unfolding through these handles revealed transition dynamics of the targeted quadruplex in a native environment, which is named as native mechanical segmentation (NMS). Comparison between unfolding of an NMS construct and that of truncated G-quadruplex constructs revealed a quadruplex–quadruplex interaction with 2 kcal/mol stabilization energy. After mechanically targeting the two G-quadruplexes together, the same interaction was observed during the first unfolding step. The unfolding then proceeded through disrupting the weaker G-quadruplex at the 5′-end, followed by the stronger G-quadruplex at the 3′-end via various intermediates. Such a pecking order in unfolding well reflects the hierarchical nature of nucleic acid structures. With surgery-like precisions, we anticipate this NMS approach offers unprecedented perspective to decipher dynamic transitions in complex biomacromolecules. PMID:26626151

  11. Predominant Occupation of the Class I MHC Molecule H-2Kwm7 with a Single Self-peptide Suggests a Mechanism for its Diabetes-protective Effect

    SciTech Connect

    Brims, D.; Qian, J; Jarchum, I; Mikesh, L; Palmieri, E; Ramagopal, U; Malashkevich, V; Chaparro, R; Lund, T; et. al.

    2010-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease characterized by T cell-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic {beta} cells. In both humans and the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of T1D, class II MHC alleles are the primary determinant of disease susceptibility. However, class I MHC genes also influence risk. These findings are consistent with the requirement for both CD{sup 4+} and CD{sup 8+} T cells in the pathogenesis of T1D. Although a large body of work has permitted the identification of multiple mechanisms to explain the diabetes-protective effect of particular class II MHC alleles, studies examining the protective influence of class I alleles are lacking. Here, we explored this question by performing biochemical and structural analyses of the murine class I MHC molecule H-2K{sup wm7}, which exerts a diabetes-protective effect in NOD mice. We have found that H-2K{sup wm7} molecules are predominantly occupied by the single self-peptide VNDIFERI, derived from the ubiquitous protein histone H2B. This unexpected finding suggests that the inability of H-2K{sup wm7} to support T1D development could be due, at least in part, to the failure of peptides from critical {beta}-cell antigens to adequately compete for binding and be presented to T cells. Predominant presentation of a single peptide would also be expected to influence T-cell selection, potentially leading to a reduced ability to select a diabetogenic CD{sup 8+} T-cell repertoire. The report that one of the predominant peptides bound by T1D-protective HLA-A*31 is histone derived suggests the potential translation of our findings to human diabetes-protective class I MHC molecules.

  12. Analyzing Single-Molecule Time Series via Nonparametric Bayesian Inference

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Keegan E.; Bankston, John R.; Aldrich, Richard W.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to measure the properties of proteins at the single-molecule level offers an unparalleled glimpse into biological systems at the molecular scale. The interpretation of single-molecule time series has often been rooted in statistical mechanics and the theory of Markov processes. While existing analysis methods have been useful, they are not without significant limitations including problems of model selection and parameter nonidentifiability. To address these challenges, we introduce the use of nonparametric Bayesian inference for the analysis of single-molecule time series. These methods provide a flexible way to extract structure from data instead of assuming models beforehand. We demonstrate these methods with applications to several diverse settings in single-molecule biophysics. This approach provides a well-constrained and rigorously grounded method for determining the number of biophysical states underlying single-molecule data. PMID:25650922

  13. Resolving metal-molecule interfaces at single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nakamura, Hisao; Tada, Tomofumi; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-01-01

    Electronic and structural detail at the electrode-molecule interface have a significant influence on charge transport across molecular junctions. Despite the decisive role of the metal-molecule interface, a complete electronic and structural characterization of the interface remains a challenge. This is in no small part due to current experimental limitations. Here, we present a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the metal-molecule interface in single-molecule junctions, based on current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contrary to conventional conductance studies, this I-V approach provides a correlated statistical description of both, the degree of electronic coupling across the metal-molecule interface, and the energy alignment between the conduction orbital and the Fermi level of the electrode. This exhaustive statistical approach was employed to study single-molecule junctions of 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA), 1,4-butanediamine (C4DA), and 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). A single interfacial configuration was observed for both BDA and C4DA junctions, while three different interfacial arrangements were resolved for BDT. This multiplicity is due to different molecular adsorption sites on the Au surface namely on-top, hollow, and bridge. Furthermore, C4DA junctions present a fluctuating I-V curve arising from the greater conformational freedom of the saturated alkyl chain, in sharp contrast with the rigid aromatic backbone of both BDA and BDT. PMID:27221947

  14. Resolving metal-molecule interfaces at single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nakamura, Hisao; Tada, Tomofumi; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-05-01

    Electronic and structural detail at the electrode-molecule interface have a significant influence on charge transport across molecular junctions. Despite the decisive role of the metal-molecule interface, a complete electronic and structural characterization of the interface remains a challenge. This is in no small part due to current experimental limitations. Here, we present a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the metal-molecule interface in single-molecule junctions, based on current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contrary to conventional conductance studies, this I-V approach provides a correlated statistical description of both, the degree of electronic coupling across the metal-molecule interface, and the energy alignment between the conduction orbital and the Fermi level of the electrode. This exhaustive statistical approach was employed to study single-molecule junctions of 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA), 1,4-butanediamine (C4DA), and 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). A single interfacial configuration was observed for both BDA and C4DA junctions, while three different interfacial arrangements were resolved for BDT. This multiplicity is due to different molecular adsorption sites on the Au surface namely on-top, hollow, and bridge. Furthermore, C4DA junctions present a fluctuating I-V curve arising from the greater conformational freedom of the saturated alkyl chain, in sharp contrast with the rigid aromatic backbone of both BDA and BDT.

  15. Amyloid at the nanoscale: AFM and single-molecule investigations of early steps of aggregation and mature fibril growth, structure, and mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramaniam, Vinod

    2013-03-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of proteins into nanometer-scale fibrillar assemblies is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases. We have investigated the self-assembly of the human intrinsically disordered protein alpha-synuclein, involved in Parkinson's disease, into amyloid fibrils. A particularly relevant question is the role of early oligomeric aggregates in modulating the dynamics of protein nucleation and aggregation. We have used single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize conformational transitions of alpha-synuclein, and to gain insights into the structure and composition of oligomeric aggregates of alpha-synuclein. Quantitative atomic force microscopy and nanomechanical investigations provide information on amyloid fibril polymorphism and on nanoscale mechanical properties of mature fibrillar species, while conventional optical and super-resolution imaging have yielded insights into the growth of fibrils and into the assembly of suprafibrillar structures. We thank the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology for support.

  16. Single-Molecule Folding Mechanisms of the apo- and Mg2+-Bound States of Human Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1

    PubMed Central

    Naqvi, Mohsin M.; Heidarsson, Pétur O.; Otazo, Mariela R.; Mossa, Alessandro; Kragelund, Birthe B.; Cecconi, Ciro

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1) is the primordial member of a family of proteins responsible primarily for sensing changes in neuronal Ca2+ concentration. NCS-1 is a multispecific protein interacting with a number of binding partners in both calcium-dependent and independent manners, and acting in a variety of cellular processes in which it has been linked to a number of disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Despite extensive studies on the Ca2+-activated state of NCS proteins, little is known about the conformational dynamics of the Mg2+-bound and apo states, both of which are populated, at least transiently, at resting Ca2+ conditions. Here, we used optical tweezers to study the folding behavior of individual NCS-1 molecules in the presence of Mg2+ and in the absence of divalent ions. Under tension, the Mg2+-bound state of NCS-1 unfolds and refolds in a three-state process by populating one intermediate state consisting of a folded C-domain and an unfolded N-domain. The interconversion at equilibrium between the different molecular states populated by NCS-1 was monitored in real time through constant-force measurements and the energy landscapes underlying the observed transitions were reconstructed through hidden Markov model analysis. Unlike what has been observed with the Ca2+-bound state, the presence of Mg2+ allows both the N- and C-domain to fold through all-or-none transitions with similar refolding rates. In the absence of divalent ions, NCS-1 unfolds and refolds reversibly in a two-state reaction involving only the C-domain, whereas the N-domain has no detectable transitions. Overall, the results allowed us to trace the progression of NCS-1 folding along its energy landscapes and provided a solid platform for understanding the conformational dynamics of similar EF-hand proteins. PMID:26153708

  17. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins - molecular motors - have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'. PMID:24565227

  18. Molecular junctions: Single-molecule contacts exposed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, Richard J.; Higgins, Simon J.

    2015-05-01

    Using a scanning tunnelling microscopy-based method it is now possible to get an atomistic-level description of the most probable binding and contact configuration for single-molecule electrical junctions.

  19. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Electron Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Holman; Ling Zang; Ruchuan Liu; David M. Adams

    2009-10-20

    The objectives of this research are threefold: (1) to develop methods for the study electron transfer processes at the single molecule level, (2) to develop a series of modifiable and structurally well defined molecular and nanoparticle systems suitable for detailed single molecule/particle and bulk spectroscopic investigation, (3) to relate experiment to theory in order to elucidate the dependence of electron transfer processes on molecular and electronic structure, coupling and reorganization energies. We have begun the systematic development of single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) of electron transfer and summaries of recent studies are shown. There is a tremendous need for experiments designed to probe the discrete electronic and molecular dynamic fluctuations of single molecules near electrodes and at nanoparticle surfaces. Single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) has emerged as a powerful method to measure properties of individual molecules which would normally be obscured in ensemble-averaged measurement. Fluctuations in the fluorescence time trajectories contain detailed molecular level statistical and dynamical information of the system. The full distribution of a molecular property is revealed in the stochastic fluctuations, giving information about the range of possible behaviors that lead to the ensemble average. In the case of electron transfer, this level of understanding is particularly important to the field of molecular and nanoscale electronics: from a device-design standpoint, understanding and controlling this picture of the overall range of possible behaviors will likely prove to be as important as designing ia the ideal behavior of any given molecule.

  20. Single Molecule Detection and Imaging in Single Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Shuming

    2002-03-01

    Direct observation of single molecules and single molecular events inside living cells could dramatically improve our understanding of basic cellular processes (e.g., signal transduction and gene transcription) as well as improving our knowledge on the intracellular transport and fate of therapeutic agents (e.g., antisense RNA and gene therapy vectors). This talk will focus on using single-molecule fluorescence and luminescent quantum dots to examine the dynamics and spatial distribution of RNA and proteins inside living cells and on the surface membrane surface. These single-molecule studies yield a detailed description of molecular events and cellular structures under physiological conditions.

  1. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

    Jeans, C; Colvin, M E; Thelen, M P; Noy, A

    2004-01-06

    The DNA in eukaryotic cells is tightly packaged as chromatin through interactions with histone proteins to form nucleosomes. These nucleosomes are themselves packed together through interactions with linker histone and non-histone proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the chromatin fiber must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. The structure of the chromatin fiber beyond the level of the single nucleosome and the structural changes which accompany the remodeling process are poorly understood. We are studying the structures and forces behind the remodeling process through the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM). This allows both high-resolution imaging of the chromatin, and manipulation of individual fibers. Pulling a single chromatin fiber apart using the AFM tip yields information on the forces which hold the structure together. We have isolated chromatin fibers from chicken erythrocytes and Chinese hamster ovary cell lines. AFM images of these fibers will be presented, along with preliminary data from the manipulation of these fibers using the AFM tip. The implications of these data for the structure of chromatin undergoing the remodeling process are discussed.

  2. The symmetry of single-molecule conduction.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Gemma C; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Frauenheim, Thomas; Di Carlo, Aldo; Reimers, Jeffrey R; Hush, Noel S

    2006-11-14

    We introduce the conductance point group which defines the symmetry of single-molecule conduction within the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism. It is shown, either rigorously or to within a very good approximation, to correspond to a molecular-conductance point group defined purely in terms of the properties of the conducting molecule. This enables single-molecule conductivity to be described in terms of key qualitative chemical descriptors that are independent of the nature of the molecule-conductor interfaces. We apply this to demonstrate how symmetry controls the conduction through 1,4-benzenedithiol chemisorbed to gold electrodes as an example system, listing also the molecular-conductance point groups for a range of molecules commonly used in molecular electronics research. PMID:17115774

  3. Superresolution Imaging using Single-Molecule Localization

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, George; Davidson, Michael; Manley, Suliana; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Superresolution imaging is a rapidly emerging new field of microscopy that dramatically improves the spatial resolution of light microscopy by over an order of magnitude (∼10–20-nm resolution), allowing biological processes to be described at the molecular scale. Here, we discuss a form of superresolution microscopy based on the controlled activation and sampling of sparse subsets of photoconvertible fluorescent molecules. In this single-molecule based imaging approach, a wide variety of probes have proved valuable, ranging from genetically encodable photoactivatable fluorescent proteins to photoswitchable cyanine dyes. These have been used in diverse applications of superresolution imaging: from three-dimensional, multicolor molecule localization to tracking of nanometric structures and molecules in living cells. Single-molecule-based superresolution imaging thus offers exciting possibilities for obtaining molecular-scale information on biological events occurring at variable timescales. PMID:20055680

  4. Single-Molecule Studies in Live Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Ji

    2016-05-01

    Live-cell single-molecule experiments are now widely used to study complex biological processes such as signal transduction, self-assembly, active trafficking, and gene regulation. These experiments' increased popularity results in part from rapid methodological developments that have significantly lowered the technical barriers to performing them. Another important advance is the development of novel statistical algorithms, which, by modeling the stochastic behaviors of single molecules, can be used to extract systemic parameters describing the in vivo biochemistry or super-resolution localization of biological molecules within their physiological environment. This review discusses recent advances in experimental and computational strategies for live-cell single-molecule studies, as well as a selected subset of biological studies that have utilized these new technologies.

