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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 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

  5. 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

  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

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  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 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  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

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  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 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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.

    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

  5. 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.

  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 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  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 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  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

    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.

  6. 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.

  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

    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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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

    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.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Single molecules as whispering galleries for electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reecht, G.; Bulou, H.; Schull, G.; Scheurer, F.

    2016-04-01

    Whispering gallery modes, well-known for acoustic and optical waves, have been shown recently for electrons in molecules on surfaces. The existence of such waves opens new possibilities for nanoelectronic devices. Here we propose a simple analytical textbook model which allows the main characteristic features of such electronic waves to be understood. The model is illustrated by two- and three-dimensional experimental situations.

  12. Single molecules as whispering galleries for electrons.

    PubMed

    Reecht, G; Bulou, H; Schull, G; Scheurer, F

    2016-04-27

    Whispering gallery modes, well-known for acoustic and optical waves, have been shown recently for electrons in molecules on surfaces. The existence of such waves opens new possibilities for nanoelectronic devices. Here we propose a simple analytical textbook model which allows the main characteristic features of such electronic waves to be understood. The model is illustrated by two- and three-dimensional experimental situations. PMID:26987969

  13. Integrating logic functions inside a single molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stadler, R.; Ami, S.; Joachim, C.; Forshaw, M.

    2004-04-01

    In Stadler et al (2003 Nanotechnology 14 138), a scheme for a molecular memory was presented. It was based on the influence of the positions of chemical side-groups attached to aromatic molecules on the paths for electrons propagating through these molecules in the ballistic and tunnelling transport regimes. Here we extend this concept in the following ways. (i) A graphical method is derived from an electron scattering formalism based on a topological Hückel description, which allows us to estimate whether the electron transport between two electrodes attached to specific atomic sites in an arbitrary molecule is finite or zero at the Fermi level. (ii) The same scheme that was used for the implementation of the molecular memory is extended to logic functions, in particular a half-adder. (iii) A more realistic description of the chemical nature of the proposed intra-molecular circuits is achieved by using the elastic scattering quantum chemistry (ESQC) technique in an extended Hückel implementation and by specifying the side-groups as nitro-groups, which are rotated in order to feed the signal inputs into the computational circuit.

  14. Molecular electronics with single molecules in solid-state devices.

    PubMed

    Moth-Poulsen, Kasper; Bjørnholm, Thomas

    2009-09-01

    The ultimate aim of molecular electronics is to understand and master single-molecule devices. Based on the latest results on electron transport in single molecules in solid-state devices, we focus here on new insights into the influence of metal electrodes on the energy spectrum of the molecule, and on how the electron transport properties of the molecule depend on the strength of the electronic coupling between it and the electrodes. A variety of phenomena are observed depending on whether this coupling is weak, intermediate or strong. PMID:19734925

  15. Theoretical investigation on single-molecule chiroptical spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Wakabayashi, M.; Yokojima, S.; Fukaminato, T.; Ogata, K.; Nakamura, S.

    2013-12-10

    Some experimental results of chiroptical response of single molecule have already reported. In those experiments, dissymmetry parameter, g was used as an indicator of the relative circular dichroism intensity. The parameter for individual molecules was measured. For the purpose of giving an interpretation or explanation to the experimental result, the dissymmetry parameter is formulated on the basis of Fermi’s golden rule. Subsequently, the value of individual molecules is evaluated as a function of the direction of light propagation to the orientationary fixed molecules. The ground and excited wavefunction of electrons in the molecule and transition moments needed are culculated using the density functional theory.

  16. Ultrashort Laser Pulses in Single Molecule Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haustein, E.; Schwille, P.

    Craig Venter published the sequence of the human genome a few years ago [1]. However, the 2.91 billion base pair DNA examined seems to code for only about 30 000 proteins. A vast majority of them are barely known to exist, let alone fully understood. Therefore, major goals of current biological research are not only the identification, but also the precise physico-chemical characterization of elementary processes on the level of individual proteins and nucleic acids. These molecules are believed to be the smallest functional units in biological systems.

  17. Single-molecule localization software applied to photon counting imaging.

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Liisa M; Kilfeather, Tiffany; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-06-01

    Centroiding in photon counting imaging has traditionally been accomplished by a single-step, noniterative algorithm, often implemented in hardware. Single-molecule localization techniques in superresolution fluorescence microscopy are conceptually similar, but use more sophisticated iterative software-based fitting algorithms to localize the fluorophore. Here, we discuss common features and differences between single-molecule localization and photon counting imaging and investigate the suitability of single-molecule localization software for photon event localization. We find that single-molecule localization software packages designed for superresolution microscopy-QuickPALM, rapidSTORM, and ThunderSTORM-can work well when applied to photon counting imaging with a microchannel-plate-based intensified camera system: photon event recognition can be excellent, fixed pattern noise can be low, and the microchannel plate pores can easily be resolved. PMID:26192667

  18. Efficient nanoplasmonic antennas for fabricating single protein molecule detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Sharmistha; Dantham, Venkata Ramanaiah; Hussain, Sahid

    2015-06-01

    Real time (label-free) detection and sizing of single protein molecule at its natural state is "holy grail" in biosensing field. This non-destructive technique is useful for predicting the dangerous diseases at very early-stage. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of efficient nanoplasmonic antennas, which could be useful to fabricate an ultrasensitive nanoplasmonic-whispering gallery mode hybrid microresonator for the real time detection and sizing of single protein molecule. This hybrid microresonator could be easily converted as an ultrasensitive single molecule biosensor by anchoring suitable anti-bodies on the surface of the plasmonic nanoantenna.

  19. Spectroscopy of Single Dibenzoterrylene Molecules in para-Dichlorobenzene.

    PubMed

    Verhart, Nico R; Müller, Mathias; Orrit, Michel

    2016-05-18

    We study single dibenzoterrylene (DBT) molecules embedded in 1,4-dichlorobenzene (para-dichlorobenzene, pDCB) at 1.2 K. Due to the relatively low melting point of pDCB (53 °C), this host-guest system can be easily prepared from the molten phase. Narrow linewidths, stable molecular lines and high saturation count rates of single DBT molecules were observed. For this reason, we consider this host-guest system a promising candidate for the study of interactions of single molecules with other small objects such as waveguides or nanoparticles. PMID:26840901

  20. Microscopy beyond the diffraction limit using actively controlled single molecules

    PubMed Central

    MOERNER, W.E.

    2013-01-01

    Summary In this short review, the general principles are described for obtaining microscopic images with resolution beyond the optical diffraction limit with single molecules. Although it has been known for several decades that single-molecule emitters can blink or turn on and off, in recent work the addition of on/off control of molecular emission to maintain concentrations at very low levels in each imaging frame combined with sequential imaging of sparse subsets has enabled the reconstruction of images with resolution far below the optical diffraction limit. Single-molecule active control microscopy provides a powerful window into information about nanoscale structures that was previously unavailable. PMID:22582796

  1. Single-molecule imaging at high hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vass, Hugh; Lucas Black, S.; Flors, Cristina; Lloyd, Diarmuid; Bruce Ward, F.; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2013-04-01

    Direct microscopic fluorescence imaging of single molecules can provide a wealth of mechanistic information, but up to now, it has not been possible under high pressure conditions, due to limitations in microscope pressure cell design. We describe a pressure cell window design that makes it possible to image directly single molecules at high hydrostatic pressure. We demonstrate our design by imaging single molecules of Alexa Fluor 647 dye bound to DNA, at 120 and 210 bar, and following their fluorescence photodynamics. We further show that the failure pressure of this type of pressure cell window can be in excess of 1 kbar.

  2. Detection of single rhodamine 6g molecules in levitated microdroplets

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, M.D.; Ng, K.C.; Whitten, W.B.; Ramsey, J.M. )

    1993-09-01

    Single Rhodamine 6G (R6G) molecules in levitated glycerol microdroplets have been detected with signal-to-noise ratios of >40 using CW laser-induced fluorescence. The fluorescence signal from single R6G molecules was identified by the magnitude of the fluorescence signal and by the unique time dependence of the fluorescence count rate before photobleaching. This high sensitivity allows single molecules to be counted by use of a digital detection approach offering significantly lower detection limits than those possible with conventional detection methods. 27 refs., 6 figs.

  3. Single Molecule Magnetic Force Detection with a Carbon Nanotube Resonator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willick, Kyle; Walker, Sean; Baugh, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Single molecule magnets (SMMs) sit at the boundary between macroscopic magnetic behaviour and quantum phenomena. Detecting the magnetic moment of an individual SMM would allow exploration of this boundary, and could enable technological applications based on SMMs such as quantum information processing. Detection of these magnetic moments remains an experimental challenge, particularly at the time scales of relaxation and decoherence. We present a technique for sensitive magnetic force detection that should permit such measurements. A suspended carbon nanotube (CNT) mechanical resonator is combined with a magnetic field gradient generated by a ferromagnetic gate electrode, which couples the magnetic moment of a nanomagnet to the resonant motion of the CNT. Numerical calculations of the mechanical resonance show that resonant frequency shifts on the order of a few kHz arise due to single Bohr magneton changes in magnetic moment. A signal-to-noise analysis based on thermomechanical noise shows that magnetic switching at the level of a Bohr magneton can be measured in a single shot on timescales as short as 10 μs. This sensitivity should enable studies of the spin dynamics of an isolated SMM, within the spin relaxation timescales for many available SMMs. Supported by NSERC.

  4. Spin blockade effect in single-molecule transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Guangpu; Park, Kyungwha

    Recently single-molecule transistors consisting of individual single-molecule magnets trapped between electrodes have been experimentally realized and electron transport properties through individual single-molecule magnets have been measured. For a single-molecule magnet the (2S+1)-fold degeneracy of magnetic levels in a given spin multiplet is lifted even in the absence of external magnetic field, due to the magnetic anisotropy induced by spin-orbit coupling. This anisotropic nature of single-molecule magnets allowed one to discover interesting, unexpected transport properties. A recent theoretical study showed that an Eu-based anisotropic magnetic molecule can switch its magnetic anisotropy between magnetic easy plane and easy axis upon varying the charge state of the molecule. Motivated by this report, we investigate how this switch of magnetic anisotropy influences the electron transport through the molecule, by considering sequential electron tunneling. We calculate current-voltage characteristics by solving the master equation based on the model Hamiltonians. We explore this interesting effect in the absence and presence of external magnetic field. Funding from NSF DMR-1206354.

  5. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng; Wu, Jiazhen; Gao, Jing; Liu, Shuheng; Jiang, Junguang; Jiang, Shibo; Wang, Hongda

    2014-01-01

    The cell membrane plays a key role in compartmentalization, nutrient transportation and signal transduction, while the pattern of protein distribution at both cytoplasmic and ectoplasmic sides of the cell membrane remains elusive. Using a combination of single-molecule techniques, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), to study the structure of nucleated cell membranes, we found that (1) proteins at the ectoplasmic side of the cell membrane form a dense protein layer (4 nm) on top of a lipid bilayer; (2) proteins aggregate to form islands evenly dispersed at the cytoplasmic side of the cell membrane with a height of about 10–12 nm; (3) cholesterol-enriched domains exist within the cell membrane; (4) carbohydrates stay in microdomains at the ectoplasmic side; and (5) exposed amino groups are asymmetrically distributed on both sides. Based on these observations, we proposed a Protein Layer-Lipid-Protein Island (PLLPI) model, to provide a better understanding of cell membrane structure, membrane trafficking and viral fusion mechanisms. PMID:24806512

  6. Gold plasmonic effects on charge transport through single molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adak, Olgun; Venkataraman, Latha

    2014-03-01

    We study the impact of surface plasmon polaritons, the coupling of electromagnetic waves to collective electron oscillations on metal surfaces, on the conductance of single-molecule junctions. We use a scanning-tunneling microscope based break junction setup that is built into an optical microscope to form molecular junctions. Coherent 685nm light is used to illuminate the molecular junctions formed with 4,4'-bipyridine with diffraction limited focusing performance. We employ a lock-in type technique to measure currents induced by light. Furthermore, the thermal expansion due to laser heating is mimicked by mechanically modulating inter-electrode separation. For each junction studied, we measure current, and use AC techniques to determine molecular junction resonance levels and coupling strengths. We use a cross correlations analysis technique to analyze and compare the effect of light to that of the mechanical modulation. Our results show that junction transmission characteristics are not altered under illumination, within the resolution of our instrument. We argue that photo-currents measured with lock-in techniques in these kinds of structures are due to thermal effects. This work was funded by the Center for Re-Defining Photovoltaic Efficiency through Molecule Scale Control, an EFRC funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DESC0001085.

  7. Single molecule magnets from magnetic building blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroener, W.; Paretzki, A.; Cervetti, C.; Hohloch, S.; Rauschenbach, S.; Kern, K.; Dressel, M.; Bogani, L.; M&üLler, P.

    2013-03-01

    We provide a basic set of magnetic building blocks that can be rationally assembled, similar to magnetic LEGO bricks, in order to create a huge variety of magnetic behavior. Using rare-earth centers and multipyridine ligands, fine-tuning of intra and intermolecular exchange interaction is demonstrated. We have investigated a series of molecules with monomeric, dimeric and trimeric lanthanide centers using SQUID susceptometry and Hall bar magnetometry. A home-made micro-Hall-probe magnetometer was used to measure magnetic hysteresis loops at mK temperatures and fields up to 17 T. All compounds show hysteresis below blocking temperatures of 3 to 4 K. The correlation of the assembly of the building blocks with the magnetic properties will be discussed.

  8. Single molecule detection using charge-coupled device array technology

    SciTech Connect

    Denton, M.B.

    1992-07-29

    A technique for the detection of single fluorescent chromophores in a flowing stream is under development. This capability is an integral facet of a rapid DNA sequencing scheme currently being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory. In previous investigations, the detection sensitivity was limited by the background Raman emission from the water solvent. A detection scheme based on a novel mode of operating a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is being developed which should greatly enhance the discrimination between fluorescence from a single molecule and the background Raman scattering from the solvent. Register shifts between rows in the CCD are synchronized with the sample flow velocity so that fluorescence from a single molecule is collected in a single moving charge packet occupying an area approaching that of a single pixel while the background is spread evenly among a large number of pixels. Feasibility calculations indicate that single molecule detection should be achieved with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

  9. Compact Quantum Dots for Single-molecule Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Andrew M.; Nie, Shuming

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule imaging is an important tool for understanding the mechanisms of biomolecular function and for visualizing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of molecular behaviors that underlie cellular biology 1-4. To image an individual molecule of interest, it is typically conjugated to a fluorescent tag (dye, protein, bead, or quantum dot) and observed with epifluorescence or total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. While dyes and fluorescent proteins have been the mainstay of fluorescence imaging for decades, their fluorescence is unstable under high photon fluxes necessary to observe individual molecules, yielding only a few seconds of observation before complete loss of signal. Latex beads and dye-labeled beads provide improved signal stability but at the expense of drastically larger hydrodynamic size, which can deleteriously alter the diffusion and behavior of the molecule under study. Quantum dots (QDs) offer a balance between these two problematic regimes. These nanoparticles are composed of semiconductor materials and can be engineered with a hydrodynamically compact size with exceptional resistance to photodegradation 5. Thus in recent years QDs have been instrumental in enabling long-term observation of complex macromolecular behavior on the single molecule level. However these particles have still been found to exhibit impaired diffusion in crowded molecular environments such as the cellular cytoplasm and the neuronal synaptic cleft, where their sizes are still too large 4,6,7. Recently we have engineered the cores and surface coatings of QDs for minimized hydrodynamic size, while balancing offsets to colloidal stability, photostability, brightness, and nonspecific binding that have hindered the utility of compact QDs in the past 8,9. The goal of this article is to demonstrate the synthesis, modification, and characterization of these optimized nanocrystals, composed of an alloyed HgxCd1-xSe core coated with an insulating CdyZn1

  10. Investigating single molecule adhesion by atomic force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Stetter, Frank W S; Kienle, Sandra; Krysiak, Stefanie; Hugel, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    Atomic force spectroscopy is an ideal tool to study molecules at surfaces and interfaces. An experimental protocol to couple a large variety of single molecules covalently onto an AFM tip is presented. At the same time the AFM tip is passivated to prevent unspecific interactions between the tip and the substrate, which is a prerequisite to study single molecules attached to the AFM tip. Analyses to determine the adhesion force, the adhesion length, and the free energy of these molecules on solid surfaces and bio-interfaces are shortly presented and external references for further reading are provided. Example molecules are the poly(amino acid) polytyrosine, the graft polymer PI-g-PS and the phospholipid POPE (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine). These molecules are desorbed from different surfaces like CH3-SAMs, hydrogen terminated diamond and supported lipid bilayers under various solvent conditions. Finally, the advantages of force spectroscopic single molecule experiments are discussed including means to decide if truly a single molecule has been studied in the experiment. PMID:25867282

  11. Multiparameter single-molecule fluorescence measurements of DNA intercalating fluorophores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowen, Benjamin P.; Enderlein, Jorg; Woodbury, Neal W. T.

    2003-06-01

    Experiments using single-molecules of TOTO-1 intercalated into dsDNA were performed to investigate the DNA sequence dependence on the fluorescence detectable with single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Previous work has shown that there is a difference in the fluorescence lifetime when TOTO-1 is intercalated in poly-AT DNA or in poly-GC DNA. The fluorescence detected from single-molecules in this work for poly-GC and poly-AT DNA showed fluorescence lifetimes of 2.1 and 1.8 nsec, respectively. Analysis of the fluorescence intensity detected from single-molecules of TOTO-1 was performed by fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy. TOTO-1 is shown to spend large amounts of time in dark states. These dark states reduce the detectable fluorescence intensity to approximately 10 photons per millisecond on average.

  12. Extending Single-Molecule Microscopy Using Optical Fourier Processing

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This article surveys the recent application of optical Fourier processing to the long-established but still expanding field of single-molecule imaging and microscopy. A variety of single-molecule studies can benefit from the additional image information that can be obtained by modulating the Fourier, or pupil, plane of a widefield microscope. After briefly reviewing several current applications, we present a comprehensive and computationally efficient theoretical model for simulating single-molecule fluorescence as it propagates through an imaging system. Furthermore, we describe how phase/amplitude-modulating optics inserted in the imaging pathway may be modeled, especially at the Fourier plane. Finally, we discuss selected recent applications of Fourier processing methods to measure the orientation, depth, and rotational mobility of single fluorescent molecules. PMID:24745862

  13. Electronic transport in benzodifuran single-molecule transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, An; Li, Hui; Chen, Songjie; Liu, Shi-Xia; Decurtins, Silvio; Bai, Meilin; Hou, Shimin; Liao, Jianhui

    2015-04-01

    Benzodifuran (BDF) single-molecule transistors have been fabricated in electromigration break junctions for electronic measurements. The inelastic electron tunneling spectrum validates that the BDF molecule is the pathway of charge transport. The gating effect is analyzed in the framework of a single-level tunneling model combined with transition voltage spectroscopy (TVS). The analysis reveals that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the thiol-terminated BDF molecule dominates the charge transport through Au-BDF-Au junctions. Moreover, the energy shift of the HOMO caused by the gate voltage is the main reason for conductance modulation. In contrast, the electronic coupling between the BDF molecule and the gold electrodes, which significantly affects the low-bias junction conductance, is only influenced slightly by the applied gate voltage. These findings will help in the design of future molecular electronic devices.Benzodifuran (BDF) single-molecule transistors have been fabricated in electromigration break junctions for electronic measurements. The inelastic electron tunneling spectrum validates that the BDF molecule is the pathway of charge transport. The gating effect is analyzed in the framework of a single-level tunneling model combined with transition voltage spectroscopy (TVS). The analysis reveals that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the thiol-terminated BDF molecule dominates the charge transport through Au-BDF-Au junctions. Moreover, the energy shift of the HOMO caused by the gate voltage is the main reason for conductance modulation. In contrast, the electronic coupling between the BDF molecule and the gold electrodes, which significantly affects the low-bias junction conductance, is only influenced slightly by the applied gate voltage. These findings will help in the design of future molecular electronic devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: The fabrication procedure for BDF single-molecule

  14. An Improved Surface Passivation Method for Single-Molecule Studies

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Boyang; Young Han, Kyu; Zhou, Ruobo; Kim, Hajin; Shi, Xinghua; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C.; Jain, Ankur; Singh, Digvijay; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Woodson, Sarah A.; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-01-01

    We herein report a surface passivation method for in vitro single-molecule studies, which more efficiently prevents non-specific binding of biomolecules as compared to the polyethylene glycol surface. The new surface does not perturb the behavior and activities of tethered biomolecules. It can also be used for single-molecule imaging in the presence of high concentrations of labeled species in solution. Reduction in preparation time and cost is another major advantage. PMID:25306544

  15. Single-molecule fluorescence studies on DNA looping.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jiyoun; Le, Tung T; Kim, Harold D

    2016-08-01

    Structure and dynamics of DNA impact how the genetic code is processed and maintained. In addition to its biological importance, DNA has been utilized as building blocks of various nanomachines and nanostructures. Thus, understanding the physical properties of DNA is of fundamental importance to basic sciences and engineering applications. DNA can undergo various physical changes. Among them, DNA looping is unique in that it can bring two distal sites together, and thus can be used to mediate interactions over long distances. In this paper, we introduce a FRET-based experimental tool to study DNA looping at the single molecule level. We explain the connection between experimental measurables and a theoretical concept known as the J factor with the intent of raising awareness of subtle theoretical details that should be considered when drawing conclusions. We also explore DNA looping-assisted protein diffusion mechanism called intersegmental transfer using protein induced fluorescence enhancement (PIFE). We present some preliminary results and future outlooks. PMID:27064000

  16. Skewed Brownian Fluctuations in Single-Molecule Magnetic Tweezers

    PubMed Central

    Burnham, Daniel R.; De Vlaminck, Iwijn; Henighan, Thomas; Dekker, Cees

    2014-01-01

    Measurements in magnetic tweezers rely upon precise determination of the position of a magnetic microsphere. Fluctuations in the position due to Brownian motion allows calculation of the applied force, enabling deduction of the force-extension response function for a single DNA molecule that is attached to the microsphere. The standard approach relies upon using the mean of position fluctuations, which is valid when the microsphere axial position fluctuations obey a normal distribution. However, here we demonstrate that nearby surfaces and the non-linear elasticity of DNA can skew the distribution. Through experiment and simulations, we show that such a skewing leads to inaccurate position measurements which significantly affect the extracted DNA extension and mechanical properties, leading to up to two-fold errors in measured DNA persistence length. We develop a simple, robust and easily implemented method to correct for such mismeasurements. PMID:25265383

  17. Kinesin regulation dynamics through cargo delivery, a single molecule investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovacs, Anthony; Kessler, Jonathan; Lin, Huawen; Dutcher, Susan; Wang, Yan Mei

    2015-03-01

    Kinesins are microtubule-based motors that deliver cargo to their destinations in a highly regulated manner. Although in recent years numerous regulators of cargo delivery have been identified, the regulation mechanism of kinesin through the cargo delivery and recycling process is not known. By performing single molecule fluorescence imaging measurements in Chlamydomonas flagella, which are 200 nm in diameter, 10 microns in length, and contain 9 sets of microtubule doublets, we tracked the intraflagellar transport (IFT) trains, BBSome cargo, and kinesin-2 motors through the cargo delivery process and determined the aforementioned dynamics. Upon arrival at the microtubule plus end at the flagellar tip, (1) IFT trains and BBSome cargo remain intact, dissociate together from kinesins and microtubules, and diffuse along flagellar membrane for a mean of 2.3 sec before commencing retrograde travel. (2) Kinesin motors remain bound to and diffuse along microtubules for 1.3 sec before dissociating into the flagellar lumen for recycling.

  18. Processive cytoskeletal motors studied with single-molecule fluorescence techniques

    PubMed Central

    Belyy, Vladislav; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Processive cytoskeletal motors from the myosin, kinesin, and dynein families walk on actin filaments and microtubules to drive cellular transport and organization in eukaryotic cells. These remarkable molecular machines are able to take hundreds of successive steps at speeds of up to several microns per second, allowing them to effectively move vesicles and organelles throughout the cytoplasm. Here, we focus on single-molecule fluorescence techniques and discuss their wide-ranging applications to the field of cytoskeletal motor research. We cover both traditional fluorescence and sub-diffraction imaging of motors, providing examples of how fluorescence data can be used to measure biophysical parameters of motors such as coordination, stepping mechanism, gating, and processivity. We also outline some remaining challenges in the field and suggest future directions. PMID:24882363

  19. Single C59N molecule as a molecular rectifier.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jin; Zeng, Changgan; Cheng, Xin; Wang, Kedong; Wang, Guanwu; Yang, Jinlong; Hou, J G; Zhu, Qingshi

    2005-07-22

    We report a new kind of experimental realization of a molecular rectifier, which is based on a single azafullerene C59N molecule in a double-barrier tunnel junction via the single electron tunneling effect. An obvious rectifying effect is observed. The positive onset voltage is about 0.5-0.7 V, while the negative onset voltage is about 1.6-1.8 V. Theoretical analyses show that the half-occupied molecular orbital of the C59N molecule and the asymmetric shift of the molecular Fermi level when the molecule is charged are responsible for the molecular rectification. PMID:16090819

  20. Spin Manipulation by Creation of Single-Molecule Radical Cations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karan, Sujoy; Li, Na; Zhang, Yajie; He, Yang; Hong, I.-Po; Song, Huanjun; Lü, Jing-Tao; Wang, Yongfeng; Peng, Lianmao; Wu, Kai; Michelitsch, Georg S.; Maurer, Reinhard J.; Diller, Katharina; Reuter, Karsten; Weismann, Alexander; Berndt, Richard

    2016-01-01

    All-trans-retinoic acid (ReA), a closed-shell organic molecule comprising only C, H, and O atoms, is investigated on a Au(111) substrate using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. In dense arrays single ReA molecules are switched to a number of states, three of which carry a localized spin as evidenced by conductance spectroscopy in high magnetic fields. The spin of a single molecule may be reversibly switched on and off without affecting its neighbors. We suggest that ReA on Au is readily converted to a radical by the abstraction of an electron.

  1. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenyan; Jiang, Wei C; Lin, Qiang; Lu, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Label-free bio-sensing is a critical functionality underlying a variety of health- and security-related applications. Micro-/nano-photonic devices are well suited for this purpose and have emerged as promising platforms in recent years. Here we propose and demonstrate an approach that utilizes the optical spring effect in a high-Q coherent optomechanical oscillator to dramatically enhance the sensing resolution by orders of magnitude compared with conventional approaches, allowing us to detect single bovine serum albumin proteins with a molecular weight of 66 kDa at a signal-to-noise ratio of 16.8. The unique optical spring sensing approach opens up a distinctive avenue that not only enables biomolecule sensing and recognition at individual level, but is also of great promise for broad physical sensing applications that rely on sensitive detection of optical cavity resonance shift to probe external physical parameters. PMID:27460277

  2. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wenyan; Jiang, Wei C; Lin, Qiang; Lu, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Label-free bio-sensing is a critical functionality underlying a variety of health- and security-related applications. Micro-/nano-photonic devices are well suited for this purpose and have emerged as promising platforms in recent years. Here we propose and demonstrate an approach that utilizes the optical spring effect in a high-Q coherent optomechanical oscillator to dramatically enhance the sensing resolution by orders of magnitude compared with conventional approaches, allowing us to detect single bovine serum albumin proteins with a molecular weight of 66 kDa at a signal-to-noise ratio of 16.8. The unique optical spring sensing approach opens up a distinctive avenue that not only enables biomolecule sensing and recognition at individual level, but is also of great promise for broad physical sensing applications that rely on sensitive detection of optical cavity resonance shift to probe external physical parameters. PMID:27460277

  3. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Wenyan; Jiang, Wei C.; Lin, Qiang; Lu, Tao

    2016-07-01

    Label-free bio-sensing is a critical functionality underlying a variety of health- and security-related applications. Micro-/nano-photonic devices are well suited for this purpose and have emerged as promising platforms in recent years. Here we propose and demonstrate an approach that utilizes the optical spring effect in a high-Q coherent optomechanical oscillator to dramatically enhance the sensing resolution by orders of magnitude compared with conventional approaches, allowing us to detect single bovine serum albumin proteins with a molecular weight of 66 kDa at a signal-to-noise ratio of 16.8. The unique optical spring sensing approach opens up a distinctive avenue that not only enables biomolecule sensing and recognition at individual level, but is also of great promise for broad physical sensing applications that rely on sensitive detection of optical cavity resonance shift to probe external physical parameters.

  4. Application of Recognition Tunneling in Single Molecule Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yanan

    Single molecule identification is one essential application area of nanotechnology. The application areas including DNA sequencing, peptide sequencing, early disease detection and other industrial applications such as quantitative and quantitative analysis of impurities, etc. The recognition tunneling technique we have developed shows that after functionalization of the probe and substrate of a conventional Scanning Tunneling Microscope with recognition molecules ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration), analyte molecules trapped in the gap that is formed by probe and substrate will bond with the reagent molecules. The stochastic bond formation/breakage fluctuations give insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level. The distinct time domain and frequency domain features of tunneling signals were extracted from raw signals of analytes such as amino acids and their enantiomers. The Support Vector Machine (a machine-learning method) was used to do classification and predication based on the signal features generated by analytes, giving over 90% accuracy of separation of up to seven analytes. This opens up a new interface between chemistry and electronics with immediate implications for rapid Peptide/DNA sequencing and molecule identification at single molecule level.

  5. Single Molecule Junctions: Probing Contact Chemistry and Fundamental Circuit Laws

    SciTech Connect

    Hybertsen M. S.

    2013-04-11

    By exploiting selective link chemistry, formation of single molecule junctions with reproducible conductance has become established. Systematic studies reveal the structure-conductance relationships for diverse molecules. I will draw on experiments from my collaborators at Columbia University, atomic-scale calculations and theory to describe progress in two areas. First, I will describe a novel route to form single molecule junctions, based on SnMe3 terminated molecules, in which gold directly bonds to carbon in the molecule backbone resulting in near ideal contact resistance [1]. Second, comparison of the conductance of junctions formed with molecular species containing either one backbone or two backbones in parallel allows demonstration of the role of quantum interference in the conductance superposition law at the molecular scale [2].

  6. Statistics and Related Topics in Single-Molecule Biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hong; Kou, S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Since the universal acceptance of atoms and molecules as the fundamental constituents of matter in the early twentieth century, molecular physics, chemistry and molecular biology have all experienced major theoretical breakthroughs. To be able to actually “see” biological macromolecules, one at a time in action, one has to wait until the 1970s. Since then the field of single-molecule biophysics has witnessed extensive growth both in experiments and theory. A distinct feature of single-molecule biophysics is that the motions and interactions of molecules and the transformation of molecular species are necessarily described in the language of stochastic processes, whether one investigates equilibrium or nonequilibrium living behavior. For laboratory measurements following a biological process, if it is sampled over time on individual participating molecules, then the analysis of experimental data naturally calls for the inference of stochastic processes. The theoretical and experimental developments of single-molecule biophysics thus present interesting questions and unique opportunity for applied statisticians and probabilists. In this article, we review some important statistical developments in connection to single-molecule biophysics, emphasizing the application of stochastic-process theory and the statistical questions arising from modeling and analyzing experimental data. PMID:25009825

  7. Polarization-dependent single-molecule spectroscopy on photosystem I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skandary, S.; Konrad, A.; Hussels, M.; Meixner, A. J.; Brecht, M.

    2015-08-01

    Single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) at low temperature was used to study the spectral properties, heterogeneities and spectral dynamics of the chlorophyll a (Chl a) molecules responsible for the fluorescence emission of photosystem I (PS I). The fluorescence spectra of single PS I complexes are dominated by several red-shifted Chl a molecules categorized into red pools called C708 and C719. By polarization dependent measurements we demonstrate spectrally separate emissions corresponding to C708 and C719 in single PS I monomers and trimers. Moreover, we compared the results of SMS polarization dependent between monomeric and trimeric PS I complexes and give an estimation for the orientation between these red pools. As a consequence, we get new insight into the energy transfer towards and between the red Chl a molecules in PS I complexes.

  8. Sizing up single-molecule enzymatic conformational dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lu, H Peter

    2014-02-21

    Enzymatic reactions and related protein conformational dynamics are complex and inhomogeneous, playing crucial roles in biological functions. The relationship between protein conformational dynamics and enzymatic reactions has been a fundamental focus in modern enzymology. It is extremely difficult to characterize and analyze such complex dynamics in an ensemble-averaged measurement, especially when the enzymes are associated with multiple-step, multiple-conformation complex chemical interactions and transformations. Beyond the conventional ensemble-averaged studies, real-time single-molecule approaches have been demonstrated to be powerful in dissecting the complex enzymatic reaction dynamics and related conformational dynamics. Single-molecule enzymology has come a long way since the early demonstrations of the single-molecule spectroscopy studies of enzymatic dynamics about two decades ago. The rapid development of this fundamental protein dynamics field is hand-in-hand with the new development of single-molecule imaging and spectroscopic technology and methodology, theoretical model analyses, and correlations with biological preparation and characterization of the enzyme protein systems. The complex enzymatic reactions can now be studied one molecule at a time under physiological conditions. Most exciting developments include active manipulation of enzymatic conformational changes and energy landscape to regulate and manipulate the enzymatic reactivity and associated conformational dynamics, and the new advancements have established a new stage for studying complex protein dynamics beyond by simply observing but by actively manipulating and observing the enzymatic dynamics at the single-molecule sensitivity temporally and spatially. PMID:24306450

  9. Single cytoplasmic dynein molecule movements: characterization and comparison with kinesin.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Z; Khan, S; Sheetz, M P

    1995-01-01

    Cytoplasmic dynein is a major microtubule motor for minus-end directed movements including retrograde axonal transport. To better understand the mechanism by which cytoplasmic dynein converts ATP energy into motility, we have analyzed the nanometer-level displacements of latex beads coated with low numbers of cytoplasmic dynein molecules. Cytoplasmic dynein-coated beads exhibited greater lateral movements among microtubule protofilaments (ave. 5.1 times/microns of displacement) compared with kinesin (ave. 0.9 times/micron). In addition, dynein moved rearward up to 100 nm over several hundred milliseconds, often in correlation with off-axis movements from one protofilament to another. We suggest that single molecules of cytoplasmic dynein move the beads because 1) there is a linear dependence of bead motility on dynein/bead ratio, 2) the binding of beads to microtubules studied by laser tweezers is best fit by a first-order Poisson, and 3) the run length histogram of dynein beads follows a first-order decay. At the cellular level, the greater disorder of cytoplasmic dynein movements may facilitate transport by decreasing the duration of collisions between kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein-powered vesicles. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 9 PMID:8580344

  10. Studying the organization of DNA repair by single-cell and single-molecule imaging

    PubMed Central

    Uphoff, Stephan; Kapanidis, Achillefs N.

    2014-01-01

    DNA repair safeguards the genome against a diversity of DNA damaging agents. Although the mechanisms of many repair proteins have been examined separately in vitro, far less is known about the coordinated function of the whole repair machinery in vivo. Furthermore, single-cell studies indicate that DNA damage responses generate substantial variation in repair activities across cells. This review focuses on fluorescence imaging methods that offer a quantitative description of DNA repair in single cells by measuring protein concentrations, diffusion characteristics, localizations, interactions, and enzymatic rates. Emerging single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy methods now permit direct visualization of individual proteins and DNA repair events in vivo. We expect much can be learned about the organization of DNA repair by linking cell heterogeneity to mechanistic observations at the molecular level. PMID:24629485

  11. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge.

    PubMed

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P

    2016-01-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise. PMID:26984516

  12. Single molecule techniques for the study of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    García-Sáez, Ana J; Schwille, Petra

    2007-08-01

    Single molecule techniques promise novel information about the properties and behavior of individual particles, thus enabling access to molecular heterogeneities in biological systems. Their recent developments to accommodate membrane studies have significantly deepened the understanding of membrane proteins. In this short review, we will describe the basics of the three most common single-molecule techniques used on membrane proteins: fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, single particle tracking, and atomic force microscopy. We will discuss the most relevant findings made during the recent years and their contribution to the membrane protein field. PMID:17497147

  13. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P.

    2016-03-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise.

  14. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P.

    2016-01-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise. PMID:26984516

  15. The influence of morphology on excitons in single conjugated molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiessen, Alexander

    The electronic properties of pi-conjugated molecules are strongly related to their molecular shape and morphology of assembly in three-dimensional space. Understanding the various structure-property relationships is relevant to the applications of these materials in optoelectronic devices such as organic light-emitting diodes, field effect transistors and photovoltaic cells. The fact that conjugated systems interact with visible light opens these materials to a plethora of noninvasive spectroscopic investigation techniques. In this work, electronic properties of different pi-conjugated systems are studied spectroscopically on the ensemble and the single molecule levels. Single molecule spectroscopy is advantageous in that it allows the investigation of the individual nuclear building blocks that contribute to the properties of the ensemble. Additionally, transient photoluminescence spectroscopy methods can provide useful insight into the temporal evolution of the emissive states. In combination with these methods, novel pi-conjugated model molecules are used to probe processes related to exciton dynamics. For the first time, the spatial localization of excited states is probed experimentally in a molecule with a circular chromophoric structure. In addition, a set of model molecules with different geometries is employed to study exciton relaxation in pi-conjugated systems. The molecular morphology is utilized to distinguish between processes such as nuclear reorganization and torsional relaxation. Furthermore, single molecule spectroscopy is used to study the electronic structure of individual polymer chains in the photovoltaic cell material poly-(3-hexylthiophene). Optical spectra of this polymer are known to change with the morphology of the bulk film. Single molecule studies reveal that individual polymer chains exhibit similar behavior and indicate that spectral diversity is an intrinsic property of single P3HT molecules. The main results of this work are the

  16. Single-Molecule Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kudalkar, Emily M; Davis, Trisha N; Asbury, Charles L

    2016-01-01

    The advent of total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy has permitted visualization of biological events on an unprecedented scale: the single-molecule level. Using TIRF, it is now possible to view complex biological interactions such as cargo transport by a single molecular motor or DNA replication in real time. TIRF allows for visualization of single molecules by eliminating out-of-focus fluorescence and enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio. TIRF has been instrumental for studying in vitro interactions and has also been successfully implemented in live-cell imaging. Visualization of cytoskeletal structures and dynamics at the plasma membrane, such as endocytosis, exocytosis, and adhesion, has become much clearer using TIRF microscopy. Thanks to recent advances in optics and commercial availability, TIRF microscopy is becoming an increasingly popular and user-friendly technique. In this introduction, we describe the fundamental properties of TIRF microscopy and the advantages of using TIRF for single-molecule investigation. PMID:27140922

  17. Detectors for single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    MICHALET, X.; SIEGMUND, O.H.W.; VALLERGA, J.V.; JELINSKY, P.; MILLAUD, J.E.; WEISS, S.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule observation, characterization and manipulation techniques have recently come to the forefront of several research domains spanning chemistry, biology and physics. Due to the exquisite sensitivity, specificity, and unmasking of ensemble averaging, single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy have become, in a short period of time, important tools in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. These methods led to new ways of thinking about biological processes such as viral infection, receptor diffusion and oligomerization, cellular signaling, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions, and molecular machines. Such achievements require a combination of several factors to be met, among which detector sensitivity and bandwidth are crucial. We examine here the needed performance of photodetectors used in these types of experiments, the current state of the art for different categories of detectors, and actual and future developments of single-photon counting detectors for single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy. PMID:20157633

  18. Simultaneous time and frequency resolved fluorescence microscopy of single molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Hayden, Carl C.; Gradinaru, Claudiu C.; Chandler, David W.; Luong, A. Khai

    2005-01-01

    Single molecule fluorophores were studied for the first time with a new confocal fluorescence microscope that allows the wavelength and emission time to be simultaneously measured with single molecule sensitivity. In this apparatus, the photons collected from the sample are imaged through a dispersive optical system onto a time and position sensitive detector. This detector records the wavelength and emission time of each detected photon relative to an excitation laser pulse. A histogram of many events for any selected spatial region or time interval can generate a full fluorescence spectrum and correlated decay plot for the given selection. At the single molecule level, this approach makes entirely new types of temporal and spectral correlation spectroscopy of possible. This report presents the results of simultaneous time- and frequency-resolved fluorescence measurements of single rhodamine 6G (R6G), tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), and Cy3 embedded in thin films of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

  19. Quantifying molecule-surface interactions using AFM-based single-molecule manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tautz, F. S.; Wagner, C.; Temirov, R.; Fournier, N.; Green, M.; Esat, T.; Leinen, P.; Groetsch, A.; Ruiz, V. G.; Tkatchenko, A.; Li, C.; Muellen, K.; Rohlfing, M.

    2015-03-01

    Scanning probe microscopy plays an important role in the investigation of molecular adsorption. Promising, is the possibility to probe the molecule-surface interaction while tuning its strength through AFM tip-induced single-molecule manipulation. Here, we outline a strategy to achieve quantitative understanding of such manipulation experiments. The example of qPlus sensor based PTCDA molecule lifting experiments is used to demonstrate how different aspects of the molecule-surface interaction, namely the short-range adsorption potential, the asymptotic van der Waals potential, local chemical bonds which are the source of the surface corrugation, and molecule-molecule interactions can be measured with SPM and interpreted by the help of force-field simulations.

  20. Monitoring Nanoscale Deformations in a Drawn Polymer Melt with Single-Molecule Fluorescence Polarization Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Krause, Stefan; Neumann, Martin; Fröbe, Melanie; Magerle, Robert; von Borczyskowski, Christian

    2016-02-23

    Elongating a polymer melt causes polymer segments to align and polymer coils to deform along the drawing direction. Despite the importance of this molecular response for understanding the viscoelastic properties and relaxation behavior of polymeric materials, studies on the single-molecule level are rare and were not performed in real time. Here we use single-molecule fluorescence polarization microscopy for monitoring the position and orientation of single fluorescent perylene diimide molecules embedded in a free-standing thin film of a polymethyl acrylate (PMA) melt with a time resolution of 500 ms during the film drawing and the subsequent stress relaxation period. The orientation distribution of the perylene diimide molecules is quantitatively described with a model of rod-like objects embedded in a uniaxially elongated matrix. The orientation of the fluorescent probe molecules is directly coupled to the local deformation of the PMA melt, which we derive from the distances between individual dye molecules. In turn, the fluorescence polarization monitors the shape deformation of the polymer coils on a length scale of 5 nm. During stress relaxation, the coil shape relaxes four times more slowly than the mechanical stress. This shows that stress relaxation involves processes on length scales smaller than a polymer coil. Our work demonstrates how optical spectroscopy and microscopy can be used to study the coupling of individual fluorescent probe molecules to their embedding polymeric matrix and to an external mechanical stimulus on the single-molecule level. PMID:26831762

  1. Probing the local environment of a single OPE3 molecule using inelastic tunneling electron spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Summary We study single-molecule oligo(phenylene ethynylene)dithiol junctions by means of inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS). The molecule is contacted with gold nano-electrodes formed with the mechanically controllable break junction technique. We record the IETS spectrum of the molecule from direct current measurements, both as a function of time and electrode separation. We find that for fixed electrode separation the molecule switches between various configurations, which are characterized by different IETS spectra. Similar variations in the IETS signal are observed during atomic rearrangements upon stretching of the molecular junction. Using quantum chemistry calculations, we identity some of the vibrational modes which constitute a chemical fingerprint of the molecule. In addition, changes can be attributed to rearrangements of the local molecular environment, in particular at the molecule–electrode interface. This study shows the importance of taking into account the interaction with the electrodes when describing inelastic contributions to transport through single-molecule junctions. PMID:26885460

  2. Experimental and Computational Characterization of Biological Liquid Crystals: A Review of Single-Molecule Bioassays

    PubMed Central

    Eom, Kilho; Yang, Jaemoon; Park, Jinsung; Yoon, Gwonchan; Soo Sohn, Young; Park, Shinsuk; Yoon, Dae Sung; Na, Sungsoo; Kwon, Taeyun

    2009-01-01

    Quantitative understanding of the mechanical behavior of biological liquid crystals such as proteins is essential for gaining insight into their biological functions, since some proteins perform notable mechanical functions. Recently, single-molecule experiments have allowed not only the quantitative characterization of the mechanical behavior of proteins such as protein unfolding mechanics, but also the exploration of the free energy landscape for protein folding. In this work, we have reviewed the current state-of-art in single-molecule bioassays that enable quantitative studies on protein unfolding mechanics and/or various molecular interactions. Specifically, single-molecule pulling experiments based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) have been overviewed. In addition, the computational simulations on single-molecule pulling experiments have been reviewed. We have also reviewed the AFM cantilever-based bioassay that provides insight into various molecular interactions. Our review highlights the AFM-based single-molecule bioassay for quantitative characterization of biological liquid crystals such as proteins. PMID:19865530

  3. Single-Molecule Biochemical Analysis Using Channel Current Cheminformatics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winters-Hilt, Stephen

    2005-11-01

    A single nanometer-scale protein channel, residing in a bilayer, is used as a single-molecule measurement device. Single molecule kinetic information can be directly obtained with this approach via observation of single-molecule channel current blockades. A nanopore-based detector can also measure molecular characteristics indirectly, by changes in the blockades resulting from a changing bound-molecule complex. In essence, the heart of chemistry — the nature of the chemical bond — is now accessible via a new, computationally intensive, single-molecule observation method. In this work: (i) analysis of blockade signals is done using a variety of bioinformatics and machine learning tools; (ii) antibody blockade signals are examined and preliminary data on the characterization of antibody-antigen binding is briefly explored; and (iii) aptamer-based drug-discovery screening prospects are explored. The initial feature identification and extraction of blockade signals involves HMMs for level identification, HMM-EM for level projection, and time-domain FSAs for processing of the level-projected waveform. HMMs are then used for feature extraction and an SVM decision tree for multiclass discrimination. A new family of SVM variants is used, based on regularized-divergence kernels, and restriction is also made to feature vectors that can be interpreted as probability vectors. A web interface to the Channel Current Cheminformatics tools (unoCCC) and the Support Vector Machine classifier (unoSVM) will also be described.