  5. Single-Molecule Studies in Live Cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ji

    2016-05-27

    Live-cell single-molecule experiments are now widely used to study complex biological processes such as signal transduction, self-assembly, active trafficking, and gene regulation. These experiments' increased popularity results in part from rapid methodological developments that have significantly lowered the technical barriers to performing them. Another important advance is the development of novel statistical algorithms, which, by modeling the stochastic behaviors of single molecules, can be used to extract systemic parameters describing the in vivo biochemistry or super-resolution localization of biological molecules within their physiological environment. This review discusses recent advances in experimental and computational strategies for live-cell single-molecule studies, as well as a selected subset of biological studies that have utilized these new technologies. PMID:27070321

  6. Quantitative Aspects of Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ober, Raimund J.; Tahmasbi, Amir; Ram, Sripad; Lin, Zhiping; Ward, E. Sally

    2015-01-01

    Single molecule microscopy is a relatively new optical microscopy technique that allows the detection of individual molecules such as proteins in a cellular context. This technique has generated significant interest among biologists, biophysicists and biochemists, as it holds the promise to provide novel insights into subcellular processes and structures that otherwise cannot be gained through traditional experimental approaches. Single molecule experiments place stringent demands on experimental and algorithmic tools due to the low signal levels and the presence of significant extraneous noise sources. Consequently, this has necessitated the use of advanced statistical signal and image processing techniques for the design and analysis of single molecule experiments. In this tutorial paper, we provide an overview of single molecule microscopy from early works to current applications and challenges. Specific emphasis will be on the quantitative aspects of this imaging modality, in particular single molecule localization and resolvability, which will be discussed from an information theoretic perspective. We review the stochastic framework for image formation, different types of estimation techniques and expressions for the Fisher information matrix. We also discuss several open problems in the field that demand highly non-trivial signal processing algorithms. PMID:26167102

  7. Fluorescence Detection of Single DNA Molecules.

    PubMed

    Huang, Weidong; Wang, Yue; Wang, Zhimin

    2015-09-01

    Single-molecule detection (SMD) and single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) were conducted using Cy3- and Cy5-labeled single-strand DNAs (ssDNAs) either immobilized on substrates or encapsulated in microdroplets. High-quality fluorescent images were obtained using a total internal reflection fluorescence microscope (TIRFM). In the substrate system, deposition of a low concentration of fluorescence molecules on substrates through electrostatic adsorption showed that most of the fluorescence spots were single molecules, and the mean value of signal to noise ratio (S/N) reached 6.9 ± 0.34. smFRET analysis was conducted through immobilization of donor- and acceptor-labeled oligonucleotides on substrates. In the droplet system, fluorophor-labeled oligonucleotides were injected into T-type microfluidics. Single and double fluorophor-labeled DNA molecules encapsulated in droplets were detected, the FRET efficiency and inter-dye distance of a single donor-acceptor pair were measured accurately. smFRET was conducted detailedly in the tortuous channel for the first time. PMID:26215080

  8. Single Molecule Raman Spectroscopy Under High Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yuanxi; Dlott, Dana

    2014-06-01

    Pressure effects on surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectra of Rhdoamine 6G adsorbed on silver nanoparticle surfaces was studied using a confocal Raman microscope. Colloidal silver nanoparticles were treated with Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and its isotopically substituted partner, R6G-d4. Mixed isotopomers let us identify single-molecule spectra, since multiple-molecule spectra would show vibrational transitions from both species. The nanoparticles were embedded into a poly vinyl alcohol film, and loaded into a diamond anvil cell for the high-pressure Raman scattering measurement. Argon was the pressure medium. Ambient pressure Raman scattering spectra showed few single-molecule spectra. At moderately high pressure ( 1GPa), a surprising effect was observed. The number of sites with observable spectra decreased dramatically, and most of the spectra that could be observed were due to single molecules. The effects of high pressure suppressed the multiple-molecule Raman sites, leaving only the single-molecule sites to be observed.

  9. Single-Molecule Experiments in Vitro and in Silico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-05-01

    Single-molecule force experiments in vitro enable the characterization of the mechanical response of biological matter at the nanometer scale. However, they do not reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying mechanical function. These can only be readily studied through molecular dynamics simulations of atomic structural models: “in silico” (by computer analysis) single-molecule experiments. Steered molecular dynamics simulations, in which external forces are used to explore the response and function of macromolecules, have become a powerful tool complementing and guiding in vitro single-molecule experiments. The insights provided by in silico experiments are illustrated here through a review of recent research in three areas of protein mechanics: elasticity of the muscle protein titin and the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin; linker-mediated elasticity of the cytoskeleton protein spectrin; and elasticity of ankyrin repeats, a protein module found ubiquitously in cells but with an as-yet unclear function.

  10. Single-Molecule Electronics: Chemical and Analytical Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Richard J; Higgins, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    It is now possible to measure the electrical properties of single molecules using a variety of techniques including scanning probe microcopies and mechanically controlled break junctions. Such measurements can be made across a wide range of environments including ambient conditions, organic liquids, ionic liquids, aqueous solutions, electrolytes, and ultra high vacuum. This has given new insights into charge transport across molecule electrical junctions, and these experimental methods have been complemented with increasingly sophisticated theory. This article reviews progress in single-molecule electronics from a chemical perspective and discusses topics such as the molecule-surface coupling in electrical junctions, chemical control, and supramolecular interactions in junctions and gating charge transport. The article concludes with an outlook regarding chemical analysis based on single-molecule conductance. PMID:26048551

  11. Single-Molecule Electronics: Chemical and Analytical Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, Richard J.; Higgins, Simon J.

    2015-07-01

    It is now possible to measure the electrical properties of single molecules using a variety of techniques including scanning probe microcopies and mechanically controlled break junctions. Such measurements can be made across a wide range of environments including ambient conditions, organic liquids, ionic liquids, aqueous solutions, electrolytes, and ultra high vacuum. This has given new insights into charge transport across molecule electrical junctions, and these experimental methods have been complemented with increasingly sophisticated theory. This article reviews progress in single-molecule electronics from a chemical perspective and discusses topics such as the molecule-surface coupling in electrical junctions, chemical control, and supramolecular interactions in junctions and gating charge transport. The article concludes with an outlook regarding chemical analysis based on single-molecule conductance.

  12. Protein denaturation at a single-molecule level: the effect of nonpolar environments and its implications on the unfolding mechanism by proteases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Bo; Wu, Shaogui; Liu, Shixin; Rodriguez-Aliaga, Piere; Yu, Jin; Cui, Shuxun

    2015-02-01

    Most proteins are typically folded into predetermined three-dimensional structures in the aqueous cellular environment. However, proteins can be exposed to a nonpolar environment under certain conditions, such as inside the central cavity of chaperones and unfoldases during protein degradation. It remains unclear how folded proteins behave when moved from an aqueous solvent to a nonpolar one. Here, we employed single-molecule atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the structural and mechanical variations of a polyprotein, I278, during the change from a polar to a nonpolar environment. We found that the polyprotein was unfolded into an unstructured polypeptide spontaneously when pulled into nonpolar solvents. This finding was corroborated by MD simulations where I27 was dragged from water into a nonpolar solvent, revealing details of the unfolding process at the water/nonpolar solvent interface. These results highlight the importance of water in maintaining folding stability, and provide insights into the response of folded proteins to local hydrophobic environments.Most proteins are typically folded into predetermined three-dimensional structures in the aqueous cellular environment. However, proteins can be exposed to a nonpolar environment under certain conditions, such as inside the central cavity of chaperones and unfoldases during protein degradation. It remains unclear how folded proteins behave when moved from an aqueous solvent to a nonpolar one. Here, we employed single-molecule atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the structural and mechanical variations of a polyprotein, I278, during the change from a polar to a nonpolar environment. We found that the polyprotein was unfolded into an unstructured polypeptide spontaneously when pulled into nonpolar solvents. This finding was corroborated by MD simulations where I27 was dragged from water into a nonpolar solvent, revealing

  13. Stereoelectronic switching in single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Timothy A.; Li, Haixing; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2015-03-01

    A new intersection between reaction chemistry and electronic circuitry is emerging from the ultraminiaturization of electronic devices. Over decades chemists have developed a nuanced understanding of stereoelectronics to establish how the electronic properties of molecules relate to their conformation; the recent advent of single-molecule break-junction techniques provides the means to alter this conformation with a level of control previously unimagined. Here we unite these ideas by demonstrating the first single-molecule switch that operates through a stereoelectronic effect. We demonstrate this behaviour in permethyloligosilanes with methylthiomethyl electrode linkers. The strong σ conjugation in the oligosilane backbone couples the stereoelectronic properties of the sulfur-methylene σ bonds that terminate the molecule. Theoretical calculations support the existence of three distinct dihedral conformations that differ drastically in their electronic character. We can shift between these three species by simply lengthening or compressing the molecular junction, and, in doing so, we can switch conductance digitally between two states.

  14. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

    Chemistry is all about molecules: control, synthesis, interaction and reaction of molecules. All too easily on a blackboard, one draws molecules, their structures and dynamics, to create an insightful picture. The dream is to see these molecules in reality. This is exactly what "Single Molecule Detection" provides: a look at molecules in action at ambient conditions; a breakthrough technology in chemistry, physics and biology. Within the realms of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Faraday Discussion on "Single Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy" was a very appropriate topic for presentation, deliberation and debate. Undoubtedly, the Faraday Discussions have a splendid reputation in stimulating scientific debates along the traditions set by Michael Faraday. Interestingly, back in the 1830's, Faraday himself pursued an experiment that led to the idea that atoms in a compound were joined by an electrical component. He placed two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound, and observed that one of the elements of the compound accumulated on one electrode, while the other was deposited on the opposite electrode. Although Faraday was deeply opposed to atomism, he had to recognize that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms. Probably a direct view on the atoms or molecules in his experiment would have convinced him. As such, Michael Faraday might have liked the gathering at Burlington House in September 2015 (). Surely, with the questioning eyes of his bust on the 1st floor corridor, the non-believer Michael Faraday has incited each passer-by to enter into discussion and search for deeper answers at the level of single molecules. In these concluding remarks, highlights of the presented papers and discussions are summarized, complemented by a conclusion on future perspectives. PMID:26606461

  15. Single-Molecule Solvation-Shell Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leary, E.; Höbenreich, H.; Higgins, S. J.; van Zalinge, H.; Haiss, W.; Nichols, R. J.; Finch, C. M.; Grace, I.; Lambert, C. J.; McGrath, R.; Smerdon, J.

    2009-02-01

    We present a new route to single-molecule sensing via solvation shells surrounding a current-carrying backbone molecule. As an example, we show that the presence of a water solvation shell “gates” the conductance of a family of oligothiophene-containing molecular wires, and that the longer the oligothiophene, the larger is the effect. For the longest example studied, the molecular conductance is over 2 orders of magnitude larger in the presence of a shell comprising just 10 water molecules. A first principles theoretical investigation of electron transport through the molecules, using the nonequilibrium Green’s function method, shows that water molecules interact directly with the thiophene rings, significantly shifting transport resonances and greatly increasing the conductance. This reversible effect is confirmed experimentally through conductance measurements performed in the presence of moist air and dry argon.

  16. Sample preparation for single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Allen, John R; Ross, Stephen T; Davidson, Michael W

    2013-11-21

    Single molecule localization-based optical nanoscopy was introduced in 2006, surpassing traditional diffraction-limited resolutions by an order of magnitude. Seven years later, this superresolution technique is continuing to follow a trend of increasing popularity and pervasiveness, with the proof-of-concept work long finished and commercial implementations now available. However one important aspect that tends to become lost in translation is the importance of proper sample preparation, with very few resources addressing the considerations that must be made when preparing samples for imaging with single molecule level sensitivity. Presented here is a an in-depth analysis of all aspects of sample preparation for single molecule superresolution, including both live and fixed cell preparation, choice of fluorophore, fixation and staining techniques, and imaging buffer considerations. PMID:24084850

  17. Toxicity of an α-pore-forming toxin depends on the assembly mechanism on the target membrane as revealed by single molecule imaging.

    PubMed

    Subburaj, Yamunadevi; Ros, Uris; Hermann, Eduard; Tong, Rudi; García-Sáez, Ana J

    2015-02-20

    α-Pore-forming toxins (α-PFTs) are ubiquitous defense tools that kill cells by opening pores in the target cell membrane. Despite their relevance in host/pathogen interactions, very little is known about the pore stoichiometry and assembly pathway leading to membrane permeabilization. Equinatoxin II (EqtII) is a model α-PFT from sea anemone that oligomerizes and forms pores in sphingomyelin-containing membranes. Here, we determined the spatiotemporal organization of EqtII in living cells by single molecule imaging. Surprisingly, we found that on the cell surface EqtII did not organize into a unique oligomeric form. Instead, it existed as a mixture of oligomeric species mostly including monomers, dimers, tetramers, and hexamers. Mathematical modeling based on our data supported a new model in which toxin clustering happened in seconds and proceeded via condensation of EqtII dimer units formed upon monomer association. Furthermore, altering the pathway of EqtII assembly strongly affected its toxic activity, which highlights the relevance of the assembly mechanism on toxicity. PMID:25525270

  18. Toxicity of an α-Pore-forming Toxin Depends on the Assembly Mechanism on the Target Membrane as Revealed by Single Molecule Imaging*

    PubMed Central

    Subburaj, Yamunadevi; Ros, Uris; Hermann, Eduard; Tong, Rudi; García-Sáez, Ana J.

    2015-01-01

    α-Pore-forming toxins (α-PFTs) are ubiquitous defense tools that kill cells by opening pores in the target cell membrane. Despite their relevance in host/pathogen interactions, very little is known about the pore stoichiometry and assembly pathway leading to membrane permeabilization. Equinatoxin II (EqtII) is a model α-PFT from sea anemone that oligomerizes and forms pores in sphingomyelin-containing membranes. Here, we determined the spatiotemporal organization of EqtII in living cells by single molecule imaging. Surprisingly, we found that on the cell surface EqtII did not organize into a unique oligomeric form. Instead, it existed as a mixture of oligomeric species mostly including monomers, dimers, tetramers, and hexamers. Mathematical modeling based on our data supported a new model in which toxin clustering happened in seconds and proceeded via condensation of EqtII dimer units formed upon monomer association. Furthermore, altering the pathway of EqtII assembly strongly affected its toxic activity, which highlights the relevance of the assembly mechanism on toxicity. PMID:25525270

  19. COCIS: Markov processes in single molecule fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Talaga, David S.

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the current status of Markov processes in single molecule fluorescence. For molecular dynamics to be described by a Markov process, the Markov process must include all states involved in the dynamics and the FPT distributions out of those states must be describable by a simple exponential law. The observation of non-exponential first-passage time distributions or other evidence of non-Markovian dynamics is common in single molecule studies and offers an opportunity to expand the Markov model to include new dynamics or states that improve understanding of the system. PMID:19543444

  20. A gate-tunable single-molecule diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Mickael L.; Galán, Elena; Eelkema, Rienk; Thijssen, Joseph M.; Grozema, Ferdinand; van der Zant, Herre S. J.

    2016-04-01

    In the pursuit of down-sizing electronic components, the ultimate limit is the use of single molecules as functional devices. The first theoretical proposal of such a device, predicted more than four decades ago, is the seminal Aviram-Ratner rectifier that exploits the orbital structure of the molecule. The experimental realization of single-molecule rectifiers, however, has proven to be challenging. In this work, we report on the experimental realization of a gate-tunable single-molecule rectifier with rectification ratios as high as 600. The rectification mechanism arises from the molecular structure and relies on the presence of two conjugated sites that are weakly coupled through a saturated linker. The observed gate dependence not only demonstrates tunability of the rectification ratio, it also shows that the proposed rectification mechanism based on the orbital structure is operative in the molecule.In the pursuit of down-sizing electronic components, the ultimate limit is the use of single molecules as functional devices. The first theoretical proposal of such a device, predicted more than four decades ago, is the seminal Aviram-Ratner rectifier that exploits the orbital structure of the molecule. The experimental realization of single-molecule rectifiers, however, has proven to be challenging. In this work, we report on the experimental realization of a gate-tunable single-molecule rectifier with rectification ratios as high as 600. The rectification mechanism arises from the molecular structure and relies on the presence of two conjugated sites that are weakly coupled through a saturated linker. The observed gate dependence not only demonstrates tunability of the rectification ratio, it also shows that the proposed rectification mechanism based on the orbital structure is operative in the molecule. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: DFT calculations on the DPE molecule, three-terminal measurements on the DPE molecule, additional analysis

  1. Bipolar Conductance Switching of Single Anthradithiophene Molecules.

    PubMed

    Borca, Bogdana; Schendel, Verena; Pétuya, Rémi; Pentegov, Ivan; Michnowicz, Tomasz; Kraft, Ulrike; Klauk, Hagen; Arnau, Andrés; Wahl, Peter; Schlickum, Uta; Kern, Klaus

    2015-12-22

    Single molecular switches are basic device elements in organic electronics. The pentacene analogue anthradithiophene (ADT) shows a fully reversible binary switching between different adsorption conformations on a metallic surface accompanied by a charge transfer. These transitions are activated locally in single molecules in a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope . The switching induces changes between bistable orbital structures and energy level alignment at the interface. The most stable geometry, the "off" state, which all molecules adopt upon evaporation, corresponds to a short adsorption distance at which the electronic interactions of the acene rings bend the central part of the molecule toward the surface accompanied by a significant charge transfer from the metallic surface to the ADT molecules. This leads to a shift of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital down to the Fermi level (EF). In the "on" state the molecule has a flat geometry at a larger distance from the surface; consequently the interaction is weaker, resulting in a negligible charge transfer with an orbital structure resembling the highest occupied molecular orbital when imaged close to EF. The potential barrier between these two states can be overcome reversibly by injecting charge carriers locally into individual molecules. Voltage-controlled current traces show a hysteresis characteristic of a bipolar switching behavior. The interpretation is supported by first-principles calculations. PMID:26580569

  2. Assembling Ultracold Polar Molecules From Single Atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Lee R.; Hutzler, Nicholas R.; Yu, Yichao; Zhang, Jessie T.; Ni, Kang-Kuen

    2016-05-01

    Ultracold polar molecules are promising candidates for studying quantum many-body phenomena and building quantum information systems, due to their long-range, anisotropic, and tunable interactions. This calls for a technique to create low entropy samples of ultracold polar molecules with a large dipole moment. The lowest entropy molecular gas to date was created from atomic quantum gases in bulk or in optical lattices. The entropy is limited by that of the constituent atomic gases. We propose a method that addresses this limitation by assembling sodium cesium (NaCs) molecules from individually manipulated atoms. First, we load single Na and Cs atoms in separate optical tweezers from MOTs. We will cool them to their motional ground state using Raman sideband cooling and then merge them into a single tweezer. The tweezer confinement provides enhanced wavefunction overlap between the atom pair and molecule states. Using coherent two-photon techniques, we will then transfer the atom pair into a molecule. Our method offers reduced apparatus complexity and cycle time, single-site manipulation and imaging resolution, and should be readily extended to different species.

  3. Combining single-molecule imaging and single-channel electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Weatherill, Eve E; Wallace, Mark I

    2015-01-16

    Combining simultaneous single-molecule fluorescence measurements of ion channel conformational change with single-channel electrophysiology would enable a direct link between structure and function. Such methods would help us to create a truly molecular "movie" of how these important biomolecules work. Here we review past and recent progress toward this goal. PMID:25026065

  4. Single Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophene Derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell, Emma J.

    This thesis studies the electronic properties of small organic molecules based on the thiophene motif. If we are to build next-generation devices, advanced materials must be designed which possess requisite electronic functionality. Molecules present attractive candidates for these ad- vanced materials since nanoscale devices are particularly sought after. However, selecting a molecule that is suited to a certain electronic function remains a challenge, and characterization of electronic behavior is therefore critical. Single molecule conductance measurements are a powerful tool to determine properties on the nanoscale and, as such, can be used to investigate novel building blocks that may fulfill the design requirements of next-generation devices. Combining these conductance results with strategic chemical synthesis allows for the development of new families of molecules that show attractive properties for future electronic devices. Since thiophene rings are the fruitflies of organic semiconductors on the bulk scale, they present an intriguing starting point for building functional materials on the nanoscale, and therefore form the structural basis of all molecules studied herein. First, the single-molecule conductance of a family of bithiophene derivatives was measured. A broad distribution in the single-molecule conductance of bithiophene was found compared with that of a biphenyl. This increased breadth in the conductance distribution was shown to be explained by the difference in 5-fold symmetry of thiophene rings as compared to the 6-fold symmetry of benzene rings. The reduced symmetry of thiophene rings results in a restriction on the torsion angle space available to these molecules when bound between two metal electrodes in a junction, causing each molecular junction to sample a different set of conformers in the conductance measurements. By contrast, the rotations of biphenyl are essentially unimpeded by junction binding, allowing each molecular junction

  5. Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Sing, Charles; Schroeder, Charles

    This work focuses on extending the field of single polymer dynamics to topologically complex polymers. Here, we report the direct observation of DNA-based branched polymers. Recently, we recently demonstrated a two-step synthesis method to generate star, H-shaped, and comb polymers for single molecule visualization. Following synthesis, we use single-color or dual-color single molecule fluorescence microscopy to directly visualize branched polymer dynamics in flow, in particular tracking side branches and backbones independently. In this way, our imaging method allows for characterization of molecular properties, including quantification of polymer contour length and branch distributions. Moving beyond characterization, we use molecular rheology and single molecule techniques to study the dynamics of single branched polymers in flow. Here, we utilize precision microfluidics to directly observe branched DNA polymer conformations during transient stretching, steady-state extension, and relaxation from high stretch. We specifically measure backbone end-to-end distance as a function of time. Experiments and Brownian dynamics simulations show that branched polymer relaxation is a strong function of the number of branches and position of branch points along the main chain backbone.

  6. Temperature dependence of charge transport in conjugated single molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huisman, Eek; Kamenetska, Masha; Venkataraman, Latha

    2011-03-01

    Over the last decade, the break junction technique using a scanning tunneling microscope geometry has proven to be an important tool to understand electron transport through single molecule junctions. Here, we use this technique to probe transport through junctions at temperatures ranging from 5K to 300K. We study three amine-terminated (-NH2) conjugated molecules: a benzene, a biphenyl and a terphenyl derivative. We find that amine groups bind selectively to undercoordinate gold atoms gold all the way down to 5K, yielding single molecule junctions with well-defined conductances. Furthermore, we find that the conductance of a single molecule junction increases with temperature and we present a mechanism for this temperature dependent transport result. Funded by a Rubicon Grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the NSEC program of NSF under grant # CHE-0641523.

  7. Single-molecule magnets ``without'' intermolecular interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wernsdorfer, W.; Vergnani, L.; Rodriguez-Douton, M. J.; Cornia, A.; Neugebauer, P.; Barra, A. L.; Sorace, L.; Sessoli, R.

    2012-02-01

    Intermolecular magnetic interactions (dipole-dipole and exchange) affect strongly the magnetic relaxation of crystals of single-molecule magnets (SMMs), especially at low temperature, where quantum tunneling of the magnetization (QTM) dominates. This leads to complex many-body problems [l]. Measurements on magnetically diluted samples are desirable to clearly sort out the behaviour of magnetically-isolated SMMs and to reveal, by comparison, the effect of intermolecular interactions. Here, we diluted a Fe4 SMM into a diamagnetic crystal lattice, affording arrays of independent and iso-oriented magnetic units. We found that the resonant tunnel transitions are much sharper, the tunneling efficiency changes significantly, and two-body QTM transitions disappear. These changes have been rationalized on the basis of a dipolar shuffling mechanism and of transverse dipolar fields, whose effect has been analyzed using a multispin model. Our findings directly prove the impact of intermolecular magnetic couplings on the SMM behaviour and disclose the magnetic response of truly-isolated giant spins in a diamagnetic crystalline environment.[4pt] [1] W. Wernsdorfer, at al, PRL 82, 3903 (1999); PRL 89, 197201 (2002); Nature 416, 406 (2002); IS Tupitsyn, PCE Stamp, NV Prokof'ev, PRB 69, 132406 (2004).

  8. Single molecule dynamics in lipid membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skaug, Michael James

    Lipid membranes are self-assembled molecular materials that form the membranes of cells. Because of their biological function, lipid membranes are important from a biomedical and biotechnological standpoint. Because of their complex fluid properties, they also provide a rich testbed for studying the structure and dynamics in self-assembled materials and for developing other bio-mimetic structures. In this work, we studied the dynamics of single lipid molecules using experimental and computational techniques. Using single molecule fluorescence microscopy, we tracked the diffusive motion of lipids in phase separated lipid membranes. With the additional techniques of atomic force microscopy and Monte Carlo simulation, we were able to, for the first time experimentally, directly correlate the observed obstructed diffusion with lipid membrane organization. The single molecule tracking tracking experiments required the addition of impurity fluorescent molecules and the assumption that the impurities do not alter the dynamics of the system. To test this assumption, we performed atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of a fluorescently labeled lipid in a lipid membrane. We showed that the fluorescent impurity could have a significant impact on some membrane properties, such as phase behavior, but that relative changes in diffusive behavior are unaffected.

  9. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers. PMID:27363513

  10. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers. PMID:27363513

  11. Modeling single-molecule detection statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enderlein, Joerg; Robbins, David L.; Ambrose, W. P.; Goodwin, Peter M.; Keller, Richard A.

    1997-05-01

    We present experimental results of single B-phycoerythrin molecule detection in a fluid flow at different sample introduction rates. A new mathematical approach is used for calculating the resulting burst size distributions. The calculations are based upon a complete physical model including absorption, fluorescence and photobleaching characteristics of the fluorophore; its diffusion; the sample stream hydrodynamics; the spatially dependent optical detection efficiency; and the excitation laser beam characteristics. Special attention is paid to the phenomenon of `molecular noise'--fluctuations in the number of overlapping crossings of molecules through the detection volume. The importance of this study and its connections to experimental applications are discussed.

  12. Single-molecule electrophoresis. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1996-05-22

    A novel method for the detection and identification of single molecules in solution has been devised, computer-simulated, and experimentally achieved. The technique involves the determination of electrophoretic velocities by measuring the time required by individual molecules to travel a fixed distance between two laser beams. Computer simulations of the process were performed beforehand in order to estimate the experimental feasibility of the method, and to determine the optimum values for the various experimental parameters. Examples of the use of the technique for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of rhodamine-6G, a mixture of DNA restriction fragments, and a mixture of proteins in aqueous solution are presented.

  13. Single-cell and single-molecule laser biotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greulich, Karl O.; Bauer, Eckhard; Fiedler, Ursula; Hoyer, Carsten; Koenig, Karsten; Monajembashi, Shamci

    1996-01-01

    While lasers have found a wide field of application in the analysis of cells and biomolecules, their use in manipulation is less common. Now, new applications of lasers are emerging, which aim at cells and even molecules as biotechnological individuals: For example, in single cell gel electrophoresis individual cells are irradiated by UV laser pulses which cause radiation damage to DNA. When the whole cell is positioned in an electric field and the UV induced damages are converted into DNA strand breaks, the resulting DNA fragments are eluted out of the cell nucleus. Small fragments are running further than large ones. After staining of the DNA fragments, the cell has the appearance like a comet (therefore comet assay). The tail moment, a parameter quantifying the shape of the tail, gives information on the degree of DNA damage. The kinetics of DNA damage induction can be described by a type of exponential law with parameters which are related to radiation sensitivity of the DNA. A further emerging technique aims at DNA as a molecular individuum. One pivotal step for single molecule DNA analysis is single molecule handling. For that purpose, a DNA molecule is coupled to a micrometer sized polystyrene bead, either via an avidin-biotin bridge or, more specifically, by strand recognition, and labeled with fluorescence dyes such as DAPI. In order to visualize the dynamics of individual DNA molecules, highly sensitive video processing and single photon counting is required. Moving the polystyrene bead using optical tweezers, the molecule can be deformed, i.e., bent, turned or stretched. Using a laser microbeam, the same individual molecule can be cut into smaller portions.

  14. Automated imaging system for single molecules

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Runnheim, Rodney; Forrest, Daniel

    2012-09-18

    There is provided a high throughput automated single molecule image collection and processing system that requires minimal initial user input. The unique features embodied in the present disclosure allow automated collection and initial processing of optical images of single molecules and their assemblies. Correct focus may be automatically maintained while images are collected. Uneven illumination in fluorescence microscopy is accounted for, and an overall robust imaging operation is provided yielding individual images prepared for further processing in external systems. Embodiments described herein are useful in studies of any macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, peptides and proteins. The automated image collection and processing system and method of same may be implemented and deployed over a computer network, and may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interaction.

  15. Artifacts in single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Burgert, Anne; Letschert, Sebastian; Doose, Sören; Sauer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    Single-molecule localization microscopy provides subdiffraction resolution images with virtually molecular resolution. Through the availability of commercial instruments and open-source reconstruction software, achieving super resolution is now public domain. However, despite its conceptual simplicity, localization microscopy remains prone to user errors. Using direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, we investigate the impact of irradiation intensity, label density and photoswitching behavior on the distribution of membrane proteins in reconstructed super-resolution images. We demonstrate that high emitter densities in combination with inappropriate photoswitching rates give rise to the appearance of artificial membrane clusters. Especially, two-dimensional imaging of intrinsically three-dimensional membrane structures like microvilli, filopodia, overlapping membranes and vesicles with high local emitter densities is prone to generate artifacts. To judge the quality and reliability of super-resolution images, the single-molecule movies recorded to reconstruct the images have to be carefully investigated especially when investigating membrane organization and cluster analysis. PMID:26138928

  16. Single-Molecule Analysis of Biomembranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Thomas; Schütz, Gerhard J.

    Biomembranes are more than just a cell's envelope - as the interface to the surrounding of a cell they carry key signalling functions. Consequentially, membranes are highly complex organelles: they host about thousand different types of lipids and about half of the proteome, whose interaction has to be orchestrated appropriately for the various signalling purposes. In particular, knowledge on the nanoscopic organization of the plasma membrane appears critical for understanding the regulation of interactions between membrane proteins. The high localization precision of ˜20 nm combined with a high time resolution of ˜1 ms made single molecule tracking an excellent technology to obtain insights into membrane nanostructures, even in a live cell context. In this chapter, we will highlight concepts to achieve superresolution by single molecule imaging, summarize tools for data analysis, and review applications on artificial and live cell membranes.

  17. Graphene-porphyrin single-molecule transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mol, Jan A.; Lau, Chit Siong; Lewis, Wilfred J. M.; Sadeghi, Hatef; Roche, Cecile; Cnossen, Arjen; Warner, Jamie H.; Lambert, Colin J.; Anderson, Harry L.; Briggs, G. Andrew D.