  4. A Simplified Quantum Mechanical Model of Diatomic Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nielsen, Lars Drud

    1978-01-01

    Introduces a simple one-dimensional model of a diatomic molecule that can explain all the essential features of a real two particle quantum mechanical system and gives quantitative results in fair agreement with those of a hydrogen molecule. (GA)

  5. Impact of local compressive stress on the optical transitions of single organic dye molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stöttinger, Sven; Hinze, Gerald; Diezemann, Gregor; Oesterling, Ingo; Müllen, Klaus; Basché, Thomas

    2014-03-01

    The ability to mechanically control the optical properties of individual molecules is a grand challenge in nanoscience and could enable the manipulation of chemical reactivity at the single-molecule level. In the past, light has been used to alter the emission wavelength of individual molecules or modulate the energy transfer quantum yield between them. Furthermore, tensile stress has been applied to study the force dependence of protein folding/unfolding and of the chemistry and photochemistry of single molecules, although in these mechanical experiments the strength of the weakest bond limits the amount of applicable force. Here, we show that compressive stress modifies the photophysical properties of individual dye molecules. We use an atomic force microscope tip to prod individual molecules adsorbed on a surface and follow the effect of the applied force on the electronic states of the molecule by fluorescence spectroscopy. Applying a localized compressive force on an isolated molecule induces a stress that is redistributed throughout the structure. Accordingly, we observe reversible spectral shifts and even shifts that persist after retracting the microscope tip, which we attribute to transitions to metastable states. Using quantum-mechanical calculations, we show that these photophysical changes can be associated with transitions among the different possible conformers of the adsorbed molecule.

  6. Single Molecule Kinetics of ENTH Binding to Lipid Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Rozovsky, Sharon; Forstner, Martin B.; Sondermann, Holger; Groves, Jay T.

    2012-04-03

    Transient recruitment of proteins to membranes is a fundamental mechanism by which the cell exerts spatial and temporal control over proteins’ localization and interactions. Thus, the specificity and the kinetics of peripheral proteins’ membrane residence are an attribute of their function. In this article, we describe the membrane interactions of the interfacial epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) domain with its target lipid phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2). The direct visualization and quantification of interactions of single ENTH molecules with supported lipid bilayers is achieved using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) with a time resolution of 13 ms. This enables the recording of the kinetic behavior of ENTH interacting with membranes with physiologically relevant concentrations of PtdIns(4,5)P2 despite the low effective binding affinity. Subsequent single fluorophore tracking permits us to build up distributions of residence times and to measure ENTH dissociation rates as a function of membrane composition. In addition, due to the high time resolution, we are able to resolve details of the motion of ENTH associated with a simple, homogeneous membrane. In this case ENTH’s diffusive transport appears to be the result of at least three different diffusion processes.

  7. Hydrodynamic effects in fast AFM single-molecule force measurements.

    PubMed

    Janovjak, Harald; Struckmeier, Jens; Müller, Daniel J

    2005-02-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows the critical forces that unfold single proteins and rupture individual receptor-ligand bonds to be measured. To derive the shape of the energy landscape, the dynamic strength of the system is probed at different force loading rates. This is usually achieved by varying the pulling speed between a few nm/s and a few microm/s, although for a more complete investigation of the kinetic properties higher speeds are desirable. Above 10 microm/s, the hydrodynamic drag force acting on the AFM cantilever reaches the same order of magnitude as the molecular forces. This has limited the maximum pulling speed in AFM single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments. Here, we present an approach for considering these hydrodynamic effects, thereby allowing a correct evaluation of AFM force measurements recorded over an extended range of pulling speeds (and thus loading rates). To support and illustrate our theoretical considerations, we experimentally evaluated the mechanical unfolding of a multi-domain protein recorded at 30 microm/s pulling speed. PMID:15257425

  8. Quantum dots for quantitative imaging: from single molecules to tissue.

    PubMed

    Vu, Tania Q; Lam, Wai Yan; Hatch, Ellen W; Lidke, Diane S

    2015-04-01

    Since their introduction to biological imaging, quantum dots (QDs) have progressed from a little known, but attractive, technology to one that has gained broad application in many areas of biology. The versatile properties of these fluorescent nanoparticles have allowed investigators to conduct biological studies with extended spatiotemporal capabilities that were previously not possible. In this review, we focus on QD applications that provide enhanced quantitative information concerning protein dynamics and localization, including single particle tracking and immunohistochemistry, and finish by examining the prospects of upcoming applications, such as correlative light and electron microscopy and super-resolution. Advances in single molecule imaging, including multi-color and three-dimensional QD tracking, have provided new insights into the mechanisms of cell signaling and protein trafficking. New forms of QD tracking in vivo have allowed the observation of biological processes at molecular level resolution in the physiological context of the whole animal. Further methodological development of multiplexed QD-based immunohistochemistry assays should enable more quantitative analysis of key proteins in tissue samples. These advances highlight the unique quantitative data sets that QDs can provide to further our understanding of biological and disease processes. PMID:25620410

  9. Stochasticity in single-molecule nanoelectrochemistry: origins, consequences, and solutions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Pradyumna S; Kätelhön, Enno; Mathwig, Klaus; Wolfrum, Bernhard; Lemay, Serge G

    2012-11-27

    Electrochemical detection of single molecules is being actively pursued as an enabler of new fundamental experiments and sensitive analytical capabilities. Most attempts to date have relied on redox cycling in a nanogap, which consists of two parallel electrodes separated by a nanoscale distance. While these initial experiments have demonstrated single-molecule detection at the proof-of-concept level, several fundamental obstacles need to be overcome to transform the technique into a realistic detection tool suitable for use in more complex settings (e.g., studying enzyme dynamics at single catalytic event level, probing neuronal exocytosis, etc.). In particular, it has become clearer that stochasticity--the hallmark of most single-molecule measurements--can become the key limiting factor on the quality of the information that can be obtained from single-molecule electrochemical assays. Here we employ random-walk simulations to show that this stochasticity is a universal feature of all single-molecule experiments in the diffusively coupled regime and emerges due to the inherent properties of brownian motion. We further investigate the intrinsic coupling between stochasticity and detection capability, paying particular attention to the role of the geometry of the detection device and the finite time resolution of measurement systems. We suggest concrete, realizable experimental modifications and approaches to mitigate these limitations. Overall, our theoretical analyses offer a roadmap for optimizing single-molecule electrochemical experiments, which is not only desirable but also indispensable for their wider employment as experimental tools for electrochemical research and as realistic sensing or detection systems. PMID:23106647

  10. Research Update: Molecular electronics: The single-molecule switch and transistor

    SciTech Connect

    Sotthewes, Kai; Heimbuch, René Kumar, Avijit; Zandvliet, Harold J. W.; Geskin, Victor

    2014-01-01

    In order to design and realize single-molecule devices it is essential to have a good understanding of the properties of an individual molecule. For electronic applications, the most important property of a molecule is its conductance. Here we show how a single octanethiol molecule can be connected to macroscopic leads and how the transport properties of the molecule can be measured. Based on this knowledge we have realized two single-molecule devices: a molecular switch and a molecular transistor. The switch can be opened and closed at will by carefully adjusting the separation between the electrical contacts and the voltage drop across the contacts. This single-molecular switch operates in a broad temperature range from cryogenic temperatures all the way up to room temperature. Via mechanical gating, i.e., compressing or stretching of the octanethiol molecule, by varying the contact's interspace, we are able to systematically adjust the conductance of the electrode-octanethiol-electrode junction. This two-terminal single-molecule transistor is very robust, but the amplification factor is rather limited.

  11. Single DNA Molecule Patterning for High-Throughput Epigenetic Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Cerf, Aline; Cipriany, Benjamin R.; Benítez, Jaime J.; Craighead, Harold G.

    2013-01-01

    We present a method for profiling the 5-methyl cytosine distribution on single DNA molecules. Our method combines soft-lithography and molecular elongation to form ordered arrays of more than 250,000 individual DNA molecules immobilized on a solid substrate. The methylation state of the DNA is detected and mapped by binding of fluorescently labeled methyl-CpG binding domain peptides to the elongated dsDNA molecules and imaging of their distribution. The stretched molecules are fixed in their extended configuration by adsorption onto the substrate so analysis can be performed with high spatial resolution and signal averaging. We further prove this technique allows imaging of DNA molecules with different methylation states. PMID:21981444

  12. Theoretical Modeling of Plasmon-Enhanced Raman Images of a Single Molecule with Subnanometer Resolution.

    PubMed

    Duan, Sai; Tian, Guangjun; Ji, Yongfei; Shao, Jiushu; Dong, Zhenchao; Luo, Yi

    2015-08-01

    Under local plasmonic excitation, Raman images of single molecules can now surprisingly reach subnanometer resolution. However, its physical origin has not been fully understood. Here we report a quantum-mechanical description of the interaction between a molecule and a highly confined plasmonic field. We show that when the spatial distribution of the plasmonic field is comparable to the size of the molecule, the optical transition matrix of the molecule becomes dependent on the position and distribution of the plasmonic field, resulting in a spatially resolved high-resolution Raman image of the molecule. The resonant Raman image reflects the electronic transition density of the molecule. In combination with first-principles calculations, the simulated Raman image of a porphyrin derivative adsorbed on a silver surface nicely reproduces its experimental counterpart. The present theory provides the basic framework for describing linear and nonlinear responses of molecules under highly confined plasmonic fields. PMID:26186284

  13. Poisson indicator and Fano factor for probing dynamic disorder in single-molecule enzyme inhibition kinetics.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Srabanti

    2014-09-01

    We consider a generic stochastic model to describe the kinetics of single-molecule enzyme inhibition reactions in which the turnover events correspond to conversion of substrate into a product by a single enzyme molecule in the presence of an inhibitor. We observe that slow fluctuations between the active and inhibited state of the enzyme or the enzyme substrate complex can induce dynamic disorder, which is manifested in the measurement of the Poisson indicator and the Fano factor as functions of substrate concentrations for different inhibition reactions. For a single enzyme molecule inhibited by the product, we derive a single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation for the reaction rate, which shows a dependence on the substrate concentration similar to the ensemble enzymatic catalysis rate as obtained from bulk experimental results. The measurement of Fano factor is shown to be able to discriminate reactions following different inhibition mechanisms and also extract kinetic rates. PMID:25122511

  14. Targeting neurotransmitter receptors with nanoparticles in vivo allows single-molecule tracking in acute brain slices

    PubMed Central

    Varela, Juan A.; Dupuis, Julien P.; Etchepare, Laetitia; Espana, Agnès; Cognet, Laurent; Groc, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule imaging has changed the way we understand many biological mechanisms, particularly in neurobiology, by shedding light on intricate molecular events down to the nanoscale. However, current single-molecule studies in neuroscience have been limited to cultured neurons or organotypic slices, leaving as an open question the existence of fast receptor diffusion in intact brain tissue. Here, for the first time, we targeted dopamine receptors in vivo with functionalized quantum dots and were able to perform single-molecule tracking in acute rat brain slices. We propose a novel delocalized and non-inflammatory way of delivering nanoparticles (NPs) in vivo to the brain, which allowed us to label and track genetically engineered surface dopamine receptors in neocortical neurons, revealing inherent behaviour and receptor activity regulations. We thus propose a NP-based platform for single-molecule studies in the living brain, opening new avenues of research in physiological and pathological animal models. PMID:26971573

  15. Break junction under electrochemical gating: testbed for single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Huang, Cancan; Rudnev, Alexander V; Hong, Wenjing; Wandlowski, Thomas

    2015-02-21

    Molecular electronics aims to construct functional molecular devices at the single-molecule scale. One of the major challenges is to construct a single-molecule junction and to further manipulate the charge transport through the molecular junction. Break junction techniques, including STM break junctions and mechanically controllable break junctions are considered as testbed to investigate and control the charge transport on a single-molecule scale. Moreover, additional electrochemical gating provides a unique opportunity to manipulate the energy alignment and molecular redox processes for a single-molecule junction. In this review, we start from the technical aspects of the break junction technique, then discuss the molecular structure-conductance correlation derived from break junction studies, and, finally, emphasize electrochemical gating as a promising method for the functional molecular devices. PMID:25560965

  16. Targeting neurotransmitter receptors with nanoparticles in vivo allows single-molecule tracking in acute brain slices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varela, Juan A.; Dupuis, Julien P.; Etchepare, Laetitia; Espana, Agnès; Cognet, Laurent; Groc, Laurent

    2016-03-01

    Single-molecule imaging has changed the way we understand many biological mechanisms, particularly in neurobiology, by shedding light on intricate molecular events down to the nanoscale. However, current single-molecule studies in neuroscience have been limited to cultured neurons or organotypic slices, leaving as an open question the existence of fast receptor diffusion in intact brain tissue. Here, for the first time, we targeted dopamine receptors in vivo with functionalized quantum dots and were able to perform single-molecule tracking in acute rat brain slices. We propose a novel delocalized and non-inflammatory way of delivering nanoparticles (NPs) in vivo to the brain, which allowed us to label and track genetically engineered surface dopamine receptors in neocortical neurons, revealing inherent behaviour and receptor activity regulations. We thus propose a NP-based platform for single-molecule studies in the living brain, opening new avenues of research in physiological and pathological animal models.

  17. Electron transport in single molecules: from benzene to graphene.

    PubMed

    Chen, F; Tao, N J

    2009-03-17

    Electron movement within and between molecules--that is, electron transfer--is important in many chemical, electrochemical, and biological processes. Recent advances, particularly in scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), scanning-tunneling microscopy (STM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), permit the study of electron movement within single molecules. In this Account, we describe electron transport at the single-molecule level. We begin by examining the distinction between electron transport (from semiconductor physics) and electron transfer (a more general term referring to electron movement between donor and acceptor). The relation between these phenomena allows us to apply our understanding of single-molecule electron transport between electrodes to a broad range of other electron transfer processes. Electron transport is most efficient when the electron transmission probability via a molecule reaches 100%; the corresponding conductance is then 2e(2)/h (e is the charge of the electron and h is the Planck constant). This ideal conduction has been observed in a single metal atom and a string of metal atoms connected between two electrodes. However, the conductance of a molecule connected to two electrodes is often orders of magnitude less than the ideal and strongly depends on both the intrinsic properties of the molecule and its local environment. Molecular length, means of coupling to the electrodes, the presence of conjugated double bonds, and the inclusion of possible redox centers (for example, ferrocene) within the molecular wire have a pronounced effect on the conductance. This complex behavior is responsible for diverse chemical and biological phenomena and is potentially useful for device applications. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) afford unique insight into electron transport in single molecules. The simplest one, benzene, has a conductance much less than 2e(2)/h due to its large LUMO-HOMO gap. At the other end of the spectrum, graphene

  18. Detecting the dipole moment of a single carbon monoxide molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Schwarz, A. Köhler, A.; Grenz, J.; Wiesendanger, R.

    2014-07-07

    Using non-contact atomic force microscopy with metallic tips enabled us to detect the electrostatic dipole moment of single carbon monoxide (CO) molecules adsorbed on three very different substrates. The observed distance dependent contrast can be explained by an interplay between the attractive van der Waals interaction and the repulsive electrostatic interaction, respectively, with the latter stemming from antiparallel aligned dipoles in tip and molecule. Our results suggest that metallic as well as CO-functionalized tips are able to probe electrostatic properties of polar molecules and that repulsive dipole-dipole interactions have to be considered when interpreting complex contrast patterns.

  19. Characterizing 3D RNA structure by single molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, James D; Kenyon, Julia C; Symmons, Martyn F; Lever, Andrew M L

    2016-07-01

    The importance of elucidating the three dimensional structures of RNA molecules is becoming increasingly clear. However, traditional protein structural techniques such as NMR and X-ray crystallography have several important drawbacks when probing long RNA molecules. Single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has emerged as a useful alternative as it allows native sequences to be probed in physiological conditions and allows multiple conformations to be probed simultaneously. This review serves to describe the method of generating a three dimensional RNA structure from smFRET data from the biochemical probing of the secondary structure to the computational refinement of the final model. PMID:26853327

  20. Single Sheet Agricultural Mechanics Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumacher, Leon, Ed.

    This packet contains 25 single-page plans for agricultural mechanics projects. Each plan consists of a one-page set of drawings of the object to be made with a list of needed materials, a cut list, and step-by-step construction procedures on the back of the page. Plans for the following wood projects are included: bluebird house, lawn seat, dog…

  1. Single-molecule decoding of combinatorially modified nucleosomes.

    PubMed

    Shema, Efrat; Jones, Daniel; Shoresh, Noam; Donohue, Laura; Ram, Oren; Bernstein, Bradley E

    2016-05-01

    Different combinations of histone modifications have been proposed to signal distinct gene regulatory functions, but this area is poorly addressed by existing technologies. We applied high-throughput single-molecule imaging to decode combinatorial modifications on millions of individual nucleosomes from pluripotent stem cells and lineage-committed cells. We identified definitively bivalent nucleosomes with concomitant repressive and activating marks, as well as other combinatorial modification states whose prevalence varies with developmental potency. We showed that genetic and chemical perturbations of chromatin enzymes preferentially affect nucleosomes harboring specific modification states. Last, we combined this proteomic platform with single-molecule DNA sequencing technology to simultaneously determine the modification states and genomic positions of individual nucleosomes. This single-molecule technology has the potential to address fundamental questions in chromatin biology and epigenetic regulation. PMID:27151869

  2. Open-frame system for single-molecule microscopy.

    PubMed

    Arsenault, Adriel; Leith, Jason S; Henkin, Gil; McFaul, Christopher M J; Tarling, Matthew; Talbot, Richard; Berard, Daniel; Michaud, Francois; Scott, Shane; Leslie, Sabrina R

    2015-03-01

    We present the design and construction of a versatile, open frame inverted microscope system for wide-field fluorescence and single molecule imaging. The microscope chassis and modular design allow for customization, expansion, and experimental flexibility. We present two components which are included with the microscope which extend its basic capabilities and together create a powerful microscopy system: A Convex Lens-induced Confinement device provides the system with single-molecule imaging capabilities, and a two-color imaging system provides the option of imaging multiple molecular species simultaneously. The flexibility of the open-framed chassis combined with accessible single-molecule, multi-species imaging technology supports a wide range of new measurements in the health, nanotechnology, and materials science research sectors. PMID:25832232

  3. Electrochemical Single-Molecule Transistors with Optimized Gate Coupling.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Henrry M; Catarelli, Samantha; Cea, Pilar; Gluyas, Josef B G; Hartl, František; Higgins, Simon J; Leary, Edmund; Low, Paul J; Martín, Santiago; Nichols, Richard J; Tory, Joanne; Ulstrup, Jens; Vezzoli, Andrea; Milan, David C; Zeng, Qiang

    2015-11-18

    Electrochemical gating at the single molecule level of viologen molecular bridges in ionic liquids is examined. Contrary to previous data recorded in aqueous electrolytes, a clear and sharp peak in the single molecule conductance versus electrochemical potential data is obtained in ionic liquids. These data are rationalized in terms of a two-step electrochemical model for charge transport across the redox bridge. In this model the gate coupling in the ionic liquid is found to be fully effective with a modeled gate coupling parameter, ξ, of unity. This compares to a much lower gate coupling parameter of 0.2 for the equivalent aqueous gating system. This study shows that ionic liquids are far more effective media for gating the conductance of single molecules than either solid-state three-terminal platforms created using nanolithography, or aqueous media. PMID:26488257

  4. Single Molecule Electron Transfer Process of Ruthenium Complexes.

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Dehong; Lu, H PETER.

    2006-03-01

    Transition metal complexes such as ruthenium complexes, having metal-to-ligand charge transfer states, are extensively used in solar energy conversion and electron transfer in biological systems and at interfaces. The dynamics of metal-to-ligand charge transfer and subsequent intermolecular, intramolecular, and interfacial electron transfer processes can be highly complex and inhomogeneous, especially when molecules are involved in interactions and perturbations from heterogeneous local environments and gated by conformation fluctuations. We have employed the single-molecule spectroscopy, a powerful approach for inhomogeneous systems to study the electron transfer dynamics of ruthenium complexes. We have applied a range of statistical analysis methods to reveal nonclassical photon emission behavior of the single ruthenium complex, i.e., photon antibunching, and photophysical ground-state recovering dynamics on a microsecond time scale. The use of photon antibunching to measure phosphorescence lifetimes and single-molecule electron transfer dynamics at room temperature is demonstrated.