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate a robust graphene-molecule-graphene transistor architecture. We observe remarkably reproducible single electron charging, which we attribute to insensitivity of the molecular junction to the atomic configuration of the graphene electrodes. The stability of the graphene electrodes allow for high-bias transport spectroscopy and the observation of multiple redox states at room-temperature.We demonstrate a robust graphene-molecule-graphene transistor architecture. We observe remarkably reproducible single electron charging, which we attribute to insensitivity of the molecular junction to the atomic configuration of the graphene electrodes. The stability of the graphene electrodes allow for high-bias transport spectroscopy and the observation of multiple redox states at room-temperature. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/C5NR03294F

  18. Figuration and detection of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevels, R.; Welch, G. R.; Cremer, P. S.; Hemmer, P.; Phillips, T.; Scully, S.; Sokolov, A. V.; Svidzinsky, A. A.; Xia, H.; Zheltikov, A.; Scully, M. O.

    2012-08-01

    Recent advances in the description of atoms and molecules based on Dimensional scaling analysis, developed by Dudley Herschbach and co-workers, provided new insights into visualization of molecular structure and chemical bonding. Prof. Herschbach is also a giant in the field of single molecule scattering. We here report on the engineering of molecular detectors. Such systems have a wide range of application from medical diagnostics to the monitoring of chemical, biological and environmental hazards. We discuss ways to identify preselected molecules, in particular, mycotoxin contaminants using coherent laser spectroscopy. Mycotoxin contaminants, e.g. aflatoxin B1 which is present in corn and peanuts, are usually analysed by time-consuming microscopic, chemical and biological assays. We present a new approach that derives from recent experiments in which molecules are prepared by one (or more) femtosecond laser(s) and probed by another set. We call this technique FAST CARS (femto second adaptive spectroscopic technique for coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy). We propose and analyse ways in which FAST CARS can be used to identify preselected molecules, e.g. aflatoxin, rapidly and economically.

  19. Biomedical applications of single molecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelso, D. M.

    1997-05-01

    The search for increased sensitivity of bio-analytical techniques has recently shifted from signal generation to detection. While enzyme amplifiers and chemiluminescent reporters developed by chemists over the last two decades gradually moved detection limits to the attomol level, it has taken engineers only a few years to reach single- molecule sensitivity with the development of new instrumentation. A number of different approaches have successfully achieved single-molecule fluorescence detection including confocal and near-field scanning optical microscopy, photon-counting cameras, fluorescence- correlation and time-gated spectroscopy. They detect labels immobilized on substrates, diffusing in solution and flowing in electro-osmotic and hydrodynamically focused streams. Biotechnology has created numerous application s for single- molecule detection. In research labs, it can dramatically increase the rate of DNA sequencing, screen libraries for products of directed evolution, and characterize compounds in drug discovery programs. In medical diagnostics, ultra- sensitive detection technologies can be used for genetic screening, detection of infectious diseases, or multi- analyte profiles. It can be applied to immunoassays as well as DNA or RNA hybridization assays.

  20. Single-Molecule Imaging of Cellular Signaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Keijzer, Sandra; Snaar-Jagalska, B. Ewa; Spaink, Herman P.; Schmidt, Thomas

    Single-molecule microscopy is an emerging technique to understand the function of a protein in the context of its natural environment. In our laboratory this technique has been used to study the dynamics of signal transduction in vivo. A multitude of signal transduction cascades are initiated by interactions between proteins in the plasma membrane. These cascades start by binding a ligand to its receptor, thereby activating downstream signaling pathways which finally result in complex cellular responses. To fully understand these processes it is important to study the initial steps of the signaling cascades. Standard biological assays mostly call for overexpression of the proteins and high concentrations of ligand. This sets severe limits to the interpretation of, for instance, the time-course of the observations, given the large temporal spread caused by the diffusion-limited binding processes. Methods and limitations of single-molecule microscopy for the study of cell signaling are discussed on the example of the chemotactic signaling of the slime-mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Single-molecule studies, as reviewed in this chapter, appear to be one of the essential methodologies for the full spatiotemporal clarification of cellular signaling, one of the ultimate goals in cell biology.

  1. Single-Molecule Ion Channel Conformational Dynamics in Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

    Stochastic and inhomogeneous conformational changes regulate the function and dynamics of ion channels that are crucial for cell functions, neuronal signaling, and brain functions. Such complexity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to characterize ion channel dynamics using conventional electrical recording alone since that the measurement does not specifically interrogate the associated conformational changes but rather the consequences of the conformational changes. Recently, new technology developments on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially, the combined approaches of using single ion channel patch-clamp electrical recording and single-molecule fluorescence imaging have provided us the capability of probing ion channel conformational changes simultaneously with the electrical single channel recording. By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel electric current measurements in artificial lipid bilayers and in living cell membranes, we were able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously, and thus providing an understanding the dynamics and mechanism of ion-channel proteins at the molecular level. The function-regulating and site-specific conformational changes of ion channels are now measurable under physiological conditions in real-time, one molecule at a time. We will focus our discussion on the new development and results of real-time imaging of the dynamics of gramicidin, colicin, and NMDA receptor ion channels in lipid bilayers and living cells. Our results shed light on new perspectives of the intrinsic interplay of lipid membrane dynamics, solvation dynamics, and the ion channel functions.

  2. Unprecedentedly rapid transport of single-file rolling water molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Tong; Huang, Ji-Ping

    2015-10-01

    The realization of rapid and unidirectional single-file water-molecule flow in nanochannels has posed a challenge to date. Here, we report unprecedentedly rapid unidirectional single-file water-molecule flow under a translational terahertz electric field, which is obtained by developing a Debye doublerelaxation theory. In addition, we demonstrate that all the single-file molecules undergo both stable translation and rotation, behaving like high-speed train wheels moving along a railway track. Independent molecular dynamics simulations help to confirm these theoretical results. The mechanism involves the resonant relaxation dynamics of H and O atoms. Further, an experimental demonstration is suggested and discussed. This work has implications for the design of high-efficiency nanochannels or smaller nanomachines in the field of nanotechnology, and the findings also aid in the understanding and control of water flow across biological nanochannels in biology-related research.

  3. Analytical assays based on detecting conformational changes of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Zocchi, Giovanni

    2006-03-13

    One common strategy for the detection of biomolecules is labeling either the target itself or an antibody that binds to it. Herein, a different approach, based on detecting the conformational change of a probe molecule induced by binding of the target is discussed. That is, what is being detected is not the presence of the target or the probe, but the conformational change of the probe. Recently, a single-molecule sensor has been developed that exploits this mechanism to detect hybridization of a single DNA oligomer to a DNA probe, as well as specific binding of a single protein to a DNA probe. Biomolecular recognition often involves large conformational changes of the molecules involved, and therefore this strategy may be applicable to other assays. PMID:16514690

  4. PREFACE: Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    lengths but different energy barrier profiles in order to elucidate electron transport in the molecular junctions. Kiguchi and Murakoshi study metallic atomic wires under electrochemical potential control. Asai reports on a theoretical study of rectification in substituted atomic wires. Finally, Weiss et al report on a new method to pattern and functionalize oxide-free germanium surfaces with self-assembled organic monolayers, which provides interfaces between inorganic semiconductors and organic molecules. Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics contents Biochemistry and semiconductor electronics—the next big hit for silicon?Stuart Lindsay Electrical detection of single pollen allergen particles using electrode-embedded microchannelsChihiro Kawaguchi, Tetsuya Noda, Makusu Tsutsui, Masateru Taniguchi, Satoyuki Kawano and Tomoji Kawai Quasi 3D imaging of DNA-gold nanoparticle tetrahedral structuresAvigail Stern, Dvir Rotem, Inna Popov and Danny Porath Effects of cytosine methylation on DNA charge transportJoshua Hihath, Shaoyin Guo, Peiming Zhang and Nongjian Tao Effect of electrostatics on aggregation of prion protein Sup35 peptideAlexander M Portillo, Alexey V Krasnoslobodtsev and Yuri L Lyubchenko Mapping the intracellular distribution of carbon nanotubes after targeted delivery to carcinoma cells using confocal Raman imaging as a label-free techniqueC Lamprecht, N Gierlinger, E Heister, B Unterauer, B Plochberger, M Brameshuber, P Hinterdorfer, S Hild and A Ebner Caveolae-mediated endocytosis of biocompatible gold nanoparticles in living Hela cellsXian Hao, Jiazhen Wu, Yuping Shan, Mingjun Cai, Xin Shang, Junguang Jiang and Hongda Wang Stability of an aqueous quadrupole micro-trapJae Hyun Park and Predrag S Krstić Electron transport properties of single molecular junctions under mechanical modulationsJianfeng Zhou, Cunlan Guo and Bingqian Xu An approach to measure electromechanical properties of atomic and molecular junctionsIlya V Pobelov, Gábor M

  5. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-07

    A general theory and calculation framework for the prediction of frequency-resolved single molecule photon counting statistics is presented. Expressions for the generating function of photon counts are derived, both for the case of naive “detection” based solely on photon emission from the molecule and also for experimentally realizable detection of emitted photons, and are used to explicitly calculate low-order photon-counting moments. The two cases of naive detection versus physical detection are compared to one another and it is demonstrated that the physical detection scheme resolves certain inconsistencies predicted via the naive detection approach. Applications to two different models for molecular dynamics are considered: a simple two-level system and a two-level absorber subject to spectral diffusion.

  6. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-01

    A general theory and calculation framework for the prediction of frequency-resolved single molecule photon counting statistics is presented. Expressions for the generating function of photon counts are derived, both for the case of naive "detection" based solely on photon emission from the molecule and also for experimentally realizable detection of emitted photons, and are used to explicitly calculate low-order photon-counting moments. The two cases of naive detection versus physical detection are compared to one another and it is demonstrated that the physical detection scheme resolves certain inconsistencies predicted via the naive detection approach. Applications to two different models for molecular dynamics are considered: a simple two-level system and a two-level absorber subject to spectral diffusion.

  7. Single-Molecule Studies of DNA Replisome Function

    PubMed Central

    Perumal, Senthil K.; Yue, Hongjun; Hu, Zhenxin; Spiering, Michelle M.; Benkovic, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    Fast and accurate replication of DNA is accomplished by the interactions of multiple proteins in the dynamic DNA replisome. The DNA replisome effectively coordinates the leading and lagging strand synthesis of DNA. These complex, yet elegantly organized, molecular machines have been studied extensively by kinetic and structural methods to provide an in-depth understanding of the mechanism of DNA replication. Owing to averaging of observables, unique dynamic information of the biochemical pathways and reactions are concealed in conventional ensemble methods. However, recent advances in the rapidly expanding field of single-molecule analyses to study single biomolecules offer opportunities to probe and understand the dynamic processes involved in large biomolecular complexes such as replisomes. This review will focus on the recent developments in the biochemistry and biophysics of DNA replication employing single-molecule techniques and the insights provided by these methods towards a better understanding of the intricate mechanisms of DNA replication. PMID:19665592

  8. Energy transfer mechanisms between molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, W. E.

    1985-01-01

    Reliable rate coefficients for energy transfer and relaxation phenomena are needed in order to do the theoretical modeling which is necessary for accomplishing the following objectives: understanding and justifying proposed laser systems, determining limitations, identifying control parameters, and scaling to space-power requirements. Modeling also establishes the criteria to be followed for lasant selection. Lack of knowledge of rate coefficients is invariably the biggest obstacle to successful modeling. Existing theoretical methods are discussed, sources of error are identified, and transfer laser criteria suggested by the theory are listed. The emphasis is on vibrational-vibrational (V-V) energy transfer caused by both short range and long range interactions between molecules. Special attention is given to the importance of near-resonant collisional and dipole-dipole transfer. A technique is proposed for significantly improving the theoretical predictions of rate coefficients.

  9. Electric field breakdown in single molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Li, Haixing; Su, Timothy A; Zhang, Vivian; Steigerwald, Michael L; Nuckolls, Colin; Venkataraman, Latha

    2015-04-22

    Here we study the stability and rupture of molecular junctions under high voltage bias at the single molecule/single bond level using the scanning tunneling microscope-based break-junction technique. We synthesize carbon-, silicon-, and germanium-based molecular wires terminated by aurophilic linker groups and study how the molecular backbone and linker group affect the probability of voltage-induced junction rupture. First, we find that junctions formed with covalent S-Au bonds are robust under high voltage and their rupture does not demonstrate bias dependence within our bias range. In contrast, junctions formed through donor-acceptor bonds rupture more frequently, and their rupture probability demonstrates a strong bias dependence. Moreover, we find that the junction rupture probability increases significantly above ∼1 V in junctions formed from methylthiol-terminated disilanes and digermanes, indicating a voltage-induced rupture of individual Si-Si and Ge-Ge bonds. Finally, we compare the rupture probabilities of the thiol-terminated silane derivatives containing Si-Si, Si-C, and Si-O bonds and find that Si-C backbones have higher probabilities of sustaining the highest voltage. These results establish a new method for studying electric field breakdown phenomena at the single molecule level. PMID:25675085

  10. Microarray analysis at single molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Mureşan, Leila; Jacak, Jarosław; Klement, Erich Peter; Hesse, Jan; Schütz, Gerhard J.

    2010-01-01

    Bioanalytical chip-based assays have been enormously improved in sensitivity in the recent years; detection of trace amounts of substances down to the level of individual fluorescent molecules has become state of the art technology. The impact of such detection methods, however, has yet not fully been exploited, mainly due to a lack in appropriate mathematical tools for robust data analysis. One particular example relates to the analysis of microarray data. While classical microarray analysis works at resolutions of two to 20 micrometers and quantifies the abundance of target molecules by determining average pixel intensities, a novel high resolution approach [1] directly visualizes individual bound molecules as diffraction limited peaks. The now possible quantification via counting is less susceptible to labeling artifacts and background noise. We have developed an approach for the analysis of high-resolution microarray images. It consists first of a single molecule detection step, based on undecimated wavelet transforms, and second, of a spot identification step via spatial statistics approach (corresponding to the segmentation step in the classical microarray analysis). The detection method was tested on simulated images with a concentration range of 0.001 to 0.5 molecules per square micron and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) between 0.9 and 31.6. For SNR above 15 the false negatives relative error was below 15%. Separation of foreground/background proved reliable, in case foreground density exceeds background by a factor of 2. The method has also been applied to real data from high-resolution microarray measurements. PMID:20123580

  11. Single-molecule imaging studies of protein dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zareh, Shannon Kian G.

    2011-12-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is a powerful method for studying biological events. The work of this thesis primarily focuses on single molecule studies of the dynamics of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and other fluorescent-labeled proteins by utilizing Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and imaging. The single molecule experiments of this thesis covered three broad topics. First, the adsorption mechanisms of proteins onto hydrophobic and hydrophilic fused silica surfaces were imaged and reversible and irreversible adsorption mechanisms were observed. The second topic covered a new technique for measuring the diffusion coefficient of Brownian diffusing proteins, in particular GFP, in solution via a single image. The corresponding experiments showed a relationship between the intensity profile width and the diffusion coefficient of the diffusing molecules. The third topic covered an in vivo experiment involving imaging and quantifying prokaryotic cell metabolism protein dynamics inside the Bacillus subtilis bacteria, in which a helical diffusion pattern for the protein was observed. These topics are presented in the chronological order of the experiments conducted.

  12. Simulated single molecule microscopy with SMeagol

    PubMed Central

    Lindén, Martin; Ćurić, Vladimir; Boucharin, Alexis; Fange, David; Elf, Johan

    2016-01-01

    Summary: SMeagol is a software tool to simulate highly realistic microscopy data based on spatial systems biology models, in order to facilitate development, validation and optimization of advanced analysis methods for live cell single molecule microscopy data. Availability and implementation: SMeagol runs on Matlab R2014 and later, and uses compiled binaries in C for reaction–diffusion simulations. Documentation, source code and binaries for Mac OS, Windows and Ubuntu Linux can be downloaded from http://smeagol.sourceforge.net. Contact: johan.elf@icm.uu.se Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27153711

  13. Charge Transport in Azobenzene-Based Single-Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Lekue, Aran; Kim, Youngsang; Sysoiev, Dmytro; Frederiksen, Thomas; Groth, Ulrich; Scheer, Elke

    2013-03-01

    The azobenzene class of molecules has become an archetype of molecular photoswitch research, due to their simple structure and the significant difference of the electronic system between their cis and trans isomers. However, a detailed understanding of the charge transport for the two isomers, when embedded in a junction with electrodes is still lacking. In order to clarify this issue, we investigate charge transport properties through single Azobenzene-ThioMethyl (AzoTM) molecules in a mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) system at 4.2 K. Single-molecule conductance, I-V characteristics, and IETS spectra of molecular junctions are measured and compared with first-principles transport calculations. Our studies elucidate the origin of a slightly higher conductance of junctions with cis isomer and demonstrate that IETS spectra of cis and trans forms show distinct vibrational fingerprints that can be used for identifying the isomer.

  14. Single molecule studies of helicases with magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Hodeib, Samar; Raj, Saurabh; Manosas, M; Zhang, Weiting; Bagchi, Debjani; Ducos, Bertrand; Allemand, Jean-François; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Helicases are a broad family of enzymes that perform crucial functions in DNA replication and in the maintenance of DNA and RNA integrity. A detailed mechanical study of helicases on DNA and RNA is possible using single molecule manipulation methods. Among those, magnetic tweezers (or traps) present a convenient, moderate throughput assay (tens of enzymes can be monitored simultaneously) that allow for high resolution (single base-pair) studies of these enzymes in various conditions and on various substrates (double and single stranded DNA and RNA). Here we discuss various implementation of the basic assay relevant for these studies. PMID:27371121

  15. Mechanical unfolding of ubiquitin molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Marek; Marszalek, Piotr E.

    2005-11-01

    Mechanical stretching of ubiquitin and of its several repeats are studied through molecular-dynamics simulations. A Go-type model [H. Abe and N. Go, Biopolymers 20, 1013 (1981)] with a realistic contact map and with Lennard-Jones contact interactions is used. The model qualitatively reproduces the experimentally observed differences between force-extension patterns obtained on polyubiquitins stretched by various linkages. The terminal-to-terminal stretching of polyubiquitin results in peak forces similar to those measured for titin-based polyproteins and of a magnitude that matches measurements. Consistent with the experimental measurements, the simulated peak forces depend on the pulling speed logarithmically when thermal fluctuations are explicitly introduced. These results validate the application of topology-based models in the study of the mechanical stretching of proteins.

  16. Single-molecule imaging of hyaluronan in human synovial fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappler, Joachim; Kaminski, Tim P.; Gieselmann, Volkmar; Kubitscheck, Ulrich; Jerosch, Jörg

    2010-11-01

    Human synovial fluid contains a high concentration of hyaluronan, a high molecular weight glycosaminoglycan that provides viscoelasticity and contributes to joint lubrication. In osteoarthritis synovial fluid, the concentration and molecular weight of hyaluronan decrease, thus impairing shock absorption and lubrication. Consistently, substitution of hyaluronan (viscosupplementation) is a widely used treatment for osteoarthritis. So far, the organization and dynamics of hyaluronan in native human synovial fluid and its action mechanism in viscosupplementation are poorly characterized at the molecular level. Here, we introduce highly sensitive single molecule microscopy to analyze the conformation and interactions of fluorescently labeled hyaluronan molecules in native human synovial fluid. Our findings are consistent with a random coil conformation of hyaluronan in human synovial fluid, and point to specific interactions of hyaluronan molecules with the synovial fluid matrix. Furthermore, single molecule microscopy is capable of detecting the breakdown of the synovial fluid matrix in osteoarthritis. Thus, single molecule microscopy is a useful new method to probe the structure of human synovial fluid and its changes in disease states like osteoarthritis.

  17. Collective effects in Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subedi, Pradeep

    Single molecule magnets (SMMs), such as Mn12-acetate, are composed of transition metal ions and consists of identical molecules with large ground-state spin (S = 10) and a strong uniaxial anisotropy (65 K). Below about 3 K, Mn12-acetate exhibits magnetic hysteresis with steps at specific values of longitudinal magnetic field due to resonant quantum tunneling between spin up and down projections along the easy axis. The intermolecular exchange interactions between spins on molecules are quite small and spins are considered to be independent and non-interacting. However, the molecules do interact with each other both through magnetic dipolar interactions and through the lattice (e.g. phonons). I have investigated collective effects in SMMs due to these intermolecular interactions. In the thesis I will present experiments that explored magnetic ordering due to magnetic dipole interactions in Mn12-acetate and Mn12-acetate-MeOH. I will also present exper- iments on the onset of magnetic de agration in Mn12-acetate due to a thermal instability. The magnetic ordering studies involved investigating the effect of transverse fields on the susceptibility of single crystals of Mn12-acetate and Mn12-acetate- MeOH. Transverse fields increase quantum spin uctuations that suppress long- range order. However, the suppression of the Curie temperature by transverse fields in Mn12-acetate is far more rapid than predicted by the Transverse-Field Ising Ferromagnetic Model (TFIFM) and instead agrees with the predictions of the Random-Field Ising Ferromagnet Model. It appears that solvent disorder in Mn12-acetate gives rise to a distribution of random-fields that further suppress long-range order. Subsequent studies on Mn12-acetate-MeOH, with the same spin and similar lattice constants but without solvent disorder as Mn12-acetate, agrees with the TFIFM. The magnetic de agration studies involved studying the instability that leads to the ignition of magnetic deflagration in a thermally

  18. Single-Molecule Enzymatic Conformational Dynamics: Spilling Out the Product Molecules

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Product releasing is an essential step of an enzymatic reaction, and a mechanistic understanding primarily depends on the active-site conformational changes and molecular interactions that are involved in this step of the enzymatic reaction. Here we report our work on the enzymatic product releasing dynamics and mechanism of an enzyme, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), using combined single-molecule time-resolved fluorescence intensity, anisotropy, and lifetime measurements. Our results have shown a wide distribution of the multiple conformational states involved in active-site interacting with the product molecules during the product releasing. We have identified that there is a significant pathway in which the product molecules are spilled out from the enzymatic active site, driven by a squeezing effect from a tight active-site conformational state, although the conventional pathway of releasing a product molecule from an open active-site conformational state is still a primary pathway. Our study provides new insight into the enzymatic reaction dynamics and mechanism, and the information is uniquely obtainable from our combined time-resolved single-molecule spectroscopic measurements and analyses. PMID:25025461

  19. Single-molecule enzymatic conformational dynamics: spilling out the product molecules.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Desheng; Lu, H Peter

    2014-08-01

    Product releasing is an essential step of an enzymatic reaction, and a mechanistic understanding primarily depends on the active-site conformational changes and molecular interactions that are involved in this step of the enzymatic reaction. Here we report our work on the enzymatic product releasing dynamics and mechanism of an enzyme, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), using combined single-molecule time-resolved fluorescence intensity, anisotropy, and lifetime measurements. Our results have shown a wide distribution of the multiple conformational states involved in active-site interacting with the product molecules during the product releasing. We have identified that there is a significant pathway in which the product molecules are spilled out from the enzymatic active site, driven by a squeezing effect from a tight active-site conformational state, although the conventional pathway of releasing a product molecule from an open active-site conformational state is still a primary pathway. Our study provides new insight into the enzymatic reaction dynamics and mechanism, and the information is uniquely obtainable from our combined time-resolved single-molecule spectroscopic measurements and analyses. PMID:25025461

  20. Single-molecule photophysics, from cryogenic to ambient conditions.

    PubMed

    Kozankiewicz, Bolesław; Orrit, Michel

    2014-02-21

    We review recent progress in characterizing and understanding the photophysics of single molecules in condensed matter, mostly at cryogenic temperatures. We discuss the central role of the triplet state in limiting the number of useful host-guest systems, notably a new channel, intermolecular intersystem crossing. Another important limitation to the use of single molecules is their photo-reactivity, leading to blinking of the fluorescence signal, and eventually to its loss by photo-bleaching. These processes are at the heart of modern super-resolution schemes. We then examine some of the new host-guest systems recently discovered following these general principles, and the mechanisms of spectral diffusion and dephasing that they have revealed. When charges are injected into organic conductors, they get trapped and influence single molecules via the local fields they create in the material, and via their coupling to localized vibrations. Understanding these processes is necessary for better control of spectral diffusion and dephasing of single molecules. We finally conclude by giving some outlook on future directions of this fascinating field. PMID:24190080

  1. Binding configurations and intramolecular strain in single-molecule devices.

    PubMed

    Rascón-Ramos, Habid; Artés, Juan Manuel; Li, Yuanhui; Hihath, Joshua

    2015-05-01

    The development of molecular-scale electronic devices has made considerable progress over the past decade, and single-molecule transistors, diodes and wires have all been demonstrated. Despite this remarkable progress, the agreement between theoretically predicted conductance values and those measured experimentally remains limited. One of the primary reasons for these discrepancies lies in the difficulty to experimentally determine the contact geometry and binding configuration of a single-molecule junction. In this Article, we apply a small-amplitude, high-frequency, sinusoidal mechanical signal to a series of single-molecule devices during junction formation and breakdown. By measuring the current response at this frequency, it is possible to determine the most probable binding and contact configurations for the molecular junction at room temperature in solution, and to obtain information about how an applied strain is distributed within the molecular junction. These results provide insight into the complex configuration of single-molecule devices, and are in excellent agreement with previous predictions from theoretical models. PMID:25686263

  2. Giant single-molecule anisotropic magnetoresistance at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Li, Ji-Jun; Bai, Mei-Lin; Chen, Zhao-Bin; Zhou, Xiao-Shun; Shi, Zhan; Zhang, Meng; Ding, Song-Yuan; Hou, Shi-Min; Schwarzacher, Walther; Nichols, Richard J; Mao, Bing-Wei

    2015-05-13

    We report an electrochemically assisted jump-to-contact scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) break junction approach to create reproducible and well-defined single-molecule spintronic junctions. The STM break junction is equipped with an external magnetic field either parallel or perpendicular to the electron transport direction. The conductance of Fe-terephthalic acid (TPA)-Fe single-molecule junctions is measured and a giant single-molecule tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance (T-AMR) up to 53% is observed at room temperature. Theoretical calculations based on first-principles quantum simulations show that the observed AMR of Fe-TPA-Fe junctions originates from electronic coupling at the TPA-Fe interfaces modified by the magnetic orientation of the Fe electrodes with respect to the direction of current flow. The present study highlights new opportunities for obtaining detailed understanding of mechanisms of charge and spin transport in molecular junctions and the role of interfaces in determining the MR of single-molecule junctions. PMID:25894840

  3. Low-energy cross-section calculations of single molecules by electron impact: a classical Monte Carlo transport approach with quantum mechanical description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, J. R.; Akabani, G.

    2014-05-01

    The present state of modeling radio-induced effects at the cellular level does not account for the microscopic inhomogeneity of the nucleus from the non-aqueous contents (i.e. proteins, DNA) by approximating the entire cellular nucleus as a homogenous medium of water. Charged particle track-structure calculations utilizing this approximation are therefore neglecting to account for approximately 30% of the molecular variation within the nucleus. To truly understand what happens when biological matter is irradiated, charged particle track-structure calculations need detailed knowledge of the secondary electron cascade, resulting from interactions with not only the primary biological component—water--but also the non-aqueous contents, down to very low energies. This paper presents our work on a generic approach for calculating low-energy interaction cross-sections between incident charged particles and individual molecules. The purpose of our work is to develop a self-consistent computational method for predicting molecule-specific interaction cross-sections, such as the component molecules of DNA and proteins (i.e. nucleotides and amino acids), in the very low-energy regime. These results would then be applied in a track-structure code and thereby reduce the homogenous water approximation. The present methodology—inspired by seeking a combination of the accuracy of quantum mechanics and the scalability, robustness, and flexibility of Monte Carlo methods—begins with the calculation of a solution to the many-body Schrödinger equation and proceeds to use Monte Carlo methods to calculate the perturbations in the internal electron field to determine the interaction processes, such as ionization and excitation. As a test of our model, the approach is applied to a water molecule in the same method as it would be applied to a nucleotide or amino acid and compared with the low-energy cross-sections from the GEANT4-DNA physics package of the Geant4 simulation toolkit

  4. PREFACE: Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    lengths but different energy barrier profiles in order to elucidate electron transport in the molecular junctions. Kiguchi and Murakoshi study metallic atomic wires under electrochemical potential control. Asai reports on a theoretical study of rectification in substituted atomic wires. Finally, Weiss et al report on a new method to pattern and functionalize oxide-free germanium surfaces with self-assembled organic monolayers, which provides interfaces between inorganic semiconductors and organic molecules. Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics contents Biochemistry and semiconductor electronics—the next big hit for silicon?Stuart Lindsay Electrical detection of single pollen allergen particles using electrode-embedded microchannelsChihiro Kawaguchi, Tetsuya Noda, Makusu Tsutsui, Masateru Taniguchi, Satoyuki Kawano and Tomoji Kawai Quasi 3D imaging of DNA-gold nanoparticle tetrahedral structuresAvigail Stern, Dvir Rotem, Inna Popov and Danny Porath Effects of cytosine methylation on DNA charge transportJoshua Hihath, Shaoyin Guo, Peiming Zhang and Nongjian Tao Effect of electrostatics on aggregation of prion protein Sup35 peptideAlexander M Portillo, Alexey V Krasnoslobodtsev and Yuri L Lyubchenko Mapping the intracellular distribution of carbon nanotubes after targeted delivery to carcinoma cells using confocal Raman imaging as a label-free techniqueC Lamprecht, N Gierlinger, E Heister, B Unterauer, B Plochberger, M Brameshuber, P Hinterdorfer, S Hild and A Ebner Caveolae-mediated endocytosis of biocompatible gold nanoparticles in living Hela cellsXian Hao, Jiazhen Wu, Yuping Shan, Mingjun Cai, Xin Shang, Junguang Jiang and Hongda Wang Stability of an aqueous quadrupole micro-trapJae Hyun Park and Predrag S Krstić Electron transport properties of single molecular junctions under mechanical modulationsJianfeng Zhou, Cunlan Guo and Bingqian Xu An approach to measure electromechanical properties of atomic and molecular junctionsIlya V Pobelov, Gábor M