  5. Single-molecule electronics: Cooling individual vibrational modes by the tunneling current.

    PubMed

    Lykkebo, Jacob; Romano, Giuseppe; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Solomon, Gemma C

    2016-03-21

    Electronic devices composed of single molecules constitute the ultimate limit in the continued downscaling of electronic components. A key challenge for single-molecule electronics is to control the temperature of these junctions. Controlling heating and cooling effects in individual vibrational modes can, in principle, be utilized to increase stability of single-molecule junctions under bias, to pump energy into particular vibrational modes to perform current-induced reactions, or to increase the resolution in inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy by controlling the life-times of phonons in a molecule by suppressing absorption and external dissipation processes. Under bias the current and the molecule exchange energy, which typically results in heating of the molecule. However, the opposite process is also possible, where energy is extracted from the molecule by the tunneling current. Designing a molecular "heat sink" where a particular vibrational mode funnels heat out of the molecule and into the leads would be very desirable. It is even possible to imagine how the vibrational energy of the other vibrational modes could be funneled into the "cooling mode," given the right molecular design. Previous efforts to understand heating and cooling mechanisms in single molecule junctions have primarily been concerned with small models, where it is unclear which molecular systems they correspond to. In this paper, our focus is on suppressing heating and obtaining current-induced cooling in certain vibrational modes. Strategies for cooling vibrational modes in single-molecule junctions are presented, together with atomistic calculations based on those strategies. Cooling and reduced heating are observed for two different cooling schemes in calculations of atomistic single-molecule junctions. PMID:27004879

  6. Single-molecule electronics: Cooling individual vibrational modes by the tunneling current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykkebo, Jacob; Romano, Giuseppe; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Solomon, Gemma C.

    2016-03-01

    Electronic devices composed of single molecules constitute the ultimate limit in the continued downscaling of electronic components. A key challenge for single-molecule electronics is to control the temperature of these junctions. Controlling heating and cooling effects in individual vibrational modes can, in principle, be utilized to increase stability of single-molecule junctions under bias, to pump energy into particular vibrational modes to perform current-induced reactions, or to increase the resolution in inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy by controlling the life-times of phonons in a molecule by suppressing absorption and external dissipation processes. Under bias the current and the molecule exchange energy, which typically results in heating of the molecule. However, the opposite process is also possible, where energy is extracted from the molecule by the tunneling current. Designing a molecular "heat sink" where a particular vibrational mode funnels heat out of the molecule and into the leads would be very desirable. It is even possible to imagine how the vibrational energy of the other vibrational modes could be funneled into the "cooling mode," given the right molecular design. Previous efforts to understand heating and cooling mechanisms in single molecule junctions have primarily been concerned with small models, where it is unclear which molecular systems they correspond to. In this paper, our focus is on suppressing heating and obtaining current-induced cooling in certain vibrational modes. Strategies for cooling vibrational modes in single-molecule junctions are presented, together with atomistic calculations based on those strategies. Cooling and reduced heating are observed for two different cooling schemes in calculations of atomistic single-molecule junctions.

  7. Detecting single DNA molecule interactions with optical microcavities (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollmer, Frank

    2015-09-01

    Detecting molecules and their interactions lies at the heart of all biosensor devices, which have important applications in health, environmental monitoring and biomedicine. Achieving biosensing capability at the single molecule level is, moreover, a particularly important goal since single molecule biosensors would not only operate at the ultimate detection limit by resolving individual molecular interactions, but they could also monitor biomolecular properties which are otherwise obscured in ensemble measurements. For example, a single molecule biosensor could resolve the fleeting interaction kinetics between a molecule and its receptor, with immediate applications in clinical diagnostics. We have now developed a label-free biosensing platform that is capable of monitoring single DNA molecules and their interaction kinetics[1], hence achieving an unprecedented sensitivity in the optical domain, Figure 1. We resolve the specific contacts between complementary oligonucleotides, thereby detecting DNA strands with less than 2.4 kDa molecular weight. Furthermore we can discern strands with single nucleotide mismatches by monitoring their interaction kinetics. Our device utilizes small glass microspheres as optical transducers[1,2, 3], which are capable of increasing the number of interactions between a light beam and analyte molecules. A prism is used to couple the light beam into the microsphere. Ourr biosensing approach resolves the specific interaction kinetics between single DNA fragments. The optical transducer is assembled in a simple three-step protocol, and consists of a gold nanorod attached to a glass microsphere, where the surface of the nanorod is further modified with oligonucleotide receptors. The interaction kinetics of an oligonucleotide receptor with DNA fragments in the surrounding aqueous solution is monitored at the single molecule level[1]. The light remains confined inside the sphere where it is guided by total internal reflections along a

  8. Detection of pathogenic DNA at the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahiatène, Idir; Klamp, Tobias; Schüttpelz, Mark; Sauer, Markus

    2011-03-01

    We demonstrate ultrasensitive detection of pathogenic DNA in a homogeneous assay at the single-molecule level applying two-color coincidence analysis. The target molecule we quantify is a 100 nucleotide long synthetic single-stranded oligonucleotide adapted from Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium causing lower respiratory tract infections. Using spontaneous hybridization of two differently fluorescing Molecular Beacons we demonstrate a detection sensitivity of 100 fM (10-13M) in 30 seconds applying a simple microfluidic device with a 100 μm channel and confocal two-color fluorescence microscopy.

  9. Sorting single molecules: application to diagnostics and evolutionary biotechnology.

    PubMed Central

    Eigen, M; Rigler, R

    1994-01-01

    A method is described that provides for detection and identification of single molecules in solution. The method is based on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, which records spatio-temporal correlations among fluctuating light signals, coupled with devices for trapping single molecules in an electric field. This technique is applied to studies of molecular evolution, where it allows fast screening of large mutant spectra in which targets are labeled by specific fluorescent ligands. The method expands the horizon in molecular diagnostics by making it possible to monitor concentrations down to (less than) 10(-15) M without any need for amplification. Images PMID:7517036

  10. Fundamental High-Speed Limits in Single-Molecule, Single-Cell, and Nanoscale Force Spectroscopies.

    PubMed

    Amo, Carlos A; Garcia, Ricardo

    2016-07-26

    Force spectroscopy is enhancing our understanding of single-biomolecule, single-cell, and nanoscale mechanics. Force spectroscopy postulates the proportionality between the interaction force and the instantaneous probe deflection. By studying the probe dynamics, we demonstrate that the total force acting on the probe has three different components: the interaction, the hydrodynamic, and the inertial. The amplitudes of those components depend on the ratio between the resonant frequency and the frequency at which the data are measured. A force-distance curve provides a faithful measurement of the interaction force between two molecules when the inertial and hydrodynamic components are negligible. Otherwise, force spectroscopy measurements will underestimate the value of unbinding forces. Neglecting the above force components requires the use of frequency ratios in the 50-500 range. These ratios will limit the use of high-speed methods in force spectroscopy. The theory is supported by numerical simulations. PMID:27359243

  11. Hydration effects on membrane structure probed by single molecule orientations.

    PubMed

    Huckabay, Heath A; Dunn, Robert C

    2011-03-15

    Single molecule fluorescence measurements are used to probe the structural changes in glass-supported DPPC bilayers as a function of relative humidity (RH). Defocused polarized total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy is employed to determine the three-dimensional orientation of the fluorescent lipid analogue BODIPY-PC, doped into DPPC membranes in trace amounts. Supported DPPC bilayers formed using vesicle fusion and Langmuir-Blodgett/Langmuir-Schäfer (LB/LS) transfer are compared and show similar trends as a function of relative humidity. Population histograms of the emission dipole tilt angle reveal bimodal distributions as observed previously for BODIPY-PC in DPPC. These distributions are dominated by large populations of BODIPY-PC molecules with emission dipoles oriented parallel (≥81°) and normal (≤10°) to the membrane plane, with less than 25% oriented at intermediate tilts. As the relative humidity is increased from 13% to 95%, the population of molecules oriented normal to the surface decreases with a concomitant increase in those oriented parallel to the surface. The close agreement in trends observed for bilayers formed from vesicle fusion and LB/LS transfer supports the assignment of an equivalent surface pressure of 23 mN/m for bilayers formed from vesicle fusion. At each RH condition, a small population of BODIPY-PC dye molecules are laterally mobile in both bilayer preparations. This population exponentially increases with RH but never exceeds 6% of the total population. Interestingly, even under conditions where there is little lateral diffusion, fluctuations in the single molecule orientations can be observed which suggests there is appreciable freedom in the acyl chain region. Dynamic measurements of single molecule orientation changes, therefore, provide a new view into membrane properties at the single molecule level. PMID:21319764

  12. Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy on Planar Supported Bilayers.

    PubMed

    Axmann, Markus; Schütz, Gerhard J; Huppa, Johannes B

    2015-01-01

    In the course of a single decade single molecule microscopy has changed from being a secluded domain shared merely by physicists with a strong background in optics and laser physics to a discipline that is now enjoying vivid attention by life-scientists of all venues (1). This is because single molecule imaging has the unique potential to reveal protein behavior in situ in living cells and uncover cellular organization with unprecedented resolution below the diffraction limit of visible light (2). Glass-supported planar lipid bilayers (SLBs) are a powerful tool to bring cells otherwise growing in suspension in close enough proximity to the glass slide so that they can be readily imaged in noise-reduced Total Internal Reflection illumination mode (3,4). They are very useful to study the protein dynamics in plasma membrane-associated events as diverse as cell-cell contact formation, endocytosis, exocytosis and immune recognition. Simple procedures are presented how to generate highly mobile protein-functionalized SLBs in a reproducible manner, how to determine protein mobility within and how to measure protein densities with the use of single molecule detection. It is shown how to construct a cost-efficient single molecule microscopy system with TIRF illumination capabilities and how to operate it in the experiment. PMID:26555335

  13. Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy on Planar Supported Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Axmann, Markus; Schütz, Gerhard J.; Huppa, Johannes B.

    2015-01-01

    In the course of a single decade single molecule microscopy has changed from being a secluded domain shared merely by physicists with a strong background in optics and laser physics to a discipline that is now enjoying vivid attention by life-scientists of all venues 1. This is because single molecule imaging has the unique potential to reveal protein behavior in situ in living cells and uncover cellular organization with unprecedented resolution below the diffraction limit of visible light 2. Glass-supported planar lipid bilayers (SLBs) are a powerful tool to bring cells otherwise growing in suspension in close enough proximity to the glass slide so that they can be readily imaged in noise-reduced Total Internal Reflection illumination mode 3,4. They are very useful to study the protein dynamics in plasma membrane-associated events as diverse as cell-cell contact formation, endocytosis, exocytosis and immune recognition. Simple procedures are presented how to generate highly mobile protein-functionalized SLBs in a reproducible manner, how to determine protein mobility within and how to measure protein densities with the use of single molecule detection. It is shown how to construct a cost-efficient single molecule microscopy system with TIRF illumination capabilities and how to operate it in the experiment. PMID:26555335

  14. Single-Molecule Electronic Monitoring of DNA Polymerase Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marushchak, Denys O.; Pugliese, Kaitlin M.; Turvey, Mackenzie W.; Choi, Yongki; Gul, O. Tolga; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Rajapakse, Arith J.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    Single-molecule techniques can reveal new spatial and kinetic details of the conformational changes occurring during enzymatic catalysis. Here, we investigate the activity of DNA polymerases using an electronic single-molecule technique based on carbon nanotube transistors. Single molecules of the Klenow fragment (KF) of polymerase I were conjugated to the transistors and then monitored via fluctuations in electrical conductance. Continuous, long-term monitoring recorded single KF molecules incorporating up to 10,000 new bases into single-stranded DNA templates. The duration of individual incorporation events was invariant across all analog and native nucleotides, indicating that the precise structure of different base pairs has no impact on the timing of incorporation. Despite similar timings, however, the signal magnitudes generated by certain analogs reveal alternate conformational states that do not occur with native nucleotides. The differences induced by these analogs suggest that the electronic technique is sensing KF's O-helix as it tests the stability of nascent base pairs.

  15. Single-molecule Studies of RNA Polymerase: Motoring Along

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Kristina M.; Greenleaf, William J.; Block, Steven M.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule techniques have advanced our understanding of transcription by RNA polymerase. A new arsenal of approaches, including single-molecule fluorescence, atomic-force microscopy, magnetic tweezers, and optical traps have been employed to probe the many facets of the transcription cycle. These approaches supply fresh insights into the means by which RNA polymerase identifies a promoter; initiates transcription, translocates and pauses along the DNA template, proofreads errors, and ultimately terminates transcription. Results from single-molecule experiments complement knowledge gained from biochemical and genetic assays by facilitating the observation of states that are otherwise obscured by ensemble averaging, such as those resulting from heterogeneity in molecular structure, elongation rate, or pause propensity. Most studies to date have been performed with bacterial RNA polymerase, but work is also being carried out with eukaryotic polymerase (Pol II) and single-subunit polymerases from bacteriophages. We discuss recent progress achieved by single-molecule studies, highlighting some of the unresolved questions and ongoing debates. PMID:18410247

  16. Progress towards DNA sequencing at the single molecule level

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, P.M.; Affleck, R.L.; Ambrose, W.P.

    1995-12-01

    We describe progress towards sequencing DNA at the single molecule level. Our technique involves incorporation of fluorescently tagged nucleotides into a targeted sequence, anchoring the labeled DNA strand in a flowing stream, sequential exonuclease digestion of the DNA strand, and efficient detection and identification of single tagged nucleotides. Experiments demonstrating strand specific exonuclease digestion of fluorescently labeled DNA anchored in flow as well as the detection of single cleaved fluorescently tagged nucleotides from a small number of anchored DNA fragments axe described. We find that the turnover rate of Esherichia coli exonuclease III on fluorescently labeled DNA in flow at 36{degree}C is {approximately}7 nucleotides per DNA strand per second, which is approximately the same as that measured for this enzyme on native DNA under static, saturated (excess enzyme) conditions. Experiments demonstrating the efficient detection of single fluorescent molecules delivered electrokinetically to a {approximately}3 pL probe volume are also described.

  17. SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY, 2010 GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 27-JULY 2, 2010, ITALY

    SciTech Connect

    Professor William Moerner

    2010-07-09

    The 2010 Gordon Conference on Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology focuses on cutting-edge research in single-molecule science. Tremendous technical developments have made it possible to detect, identify, track, and manipulate single biomolecules in an ambient environment or even in a live cell. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are addressed, and new knowledge derived from these approaches continues to emerge. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of biomolecular machines: what they do, how they work individually, how they work together, and finally, how they work inside live cells. The burgeoning use of single-molecule methods to elucidate biological problems is a highly multidisciplinary pursuit, involving both force- and fluorescence-based methods, the most up-to-date advances in microscopy, innovative biological and chemical approaches, and nanotechnology tools. This conference seeks to bring together top experts in molecular and cell biology with innovators in the measurement and manipulation of single molecules, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and to exchange ideas with leaders in the field. A number of excellent poster presenters will be selected for short oral talks. Topics as diverse as single-molecule sequencing, DNA/RNA/protein interactions, folding machines, cellular biophysics, synthetic biology and bioengineering, force spectroscopy, new method developments, superresolution imaging in cells, and novel probes for single-molecule imaging will be on the program. Additionally, the collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings in the beauty of the Il Ciocco site in

  18. Dissecting single-molecule signal transduction in carbon nanotube circuits with protein engineering

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Yongki; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Sims, Patrick C.; Moody, Issa S.; Corso, Brad L.; Dang, Mytrang N.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2013-01-01

    Single molecule experimental methods have provided new insights into biomolecular function, dynamic disorder, and transient states that are all invisible to conventional measurements. A novel, non-fluorescent single molecule technique involves attaching single molecules to single-walled carbon nanotube field-effective transistors (SWNT FETs). These ultrasensitive electronic devices provide long-duration, label-free monitoring of biomolecules and their dynamic motions. However, generalization of the SWNT FET technique first requires design rules that can predict the success and applicability of these devices. Here, we report on the transduction mechanism linking enzymatic processivity to electrical signal generation by a SWNT FET. The interaction between SWNT FETs and the enzyme lysozyme was systematically dissected using eight different lysozyme variants synthesized by protein engineering. The data prove that effective signal generation can be accomplished using a single charged amino acid, when appropriately located, providing a foundation to widely apply SWNT FET sensitivity to other biomolecular systems. PMID:23323846

  19. Current rectification in a single molecule diode: the role of electrode coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherif, Siya; Rubio-Bollinger, Gabino; Pinilla-Cienfuegos, Elena; Coronado, Eugenio; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Agraït, Nicolás

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate large rectification ratios (\\gt 100) in single-molecule junctions based on a metal-oxide cluster (polyoxometalate), using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) both at ambient conditions and at low temperature. These rectification ratios are the largest ever observed in a single-molecule junction, and in addition these junctions sustain current densities larger than 105 A cm-2. By following the variation of the I-V characteristics with tip-molecule separation we demonstrate unambiguously that rectification is due to asymmetric coupling to the electrodes of a molecule with an asymmetric level structure. This mechanism can be implemented in other type of molecular junctions using both organic and inorganic molecules and provides a simple strategy for the rational design of molecular diodes.

  20. Current rectification in a single molecule diode: the role of electrode coupling.

    PubMed

    Sherif, Siya; Rubio-Bollinger, Gabino; Pinilla-Cienfuegos, Elena; Coronado, Eugenio; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Agraït, Nicolás

    2015-07-24

    We demonstrate large rectification ratios (> 100) in single-molecule junctions based on a metal-oxide cluster (polyoxometalate), using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) both at ambient conditions and at low temperature. These rectification ratios are the largest ever observed in a single-molecule junction, and in addition these junctions sustain current densities larger than 10(5) A cm(-2). By following the variation of the I-V characteristics with tip-molecule separation we demonstrate unambiguously that rectification is due to asymmetric coupling to the electrodes of a molecule with an asymmetric level structure. This mechanism can be implemented in other type of molecular junctions using both organic and inorganic molecules and provides a simple strategy for the rational design of molecular diodes. PMID:26133791

  1. n and p type character of single molecule diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-02-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface.

  2. Nonlinear coherent spectroscopy in the single molecule limit (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potma, Eric O.

    2015-10-01

    Detecting coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) signals from signal molecules is a longstanding experimental challenge. Driving the vibrational CARS response with surface plasmon fields has proven notoriously difficult due to strong background contributions, unfavorable heat dissipation and the phase dispersion of the plasmon modes in the ensemble. In this work we overcome previous experimental limitations and demonstrate time-resolved, vibrational CARS from molecules in the low copy number limit, down to the single molecule level. Our measurements, which are performed under ambient and non-electronic resonance conditions, establish that the coherent response from vibrational modes of individual molecules can be studied experimentally, opening up a new realm of molecular spectroscopic investigations.

  3. n and p type character of single molecule diodes.

    PubMed

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-01-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface. PMID:25666850

  4. n and p type character of single molecule diodes

    PubMed Central

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-01-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface. PMID:25666850

  5. Formation of ultracold polar molecules in a single quantum state

    SciTech Connect

    Cote, Robin; Juarros, Elizabeth; Kirby, Kate

    2010-06-15

    We compute the formation rate of a polar molecule, LiH, into the lowest triplet electronic state, a {sup 3{Sigma}+}, via population of the intermediate excited electronic state, b {sup 3{Pi}}, followed by radiative decay. We find large formation rates into the single rovibrational bound state (v=0,J=0) of the a {sup 3{Sigma}+}, which can be explained by the unusually large overlap of its wave function with those of the two upper-most bound levels of the b {sup 3{Pi}}. With conservative parameters, we estimate that over 10{sup 4} molecules/s could be produced in the single rovibrational level of the a {sup 3{Sigma}+} state. We also discuss scattering properties of LiH triplet molecules and their relevance to ultracold chemical reactions.

  6. Reliable anchoring groups for single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, M. Teresa; Leary, Edmund; Evangeli, Charalambos; Arroyo, Carlos; Rubio-Bollinger, Gabino; Agraïit, Nicolás

    2012-02-01

    In the field of molecular electronics, thiols have been extensively used as the most common anchoring groups to bind molecules to gold electrodes. However, other anchoring groups as amines can provide interesting advantages. Recently, C-60 has been also proposed as a possible very efficient binding group. In this talk, I will present our studies on molecular junctions formed by thiol-, amine-, and C-60-terminated molecules. We use a STM (scanning tunneling microscope) break-junction technique to create and characterized single-molecule junctions both in ambient and liquid environment. We compare thiols and amines on the alkane family and an oligo(phenylene ethynylene). Our study of the molecular-junction stretching length allows us to conclude that thiols affect atomic rearrangement at the electrodes significantly more than amines. Using C-60-terminated molecules, we have recently introduced a new technique for controllably wiring one molecule at a time. We first get STM images to located isolated molecules on a gold substrate, which are then specifically targeted and contacted using a STM gold tip. This technique offers a significant improvement over other techniques, as it guaranties that one and only one molecule is contacted at a time between the electrodes.

  7. Single-Molecule Electrical Random Resequencing of DNA and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Matsubara, Kazuki; Tsutsui, Makusu; Furuhashi, Masayuki; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2012-07-01

    Two paradigm shifts in DNA sequencing technologies--from bulk to single molecules and from optical to electrical detection--are expected to realize label-free, low-cost DNA sequencing that does not require PCR amplification. It will lead to development of high-throughput third-generation sequencing technologies for personalized medicine. Although nanopore devices have been proposed as third-generation DNA-sequencing devices, a significant milestone in these technologies has been attained by demonstrating a novel technique for resequencing DNA using electrical signals. Here we report single-molecule electrical resequencing of DNA and RNA using a hybrid method of identifying single-base molecules via tunneling currents and random sequencing. Our method reads sequences of nine types of DNA oligomers. The complete sequence of 5'-UGAGGUA-3' from the let-7 microRNA family was also identified by creating a composite of overlapping fragment sequences, which was randomly determined using tunneling current conducted by single-base molecules as they passed between a pair of nanoelectrodes.