  5. Single molecule analysis of DNA replication.

    PubMed

    Herrick, J; Bensimon, A

    1999-01-01

    We describe here a novel approach for the study of DNA replication. The approach is based on a process called molecular combing and allows for the genome wide analysis of the spatial and temporal organization of replication units and replication origins in a sample of genomic DNA. Molecular combing is a process whereby molecules of DNA are stretched and aligned on a glass surface by the force exerted by a receding air/water interface. Since the stretching occurs in the immediate vicinity of the meniscus, all molecules are identically stretched in a size and sequence independent manner. The application of fluorescence hybridization to combed DNA results in a high resolution (1 to 4 kb) optical mapping that is simple, controlled and reproducible. The ability to comb up to several hundred haploid genomes on a single coverslip allows for a statistically significant number of measurements to be made. Direct labeling of replicating DNA sequences in turn enables origins of DNA replication to be visualized and mapped. These features therefore make molecular combing an attractive tool for genomic studies of DNA replication. In the following, we discuss the application of molecular combing to the study of DNA replication and genome stability. PMID:10572299

  6. Single molecule detection for in vitro diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirner, Thomas; Ackermann, Jörg; Mathis, Harald P.; Greiner, Benjamin; Tonn, Thomas; Tschachojan, David; Kukoc-Zivojnov, Natasa; Giehring, Sebastian

    2008-02-01

    In this paper we present a novel highly sensitive detection system for diagnostic applications. The system is designed to meet the needs of medical diagnostics for reliable measurements of pathogens and biomarkers in the low concentration regime. It consists of a confocal detection unit, micro-structured sampling cells, and a "Virtual lab" analysis software. The detection unit works with laser induced fluorescence and is designed to provide accurate and highly sensitive measurement at the single molecule level. Various sampling cells are micro-structured in glass, silicon or polymers to enable measurements under flow and nonflow conditions. Sampling volume is below one microliter. The "Virtual lab" software analyzes the light intensity online according to the patent pending "Accurate Stochastic Fluorescence Spectroscopy" (ASFS) developed by FluIT Biosystems GmbH. Tools for simulation and experiment optimization are included as well. Experimental results for various applications with relevance for in vitro diagnostics will be presented.

  7. Single-Molecule Observations of Ribosome Function

    PubMed Central

    Blanchard, Scott C.

    2009-01-01

    Summary of Recent Advances Single-molecule investigations promise to greatly advance our understanding of basic and regulated ribosome functions during the process of translation. Here, recent progress towards directly imaging the elemental translation elongation steps using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based imaging methods is discussed, which provide striking evidence of the highly dynamic nature of the ribosome. In this view, global rates and fidelities of protein synthesis reactions may be regulated by interactions of the ribosome with mRNA, tRNA, translation factors, and potentially many other cellular ligands, that modify intrinsic conformational equilibria in the translating particle. Future investigations probing this model must aim to visualize translation processes from multiple structural and kinetic perspectives simultaneously, to provide direct correlations between factor binding and conformational events. PMID:19223173

  8. Rapid nanopore discrimination between single polynucleotide molecules

    PubMed Central

    Meller, Amit; Nivon, Lucas; Brandin, Eric; Golovchenko, Jene; Branton, Daniel

    2000-01-01

    A variety of different DNA polymers were electrophoretically driven through the nanopore of an α-hemolysin channel in a lipid bilayer. Single-channel recording of the translocation duration and current flow during traversal of individual polynucleotides yielded a unique pattern of events for each of the several polymers tested. Statistical data derived from this pattern of events demonstrate that in several cases a nanopore can distinguish between polynucleotides of similar length and composition that differ only in sequence. Studies of temperature effects on the translocation process show that translocation duration scales as ∼T−2. A strong correlation exists between the temperature dependence of the event characteristics and the tendency of some polymers to form secondary structure. Because nanopores can rapidly discriminate and characterize unlabeled DNA molecules at low copy number, refinements of the experimental approach demonstrated here could eventually provide a low-cost high-throughput method of analyzing DNA polynucleotides. PMID:10655487

  9. Single-molecule spectroscopy using microfluidic platforms.

    PubMed

    Kim, Samuel; Zare, Richard N

    2010-01-01

    Microfluidics serves as a convenient platform for single-molecule experiments by providing manipulation of small amounts of liquids and micron-sized particles. An adapted version of capillary electrophoresis (CE) on a microchip can be utilized to separate chemical species with high resolution based on their ionic mobilities (i.e., charges and sizes), but identification of separated species is not trivial, especially for complex mixtures of sticky biomolecules. We describe here how to use a surfactant mixture system for CE on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microchip, capture separated peaks within a 50-pl chamber using microvalves, analyze the fluorescence signals with correlation spectroscopy to extract molecular diffusion characteristics, and to identify the biomolecular clusters in a model immunocomplex system. PMID:20580962

  10. Single Molecule Switches and Molecular Self-Assembly: Low Temperature STM Investigations and Manipulations

    SciTech Connect

    Iancu, Violeta

    2006-08-01

    This dissertation is devoted to single molecule investigations and manipulations of two porphyrin-based molecules, chlorophyll-a and Co-popphyrin. The molecules are absorbed on metallic substrates and studied at low temperatures using a scanning tunneling microscope. The electronic, structural and mechanical properties of the molecules are investigated in detail with atomic level precision. Chlorophyll-a is the key ingredient in photosynthesis processes while Co-porphyrin is a magnetic molecule that represents the recent emerging field of molecular spintronics. Using the scanning tunneling microscope tip and the substrate as electrodes, and the molecules as active ingredients, single molecule switches made of these two molecules are demonstrated. The first switch, a multiple and reversible mechanical switch, is realized by using chlorophyll-a where the energy transfer of a single tunneling electron is used to rotate a C-C bond of the molecule's tail on a Au(111) surface. Here, the det

  11. DNA-cisplatin interaction studied with single molecule stretching experiments.

    PubMed

    Crisafuli, F A P; Cesconetto, E C; Ramos, E B; Rocha, M S

    2012-05-01

    By performing single molecule stretching experiments with optical tweezers, we have studied the changes in the mechanical properties of DNA-cisplatin complexes as a function of some variables of interest such as the drug diffusion time and concentration in the sample. We propose a model to explain the behavior of the persistence length as a function of the drug concentration, extracting the binding data from pure mechanical measurements. Such analysis has allowed us to show that cisplatin binds cooperatively to the DNA molecule. In addition, DNA compaction by the action of the drug was also observed under our experimental conditions by studying the kinetics of some mechanical properties such as the radius of gyration and the end-to-end distance, e.g. Crisafuli et al., Integr. Biol., 2011, xx, xxxx. PMID:22513758

  12. Single-Molecule Studies of Rotary Molecular Motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilizota, Teuta; Sowa, Yoshiyuki; Berry, Richard M.

    Rotary molecular motors are protein complexes that transform chemical or electrochemical energy into mechanical work. There are five known rotary molecular motors in nature; the bacterial flagellar motor, and two motors in each of ATP-synthase and V-ATPase. Rotation of the flagellar motor drives a helical propeller that powers bacterial swimming. The function of the other rotary motors is to couple electrochemical ion gradients to synthesis or hydrolysis of ATP, and rotation is a detail of the coupling mechanism rather than the ultimate purpose of the motors. Much has been learned about the mechanism of the F1 part of ATP-synthase and the flagellar motor by measuring the rotation of single motors with a variety of techniques under a wide range of conditions. This chapter will review the structures of ATP-synthase and the flagellar motor, and what has been learned about their mechanisms using single molecule techniques.

  13. Bringing single-molecule spectroscopy to macromolecular protein complexes

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Chirlmin; Fareh, Mohamed; Kim, V. Narry

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy offers real-time, nanometer-resolution information. Over the past two decades, this emerging single-molecule technique has been rapidly adopted to investigate the structural dynamics and biological functions of proteins. Despite this remarkable achievement, single-molecule fluorescence techniques must be extended to macromolecular protein complexes that are physiologically more relevant for functional studies. In this review, we present recent major breakthroughs for investigating protein complexes within cell extracts using single-molecule fluorescence. We outline the challenges, future prospects and potential applications of these new single-molecule fluorescence techniques in biological and clinical research. PMID:23200186

  14. Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Somin Eunice; Chen, Qian; Bhat, Ramray; Petkiewicz, Shayne; Smith, Jessica M.; Ferry, Vivian E.; Correia, Ana Luisa; Alivisatos, A. Paul; Bissell, Mina J.

    2015-06-03

    Plasmon rulers, consisting of pairs of gold nanoparticles, allow single-molecule analysis without photobleaching or blinking; however, current plasmon rulers are irreversible, restricting detection to only single events. Here, we present a reversible plasmon ruler, comprised of coupled gold nanoparticles linked by a single aptamer, capable of binding individual secreted molecules with high specificity. We show that the binding of target secreted molecules to the reversible plasmon ruler is characterized by single-molecule sensitivity, high specificity, and reversibility. Lastly, such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

  15. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Monomeric LHCII: Experiment and Theory.

    PubMed

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J Michael; van Grondelle, Rienk; Mančal, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    We derive approximate equations of motion for excited state dynamics of a multilevel open quantum system weakly interacting with light to describe fluorescence-detected single molecule spectra. Based on the Frenkel exciton theory, we construct a model for the chlorophyll part of the LHCII complex of higher plants and its interaction with previously proposed excitation quencher in the form of the lutein molecule Lut 1. The resulting description is valid over a broad range of timescales relevant for single molecule spectroscopy, i.e. from ps to minutes. Validity of these equations is demonstrated by comparing simulations of ensemble and single-molecule spectra of monomeric LHCII with experiments. Using a conformational change of the LHCII protein as a switching mechanism, the intensity and spectral time traces of individual LHCII complexes are simulated, and the experimental statistical distributions are reproduced. Based on our model, it is shown that with reasonable assumptions about its interaction with chlorophylls, Lut 1 can act as an efficient fluorescence quencher in LHCII. PMID:27189196

  16. Single-molecule observation of prokaryotic DNA replication.

    PubMed

    Geertsema, Hylkje J; Duderstadt, Karl E; van Oijen, Antoine M

    2015-01-01

    Replication of DNA requires the coordinated activity of a number of proteins within a multiprotein complex, the replisome. Recent advances in single-molecule techniques have enabled the observation of dynamic behavior of individual replisome components and of the replisome as a whole, aspects that previously often have been obscured by ensemble averaging in more classical solution-phase biochemical experiments. To improve robustness and reproducibility of single-molecule assays of replication and allow objective analysis and comparison of results obtained from such assays, common practices should be established. Here, we describe the technical details of two assays to study replisome activity. In one, the kinetics of replication are observed as length changes in DNA molecules mechanically stretched by a laminar flow applied to attached beads. In the other, fluorescence imaging is used to determine both the kinetics and stoichiometry of individual replisome components. These in vitro single-molecule methods allow for elucidation of the dynamic behavior of individual replication proteins of prokaryotic replication systems. PMID:25916715

  17. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Monomeric LHCII: Experiment and Theory

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; van Grondelle, Rienk; Mančal, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    We derive approximate equations of motion for excited state dynamics of a multilevel open quantum system weakly interacting with light to describe fluorescence-detected single molecule spectra. Based on the Frenkel exciton theory, we construct a model for the chlorophyll part of the LHCII complex of higher plants and its interaction with previously proposed excitation quencher in the form of the lutein molecule Lut 1. The resulting description is valid over a broad range of timescales relevant for single molecule spectroscopy, i.e. from ps to minutes. Validity of these equations is demonstrated by comparing simulations of ensemble and single-molecule spectra of monomeric LHCII with experiments. Using a conformational change of the LHCII protein as a switching mechanism, the intensity and spectral time traces of individual LHCII complexes are simulated, and the experimental statistical distributions are reproduced. Based on our model, it is shown that with reasonable assumptions about its interaction with chlorophylls, Lut 1 can act as an efficient fluorescence quencher in LHCII. PMID:27189196

  18. Single-molecule fluorescence measurements reveal the reaction mechanisms of the core RISC, composed of human Argonaute 2 and a guide RNA.

    PubMed

    Jo, Myung Hyun; Song, Ji-Joon; Hohng, Sungchul

    2015-12-01

    In eukaryotes, small RNAs play important roles in both gene regulation and resistance to viral infection. Argonaute proteins have been identified as a key component of the effector complexes of various RNA-silencing pathways, but the mechanistic roles of Argonaute proteins in these pathways are not clearly understood. To address this question, we performed single-molecule fluorescence experiments using an RNA-induced silencing complex (core-RISC) composed of a small RNA and human Argonaute 2. We found that target binding of core-RISC starts at the seed region of the guide RNA. After target binding, four distinct reactions followed: target cleavage, transient binding, stable binding, and Argonaute unloading. Target cleavage required extensive sequence complementarity and accelerated core-RISC dissociation for recycling. In contrast, the stable binding of core-RISC to target RNAs required seed-match only, suggesting a potential explanation for the seed-match rule of microRNA (miRNA) target selection. PMID:26592935

  19. Single-molecule detection: applications to ultrasensitive biochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Alonso; Shera, E. Brooks

    1995-06-01

    Recent developments in laser-based detection of fluorescent molecules have made possible the implementation of very sensitive techniques for biochemical analysis. We present and discuss our experiments on the applications of our recently developed technique of single-molecule detection to the analysis of molecules of biological interest. These newly developed methods are capable of detecting and identifying biomolecules at the single-molecule level of sensitivity. In one case, identification is based on measuring fluorescence brightness from single molecules. In another, molecules are classified by determining their electrophoretic velocities.

  20. Single Molecule Approaches in RNA-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Serebrov, Victor; Moore, Melissa J

    2016-01-01

    RNA-protein interactions govern every aspect of RNA metabolism, and aberrant RNA-binding proteins are the cause of hundreds of genetic diseases. Quantitative measurements of these interactions are necessary in order to understand mechanisms leading to diseases and to develop efficient therapies. Existing methods of RNA-protein interactome capture can afford a comprehensive snapshot of RNA-protein interaction networks but lack the ability to characterize the dynamics of these interactions. As all ensemble methods, their resolution is also limited by statistical averaging. Here we discuss recent advances in single molecule techniques that have the potential to tackle these challenges. We also provide a thorough overview of single molecule colocalization microscopy and the essential protein and RNA tagging and detection techniques. PMID:27256383

  1. Single-molecule denaturation mapping of DNA in nanofluidic channels

    PubMed Central

    Reisner, Walter; Larsen, Niels B.; Silahtaroglu, Asli; Kristensen, Anders; Tommerup, Niels; Tegenfeldt, Jonas O.; Flyvbjerg, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Here we explore the potential power of denaturation mapping as a single-molecule technique. By partially denaturing YOYO®-1-labeled DNA in nanofluidic channels with a combination of formamide and local heating, we obtain a sequence-dependent “barcode” corresponding to a series of local dips and peaks in the intensity trace along the extended molecule. We demonstrate that this structure arises from the physics of local denaturation: statistical mechanical calculations of sequence-dependent melting probability can predict the barcode to be observed experimentally for a given sequence. Consequently, the technique is sensitive to sequence variation without requiring enzymatic labeling or a restriction step. This technique may serve as the basis for a new mapping technology ideally suited for investigating the long-range structure of entire genomes extracted from single cells. PMID:20616076

  2. High-Resolution, Single-Molecule Measurements of Biomolecular Motion

    PubMed Central

    Greenleaf, William J.; Woodside, Michael T.; Block, Steven M.

    2007-01-01

    Many biologically important macromolecules undergo motions that are essential to their function. Biophysical techniques can now resolve the motions of single molecules down to the nanometer scale or even below, providing new insights into the mechanisms that drive molecular movements. This review outlines the principal approaches that have been used for high-resolution measurements of single-molecule motion, including centroid tracking, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, magnetic tweezers, atomic force microscopy, and optical traps. For each technique, the principles of operation are outlined, the capabilities and typical applications are examined, and various practical issues for implementation are considered. Extensions to these methods are also discussed, with an eye toward future application to outstanding biological problems. PMID:17328679

  3. Visualizing Cellular Machines with Colocalization Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Joshua D.; Rodgers, Margaret L.

    2013-01-01

    Many of the cell's macromolecular machines contain multiple components that transiently associate with one another. This compositional and dynamic complexity presents a challenge for understanding how these machines are constructed and function. Colocalization single molecule spectroscopy enables simultaneous observation of individual components of these machines in real-time and grants a unique window into processes that are typically obscured in ensemble assays. Colocalization experiments can yield valuable information about assembly pathways, compositional heterogeneity, and kinetics that together contribute to the development of richly detailed reaction mechanisms. This review focuses on recent advances in colocalization single molecule spectroscopy and how this technique has been applied to enhance our understanding of transcription, RNA splicing, and translation. PMID:23970346

  4. Single molecule thermodynamics of ATP synthesis by F1-ATPase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyabe, Shoichi; Muneyuki, Eiro

    2015-01-01

    FoF1-ATP synthase is a factory for synthesizing ATP in virtually all cells. Its core machinery is the subcomplex F1-motor (F1-ATPase) and performs the reversible mechanochemical coupling. The isolated F1-motor hydrolyzes ATP, which is accompanied by unidirectional rotation of its central γ -shaft. When a strong opposing torque is imposed, the γ -shaft rotates in the opposite direction and drives the F1-motor to synthesize ATP. This mechanical-to-chemical free-energy transduction is the final and central step of the multistep cellular ATP-synthetic pathway. Here, we determined the amount of mechanical work exploited by the F1-motor to synthesize an ATP molecule during forced rotations using a methodology combining a nonequilibrium theory and single molecule measurements of responses to external torque. We found that the internal dissipation of the motor is negligible even during rotations far from a quasistatic process.

  5. Single-molecule microscopy using tunable nanoscale confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFaul, Christopher M. J.; Leith, Jason; Jia, Bojing; Michaud, François; Arsenault, Adriel; Martin, Andrew; Berard, Daniel; Leslie, Sabrina

    2013-09-01

    We present the design, construction and implementation of a modular microscopy device that transforms a basic inverted fluorescence microscope into a versatile single-molecule imaging system. The device uses Convex Lens- Induced Confinement (CLIC) to improve background rejection and extend diffusion-limited observation time. To facilitate its integration into a wide range of laboratories, this implementation of the CLIC device can use a standard flow-cell, into which the sample is loaded. By mechanically deforming the flow-cell, the device creates a tunable, wedge-shaped imaging chamber which we have modeled using finite element analysis simulations and characterized experimentally using interferometry. A powerful feature of CLIC imaging technology is the ability to examine single molecules under a continuum of applied confinement, from the nanometer to the micrometer scale. We demonstrate, using freely diffusing λ-phage DNA, that when the imposed confinement is on the scale of individual molecules their molecular conformations and diffusivity are altered significantly. To improve the flow-cell stiffness, seal, and re-usability, we have innovated the fabrication of thin PDMS-bonded flow-cells. The presented flow-cell CLIC technology can be combined with surface-lithography to provide an accessible and powerful approach to tune, trap, and image individual molecules under an extended range of imaging conditions. It is well-suited to tackling open problems in biophysics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials science, and chemistry.

  6. Entropic Elasticity Controls Nanomechanics of Single Tropocollagen Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Buehler, Markus J.; Wong, Sophie Y.

    2007-01-01

    We report molecular modeling of stretching single molecules of tropocollagen, the building block of collagen fibrils and fibers that provide mechanical support in connective tissues. For small deformation, we observe a dominance of entropic elasticity. At larger deformation, we find a transition to energetic elasticity, which is characterized by first stretching and breaking of hydrogen bonds, followed by deformation of covalent bonds in the protein backbone, eventually leading to molecular fracture. Our force-displacement curves at small forces show excellent quantitative agreement with optical tweezer experiments. Our model predicts a persistence length ξp ≈ 16 nm, confirming experimental results suggesting that tropocollagen molecules are very flexible elastic entities. We demonstrate that assembly of single tropocollagen molecules into fibrils significantly decreases their bending flexibility, leading to decreased contributions of entropic effects during deformation. The molecular simulation results are used to develop a simple continuum model capable of describing an entire deformation range of tropocollagen molecules. Our molecular model is capable of describing different regimes of elastic and permanent deformation, without relying on empirical parameters, including a transition from entropic to energetic elasticity. PMID:17434941

  7. Single-Molecule Sensors: Challenges and Opportunities for Quantitative Analysis.

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-09-12

    Measurement science has been converging to smaller and smaller samples, such that it is now possible to detect single molecules. This Review focuses on the next generation of analytical tools that combine single-molecule detection with the ability to measure many single molecules simultaneously and/or process larger and more complex samples. Such single-molecule sensors constitute a new type of quantitative analytical tool, as they perform analysis by molecular counting and thus potentially capture the heterogeneity of the sample. This Review outlines the advantages and potential of these new, quantitative single-molecule sensors, the measurement challenges in making single-molecule devices suitable for analysis, the inspiration biology provides for overcoming these challenges, and some of the solutions currently being explored. PMID:27444661

  8. Multi-State Transition Kinetics of Intracellular Signaling Molecules by Single-Molecule Imaging Analysis.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Satomi; Miyanaga, Yukihiro; Ueda, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    The chemotactic signaling of eukaryotic cells is based on a chain of interactions between signaling molecules diffusing on the cell membrane and those shuttling between the membrane and cytoplasm. In this chapter, we describe methods to quantify lateral diffusion and reaction kinetics on the cell membrane. By the direct visualization and statistic analyses of molecular Brownian movement achieved by single-molecule imaging techniques, multiple states of membrane-bound molecules are successfully revealed with state transition kinetics. Using PTEN, a phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P3) 3'-phosphatase, in Dictyostelium discoideum undergoing chemotaxis as a model, each process of the analysis is described in detail. The identified multiple state kinetics provides an essential clue to elucidating the molecular mechanism of chemoattractant-induced dynamic redistribution of the signaling molecule asymmetrically on the cell membrane. Quantitative parameters for molecular reactions and diffusion complement a conventional view of the chemotactic signaling system, where changing a static network of molecules connected by causal relationships into a spatiotemporally dynamic one permits a mathematical description of stochastic migration of the cell along a shallow chemoattractant gradient. PMID:27271914

  9. Single Molecular Spectroscopy: Identification of Individual Fullerene Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tizei, Luiz H. G.; Liu, Zheng; Koshino, Masanori; Iizumi, Yoko; Okazaki, Toshiya; Suenaga, Kazu

    2014-10-01

    We report the molecule-by-molecule spectroscopy of individual fullerenes by means of electron spectroscopy based on scanning transmission electron microscopy. Electron energy-loss fine structure analysis of carbon 1 s absorption spectra is used to discriminate carbon allotropes with known symmetries. C60 and C70 molecules randomly stored inside carbon nanotubes are successfully identified at a single-molecular basis. We show that a single molecule impurity is detectable, allowing the recognition of an unexpected contaminant molecule with a different symmetry. Molecules inside carbon nanotubes thus preserve their intact molecular symmetry. In contrast, molecules anchored at or sandwiched between atomic BN layers show spectral modifications possibly due to a largely degraded structural symmetry. Moreover, by comparing the spectrum from a single C60 molecule and its molecular crystal, we find hints of the influence of solid-state effects on its electronic structure.

  10. Single-molecule spectroscopy and dynamics at room temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, X.S.

    1996-12-01

    The spirit of studying single-molecule behaviors dates back to the turn of the century. In addition to Einstein`s well-known work on Brownian motion, there has been a tradition for studying single {open_quotes}macromolecules{close_quotes} or a small number of molecules either by light scattering or by fluorescence using an optical microscope. Modern computers have allowed detailed studies of single-molecule behaviors in condensed media through molecular dynamics simulations. Optical spectroscopy offers a wealth of information on the structure, interaction, and dynamics of molecular species. With the motivation of removing {open_quotes}inhomogeneous broadening{close_quotes}, spectroscopic techniques have evolved from spectral hole burning, fluorescence line narrowing, and photo-echo to the recent pioneering work on single-molecule spectroscopy in solids at cryogenic temperatures. High-resolution spectroscopic work on single molecules relies on zero phonon lines which appear at cryogenic temperatures, and have narrow line widths and large absorption cross sections. Recent advances in near-field and confocal fluorescence have allowed not only fluorescence imaging of single molecules with high spatial resolutions but also single-molecule spectroscopy at room temperature. In this Account, the author provides a physical chemist`s perspective on experimental and theoretical developments on room-temperature single-molecule spectroscopy and dynamics, with the emphasis on the information obtainable from single-molecule experiments. 61 refs., 9 figs.

  11. Rotational motion of a single water molecule in a buckyball.

    PubMed

    Farimani, A Barati; Wu, Yanbin; Aluru, N R

    2013-11-01

    Encapsulation of a single water molecule in a buckyball (C60) can provide fundamental insights into the properties of water. Investigation of a single water molecule is feasible through its solitary confinement in C60. In this paper, we performed a detailed study of the properties and dynamics of a single water molecule in a buckyball using DFT and MD simulations. We report on the enhancement of rotational diffusion and entropy of a water molecule in C60, compared to a bulk water molecule. H2O@C60 has zero translational diffusion and terahertz revolution frequency. The harmonic, high amplitude rotation of a single water molecule in C60 is compared to stochastic behavior of bulk water molecules. The combination of large rotational and negligible translational motion of water in C60 creates new opportunities in nanotechnology applications. PMID:24061613

  12. A single-molecule view of gene regulation in cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Single-cell analysis has revealed that transcription is dynamic and stochastic, but tools are lacking that can determine the mechanism operating at a single gene. Here we utilize single-molecule observations of RNA in fixed and living cells to develop a single-cell model of steroid-receptor mediated gene activation. Steroid receptors coordinate a diverse range of responses in higher eukaryotes and are involved in a wide range of human diseases, including cancer. Steroid receptor response elements are present throughout the human genome and modulate chromatin remodeling and transcription in both a local and long-range fashion. As such, steroid receptor-mediated transcription is a paradigm of genetic control in the metazoan nucleus. Moreover, the ligand-dependent nature of these transcription factors makes them appealing targets for therapeutic intervention, necessitating a quantitative understanding of how receptors control output from target genes. We determine that steroids drive mRNA synthesis by frequency modulation of transcription. This digital behavior in single cells gives rise to the well-known analog dose response across the population. To test this model, we developed a light-activation technology to turn on a single gene and follow dynamic synthesis of RNA from the activated locus. The response delay is a measure of time required for chromatin remodeling at a single gene.

  13. Probing Electronic and Thermoelectric Properties of Single Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widawsky, Jonathan R.

    In an effort to further understand electronic and thermoelectric phenomenon at the nanometer scale, we have studied the transport properties of single molecule junctions. To carry out these transport measurements, we use the scanning tunneling microscope-break junction (STM-BJ) technique, which involves the repeated formation and breakage of a metal point contact in an environment of the target molecule. Using this technique, we are able to create gaps that can trap the molecules, allowing us to sequentially and reproducibly create a large number of junctions. By applying a small bias across the junction, we can measure its conductance and learn about the transport mechanisms at the nanoscale. The experimental work presented here directly probes the transmission properties of single molecules through the systematic measurement of junction conductance (at low and high bias) and thermopower. We present measurements on a variety of molecular families and study how conductance depends on the character of the linkage (metal-molecule bond) and the nature of the molecular backbone. We start by describing a novel way to construct single molecule junctions by covalently connecting the molecular backbone to the electrodes. This eliminates the use of linking substituents, and as a result, the junction conductance increases substantially. Then, we compare transport across silicon chains (silanes) and saturated carbon chains (alkanes) while keeping the linkers the same and find a stark difference in their electronic transport properties. We extend our studies of molecular junctions by looking at two additional aspects of quantum transport -- molecular thermopower and molecular current-voltage characteristics. Each of these additional parameters gives us further insight into transport properties at the nanoscale. Evaluating the junction thermopower allows us to determine the nature of charge carriers in the system and we demonstrate this by contrasting the measurement of amine

  14. Magnetostructural correlations in Tetrairon(III) single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Gregoli, Luisa; Danieli, Chiara; Barra, Anne-Laure; Neugebauer, Petr; Pellegrino, Giovanna; Poneti, Giordano; Sessoli, Roberta; Cornia, Andrea

    2009-06-22

    Tunable single-molecule magnets: The spin-level landscape in a series of Fe(III) (4) single-molecule magnets with propeller-like structure was analyzed by means of high-frequency EPR spectroscopy. The zero-field splitting parameter D of the ground S=5 spin state correlates strongly with the pitch of the propeller gamma (see picture), and thus provides a simple link between molecular structure and magnetic behavior.We report three novel tetrairon(III) single-molecule magnets with formula [Fe(4)(L)(2)(dpm)(6)] (Hdpm=2,2,6,6-tetramethylheptane-3,5-dione), prepared by using pentaerythritol monoether ligands H(3)L=R'OCH(2)C(CH(2)OH)(3) with R'=allyl (1), (R,S)-2-methyl-1-butyl (2), and (S)-2-methyl-1-butyl (3), along with a new crystal phase of the complex containing H(3)L=11-(acetylthio)-2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl)- undecan-1-ol (4). High-frequency EPR (HF-EPR) spectra at low temperature were collected on powder samples in order to determine the zero-field splitting (zfs) parameters in the ground S=5 spin state. In 1-4 and in other eight isostructural compounds previously reported, a remarkable correlation is found between the axial zfs parameter D and the pitch gamma of the propeller-like structure. The relationship is directly demonstrated by 1, which features both structurally and magnetically inequivalent molecules in the crystal. The dynamics of magnetization has been investigated by ac susceptometry, and the results analyzed by master-matrix calculations. The large rhombicities of 2 and 3 were found to be responsible for the fast magnetic relaxation observed in the two compounds. However, complex 3 shows an additional faster relaxation mechanism which is unaccounted for by the set of spin Hamiltonian parameters determined by HF-EPR. PMID:19462389

  15. Signatures of molecular magnetism in single-molecule transport spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Jo, Moon-Ho; Grose, Jacob E; Baheti, Kanhayalal; Deshmukh, Mandar M; Sokol, Jennifer J; Rumberger, Evan M; Hendrickson, David N; Long, Jeffrey R; Park, Hongkun; Ralph, D C

    2006-09-01

    We report single-molecule-transistor measurements on devices incorporating magnetic molecules. By studying the electron-tunneling spectrum as a function of magnetic field, we are able to identify signatures of magnetic states and their associated magnetic anisotropy. A comparison of the data to simulations also suggests that sequential electron tunneling may enhance the magnetic relaxation of the magnetic molecule. PMID:16968018

  16. Single-Molecule Electronic Measurements with Metal Electrodes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Stuart

    2005-01-01

    A review of concepts like tunneling through a metal-molecule-metal-junction, contrast with electrochemical and optical-charge injection, strong-coupling limit, calculations of tunnel transport, electron transfer through Redox-active molecules is presented. This is followed by a discussion of experimental approaches for single-molecule measurements.