  8. Single-Molecule Electrical Random Resequencing of DNA and RNA

    PubMed Central

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Matsubara, Kazuki; Tsutsui, Makusu; Furuhashi, Masayuki; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2012-01-01

    Two paradigm shifts in DNA sequencing technologies—from bulk to single molecules and from optical to electrical detection—are expected to realize label-free, low-cost DNA sequencing that does not require PCR amplification. It will lead to development of high-throughput third-generation sequencing technologies for personalized medicine. Although nanopore devices have been proposed as third-generation DNA-sequencing devices, a significant milestone in these technologies has been attained by demonstrating a novel technique for resequencing DNA using electrical signals. Here we report single-molecule electrical resequencing of DNA and RNA using a hybrid method of identifying single-base molecules via tunneling currents and random sequencing. Our method reads sequences of nine types of DNA oligomers. The complete sequence of 5′-UGAGGUA-3′ from the let-7 microRNA family was also identified by creating a composite of overlapping fragment sequences, which was randomly determined using tunneling current conducted by single-base molecules as they passed between a pair of nanoelectrodes. PMID:22787559

  9. Single Molecule Study of Cellulase Hydrolysis of Crystalline Cellulose

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Y.-S.; Luo, Y.; Baker, J. O.; Zeng, Y.; Himmel, M. E.; Smith, S.; Ding, S.-Y.

    2009-12-01

    This report seeks to elucidate the role of cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I) in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose. A single-molecule approach uses various imaging techniques to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBH I.

  10. Single molecule microscopy in 3D cell cultures and tissues.

    PubMed

    Lauer, Florian M; Kaemmerer, Elke; Meckel, Tobias

    2014-12-15

    From the onset of the first microscopic visualization of single fluorescent molecules in living cells at the beginning of this century, to the present, almost routine application of single molecule microscopy, the method has well-proven its ability to contribute unmatched detailed insight into the heterogeneous and dynamic molecular world life is composed of. Except for investigations on bacteria and yeast, almost the entire story of success is based on studies on adherent mammalian 2D cell cultures. However, despite this continuous progress, the technique was not able to keep pace with the move of the cell biology community to adapt 3D cell culture models for basic research, regenerative medicine, or drug development and screening. In this review, we will summarize the progress, which only recently allowed for the application of single molecule microscopy to 3D cell systems and give an overview of the technical advances that led to it. While initially posing a challenge, we finally conclude that relevant 3D cell models will become an integral part of the on-going success of single molecule microscopy. PMID:25453259

  11. Vibrationally dependent electron-electron interactions in resonant electron transport through single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erpenbeck, A.; Härtle, R.; Bockstedte, M.; Thoss, M.

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the role of electronic-vibrational coupling in resonant electron transport through single-molecule junctions, taking into account that the corresponding coupling strengths may depend on the charge and excitation state of the molecular bridge. Within an effective-model Hamiltonian approach for a molecule with multiple electronic states, this requires to extend the commonly used model and include vibrationally dependent electron-electron interaction. We use Born-Markov master equation methods and consider selected models to exemplify the effect of the additional interaction on the transport characteristics of a single-molecule junction. In particular, we show that it has a significant influence on local cooling and heating mechanisms, it may result in negative differential resistance, and it may cause pronounced asymmetries in the conductance map of a single-molecule junction.

  12. Analysis and Interpretation of Single Molecule Protein Unfolding Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lannon, Herbert; Brujic, Jasna

    2012-02-01

    The kinetics of protein unfolding under a stretching force has been extensively studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) over the past decade [1]. Experimental artifacts at the single molecule level introduce uncertainties in the data analysis that have led to several competing physical models for the unfolding process. For example, the unfolding dynamics of the protein ubiquitin under constant force has been described by probability distributions as diverse as exponential [2,3], a sum of exponentials, log-normal [4], and more recently a function describing static disorder in the Arrhenius model [5]. A new method for data analysis is presented that utilizes maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) combined with other traditional statistical tests to unambiguously rank the consistency of these and other models with the experimental data. These techniques applied to the ubiquitin unfolding data shows that the probability of unfolding is best fit with a stretched exponential distribution, with important implications on the complexity of the mechanism of protein unfolding. [4pt] [1] Carrion-Vazquez, et. al. Springer Series in Biophys. 2006 [0pt] [2] Fernandez et. al. Science 2004 [0pt] [3] Brujic et. al. Nat. Phys 2006 [0pt] [4] Garcia-Manyes et. al. Biophys. J. 2007 [0pt] [5] Kuo et. al. PNAS 2010

  13. Single-molecule dissection of stacking forces in DNA.

    PubMed

    Kilchherr, Fabian; Wachauf, Christian; Pelz, Benjamin; Rief, Matthias; Zacharias, Martin; Dietz, Hendrik

    2016-09-01

    We directly measured at the single-molecule level the forces and lifetimes of DNA base-pair stacking interactions for all stack sequence combinations. Our experimental approach combined dual-beam optical tweezers with DNA origami components to allow positioning of blunt-end DNA helices so that the weak stacking force could be isolated. Base-pair stack arrays that lacked a covalent backbone connection spontaneously dissociated at average rates ranging from 0.02 to 500 per second, depending on the sequence combination and stack array size. Forces in the range from 2 to 8 piconewtons that act along the helical direction only mildly accelerated the stochastic unstacking process. The free-energy increments per stack that we estimate from the measured forward and backward kinetic rates ranged from -0.8 to -3.4 kilocalories per mole, depending on the sequence combination. Our data contributes to understanding the mechanics of DNA processing in biology, and it is helpful for designing the kinetics of DNA-based nanoscale devices according to user specifications. PMID:27609897

  14. The optics inside an automated single molecule array analyzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuigan, William; Fournier, David R.; Watson, Gary W.; Walling, Les; Gigante, Bill; Duffy, David C.; Rissin, David M.; Kan, Cheuk W.; Meyer, Raymond E.; Piech, Tomasz; Fishburn, Matthew W.

    2014-02-01

    Quanterix and Stratec Biomedical have developed an instrument that enables the automated measurement of multiple proteins at concentration ~1000 times lower than existing immunoassays. The instrument is based on Quanterix's proprietary Single Molecule Array technology (Simoa™ ) that facilitates the detection and quantification of biomarkers previously difficult to measure, thus opening up new applications in life science research and in-vitro diagnostics. Simoa is based on trapping individual beads in arrays of femtoliter-sized wells that, when imaged with sufficient resolution, allows for counting of single molecules associated with each bead. When used to capture and detect proteins, this approach is known as digital ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The platform developed is a merger of many science and engineering disciplines. This paper concentrates on the optical technologies that have enabled the development of a fully-automated single molecule analyzer. At the core of the system is a custom, wide field-of-view, fluorescence microscope that images arrays of microwells containing single molecules bound to magnetic beads. A consumable disc containing 24 microstructure arrays was developed previously in collaboration with Sony DADC. The system cadence requirements, array dimensions, and requirement to detect single molecules presented significant optical challenges. Specifically, the wide field-of-view needed to image the entire array resulted in the need for a custom objective lens. Additionally, cost considerations for the system required a custom solution that leveraged the image processing capabilities. This paper will discuss the design considerations and resultant optical architecture that has enabled the development of an automated digital ELISA platform.

  15. Calix[4]arene Based Single-Molecule Magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Karotsis, Georgios; Teat, Simon J.; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Piligkos, Stergios; Dalgarno, Scott J.; Brechin, Euan K.

    2009-06-04

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) have been the subject of much interest in recent years because their molecular nature and inherent physical properties allow the crossover between classical and quantum physics to be observed. The macroscopic observation of quantum phenomena - tunneling between different spin states, quantum interference between tunnel paths - not only allows scientists to study quantum mechanical laws in great detail, but also provides model systems with which to investigate the possible implementation of spin-based solid state qubits and molecular spintronics. The isolation of small, simple SMMs is therefore an exciting prospect. To date almost all SMMs have been made via the self-assembly of 3d metal ions in the presence of bridging/chelating organic ligands. However, very recently an exciting new class of SMMs, based on 3d metal clusters (or single lanthanide ions) housed within polyoxometalates, has appeared. These types of molecule, in which the SMM is completely encapsulated within (or shrouded by) a 'protective' organic or inorganic sheath have much potential for design and manipulation: for example, for the removal of unwanted dipolar interactions, the introduction of redox activity, or to simply aid functionalization for surface grafting. Calix[4]arenes are cyclic (typically bowl-shaped) polyphenols that have been used extensively in the formation of versatile self-assembled supramolecular structures. Although many have been reported, p-{sup t}But-calix[4]arene and calix[4]arene (TBC4 and C4 respectively, Figure 1A) are frequently encountered due to (a) synthetic accessibility, and (b) vast potential for alteration at either the upper or lower rim of the macrocyclic framework. Within the field of supramolecular chemistry, TBC4 is well known for interesting polymorphic behavior and phase transformations within anti-parallel bi-layer arrays, while C4 often forms self-included trimers. The polyphenolic nature of calix[n]arenes (where n = 4

  16. Imaging biological molecules with single molecule sensitivity using near-field scanning optical microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrose, W.P.; Affleck, R.L.; Goodwin, P.M.; Keller, R.A.; Martin, J.C.; Petty, J.T.; Schecker, J.A.; Wu, Ming

    1995-12-01

    We have developed a near-field scanning optical microscope with the sensitivity to detect single fluorescent molecules. Our microscope is based on scanning a sample under a tapered and metal coated fiber optic probe and has an illumination-aperture diameter as small as 100 nm. The microscope simultaneously acquires a shear force image with a height noise of {approximately} 1 nm. We have used this system to demonstrate the detection of single molecules of Rhodamine-6G on silica. In this paper, we explore the use of NSOM for investigations of biological molecules. We have prepared and imaged double-stranded DNA intercalated with thiazole orange homodimer (TOTO); single chromosomes stained with propidium iodide; and {beta}-phycoerythrin proteins on dry, borosilicate-glass surfaces. At very dilute coverages, isolated fluorescent spots are observed for the un-intercalated TOTO dye and for {beta}-phycoerythrin. These fluorescent spots exhibit-emission intensity fluctuations and abrupt bleaching transitions, similar to the intensity behavior observed previously for single Rhodamine 6G molecules on silica.

  17. Gating a single-molecule transistor with individual atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Blanco, Jesús; Nacci, Christophe; Erwin, Steven C.; Kanisawa, Kiyoshi; Locane, Elina; Thomas, Mark; von Oppen, Felix; Brouwer, Piet W.; Fölsch, Stefan

    2015-08-01

    Transistors, regardless of their size, rely on electrical gates to control the conductance between source and drain contacts. In atomic-scale transistors, this conductance is sensitive to single electrons hopping via individual orbitals. Single-electron transport in molecular transistors has been previously studied using top-down approaches to gating, such as lithography and break junctions. But atomically precise control of the gate--which is crucial to transistor action at the smallest size scales--is not possible with these approaches. Here, we used individual charged atoms, manipulated by a scanning tunnelling microscope, to create the electrical gates for a single-molecule transistor. This degree of control allowed us to tune the molecule into the regime of sequential single-electron tunnelling, albeit with a conductance gap more than one order of magnitude larger than observed previously. This unexpected behaviour arises from the existence of two different orientational conformations of the molecule, depending on its charge state. Our results show that strong coupling between these charge and conformational degrees of freedom leads to new behaviour beyond the established picture of single-electron transport in atomic-scale transistors.

  18. Measurement and understanding of single-molecule break junction rectification caused by asymmetric contacts

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Kun; Zhou, Jianfeng; Hamill, Joseph M.; Xu, Bingqian

    2014-08-07

    The contact effects of single-molecule break junctions on rectification behaviors were experimentally explored by a systematic control of anchoring groups of 1,4-disubstituted benzene molecular junctions. Single-molecule conductance and I-V characteristic measurements reveal a strong correlation between rectifying effects and the asymmetry in contacts. Analysis using energy band models and I-V calculations suggested that the rectification behavior is mainly caused by asymmetric coupling strengths at the two contact interfaces. Fitting of the rectification ratio by a modified Simmons model we developed suggests asymmetry in potential drop across the asymmetric anchoring groups as the mechanism of rectifying I-V behavior. This study provides direct experimental evidence and sheds light on the mechanisms of rectification behavior induced simply by contact asymmetry, which serves as an aid to interpret future single-molecule electronic behavior involved with asymmetric contact conformation.

  19. Single-Molecule Observation of Prokaryotic DNA Replication

    PubMed Central

    Tanner, Nathan A.; van Oijen, Antoine M.

    2010-01-01

    Recent advances in optical imaging and molecular manipulation techniques have made it possible to observe the activity of individual enzymes and study the dynamic properties of processes that are challenging to elucidate using ensemble-averaging techniques. The use of single-molecule approaches has proven to be particularly successful in the study of the dynamic interactions between the components at the replication fork. In this section, we describe the methods necessary for in vitro single-molecule studies of prokaryotic replication systems. Through these experiments, accurate information can be obtained on the rates and processivities of DNA unwinding and polymerization. The ability to monitor in real time the progress of a single replication fork allows for the detection of short-lived, intermediate states that would be difficult to visualize in bulk-phase assays. PMID:19563119

  20. Quantum-Sequencing: Fast electronic single DNA molecule sequencing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casamada Ribot, Josep; Chatterjee, Anushree; Nagpal, Prashant

    2014-03-01

    A major goal of third-generation sequencing technologies is to develop a fast, reliable, enzyme-free, high-throughput and cost-effective, single-molecule sequencing method. Here, we present the first demonstration of unique ``electronic fingerprint'' of all nucleotides (A, G, T, C), with single-molecule DNA sequencing, using Quantum-tunneling Sequencing (Q-Seq) at room temperature. We show that the electronic state of the nucleobases shift depending on the pH, with most distinct states identified at acidic pH. We also demonstrate identification of single nucleotide modifications (methylation here). Using these unique electronic fingerprints (or tunneling data), we report a partial sequence of beta lactamase (bla) gene, which encodes resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, with over 95% success rate. These results highlight the potential of Q-Seq as a robust technique for next-generation sequencing.

  1. Single Molecule Study of DNA Organization and Recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Botao

    We have studied five projects related to DNA organization and recombination using mainly single molecule force-spectroscopy and statistical tools. First, HU is one of the most abundant DNA-organizing proteins in bacterial chromosomes and participates in gene regulation. We report experiments that study the dependence of DNA condensation by HU on force, salt and HU concentration. A first important result is that at physiological salt levels, HU only bends DNA, resolving a previous paradox of why a chromosome-compacting protein should have a DNA-stiffening function. A second major result is quantitative demonstration of strong dependencies of HU-DNA dissociation on both salt concentration and force. Second, we have used a thermodynamic Maxwell relation to count proteins driven off large DNAs by tension, an effect important to understanding DNA organization. Our results compare well with estimates of numbers of proteins HU and Fis in previous studies. We have also shown that a semi-flexible polymer model describes our HU experimental data well. The force-dependent binding suggests mechano-chemical mechanisms for gene regulation. Third, the elusive role of protein H1 in chromatin has been clarified with purified H1 and Xenopus extracts. We find that H1 compacts DNA by both bending and looping. Addition of H1 enhances chromatin formation and maintains the plasticity of the chromatin. Fourth, the topology and mechanics of DNA twisting are critical to DNA organization and recombination. We have systematically measured DNA extension as a function of linking number density from 0.08 to -2 with holding forces from 0.2 to 2.4 pN. Unlike previous proposals, the DNA extension decreases with negative linking number. Finally, DNA recombination is a dynamic process starting from enzyme-DNA binding. We report that the Int-DBD domain of lambda integrase binds to DNA without compaction at low Int-DBD concentration. High concentration of Int-DBD loops DNA below a threshold force

  2. Single Molecule Electrochemical Detection in Aqueous Solutions and Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Byers, Joshua C; Paulose Nadappuram, Binoy; Perry, David; McKelvey, Kim; Colburn, Alex W; Unwin, Patrick R

    2015-10-20

    Single molecule electrochemical detection (SMED) is an extremely challenging aspect of electroanalytical chemistry, requiring unconventional electrochemical cells and measurements. Here, SMED is reported using a "quad-probe" (four-channel probe) pipet cell, fabricated by depositing carbon pyrolytically into two diagonally opposite barrels of a laser-pulled quartz quadruple-barreled pipet and filling the open channels with electrolyte solution, and quasi-reference counter electrodes. A meniscus forms at the end of the probe covering the two working electrodes and is brought into contact with a substrate working electrode surface. In this way, a nanogap cell is produced whereby the two carbon electrodes in the pipet can be used to promote redox cycling of an individual molecule with the substrate. Anticorrelated currents generated at the substrate and tip electrodes, at particular distances (typically tens of nanometers), are consistent with the detection of single molecules. The low background noise realized in this droplet format opens up new opportunities in single molecule electrochemistry, including the use of ionic liquids, as well as aqueous solution, and the quantitative assessment and analysis of factors influencing redox cycling currents, due to a precisely known gap size. PMID:26398675

  3. Tunable magnetoresistance in an asymmetrically coupled single-molecule junction.

    PubMed

    Warner, Ben; El Hallak, Fadi; Prüser, Henning; Sharp, John; Persson, Mats; Fisher, Andrew J; Hirjibehedin, Cyrus F

    2015-03-01

    Phenomena that are highly sensitive to magnetic fields can be exploited in sensors and non-volatile memories. The scaling of such phenomena down to the single-molecule level may enable novel spintronic devices. Here, we report magnetoresistance in a single-molecule junction arising from negative differential resistance that shifts in a magnetic field at a rate two orders of magnitude larger than Zeeman shifts. This sensitivity to the magnetic field produces two voltage-tunable forms of magnetoresistance, which can be selected via the applied bias. The negative differential resistance is caused by transient charging of an iron phthalocyanine (FePc) molecule on a single layer of copper nitride (Cu2N) on a Cu(001) surface, and occurs at voltages corresponding to the alignment of sharp resonances in the filled and empty molecular states with the Cu(001) Fermi energy. An asymmetric voltage-divider effect enhances the apparent voltage shift of the negative differential resistance with magnetic field, which inherently is on the scale of the Zeeman energy. These results illustrate the impact that asymmetric coupling to metallic electrodes can have on transport through molecules, and highlight how this coupling can be used to develop molecular spintronic applications. PMID:25622229

  4. Conductance through a single molecule: transport via HOMO or LUMO?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagerqvist, Johan; di Ventra, Massimiliano

    2003-03-01

    Many theoretical studies have appeared where the transport properties of single phenyldithiolate molecules have been compared to available experimental results.[1] While many of these studies agree on the shape and magnitude of the current-voltage characteristics, there is still disagreement on which state, HOMO or LUMO, is mainly responsible for the transport across the molecules. Experiments using a molecule adsorbed on a gold surface and probed by an STM tip [2] seem to indicate that transport occurs via the HOMO. In this configuration the sulfur atom that faces the STM tip is bonded to a hydrogen atom, unlike in break-junction experiments.[1] We report first-principles calculations [3] of the transport properties of a phenyldithiolate molecule adsorbed on a metal surface with the opposite contact simulated by a metal surface at various distances from the molecule, mimicking an STM tip. We show that the presence of the hydrogen atom bonded to sulfur pushes the HOMO level of the molecule very close to the Fermi level and the current flows mainly via the HOMO. This study shows that even a single-atom change in the molecule configuration can dramatically affect its transport properties. Work supported in part by NSF, Carilion Biomedical Institute and ACS-Petroleum Research Fund. [1] See, e.g., M. Di Ventra, S.T. Pantelides and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 979 (2000). [2] W. Tian et. al., J. Chem. Phys. 109, 2874 (1998) [3] N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 52, 5335 (1995); M. Di Ventra and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 65, 045402 (2002); Z. Yang, A. Tackett and M. Di Ventra, Phys. Rev. B 66, 041405 (2002).

  5. Three-dimensional imaging of single nanotube molecule endocytosis on plasmonic substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Guosong; Wu, Justin Z.; Robinson, Joshua T.; Wang, Hailiang; Zhang, Bo; Dai, Hongjie

    2012-02-01

    Investigating the cellular internalization pathways of single molecules or single nano objects is important to understanding cell-matter interactions, and to applications in drug delivery and discovery. Imaging and tracking the motion of single molecules on cell plasma membranes require high spatial resolution in three dimensions. Fluorescence imaging along the axial dimension with nanometre resolution has been highly challenging, but critical to revealing displacements in transmembrane events. Here, utilizing a plasmonic ruler based on the sensitive distance dependence of near-infrared fluorescence enhancement of carbon nanotubes on a gold plasmonic substrate, we probe ~10 nm scale transmembrane displacements through changes in nanotube fluorescence intensity, enabling observations of single nanotube endocytosis in three dimensions. Cellular uptake and transmembrane displacements show clear dependences to temperature and clathrin assembly on cell membrane, suggesting that the cellular entry mechanism for a nanotube molecule is via clathrin-dependent endocytosis through the formation of clathrin-coated pits on the cell membrane.

  6. High-Throughput Universal DNA Curtain Arrays for Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo, Ignacio F.; Pasupathy, Praveenkumar; Brown, Maxwell; Manhart, Carol M.; Neikirk, Dean P.; Alani, Eric; Finkelstein, Ilya J.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule studies of protein–DNA interactions have shed critical insights into the molecular mechanisms of nearly every aspect of DNA metabolism. The development of DNA curtains—a method for organizing arrays of DNA molecules on a fluid lipid bilayer—has greatly facilitated these studies by increasing the number of reactions that can be observed in a single experiment. However, the utility of DNA curtains is limited by the challenges associated with depositing nanometer-scale lipid diffusion barriers onto quartz microscope slides. Here, we describe a UV lithography-based method for large-scale fabrication of chromium (Cr) features and organization of DNA molecules at these features for high-throughput single-molecule studies. We demonstrate this approach by assembling 792 independent DNA arrays (containing >900 000 DNA molecules) within a single microfluidic flowcell. As a first proof of principle, we track the diffusion of Mlh1-Mlh3—a heterodimeric complex that participates in DNA mismatch repair and meiotic recombination. To further highlight the utility of this approach, we demonstrate a two-lane flowcell that facilitates concurrent experiments on different DNA substrates. Our technique greatly reduces the challenges associated with assembling DNA curtains and paves the way for the rapid acquisition of large statistical data sets from individual single-molecule experiments. PMID:26325477

  7. A single-molecule approach to ZnO defect studies: Single photons and single defects

    SciTech Connect

    Jungwirth, N. R.; Pai, Y. Y.; Chang, H. S.; MacQuarrie, E. R.; Nguyen, K. X.; Fuchs, G. D.

    2014-07-28

    Investigations that probe defects one at a time offer a unique opportunity to observe properties and dynamics that are washed out of ensemble measurements. Here, we present confocal fluorescence measurements of individual defects in ZnO nanoparticles and sputtered films that are excited with sub-bandgap energy light. Photon correlation measurements yield both antibunching and bunching, indicative of single-photon emission from isolated defects that possess a metastable shelving state. The single-photon emission is in the range of ∼560–720 nm and typically exhibits two broad spectral peaks separated by ∼150 meV. The excited state lifetimes range from 1 to 13 ns, consistent with the finite-size and surface effects of nanoparticles and small grains. We also observe discrete jumps in the fluorescence intensity between a bright state and a dark state. The dwell times in each state are exponentially distributed and the average dwell time in the bright (dark) state does (may) depend on the power of the exciting laser. Taken together, our measurements demonstrate the utility of a single-molecule approach to semiconductor defect studies and highlight ZnO as a potential host material for single-defect based applications.

  8. Action spectroscopy for single-molecule reactions - Experiments and theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Motobayashi, K.; Frederiksen, T.; Ueba, H.; Kawai, M.

    2015-05-01

    We review several representative experimental results of action spectroscopy (AS) of single molecules on metal surfaces using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) by M. Kawai's group over last decade. The experimental procedures to observe STM-AS are described. A brief description of a low-temperature STM and experimental setup are followed by key experimental techniques of how to determine an onset bias voltage of a reaction and how to measure a current change associated with reactions and finally how to observe AS for single molecule reactions. The experimental results are presented for vibrationally mediated chemical transformation of trans-2-butene to 1.3-butadiene molecule and rotational motion of a single cis-2-butene molecule among four equivalent orientations on Pd(1 1 0). The AS obtained from the motion clearly detects more vibrational modes than inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy with an STM. AS is demonstrated as a useful and novel single molecule vibrational spectroscopy. The AS for a lateral hopping of water dimer on Pt(1 1 1) is presented as an example of novelty. Several distinct vibrational modes are detected as the thresholds in the AS. The assignment of the vibrational modes determined from the analysis of the AS is made from a view of the adsorption geometry of hydrogen-bond donor or acceptor molecules in water dimer. A generic theory of STM-AS, i.e., a reaction rate or yield as a function of bias voltage, is presented using a single adsorbate resonance model for single molecule reactions induced by the inelastic tunneling current. Formulas for the reaction rate R (V) and Y (V) , i.e., reaction yield per electron Y (V) = eR (V) / I are derived. It provides a versatile framework to analyze any vibrationally mediated reactions of single adsorbates on metal surfaces. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate generic features of the vibrational generation rate and Y (V) at different levels of approximations and to show how the effective

  9. Single-Molecule Reaction Chemistry in Patterned Nanowells.

    PubMed

    Bouilly, Delphine; Hon, Jason; Daly, Nathan S; Trocchia, Scott; Vernick, Sefi; Yu, Jaeeun; Warren, Steven; Wu, Ying; Gonzalez, Ruben L; Shepard, Kenneth L; Nuckolls, Colin

    2016-07-13

    A new approach to synthetic chemistry is performed in ultraminiaturized, nanofabricated reaction chambers. Using lithographically defined nanowells, we achieve single-point covalent chemistry on hundreds of individual carbon nanotube transistors, providing robust statistics and unprecedented spatial resolution in adduct position. Each device acts as a sensor to detect, in real-time and through quantized changes in conductance, single-point functionalization of the nanotube as well as consecutive chemical reactions, molecular interactions, and molecular conformational changes occurring on the resulting single-molecule probe. In particular, we use a set of sequential bioconjugation reactions to tether a single-strand of DNA to the device and record its repeated, reversible folding into a G-quadruplex structure. The stable covalent tether allows us to measure the same molecule in different solutions, revealing the characteristic increased stability of the G-quadruplex structure in the presence of potassium ions (K(+)) versus sodium ions (Na(+)). Nanowell-confined reaction chemistry on carbon nanotube devices offers a versatile method to isolate and monitor individual molecules during successive chemical reactions over an extended period of time. PMID:27270004

  10. Tracking single mRNA molecules in live cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Hyungseok C.; Lee, Byung Hun; Lim, Kiseong; Son, Jae Seok; Song, Minho S.; Park, Hye Yoon

    2016-06-01

    mRNAs inside cells interact with numerous RNA-binding proteins, microRNAs, and ribosomes that together compose a highly heterogeneous population of messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) particles. Perhaps one of the best ways to investigate the complex regulation of mRNA is to observe individual molecules. Single molecule imaging allows the collection of quantitative and statistical data on subpopulations and transient states that are otherwise obscured by ensemble averaging. In addition, single particle tracking reveals the sequence of events that occur in the formation and remodeling of mRNPs in real time. Here, we review the current state-of-the-art techniques in tagging, delivery, and imaging to track single mRNAs in live cells. We also discuss how these techniques are applied to extract dynamic information on the transcription, transport, localization, and translation of mRNAs. These studies demonstrate how single molecule tracking is transforming the understanding of mRNA regulation in live cells.

  11. Single-molecule high-resolution imaging with photobleaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Matthew P.; Ha, Taekjip; Selvin, Paul R.

    2004-04-01

    Conventional light microscopy is limited in its resolving power by the Rayleigh limit to length scales on the order of 200 nm. On the other hand, spectroscopic techniques such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer cannot be used to measure distances >10 nm, leaving a "gap" in the ability of optical techniques to measure distances on the 10- to 100-nm scale. We have previously demonstrated the ability to localize single dye molecules to a precision of 1.5 nm with subsecond time resolution. Here we locate the position of two dyes and determine their separation with 5-nm precision, using the quantal photobleaching behavior of single fluorescent dye molecules. By fitting images both before and after photobleaching of one of the dyes, we may localize both dyes simultaneously and compute their separation. Hence, we have circumvented the Rayleigh limit and achieved nanometer-scale resolution. Specifically, we demonstrate the technique by measuring the distance between single fluorophores separated by 10-20 nm via attachment to the ends of double-stranded DNA molecules immobilized on a surface. In addition to bridging the gap in optical resolution, this technique may be useful for biophysical or genomic applications, including the generation of super-high-density maps of single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

  12. Single Molecules Investigated using atomically functionalized qPlus Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Leo

    2014-03-01

    Single organic molecules were investigated using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM), and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) employing a qPlus sensor [F. J. Giessibl, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3956 (1998)]. The resolution was increased due to tip functionalization by atomic manipulation. Using NC-AFM and CO functionalized tips, atomic resolution on molecules [L. Gross et al. Science 325, 1110 (2009)] and molecular structure identification was demonstrated [L. Gross et al. Nature Chem.2, 821 (2010)]. Moreover, the bond orders of individual carbon-carbon bonds in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fullerenes were distinguished [L. Gross et al. Science 337, 1326 (2012)]. Using Xe terminated tips the adsorption height and tilt of individual molecules was determined [B. Schuler et al. PRL111, 106103 (2013)]. With KPFM information about the intramolecular charge distribution was gained [F. Mohn et al. Nature Nanotechnol. 7, 227 (2012)].

  13. Automation of a single-DNA molecule stretching device.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Kristian Tølbøl; Lopacinska, Joanna M; Tommerup, Niels; Silahtaroglu, Asli; Kristensen, Anders; Marie, Rodolphe

    2015-06-01

    We automate the manipulation of genomic-length DNA in a nanofluidic device based on real-time analysis of fluorescence images. In our protocol, individual molecules are picked from a microchannel and stretched with pN forces using pressure driven flows. The millimeter-long DNA fragments free flowing in micro- and nanofluidics emit low fluorescence and change shape, thus challenging the image analysis for machine vision. We demonstrate a set of image processing steps that increase the intrinsically low signal-to-noise ratio associated with single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, we demonstrate how to estimate the length of molecules by continuous real-time image stitching and how to increase the effective resolution of a pressure controller by pulse width modulation. The sequence of image-processing steps addresses the challenges of genomic-length DNA visualization; however, they should also be general to other applications of fluorescence-based microfluidics. PMID:26133839

  14. Droplet barcoding for massively parallel single-molecule deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Freeman; Haliburton, John R.; Yuan, Aaron; Abate, Adam R.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to accurately sequence long DNA molecules is important across biology, but existing sequencers are limited in read length and accuracy. Here, we demonstrate a method to leverage short-read sequencing to obtain long and accurate reads. Using droplet microfluidics, we isolate, amplify, fragment and barcode single DNA molecules in aqueous picolitre droplets, allowing the full-length molecules to be sequenced with multi-fold coverage using short-read sequencing. We show that this approach can provide accurate sequences of up to 10 kb, allowing us to identify rare mutations below the detection limit of conventional sequencing and directly link them into haplotypes. This barcoding methodology can be a powerful tool in sequencing heterogeneous populations such as viruses. PMID:27353563

  15. X-ray induced demagnetization of single-molecule magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Dreiser, Jan; Westerström, Rasmus; Piamonteze, Cinthia; Nolting, Frithjof; Rusponi, Stefano; Brune, Harald; Yang, Shangfeng; Popov, Alexey; Dunsch, Lothar; Greber, Thomas

    2014-07-21

    Low-temperature x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements on the endohedral single-molecule magnet DySc{sub 2}N@C{sub 80} at the Dy M{sub 4,5} edges reveal a shrinking of the opening of the observed hysteresis with increasing x-ray flux. Time-dependent measurements show that the exposure of the molecules to x-rays resonant with the Dy M{sub 5} edge accelerates the relaxation of magnetization more than off-resonant x-rays. The results cannot be explained by a homogeneous temperature rise due to x-ray absorption. Moreover, the observed large demagnetization cross sections indicate that the resonant absorption of one x-ray photon induces the demagnetization of many molecules.

  16. Droplet barcoding for massively parallel single-molecule deep sequencing.

    PubMed

    Lan, Freeman; Haliburton, John R; Yuan, Aaron; Abate, Adam R

    2016-01-01

    The ability to accurately sequence long DNA molecules is important across biology, but existing sequencers are limited in read length and accuracy. Here, we demonstrate a method to leverage short-read sequencing to obtain long and accurate reads. Using droplet microfluidics, we isolate, amplify, fragment and barcode single DNA molecules in aqueous picolitre droplets, allowing the full-length molecules to be sequenced with multi-fold coverage using short-read sequencing. We show that this approach can provide accurate sequences of up to 10 kb, allowing us to identify rare mutations below the detection limit of conventional sequencing and directly link them into haplotypes. This barcoding methodology can be a powerful tool in sequencing heterogeneous populations such as viruses. PMID:27353563

  17. Electronic Single Molecule Measurements with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, Jong One

    Richard Feynman said "There's plenty of room at the bottom". This inspired the techniques to improve the single molecule measurements. Since the first single molecule study was in 1961, it has been developed in various field and evolved into powerful tools to understand chemical and biological property of molecules. This thesis demonstrates electronic single molecule measurement with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and two of applications of STM; Break Junction (BJ) and Recognition Tunneling (RT). First, the two series of carotenoid molecules with four different substituents were investigated to show how substituents relate to the conductance and molecular structure. The measured conductance by STM-BJ shows that Nitrogen induces molecular twist of phenyl distal substituents and conductivity increasing rather than Carbon. Also, the conductivity is adjustable by replacing the sort of residues at phenyl substituents. Next, amino acids and peptides were identified through STM-RT. The distribution of the intuitive features (such as amplitude or width) are mostly overlapped and gives only a little bit higher separation probability than random separation. By generating some features in frequency and cepstrum domain, the classification accuracy was dramatically increased. Because of large data size and many features, supporting vector machine (machine learning algorithm for big data) was used to identify the analyte from a data pool of all analytes RT data. The STM-RT opens a possibility of molecular sequencing in single molecule level. Similarly, carbohydrates were studied by STM-RT. Carbohydrates are difficult to read the sequence, due to their huge number of possible isomeric configurations. This study shows that STM-RT can identify not only isomers of mono-saccharides and disaccharides, but also various mono-saccharides from a data pool of eleven analytes. In addition, the binding affinity between recognition molecule and analyte was investigated by comparing with

  18. Detecting single DNA molecule interactions with optical microcavities (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollmer, Frank

    2015-09-01

    Detecting molecules and their interactions lies at the heart of all biosensor devices, which have important applications in health, environmental monitoring and biomedicine. Achieving biosensing capability at the single molecule level is, moreover, a particularly important goal since single molecule biosensors would not only operate at the ultimate detection limit by resolving individual molecular interactions, but they could also monitor biomolecular properties which are otherwise obscured in ensemble measurements. For example, a single molecule biosensor could resolve the fleeting interaction kinetics between a molecule and its receptor, with immediate applications in clinical diagnostics. We have now developed a label-free biosensing platform that is capable of monitoring single DNA molecules and their interaction kinetics[1], hence achieving an unprecedented sensitivity in the optical domain, Figure 1. We resolve the specific contacts between complementary oligonucleotides, thereby detecting DNA strands with less than 2.4 kDa molecular weight. Furthermore we can discern strands with single nucleotide mismatches by monitoring their interaction kinetics. Our device utilizes small glass microspheres as optical transducers[1,2, 3], which are capable of increasing the number of interactions between a light beam and analyte molecules. A prism is used to couple the light beam into the microsphere. Ourr biosensing approach resolves the specific interaction kinetics between single DNA fragments. The optical transducer is assembled in a simple three-step protocol, and consists of a gold nanorod attached to a glass microsphere, where the surface of the nanorod is further modified with oligonucleotide receptors. The interaction kinetics of an oligonucleotide receptor with DNA fragments in the surrounding aqueous solution is monitored at the single molecule level[1]. The light remains confined inside the sphere where it is guided by total internal reflections along a

  19. Localization microscopy: mapping cellular dynamics with single molecules.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J; Hess, S T

    2014-04-01

    Resolution describes the smallest details within a sample that can be recovered by a microscope lens system. For optical microscopes detecting visible light, diffraction limits the resolution to ∼200-250 nm. In contrast, localization measures the position of an isolated object using its image. Single fluorescent molecules can be localized with an uncertainty of a few tens of nanometres, and in some cases less than one nanometre. Superresolution fluorescence localization microscopy (SRFLM) images and localizes fluorescent molecules in a sample. By controlling the visibility of the fluorescent molecules with light, it is possible to cause a sparse subset of the tags to fluoresce and be spatially separated from each other. A movie is acquired with a camera, capturing images of many sets of visible fluorescent tags over a period of time. The movie is then analysed by a computer whereby all of the single molecules are independently measured, and their positions are recorded. When the coordinates of a sufficient number of molecules are collected, an image can be rendered by plotting the coordinates of the localized molecules. The spatial resolution of these rendered images can be better than 20 nm, roughly an order of magnitude better than the diffraction limited resolution. The invention of SRFLM has led to an explosion of related techniques. Through the use of specialized optics, the fluorescent signal can be split into multiple detection channels. These channels can capture additional information such as colour (emission wavelength), orientation and three-dimensional position of the detected molecules. Measurement of the colour of the detected fluorescence can allow researchers to distinguish multiple types of fluorescent tags and to study the interaction between multiple molecules of interest. Three-dimensional imaging and determination of molecular orientations offer insight into structural organization of the sample. SRFLM is compatible with living samples and

  20. Accurate single-molecule FRET studies using multiparameter fluorescence detection.

    PubMed

    Sisamakis, Evangelos; Valeri, Alessandro; Kalinin, Stanislav; Rothwell, Paul J; Seidel, Claus A M

    2010-01-01

    In the recent decade, single-molecule (sm) spectroscopy has come of age and is providing important insight into how biological molecules function. So far our view of protein function is formed, to a significant extent, by traditional structure determination showing many beautiful static protein structures. Recent experiments by single-molecule and other techniques have questioned the idea that proteins and other biomolecules are static structures. In particular, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) studies of single molecules have shown that biomolecules may adopt many conformations as they perform their function. Despite the success of sm-studies, interpretation of smFRET data are challenging since they can be complicated due to many artifacts arising from the complex photophysical behavior of fluorophores, dynamics, and motion of fluorophores, as well as from small amounts of contaminants. We demonstrate that the simultaneous acquisition of a maximum of fluorescence parameters by multiparameter fluorescence detection (MFD) allows for a robust assessment of all possible artifacts arising from smFRET and offers unsurpassed capabilities regarding the identification and analysis of individual species present in a population of molecules. After a short introduction, the data analysis procedure is described in detail together with some experimental considerations. The merits of MFD are highlighted further with the presentation of some applications to proteins and nucleic acids, including accurate structure determination based on FRET. A toolbox is introduced in order to demonstrate how complications originating from orientation, mobility, and position of fluorophores have to be taken into account when determining FRET-related distances with high accuracy. Furthermore, the broad time resolution (picoseconds to hours) of MFD allows for kinetic studies that resolve interconversion events between various subpopulations as a biomolecule of interest explores its

  1. Memory effects and oscillations in single-molecule kinetics.

    PubMed

    Vlad, Marcel O; Moran, Federico; Schneider, Friedemann W; Ross, John

    2002-10-01

    An exactly solvable model for single-molecule kinetics is suggested, based on the following assumptions: (i) A single molecule can exist in different chemical states and the random transitions from one chemical state to another can be described by a local master equation with time-dependent transition rates. (ii) Because of conformational and other intramolecular fluctuations the rate coefficients in the master equation are random functions of time; their stochastic properties are represented in terms of a set of control parameters. We assume that the fluctuating rate coefficients fulfill a separability condition, that is, they are made up of the multiplicative contributions of two factors: (a) a universal factor, which depends on the vector of control parameters and is the same for all chemical transformation processes and (b) process-dependent factors, which depend on the initial and final chemical states of the molecule but are independent of the control parameters. For systems with two chemical states the condition of separability is automatically fulfilled. We introduce an intrinsic time scale, which makes it possible to compute theoretically various experimental observables, such as the correlation functions of the fluorescent signal. We analyze the connections between the condition of separability and detailed balance, and discuss the possible cause of chemical oscillations in single molecule kinetics. We show that the intrinsic dynamics of the molecule, expressed by the fluctuations of the control parameters, may lead to damped oscillations of the correlation functions of the fluorescent signal. The influence of the random fluctuations on the control parameters may be described by a renormalized master equation with nonfluctuating apparent rate coefficients. The apparent rate coefficients do not have to obey a condition of detailed balance, even though the real rate coefficients do obey such a condition. It follows that the renormalized master equation may

  2. Surface Passivation for Single-molecule Protein Studies

    PubMed Central

    Chandradoss, Stanley D.; Haagsma, Anna C.; Lee, Young Kwang; Hwang, Jae-Ho; Nam, Jwa-Min; Joo, Chirlmin

    2014-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has proven to be instrumental in understanding a wide range of biological phenomena at the nanoscale. Important examples of what this technique can yield to biological sciences are the mechanistic insights on protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. When interactions of proteins are probed at the single-molecule level, the proteins or their substrates are often immobilized on a glass surface, which allows for a long-term observation. This immobilization scheme may introduce unwanted surface artifacts. Therefore, it is essential to passivate the glass surface to make it inert. Surface coating using polyethylene glycol (PEG) stands out for its high performance in preventing proteins from non-specifically interacting with a glass surface. However, the polymer coating procedure is difficult, due to the complication arising from a series of surface treatments and the stringent requirement that a surface needs to be free of any fluorescent molecules at the end of the procedure. Here, we provide a robust protocol with step-by-step instructions. It covers surface cleaning including piranha etching, surface functionalization with amine groups, and finally PEG coating. To obtain a high density of a PEG layer, we introduce a new strategy of treating the surface with PEG molecules over two rounds, which remarkably improves the quality of passivation. We provide representative results as well as practical advice for each critical step so that anyone can achieve the high quality surface passivation. PMID:24797261

  3. Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single-molecule level

    PubMed Central

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-01-01

    How polypeptide chains acquire specific conformations to realize unique biological functions is a central problem of protein science. Single-molecule spectroscopy, combined with fluorescence resonance energy transfer, is utilized to study the conformational heterogeneity and the state-to-state transition dynamics of proteins on the submillisecond to second timescales. However, observation of the dynamics on the microsecond timescale is still very challenging. This timescale is important because the elementary processes of protein dynamics take place and direct comparison between experiment and simulation is possible. Here we report a new single-molecule technique to reveal the microsecond structural dynamics of proteins through correlation of the fluorescence lifetime. This method, two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, is applied to clarify the conformational dynamics of cytochrome c. Three conformational ensembles and the microsecond transitions in each ensemble are indicated from the correlation signal, demonstrating the importance of quantifying microsecond dynamics of proteins on the folding free energy landscape. PMID:26151767

  4. Applications of optical trapping to single molecule DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Sonek, G.J.; Berns, M.W.; Keller, R.A.

    1997-12-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The project focused on the methodologies required to integrate optical trapping with single molecule detection (SMD) so as to demonstrate high speed sequencing through optical micromanipulation of host substrates, nucleotide cleavage, and single molecule detection. As part of this effort, the new technology of optical tweezers was applied to the confinement and manipulation of microsphere handles containing attached DNA fragments. The authors demonstrated substrate optical trapping in rapid flow streams, the fluorescence excitation and detection of fluorescently labeled nucleotides in an optical trapping system, and the epifluorescent imaging of DNA fragments in flow streams. They successfully demonstrated optical trapping in laminar flow streams and completely characterized the trapping process as functions of fluid flow velocity, chamber dimension, trapping depth, incident laser power, and fluorescence measurement geometry.