  17. Single-molecule imaging of non-equilibrium molecular ensembles on the millisecond timescale.

    PubMed

    Juette, Manuel F; Terry, Daniel S; Wasserman, Michael R; Altman, Roger B; Zhou, Zhou; Zhao, Hong; Blanchard, Scott C

    2016-04-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy is uniquely suited for detecting transient molecular recognition events, yet achieving the time resolution and statistics needed to realize this potential has proven challenging. Here we present a single-molecule imaging and analysis platform using scientific complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) detectors that enables imaging of 15,000 individual molecules simultaneously at millisecond rates. This system enabled the detection of previously obscured processes relevant to the fidelity mechanism in protein synthesis. PMID:26878382

  18. Ultra-Stable Organic Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Research

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qinsi; Juette, Manuel F.; Jockusch, Steffen; Wasserman, Michael R.; Zhou, Zhou; Altman, Roger B.; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence provides a mechanism for achieving contrast in biological imaging that enables investigations of molecular structure, dynamics, and function at high spatial and temporal resolution. Small-molecule organic fluorophores have proven essential for such efforts and are widely used in advanced applications such as single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy. Yet, organic fluorophores, like all fluorescent species, exhibit instabilities in their emission characteristics, including blinking and photobleaching that limit their utility and performance. Here, we review the photophysics and photochemistry of organic fluorophores as they pertain to mitigating such instabilities, with a specific focus on the development of stabilized fluorophores through derivatization. Self-healing organic fluorophores, wherein the triplet state is intramolecularly quenched by a covalently attached protective agent, exhibit markedly improved photostabilities. We discuss the potential for further enhancements towards the goal of developing “ultra-stable” fluorophores spanning the visible spectrum and how such fluorophores are likely to impact the future of single-molecule research. PMID:24177677

  19. Single molecule statistics and the polynucleotide unzipping transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubensky, David K.; Nelson, David R.

    2002-03-01

    We present an extensive theoretical investigation of the mechanical unzipping of double-stranded DNA under the influence of an applied force. In the limit of long polymers, there is a thermodynamic unzipping transition at a critical force value of order 10 pN, with different critical behavior for homopolymers and for random heteropolymers. We extend results on the disorder-averaged behavior of DNA's with random sequences [D. K. Lubensky and D. R. Nelson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 1572 (2000)] to the more experimentally accessible problem of unzipping a single DNA molecule. As the applied force approaches the critical value, the double-stranded DNA unravels in a series of discrete, sequence-dependent steps that allow it to reach successively deeper energy minima. Plots of extension versus force thus take the striking form of a series of plateaus separated by sharp jumps. Similar qualitative features should reappear in micromanipulation experiments on proteins and on folded RNA molecules. Despite their unusual form, the extension versus force curves for single molecules still reveal remnants of the disorder-averaged critical behavior. Above the transition, the dynamics of the unzipping fork is related to that of a particle diffusing in a random force field; anomalous, disorder-dominated behavior is expected until the applied force exceeds the critical value for unzipping by roughly 5 pN.

  20. Developing Single-Molecule Technique with Microsecond Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhterov, Maxim V.

    Molecular machines like proteins are responsible for many regulatory and catalytic functions. Specifically, molecular motions of proteins and their flexibility determine conformational states required for enzyme catalysis, signal transduction, and protein-protein interactions. However, the mechanisms for protein transitions between conformational states are often poorly understood, especially in the milli- to microsecond ranges where conventional optical techniques and computational modeling are most limited. This work describes development of an electronic single-molecule technique for monitoring microsecond motions of biological molecules. Dynamic changes of conductance through a transistor made of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT-FET) report conformational changes of a protein molecule tethered to the SWNT sidewall. In principle, the high operating speed of SWNT-FETs could allow this technique to resolve molecular events with nanosecond resolution. This project focused on improving the technique to a 200 kHz effective bandwidth in order to resolve microsecond-scale dynamics. The improvement was achieved with a home-built electrochemical flow cell. By minimizing parasitic capacitance due to liquid coupling to electrodes and eliminating noise pickup, the flow cell enabled low-noise, high bandwidth measurement of molecular events as short as 2 mus. The apparatus was used to observe closing and opening motions of lysozyme. Preliminary results suggest that lysozyme has a distribution of possible velocities with the most probable speed approaching our experimental resolution of 2 mus.

  1. Single molecule image formation, reconstruction and processing: introduction.

    PubMed

    Ashok, Amit; Piestun, Rafael; Stallinga, Sjoerd

    2016-07-01

    The ability to image at the single molecule scale has revolutionized research in molecular biology. This feature issue presents a collection of articles that provides new insights into the fundamental limits of single molecule imaging and reports novel techniques for image formation and analysis. PMID:27409708

  2. Atomic-Scale Control of Electron Transport through Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y. F.; Kröger, J.; Berndt, R.; Vázquez, H.; Brandbyge, M.; Paulsson, M.

    2010-04-01

    Tin-phthalocyanine molecules adsorbed on Ag(111) were contacted with the tip of a cryogenic scanning tunneling microscope. Orders-of-magnitude variations of the single-molecule junction conductance were achieved by controllably dehydrogenating the molecule and by modifying the atomic structure of the surface electrode. Nonequilibrium Green’s function calculations reproduce the trend of the conductance and visualize the current flow through the junction, which is guided through molecule-electrode chemical bonds.

  3. Electric field controlled magnetic anisotropy in a single molecule.

    PubMed

    Zyazin, Alexander S; van den Berg, Johan W G; Osorio, Edgar A; van der Zant, Herre S J; Konstantinidis, Nikolaos P; Leijnse, Martin; Wegewijs, Maarten R; May, Falk; Hofstetter, Walter; Danieli, Chiara; Cornia, Andrea

    2010-09-01

    We have measured quantum transport through an individual Fe(4) single-molecule magnet embedded in a three-terminal device geometry. The characteristic zero-field splittings of adjacent charge states and their magnetic field evolution are observed in inelastic tunneling spectroscopy. We demonstrate that the molecule retains its magnetic properties and, moreover, that the magnetic anisotropy is significantly enhanced by reversible electron addition/subtraction controlled with the gate voltage. Single-molecule magnetism can thus be electrically controlled. PMID:20687519

  4. Electric Field Controlled Magnetic Anisotropy in a Single Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zyazin, Alexander S.; van den Berg, Johan W. G.; Osorio, Edgar A.; van der Zant, Herre S. J.; Konstantinidis, Nikolaos P.; Leijnse, Martin; Wegewijs, Maarten R.; May, Falk; Hofstetter, Walter; Danieli, Chiara; Cornia, Andrea

    2010-09-01

    We have measured quantum transport through an individual Fe$_4$ single-molecule magnet embedded in a three-terminal device geometry. The characteristic zero-field splittings of adjacent charge states and their magnetic field evolution are observed in inelastic tunneling spectroscopy. We demonstrate that the molecule retains its magnetic properties, and moreover, that the magnetic anisotropy is significantly enhanced by reversible electron addition / subtraction controlled with the gate voltage. Single-molecule magnetism can thus be electrically controlled.

  5. Introduction to nucleocytoplasmic transport: molecules and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peters, Reiner

    2006-01-01

    Nucleocytoplasmic transport, the exchange of matter between nucleus and cytoplasm, plays a fundamental role in human and other eukaryotic cells, affecting almost every aspect of health and disease. The only gate for the transport of small and large molecules as well as supramolecular complexes between nucleus and cytoplasm is the nuclear pore complex (NPC). The NPC is not a normal membrane transport protein (transporter). Composed of 500 to 1000 peptide chains, the NPC features a mysterious functional duality. For most molecules, it constitutes a molecular sieve with a blurred cutoff at approx 10 nm, but for molecules binding to phenylalanine-glycine (FG) motifs, the NPC appears to be a channel of approx 50 nm diameter, permitting bidirectional translocation at high speed. To achieve this, the NPC cooperates with soluble factors, the nuclear transport receptors, which shuttle between nuclear contents and cytoplasm. Here, we provide a short introduction to nucleocytoplasmic transport by describing first the structure and composition of the nuclear pore complex. Then, mechanisms of nucleocytoplasmic transport are discussed. Finally, the still essentially unresolved mechanisms by which nuclear transport receptors and transport complexes are translocated through the nuclear pore complex are considered, and a novel translocation model is suggested. PMID:16739728

  6. Computer systems for annotation of single molecule fragments

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Severin, Jessica

    2016-07-19

    There are provided computer systems for visualizing and annotating single molecule images. Annotation systems in accordance with this disclosure allow a user to mark and annotate single molecules of interest and their restriction enzyme cut sites thereby determining the restriction fragments of single nucleic acid molecules. The markings and annotations may be automatically generated by the system in certain embodiments and they may be overlaid translucently onto the single molecule images. An image caching system may be implemented in the computer annotation systems to reduce image processing time. The annotation systems include one or more connectors connecting to one or more databases capable of storing single molecule data as well as other biomedical data. Such diverse array of data can be retrieved and used to validate the markings and annotations. The annotation systems may be implemented and deployed over a computer network. They may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interactions.

  7. Observing single molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles.

    SciTech Connect

    Emory, S. R.; Ambrose, W. Patrick; Goodwin, P. M.; Keller, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    We report the study of the photodecomposition of single Rhodamine 6G (R6G) dye molecules adsorbed on silver nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were immobilized and spatially isolated on polylysine-derivatized glass coverslips, and confocal laser microspectroscopy was used to obtain surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra from individual R6G molecules. The photodecomposition of these molecules was observed with 150-ms temporal resolution. The photoproduct was identified as graphitic carbon based on the appearance of broad SERS vibrational bands at 1592 cm{sup -1} and 1340 cm{sup -1} observed in both bulk and averaged single-molecule photoproduct spectra. In contrast, when observed at the single-molecule level, the photoproduct yielded sharp SERS spectra. The inhomogeneous broadening of the bulk SERS spectra is due to a variety of photoproducts in different surface orientations and is a characteristic of ensemble-averaged measurements of disordered systems. These single-molecule studies indicate a photodecomposition pathway by which the R6G molecule desorbs from the metal surface, an excited-state photoreaction occurs, and the R6G photoproduct(s) readsorbs to the surface. A SERS spectrum is obtained when either the intact R6G or the R6G photoproduct(s) are adsorbed on a SERS-active site. This work further illustrates the power of single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) to reveal unique behaviors of single molecules that are not discernable with bulk measurements.

  8. Single-molecule paleoenzymology probes the chemistry of resurrected enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Inglés-Prieto, Alvaro; Zhao, Zi-Ming; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Kosuri, Pallav; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Kappock, T. Joseph; Tanokura, Masaru; Holmgren, Arne; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M.; Gaucher, Eric A.; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2011-01-01

    A journey back in time is possible at the molecular level by reconstructing proteins from extinct organisms. Here we report the reconstruction, based on sequence predicted by phylogenetic analysis, of seven Precambrian thioredoxin enzymes (Trx), dating back between ~1.4 and ~4 billion years (Gyr). The reconstructed enzymes are up to 32° C more stable than modern enzymes and the oldest show significantly higher activity than extant ones at pH 5. We probed their mechanisms of reduction using single-molecule force spectroscopy. From the force-dependency of the rate of reduction of an engineered substrate, we conclude that ancient Trxs utilize chemical mechanisms of reduction similar to those of modern enzymes. While Trx enzymes have maintained their reductase chemistry unchanged, they have adapted over a 4 Gyr time span to the changes in temperature and ocean acidity that characterize the evolution of the global environment from ancient to modern Earth. PMID:21460845

  9. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kitaguchi, Y.; Habuka, S.; Okuyama, H.; Hatta, S.; Aruga, T.; Frederiksen, T.; Paulsson, M.; Ueba, H.

    2015-01-01

    For the rational design of single-molecular electronic devices, it is essential to understand environmental effects on the electronic properties of a working molecule. Here we investigate the impact of molecular interactions on the single-molecule conductance by accurately positioning individual molecules on the electrode. To achieve reproducible and precise conductivity measurements, we utilize relatively weak π-bonding between a phenoxy molecule and a STM-tip to form and cleave one contact to the molecule. The anchoring to the other electrode is kept stable using a chalcogen atom with strong bonding to a Cu(110) substrate. These non-destructive measurements permit us to investigate the variation in single-molecule conductance under different but controlled environmental conditions. Combined with density functional theory calculations, we clarify the role of the electrostatic field in the environmental effect that influences the molecular level alignment. PMID:26135251

  10. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions.

    PubMed

    Kitaguchi, Y; Habuka, S; Okuyama, H; Hatta, S; Aruga, T; Frederiksen, T; Paulsson, M; Ueba, H

    2015-01-01

    For the rational design of single-molecular electronic devices, it is essential to understand environmental effects on the electronic properties of a working molecule. Here we investigate the impact of molecular interactions on the single-molecule conductance by accurately positioning individual molecules on the electrode. To achieve reproducible and precise conductivity measurements, we utilize relatively weak π-bonding between a phenoxy molecule and a STM-tip to form and cleave one contact to the molecule. The anchoring to the other electrode is kept stable using a chalcogen atom with strong bonding to a Cu(110) substrate. These non-destructive measurements permit us to investigate the variation in single-molecule conductance under different but controlled environmental conditions. Combined with density functional theory calculations, we clarify the role of the electrostatic field in the environmental effect that influences the molecular level alignment. PMID:26135251