  5. Reconstructing Folding Energy Landscapes by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Woodside, Michael T.; Block, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    Folding may be described conceptually in terms of trajectories over a landscape of free energies corresponding to different molecular configurations. In practice, energy landscapes can be difficult to measure. Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), whereby structural changes are monitored in molecules subjected to controlled forces, has emerged as a powerful tool for probing energy landscapes. We summarize methods for reconstructing landscapes from force spectroscopy measurements under both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. Other complementary, but technically less demanding, methods provide a model-dependent characterization of key features of the landscape. Once reconstructed, energy landscapes can be used to study critical folding parameters, such as the characteristic transition times required for structural changes and the effective diffusion coefficient setting the timescale for motions over the landscape. We also discuss issues that complicate measurement and interpretation, including the possibility of multiple states or pathways and the effects of projecting multiple dimensions onto a single coordinate. PMID:24895850

  6. High-throughput multispot single-molecule spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Colyer, Ryan A.; Scalia, Giuseppe; Kim, Taiho; Rech, Ivan; Resnati, Daniele; Marangoni, Stefano; Ghioni, Massimo; Cova, Sergio; Weiss, Shimon; Michalet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Solution-based single-molecule spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) are powerful techniques to access a variety of molecular properties such as size, brightness, conformation, and binding constants. However, this is limited to low concentrations, which results in long acquisition times in order to achieve good statistical accuracy. Data can be acquired more quickly by using parallelization. We present a new approach using a multispot excitation and detection geometry made possible by the combination of three powerful new technologies: (i) a liquid crystal spatial light modulator to produce multiple diffraction-limited excitation spots; (ii) a multipixel detector array matching the excitation pattern and (iii) a low-cost reconfigurable multichannel counting board. We demonstrate the capabilities of this technique by reporting FCS measurements of various calibrated samples as well as single-molecule burst measurements. PMID:21643532

  7. Single molecule fluorescence experiments determine protein folding transition path times

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Hoi Sung; McHale, Kevin; Louis, John M.; Eaton, William A.

    2013-01-01

    The transition path is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium molecular trajectory when a transition occurs by crossing the free-energy barrier between two states. It is a single-molecule property that contains all the mechanistic information on how a process occurs. As a step toward observing transition paths in protein folding we determined the average transition-path time for a fast- and a slow-folding protein from a photon-by-photon analysis of fluorescence trajectories in single-molecule Förster-resonance-energy-transfer experiments. While the folding rate coefficients differ by a factor of 10,000, the transition-path times differ by less than a factor of 5, showing that a fast-and a slow-folding protein take almost the same time to fold when folding actually happens. A very simple model based on energy landscape theory can explain this result. PMID:22363011

  8. Dynamics of single-motor molecules: the thermal ratchet model.

    PubMed Central

    Córdova, N J; Ermentrout, B; Oster, G F

    1992-01-01

    We present a model for single-motor molecules--myosin, dynein, or kinesin--that is powered either by thermal fluctuations or by conformational change. In the thermally driven model, the cross-bridge fluctuates about its equilibrium position against an elastic restoring force. The attachment and detachment of the cross-bridge are determined by modeling the electrostatic attraction between the cross-bridge and the fiber binding sites, so that binding depends on the strain in the cross-bridge and its velocity with respect to the fiber. The model correctly predicts the empirical force-velocity characteristics for populations of motor molecules. For a single motor, the apparent cross-bridge step size per ATP hydrolysis depends nonlinearly on the load. When the elastic energy driving the cross-bridge is generated by a conformational change, the velocity and duty cycle are much larger than is observed experimentally for myosin. Images PMID:1530889

  9. Quantitative structural information from single-molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Beckers, M; Drechsler, F; Eilert, T; Nagy, J; Michaelis, J

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule studies can be used to study biological processes directly and in real-time. In particular, the fluorescence energy transfer between reporter dye molecules attached to specific sites on macromolecular complexes can be used to infer distance information. When several measurements are combined, the information can be used to determine the position and conformation of certain domains with respect to the complex. However, data analysis schemes that include all experimental uncertainties are highly complex, and the outcome depends on assumptions about the state of the dye molecules. Here, we present a new analysis algorithm using Bayesian parameter estimation based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling and parallel tempering termed Fast-NPS that can analyse large smFRET networks in a relatively short time and yields the position of the dye molecules together with their respective uncertainties. Moreover, we show what effects different assumptions about the dye molecules have on the outcome. We discuss the possibilities and pitfalls in structure determination based on smFRET using experimental data for an archaeal transcription pre-initiation complex, whose architecture has recently been unravelled by smFRET measurements. PMID:26407323

  10. Flexible single molecule simulation of reaction-diffusion processes

    SciTech Connect

    Hellander, Stefan; Loetstedt, Per

    2011-05-10

    An algorithm is developed for simulation of the motion and reactions of single molecules at a microscopic level. The molecules diffuse in a solvent and react with each other or a polymer and molecules can dissociate. Such simulations are of interest e.g. in molecular biology. The algorithm is similar to the Green's function reaction dynamics (GFRD) algorithm by van Zon and ten Wolde where longer time steps can be taken by computing the probability density functions (PDFs) and then sample from the distribution functions. Our computation of the PDFs is much less complicated than GFRD and more flexible. The solution of the partial differential equation for the PDF is split into two steps to simplify the calculations. The sampling is without splitting error in two of the coordinate directions for a pair of molecules and a molecule-polymer interaction and is approximate in the third direction. The PDF is obtained either from an analytical solution or a numerical discretization. The errors due to the operator splitting, the partitioning of the system, and the numerical approximations are analyzed. The method is applied to three different systems involving up to four reactions. Comparisons with other mesoscopic and macroscopic models show excellent agreement.

  11. Pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Hau-Riege, S; London, R; Chapman, H

    2004-10-20

    The pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules are calculated. We find that the electron fluence and pulse length requirements imposed by the damage limit and by the need to classify the diffraction patterns according to their angular orientation cannot be achieved with today's electron beam technology. A simple analytical model shows that the pulse requirements cannot be achieved due to beam broadening due to spacecharge effects.

  12. Density Functional Theory with Dissipation: Transport through Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kieron Burke

    2012-04-30

    A huge amount of fundamental research was performed on this grant. Most of it focussed on fundamental issues of electronic structure calculations of transport through single molecules, using density functional theory. Achievements were: (1) First density functional theory with dissipation; (2) Pseudopotential plane wave calculations with master equation; (3) Weak bias limit; (4) Long-chain conductance; and (5) Self-interaction effects in tunneling.

  13. Hybrid photodetector for single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, X.; Cheng, Adrian; Antelman, Joshua; Suyama, Motohiro; Arisaka, Katsushi; Weiss, Shimon

    2011-01-01

    We report benchmark tests of a new single-photon counting detector based on a GaAsP photocathode and an electron-bombarded avalanche photodiode developed by Hamamatsu Photonics. We compare its performance with those of standard Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes. We show its advantages for FCS due to the absence of after-pulsing and for fluorescence lifetime measurements due to its excellent time resolution. Its large sensitive area also greatly simplifies setup alignment. Its spectral sensitivity being similar to that of recently introduced CMOS SPADs, this new detector could become a valuable tool for single-molecule fluorescence measurements, as well as for many other applications. PMID:21822361

  14. Spin coherence in a Mn3 single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeywardana, Chathuranga; Mowson, Andrew M.; Christou, George; Takahashi, Susumu

    2016-01-01

    Spin coherence in single crystals of the spin S = 6 single-molecule magnet (SMM) [Mn3O(O2CEt)3(mpko)3]+ (abbreviated Mn3) has been investigated using 230 GHz electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Coherence in Mn3 was uncovered by significantly suppressing dipolar contribution to the decoherence with complete spin polarization of Mn3 SMMs. The temperature dependence of spin decoherence time (T2) revealed that the dipolar decoherence is the dominant source of decoherence in Mn3 and T2 can be extended up to 267 ns by quenching the dipolar decoherence.

  15. An Organolanthanide Building Block Approach to Single-Molecule Magnets.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are highly sought after for their potential application in high-density information storage, spintronics, and quantum computing. SMMs exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization of purely molecular origin, thus making them excellent candidates towards the aforementioned applications. In recent years, significant focus has been placed on the rare earth elements due to their large intrinsic magnetic anisotropy arising from the near degeneracy of the 4f orbitals. Traditionally, coordination chemistry has been utilized to fabricate lanthanide-based SMMs; however, heteroatomic donor atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen have limited orbital overlap with the shielded 4f orbitals. Thus, control over the anisotropic axis and induction of f-f interactions are limited, meaning that the performance of these systems can only extend so far. To this end, we have placed considerable attention on the development of novel SMMs whose donor atoms are conjugated hydrocarbons, thereby allowing us to perturb the crystal field of lanthanide ions through the use of an electronic π-cloud. This approach allows for fine tuning of the anisotropic axis of the molecule, allowing this method the potential to elicit SMMs capable of reaching much larger values for the two vital performance measurements of an SMM, the energy barrier to spin reversal (Ueff), and the blocking temperature of the magnetization (TB). In this Account, we describe our efforts to exploit the inherent anisotropy of the late 4f elements; namely, Dy(III) and Er(III), through the use of cyclooctatetraenyl (COT) metallocenes. With respect to the Er(III) derivatives, we have seen record breaking success, reaching blocking temperatures as high as 14 K with frozen solution magnetometry. These results represent the first example of such a high TB being observed for a system with only a single spin center, formally known as a single-ion magnet (SIM). Our continued interrelationship between theoretical

  16. Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in (bio)catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Roeffaers, Maarten B. J.; De Cremer, Gert; Uji-i, Hiroshi; Muls, Benîot; Sels, Bert F.; Jacobs, Pierre A.; De Schryver, Frans C.; De Vos, Dirk E.; Hofkens, Johan

    2007-01-01

    The ever-improving time and space resolution and molecular detection sensitivity of fluorescence microscopy offer unique opportunities to deepen our insights into the function of chemical and biological catalysts. Because single-molecule microscopy allows for counting the turnover events one by one, one can map the distribution of the catalytic activities of different sites in solid heterogeneous catalysts, or one can study time-dependent activity fluctuations of individual sites in enzymes or chemical catalysts. By experimentally monitoring individuals rather than populations, the origin of complex behavior, e.g., in kinetics or in deactivation processes, can be successfully elucidated. Recent progress of temporal and spatial resolution in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy is discussed in light of its impact on catalytic assays. Key concepts are illustrated regarding the use of fluorescent reporters in catalytic reactions. Future challenges comprising the integration of other techniques, such as diffraction, scanning probe, or vibrational methods in single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy are suggested. PMID:17664433

  17. Semisynthetic protein nanoreactor for single-molecule chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Joongoo; Bayley, Hagan

    2015-01-01

    The covalent chemistry of individual reactants bound within a protein pore can be monitored by observing the ionic current flow through the pore, which acts as a nanoreactor responding to bond-making and bond-breaking events. In the present work, we incorporated an unnatural amino acid into the α-hemolysin (αHL) pore by using solid-phase peptide synthesis to make the central segment of the polypeptide chain, which forms the transmembrane β-barrel of the assembled heptamer. The full-length αHL monomer was obtained by native chemical ligation of the central synthetic peptide to flanking recombinant polypeptides. αHL pores with one semisynthetic subunit were then used as nanoreactors for single-molecule chemistry. By introducing an amino acid with a terminal alkyne group, we were able to visualize click chemistry at the single-molecule level, which revealed a long-lived (4.5-s) reaction intermediate. Additional side chains might be introduced in a similar fashion, thereby greatly expanding the range of single-molecule covalent chemistry that can be investigated by the nanoreactor approach. PMID:26504203

  18. Understanding the physics of DNA using nanoscale single-molecule manipulation.

    PubMed

    Frey, Eric W; Gooding, Ashton A; Wijeratne, Sitara; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2012-10-01

    Processes for decoding the genetic information in cells, including transcription, replication, recombination and repair, involve the deformation of DNA from its equilibrium structures such as bending, stretching, twisting, and unzipping of the double helix. Single-molecule manipulation techniques have made it possible to control DNA conformation and simultaneously detect the induced changes, revealing a rich variety of mechanically-induced conformational changes and thermodynamic states. These single-molecule techniques helped us to reveal the physics of DNA and the processes involved in the passing on of the genetic code. PMID:23467419

  19. Understanding the physics of DNA using nanoscale single-molecule manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Eric W.; Gooding, Ashton A.; Wijeratne, Sitara; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2013-01-01

    Processes for decoding the genetic information in cells, including transcription, replication, recombination and repair, involve the deformation of DNA from its equilibrium structures such as bending, stretching, twisting, and unzipping of the double helix. Single-molecule manipulation techniques have made it possible to control DNA conformation and simultaneously detect the induced changes, revealing a rich variety of mechanically-induced conformational changes and thermodynamic states. These single-molecule techniques helped us to reveal the physics of DNA and the processes involved in the passing on of the genetic code. PMID:23467419

  20. Highly efficient spin polarizer based on individual heterometallic cubane single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Damin

    2015-09-01

    The spin-polarized transport across a single-molecule magnet [Mn3Zn(hmp)3O(N3)3(C3H5O2)3].2CHCl3 has been investigated using a density functional theory combined with Keldysh non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. It is shown that this single-molecule magnet has perfect spin filter behaviour. By adsorbing Ni3 cluster onto non-magnetic Au electrode, a large magnetoresistance exceeding 172% is found displaying molecular spin valve feature. Due to the tunneling via discrete quantum-mechanical states, the I-V curve has a stepwise character and negative differential resistance behaviour.

  1. Improved single molecule force spectroscopy using micromachined cantilevers.

    PubMed

    Bull, Matthew S; Sullan, Ruby May A; Li, Hongbin; Perkins, Thomas T

    2014-05-27

    Enhancing the short-term force precision of atomic force microscopy (AFM) while maintaining excellent long-term force stability would result in improved performance across multiple AFM modalities, including single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS). SMFS is a powerful method to probe the nanometer-scale dynamics and energetics of biomolecules (DNA, RNA, and proteins). The folding and unfolding rates of such macromolecules are sensitive to sub-pN changes in force. Recently, we demonstrated sub-pN stability over a broad bandwidth (Δf = 0.01-16 Hz) by removing the gold coating from a 100 μm long cantilever. However, this stability came at the cost of increased short-term force noise, decreased temporal response, and poor sensitivity. Here, we avoided these compromises while retaining excellent force stability by modifying a short (L = 40 μm) cantilever with a focused ion beam. Our process led to a ∼10-fold reduction in both a cantilever's stiffness and its hydrodynamic drag near a surface. We also preserved the benefits of a highly reflective cantilever while mitigating gold-coating induced long-term drift. As a result, we extended AFM's sub-pN bandwidth by a factor of ∼50 to span five decades of bandwidth (Δf ≈ 0.01-1000 Hz). Measurements of mechanically stretching individual proteins showed improved force precision coupled with state-of-the-art force stability and no significant loss in temporal resolution compared to the stiffer, unmodified cantilever. Finally, these cantilevers were robust and were reused for SFMS over multiple days. Hence, we expect these responsive, yet stable, cantilevers to broadly benefit diverse AFM-based studies. PMID:24670198

  2. Knotting and unknotting of a protein in single molecule experiments.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Fabian; Lim, Nicole C H; Mandal, Soumit Sankar; Pelz, Benjamin; Ng, Wei-Ping; Schlierf, Michael; Jackson, Sophie E; Rief, Matthias

    2016-07-01

    Spontaneous folding of a polypeptide chain into a knotted structure remains one of the most puzzling and fascinating features of protein folding. The folding of knotted proteins is on the timescale of minutes and thus hard to reproduce with atomistic simulations that have been able to reproduce features of ultrafast folding in great detail. Furthermore, it is generally not possible to control the topology of the unfolded state. Single-molecule force spectroscopy is an ideal tool for overcoming this problem: by variation of pulling directions, we controlled the knotting topology of the unfolded state of the 52-knotted protein ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase isoenzyme L1 (UCH-L1) and have therefore been able to quantify the influence of knotting on its folding rate. Here, we provide direct evidence that a threading event associated with formation of either a 31 or 52 knot, or a step closely associated with it, significantly slows down the folding of UCH-L1. The results of the optical tweezers experiments highlight the complex nature of the folding pathway, many additional intermediate structures being detected that cannot be resolved by intrinsic fluorescence. Mechanical stretching of knotted proteins is also of importance for understanding the possible implications of knots in proteins for cellular degradation. Compared with a simple 31 knot, we measure a significantly larger size for the 52 knot in the unfolded state that can be further tightened with higher forces. Our results highlight the potential difficulties in degrading a 52 knot compared with a 31 knot. PMID:27339135

  3. Probing Single-Molecule Dissociations from a Bimolecular Complex NO-Co-Porphyrin.

    PubMed

    Kim, Howon; Chang, Yun Hee; Jang, Won-Jun; Lee, Eui-Sup; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Kahng, Se-Jong

    2015-07-28

    Axial coordinations of diatomic NO molecules to metalloporphyrins play key roles in dynamic processes of biological functions such as blood pressure control and immune response. Probing such reactions at the single molecule level is essential to understand their physical mechanisms but has been rarely performed. Here we report on our single molecule dissociation experiments of diatomic NO from NO-Co-porphyrin complexes describing its dissociation mechanisms. Under tunneling junctions of scanning tunneling microscope, both positive and negative energy pulses gave rise to dissociations of NO with threshold voltages, +0.68 and -0.74 V at 0.1 nA tunneling current on Au(111). From the observed power law relations between dissociation rate and tunneling current, we argue that the dissociations were inelastically induced with molecular orbital resonances by stochastically tunneling electrons, which is supported with our density functional theory calculations. Our study shows that single molecule dissociation experiments can be used to probe reaction mechanisms in a variety of axial coordinations between small molecules and metalloporphyrins. PMID:26172541

  4. Mechanical response of collagen molecule under hydrostatic compression.

    PubMed

    Saini, Karanvir; Kumar, Navin

    2015-04-01

    Proteins like collagen are the basic building blocks of various body tissues (soft and hard). Collagen molecules find their presence in the skeletal system of the body where they bear mechanical loads from different directions, either individually or along with hydroxy-apatite crystals. Therefore, it is very important to understand the mechanical behavior of the collagen molecule which is subjected to multi-axial state of loading. The estimation of strains of collagen molecule along different directions resulting from the changes in hydrostatic pressure magnitude, can provide us new insights into its mechanical behavior. In the present work, full atomistic simulations have been used to study global (volumetric) as well as local (along different directions) mechanical properties of the hydrated collagen molecule which is subjected to different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. To estimate the local mechanical properties, the strains of collagen molecule along its longitudinal and transverse directions have been acquired at different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. In spite of non-homogeneous distribution of atoms within the collagen molecule, the calculated values of local mechanical properties have been found to carry the same order of magnitude along the longitudinal and transverse directions. It has been demonstrated that the values of global mechanical properties like compressibility, bulk modulus, etc. as well as local mechanical properties like linear compressibility, linear elastic modulus, etc. are functions of magnitudes of applied hydrostatic pressures. The mechanical characteristics of collagen molecule based on the atomistic model have also been compared with that of the continuum model in the present work. The comparison showed up orthotropic material behavior for the collagen molecule. The information on collagen molecule provided in the present study can be very helpful in designing the future bio-materials. PMID:25687001

  5. Single Molecule Screening of Disease DNA Without Amplification

    SciTech Connect

    Ji-Young Lee

    2006-12-12

    The potential of single molecule detection as an analysis tool in biological and medical fields is well recognized today. This fast evolving technique will provide fundamental sensitivity to pick up individual pathogen molecules, and therefore contribute to a more accurate diagnosis and a better chance for a complete cure. Many studies are being carried out to successfully apply this technique in real screening fields. In this dissertation, several attempts are shown that have been made to test and refine the application of the single molecule technique as a clinical screening method. A basic applicability was tested with a 100% target content sample, using electrophoretic mobility and multiple colors as identification tools. Both electrophoretic and spectral information of individual molecule were collected within a second, while the molecule travels along the flow in a capillary. Insertion of a transmission grating made the recording of the whole spectrum of a dye-stained molecule possible without adding complicated instrumental components. Collecting two kinds of information simultaneously and combining them allowed more thorough identification, up to 98.8% accuracy. Probing mRNA molecules with fluorescently labeled cDNA via hybridization was also carried out. The spectral differences among target, probe, and hybrid were interpreted in terms of dispersion distances after transmission grating, and used for the identification of each molecule. The probes were designed to have the least background when they are free, but have strong fluorescence after hybridization via fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The mRNA-cDNA hybrids were further imaged in whole blood, plasma, and saliva, to test how far a crude preparation can be tolerated. Imaging was possible with up to 50% of clear bio-matrix contents, suggesting a simple lysis and dilution would be sufficient for imaging for some cells. Real pathogen DNA of human papillomavirus (HPV) type-I6 in human genomic DNA

  6. Mechanism of single-bubble sonoluminescence.

    PubMed

    An, Yu

    2006-08-01

    Considering almost all the effective processes of physics and chemical reaction in our numerical computation model, we investigate the mechanism of single bubble sonoluminescence (SBSL). For those sonoluminescing single bubbles in water at its flashing phase, the numerical simulation reveals that if the temperature inside the bubble is not high enough which may result in the plenty oxygen molecules and OH radicals undissociated, such as the case of a single argon bubble in 20 degrees C or 34 degrees C water, the radiative attachment of electrons to oxygen molecules and OH radicals contributes most to the SBSL; if the temperature inside the bubble is higher which makes most of the water vapor inside the bubble dissociate into oxygen and hydrogen atoms, such as the case of an argon bubble or a helium bubble in 0 degrees C water, the radiative attachment of electrons to oxygen and hydrogen atoms dominates the SBSL; if the temperature is still higher, such as the case of a xenon bubble in 0 degrees C water, the contribution from electron-neutral atom bremsstrahlung and electron-ion bremsstrahlung and recombination would be comparable with the contribution from the radiative attachment of electrons to oxygen and hydrogen atoms, and they together dominate the SBSL. For sonoluminescing single bubbles in those low vapor pressure liquids, such as in 85 wt.% sulphuric acid, the electron-neutral atom bremsstrahlung and the electron-ion bremsstrahlung and recombination contribute most to the continuous spectrum part of SBSL. The present calculation also provides good interpretations to those observed phenomena, such as emitted photon numbers, the width of optical pulses, the blackbody radiation like spectra. The temperature fitted by the blackbody radiation formula is very different from that calculated by the gas dynamics equations. Besides, the effect of chemical dissociation on the shock wave is also discussed. PMID:17025536

  7. Real-time submillisecond single-molecule FRET dynamics of freely diffusing molecules with liposome tethering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jae-Yeol; Kim, Cheolhee; Lee, Nam Ki

    2015-04-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) is one of the powerful techniques for deciphering the dynamics of unsynchronized biomolecules. However, smFRET is limited in its temporal resolution for observing dynamics. Here, we report a novel method for observing real-time dynamics with submillisecond resolution by tethering molecules to freely diffusing 100-nm-sized liposomes. The observation time for a diffusing molecule is extended to 100 ms with a submillisecond resolution, which allows for direct analysis of the transition states from the FRET time trace using hidden Markov modelling. We measure transition rates of up to 1,500 s-1 between two conformers of a Holliday junction. The rapid diffusional migration of Deinococcus radiodurans single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) on single-stranded DNA is resolved by FRET, faster than that of Escherichia coli SSB by an order of magnitude. Our approach is a powerful method for studying the dynamics and movements of biomolecules at submillisecond resolution.

  8. Dynamics of Protein Folding and Cofactor Binding Monitored by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yi; Li, Hongbin

    2011-01-01

    Many proteins in living cells require cofactors to carry out their biological functions. To reach their functional states, these proteins need to fold into their unique three-dimensional structures in the presence of their cofactors. Two processes, folding of the protein and binding of cofactors, intermingle with each other, making the direct elucidation of the folding mechanism of proteins in the presence of cofactors challenging. Here we use single-molecule atomic force microscopy to directly monitor the folding and cofactor binding dynamics of an engineered metal-binding protein G6-53 at the single-molecule level. Using the mechanical stability of different conformers of G6-53 as sensitive probes, we directly identified different G6-53 conformers (unfolded, apo- and Ni2+-bound) populated along the folding pathway of G6-53 in the presence of its cofactor Ni2+. By carrying out single-molecule atomic force microscopy refolding experiments, we monitored kinetic evolution processes of these different conformers. Our results suggested that the majority of G6-53 folds through a binding-after-folding mechanism, whereas a small fraction follows a binding-before-folding pathway. Our study opens an avenue to utilizing force spectroscopy techniques to probe the folding dynamics of proteins in the presence of cofactors at the single-molecule level, and we anticipated that this method can be used to study a wide variety of proteins requiring cofactors for their function. PMID:22004755

  9. Single Molecule Photobleaching (SMPB) Technology for Counting of RNA, DNA, Protein and Other Molecules in Nanoparticles and Biological Complexes by TIRF Instrumentation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Guo, Peixuan

    2014-01-01

    Direct counting of biomolecules within biological complexes or nanomachines is demanding. Single molecule counting using optical microscopy is challenging due to the diffraction limit. The Single Molecule Photobleaching (SMPB) technology for direct counting developed by our team (Shu et al, EMBO J, 2007, 26:527; Zhang et al, RNA, 2007, 13:1793) offers a simple and straightforward method to determine the stoichiometry of molecules or subunits within biocomplexes or nanomachines at nanometer scales. Stoichiometry is determined by real-time observation of the number of descending steps resulted from the photobleaching of individual fluorophore. This technology has now been used extensively for single molecule counting of protein, RNA, and other macromolecules in a variety of complexes or nanostructures. Here, we elucidate the SMPB technology, using the counting of RNA molecules within a bacteriophage phi29 DNA-packaging biomotor as an example. The method described here can be applied to the single molecule counting of other molecules in other systems. The construction of a concise, simple and economical single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope combining prism-type and objective-type TIRF is described. The imaging system contains a deep-cooled sensitive EMCCD camera with single fluorophore detection sensitivity, a laser combiner for simultaneous dual-color excitation, and a Dual-View™ imager to split the multiple outcome signals to different detector channels based on their wavelengths. Methodology of the single molecule photobleaching assay used to elucidate the stoichiometry of RNA on phi29 DNA packaging motor and the mechanism of protein/RNA interaction are described. Different methods for single fluorophore labeling of RNA molecules are reviewed. The process of statistical modeling to reveal the true copy number of the biomolecules based on binomial distribution is also described. PMID:24440482

  10. Theoretical analysis of single molecule spectroscopy lineshapes of conjugated polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devi, Murali

    Conjugated Polymers(CPs) exhibit a wide range of highly tunable optical properties. Quantitative and detailed understanding of the nature of excitons responsible for such a rich optical behavior has significant implications for better utilization of CPs for more efficient plastic solar cells and other novel optoelectronic devices. In general, samples of CPs are plagued with substantial inhomogeneous broadening due to various sources of disorder. Single molecule emission spectroscopy (SMES) offers a unique opportunity to investigate the energetics and dynamics of excitons and their interactions with phonon modes. The major subject of the present thesis is to analyze and understand room temperature SMES lineshapes for a particular CP, called poly(2,5-di-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (DEH-PPV). A minimal quantum mechanical model of a two-level system coupled to a Brownian oscillator bath is utilized. The main objective is to identify the set of model parameters best fitting a SMES lineshape for each of about 200 samples of DEH-PPV, from which new insight into the nature of exciton-bath coupling can be gained. This project also entails developing a reliable computational methodology for quantum mechanical modeling of spectral lineshapes in general. Well-known optimization techniques such as gradient descent, genetic algorithms, and heuristic searches have been tested, employing an L2 measure between theoretical and experimental lineshapes for guiding the optimization. However, all of these tend to result in theoretical lineshapes qualitatively different from experimental ones. This is attributed to the ruggedness of the parameter space and inadequateness of the L2 measure. On the other hand, when the dynamic reduction of the original parameter space to a 2-parameter space through feature searching and visualization of the search space paths using directed acyclic graphs(DAGs), the qualitative nature of the fitting improved significantly. For a more

  11. The physics of pulling polyproteins: a review of single molecule force spectroscopy using the AFM to study protein unfolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Megan L.; Dougan, Lorna

    2016-07-01

    One of the most exciting developments in the field of biological physics in recent years is the ability to manipulate single molecules and probe their properties and function. Since its emergence over two decades ago, single molecule force spectroscopy has become a powerful tool to explore the response of biological molecules, including proteins, DNA, RNA and their complexes, to the application of an applied force. The force versus extension response of molecules can provide valuable insight into its mechanical stability, as well as details of the underlying energy landscape. In this review we will introduce the technique of single molecule force spectroscopy using the atomic force microscope (AFM), with particular focus on its application to study proteins. We will review the models which have been developed and employed to extract information from single molecule force spectroscopy experiments. Finally, we will end with a discussion of future directions in this field.

  12. Counting single photoactivatable fluorescent molecules by photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM).

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hyuk; Shin, Jae Yen; Lee, Antony; Bustamante, Carlos

    2012-10-23

    We present a single molecule method for counting proteins within a diffraction-limited area when using photoactivated localization microscopy. The intrinsic blinking of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins mEos2 and Dendra2 leads to an overcounting error, which constitutes a major obstacle for their use as molecular counting tags. Here, we introduce a kinetic model to describe blinking and show that Dendra2 photobleaches three times faster and blinks seven times less than mEos2, making Dendra2 a better photoactivated localization microscopy tag than mEos2 for molecular counting. The simultaneous activation of multiple molecules is another source of error, but it leads to molecular undercounting instead. We propose a photoactivation scheme that maximally separates the activation of different molecules, thus helping to overcome undercounting. We also present a method that quantifies the total counting error and minimizes it by balancing over- and undercounting. This unique method establishes that Dendra2 is better for counting purposes than mEos2, allowing us to count in vitro up to 200 molecules in a diffraction-limited spot with a bias smaller than 2% and an uncertainty less than 6% within 10 min. Finally, we demonstrate that this counting method can be applied to protein quantification in vivo by counting the bacterial flagellar motor protein FliM fused to Dendra2. PMID:23045631

  13. Common fluorescent proteins for single-molecule localization microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klementieva, Natalia V.; Bozhanova, Nina G.; Mishina, Natalie M.; Zagaynova, Elena V.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Mishin, Alexander S.

    2015-07-01

    Super-resolution techniques for breaking the diffraction barrier are spread out over multiple studies nowadays. Single-molecule localization microscopy such as PALM, STORM, GSDIM, etc allow to get super-resolved images of cell ultrastructure by precise localization of individual fluorescent molecules via their temporal isolation. However, these methods are supposed the use of fluorescent dyes and proteins with special characteristics (photoactivation/photoconversion). At the same time, there is a need for retaining high photostability of fluorophores during long-term acquisition. Here, we first showed the potential of common red fluorescent protein for single-molecule localization microscopy based on spontaneous intrinsic blinking. Also, we assessed the effect of different imaging media on photobleaching of these fluorescent proteins. Monomeric orange and red fluorescent proteins were examined for stochastic switching from a dark state to a bright fluorescent state. We studied fusions with cytoskeletal proteins in NIH/3T3 and HeLa cells. Imaging was performed on the Nikon N-STORM system equipped with EMCCD camera. To define the optimal imaging conditions we tested several types of cell culture media and buffers. As a result, high-resolution images of cytoskeleton structure were obtained. Essentially, low-intensity light was sufficient to initiate the switching of tested red fluorescent protein reducing phototoxicity and provide long-term live-cell imaging.

  14. Interaction of dihydrofolate reductase with methotrexate: Ensemble and single-molecule kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopalan, P. T. Ravi; Zhang, Zhiquan; McCourt, Lynn; Dwyer, Mary; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Hammes, Gordon G.

    2002-10-01

    The thermodynamics and kinetics of the interaction of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) with methotrexate have been studied by using fluorescence, stopped-flow, and single-molecule methods. DHFR was modified to permit the covalent addition of a fluorescent molecule, Alexa 488, and a biotin at the N terminus of the molecule. The fluorescent molecule was placed on a protein loop that closes over methotrexate when binding occurs, thus causing a quenching of the fluorescence. The biotin was used to attach the enzyme in an active form to a glass surface for single-molecule studies. The equilibrium dissociation constant for the binding of methotrexate to the enzyme is 9.5 nM. The stopped-flow studies revealed that methotrexate binds to two different conformations of the enzyme, and the association and dissociation rate constants were determined. The single-molecule investigation revealed a conformational change in the enzyme-methotrexate complex that was not observed in the stopped-flow studies. The ensemble averaged rate constants for this conformation change in both directions is about 2-4 s1 and is attributed to the opening and closing of the enzyme loop over the bound methotrexate. Thus the mechanism of methotrexate binding to DHFR involves multiple steps and protein conformational changes.

  15. In situ Formation of Highly Conducting Covalent Au-C Contacts for Single-Molecule Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Z.L.; Hybertsen, M.; Skouta, R.; Vazquez, H.; Widawsky, J.R.; Schneebeli, S.; Chen, W.; Breslow, R.; Venkataraman, L.

    2011-06-01

    Charge transport across metal-molecule interfaces has an important role in organic electronics. Typically, chemical link groups such as thiols or amines are used to bind organic molecules to metal electrodes in single-molecule circuits, with these groups controlling both the physical structure and the electronic coupling at the interface. Direct metal-carbon coupling has been shown through C60, benzene and {pi}-stacked benzene but ideally the carbon backbone of the molecule should be covalently bonded to the electrode without intervening link groups. Here, we demonstrate a method to create junctions with such contacts. Trimethyl tin (SnMe{sub 3})-terminated polymethylene chains are used to form single-molecule junctions with a break-junction technique. Gold atoms at the electrode displace the SnMe{sub 3} linkers, leading to the formation of direct Au-C bonded single-molecule junctions with a conductance that is {approx}100 times larger than analogous alkanes with most other terminations. The conductance of these Au-C bonded alkanes decreases exponentially with molecular length, with a decay constant of 0.97 per methylene, consistent with a non-resonant transport mechanism. Control experiments and ab initio calculations show that high conductances are achieved because a covalent Au-C sigma ({sigma}) bond is formed. This offers a new method for making reproducible and highly conducting metal-organic contacts.

  16. Robust Magnetic Properties of a Sublimable Single-Molecule Magnet.

    PubMed

    Kiefl, Evan; Mannini, Matteo; Bernot, Kevin; Yi, Xiaohui; Amato, Alex; Leviant, Tom; Magnani, Agnese; Prokscha, Thomas; Suter, Andreas; Sessoli, Roberta; Salman, Zaher

    2016-06-28

    The organization of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) on surfaces via thermal sublimation is a prerequisite for the development of future devices for spintronics exploiting the richness of properties offered by these magnetic molecules. However, a change in the SMM properties due to the interaction with specific surfaces is usually observed. Here we present a rare example of an SMM system that can be thermally sublimated on gold surfaces while maintaining its intact chemical structure and magnetic properties. Muon spin relaxation and ac susceptibility measurements are used to demonstrate that, unlike other SMMs, the magnetic properties of this system in thin films are very similar to those in the bulk, throughout the full volume of the film, including regions near the metal and vacuum interfaces. These results exhibit the robustness of chemical and magnetic properties of this complex and provide important clues for the development of nanostructures based on SMMs. PMID:27139335

  17. Near-field-magnetic-tweezer manipulation of single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jie; Skoko, Dunja; Marko, John F

    2004-07-01

    We have developed an instrument for micromanipulation of single DNA molecules end labeled with 3-microm-diameter paramagnetic particles. A small, permanent magnet that can be moved as close as 10 microm to the particle being manipulated can generate forces in excess of 200 pN, significantly larger than obtained in other recent "magnetic-tweezer" studies. Our instrument generates these forces in the focal plane of a microscope objective, allowing straightforward real-time observation of molecule extension with a position resolution of approximately 30 nm. We show how our magnetic manipulation system can be combined with manipulation and force measurement using glass micropipettes to allow rapid switching between measurements in fixed-force and fixed-extension ensembles. We demonstrate the use of our system to study formation of DNA loops by an enzyme which strongly binds two copies of a specific 6-base-pair sequence. PMID:15324086

  18. Lipid mobility in supported lipid bilayers by single molecule tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohram, Maryam; Shi, Xiaojun; Smith, Adam

    2015-03-01

    Phospholipid bilayers are the main component of cell membranes and their interaction with biomolecules in their immediate environment is critical for cellular functions. These interactions include the binding of polycationic polymers to lipid bilayers which affects many cell membrane events. As an alternative method of studying live cell membranes, we assemble a supported lipid bilayer and investigate its binding with polycationic polymers in vitro by fluorescently labeling the molecules of the supported lipid bilayer and tracking their mobility. In this work, we use single molecule tracking total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) to study phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipids with and without an adsorbed polycationic polymer, quaternized polyvinylpyridine (QPVP). Individual molecular trajectories are obtained from the experiment, and a Brownian diffusion model is used to determine diffusion coefficients through mean square displacements. Our results indicate a smaller diffusion coefficient for the supported lipid bilayers in the presence of QPVP in comparison to its absence, revealing that their binding causes a decrease in lateral mobility.

  19. Single molecule λ-DNA stretching studied by microfluidics and single particle tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun; Lu, Chang

    2007-10-01

    DNA stretching has been an intensively studied topic due to its involvement in the cellular functions. In this work, we studied DNA stretching based on microfluidics and single particle tracking techniques. Microfluidics generates well-defined flow field within microscale channels and potentially allows the incorporation of chemical and biological assays with the single molecule experiments. Single DNA molecules were tethered to the channel bottom (glass) at one end and to fluorescent microbeads at the other end. The microscale flow exerted hydrodynamic force on the microbead with a magnitude dependent on the flow rate. The force-extension curves of the single DNA molecules were obtained by localizing the fluorescent microbead with nanometer precision at different flow rates. We were able to obtain DNA force-extension curves which fit the wormlike chain model very well. Furthermore, we also observed plateaus at low forces (15-30pN) in these curves when the hydrodynamic force was kept constant for a duration of 10s at each flow rate. One possible reason is that stretching force with long duration lowers the activation barrier for the conformational changes of a double-stranded DNA molecule. We expect that this approach will be useful for studying the force associated with biological events involving single DNA molecules in general.

  20. Determining the rotational mobility of a single molecule from a single image: a numerical study

    PubMed Central

    Backer, Adam S.; Moerner, W. E.

    2015-01-01

    Measurements of the orientational freedom with which a single molecule may rotate or ‘wobble’ about a fixed axis have provided researchers invaluable clues about the underlying behavior of a variety of biological systems. In this paper, we propose a measurement and data analysis procedure based on a widefield fluorescence microscope image for quantitatively distinguishing individual molecules that exhibit varying degrees of rotational mobility. Our proposed technique is especially applicable to cases in which the molecule undergoes rotational motions on a timescale much faster than the framerate of the camera used to record fluorescence images. Unlike currently available methods, sophisticated hardware for modulating the polarization of light illuminating the sample is not required. Additional polarization optics may be inserted in the microscope’s imaging pathway to achieve superior measurement precision, but are not essential. We present a theoretical analysis, and benchmark our technique with numerical simulations using typical experimental parameters for single-molecule imaging. PMID:25836463

  1. Directly measuring single-molecule heterogeneity using force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Hinczewski, Michael; Hyeon, Changbong; Thirumalai, D

    2016-07-01

    One of the most intriguing results of single-molecule experiments on proteins and nucleic acids is the discovery of functional heterogeneity: the observation that complex cellular machines exhibit multiple, biologically active conformations. The structural differences between these conformations may be subtle, but each distinct state can be remarkably long-lived, with interconversions between states occurring only at macroscopic timescales, fractions of a second or longer. Although we now have proof of functional heterogeneity in a handful of systems-enzymes, motors, adhesion complexes-identifying and measuring it remains a formidable challenge. Here, we show that evidence of this phenomenon is more widespread than previously known, encoded in data collected from some of the most well-established single-molecule techniques: atomic force microscopy or optical tweezer pulling experiments. We present a theoretical procedure for analyzing distributions of rupture/unfolding forces recorded at different pulling speeds. This results in a single parameter, quantifying the degree of heterogeneity, and also leads to bounds on the equilibration and conformational interconversion timescales. Surveying 10 published datasets, we find heterogeneity in 5 of them, all with interconversion rates slower than 10 s(-1) Moreover, we identify two systems where additional data at realizable pulling velocities is likely to find a theoretically predicted, but so far unobserved crossover regime between heterogeneous and nonheterogeneous behavior. The significance of this regime is that it will allow far more precise estimates of the slow conformational switching times, one of the least understood aspects of functional heterogeneity. PMID:27317744

  2. Optical Microcavity: Sensing down to Single Molecules and Atoms

    PubMed Central

    Yoshie, Tomoyuki; Tang, Lingling; Su, Shu-Yu

    2011-01-01

    This review article discusses fundamentals of dielectric, low-loss, optical micro-resonator sensing, including figures of merit and a variety of microcavity designs, and future perspectives in microcavity-based optical sensing. Resonance frequency and quality (Q) factor are altered as a means of detecting a small system perturbation, resulting in realization of optical sensing of a small amount of sample materials, down to even single molecules. Sensitivity, Q factor, minimum detectable index change, noises (in sensor system components and microcavity system including environments), microcavity size, and mode volume are essential parameters to be considered for optical sensing applications. Whispering gallery mode, photonic crystal, and slot-type microcavities typically provide compact, high-quality optical resonance modes for optical sensing applications. Surface Bloch modes induced on photonic crystals are shown to be a promising candidate thanks to large field overlap with a sample and ultra-high-Q resonances. Quantum optics effects based on microcavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) would provide novel single-photo-level detection of even single atoms and molecules via detection of doublet vacuum Rabi splitting peaks in strong coupling. PMID:22319393

  3. High contrast single molecule tracking in the pericellular coat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scrimgeour, Jan; McLane, Louis T.; Curtis, Jennifer E.

    2014-03-01

    The pericellular coat is a robust, hydrated, polymer brush-like structure that can extend several micrometers into the extracellular space around living cells. By controlling access to the cell surface, acting as a filter and storage reservoir for proteins, and actively controlling tissue-immune system interactions, the cell coat performs many important functions at scales ranging from the single cell to whole tissues. The cell coat consists of a malleable backbone - the large polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (HA) - with its structure, material properties, and ultimately its bio-functionality tuned by a diverse set of HA binding proteins. These proteins add charge, cross-links and growth factor-like ligands to the coat To probe the dynamic behavior of this soft biomaterial we have used high contrast single molecule imaging, based on highly inclined laser illumination, to observe individual fluorescently labeled HA binding proteins within the cell coat. Our work focuses on the cell coat of living chondrocyte (cartilage) cells, and in particular the effect of the large, highly charged, protein aggrecan on the properties of the coat. Through single molecule imaging we observe that aggrecan is tightly tethered to HA, and plays an important role in cell coat extension and stiffening.

  4. Single molecule study of a processivity clamp sliding on DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Laurence, T A; Kwon, Y; Johnson, A; Hollars, C; O?Donnell, M; Camarero, J A; Barsky, D

    2007-07-05

    Using solution based single molecule spectroscopy, we study the motion of the polIII {beta}-subunit DNA sliding clamp ('{beta}-clamp') on DNA. Present in all cellular (and some viral) forms of life, DNA sliding clamps attach to polymerases and allow rapid, processive replication of DNA. In the absence of other proteins, the DNA sliding clamps are thought to 'freely slide' along the DNA; however, the abundance of positively charged residues along the inner surface may create favorable electrostatic contact with the highly negatively charged DNA. We have performed single-molecule measurements on a fluorescently labeled {beta}-clamp loaded onto freely diffusing plasmids annealed with fluorescently labeled primers of up to 90 bases. We find that the diffusion constant for 1D diffusion of the {beta}-clamp on DNA satisfies D {le} 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/s, much slower than the frictionless limit of D = 10{sup -10} cm{sup 2}/s. We find that the {beta} clamp remains at the 3-foot end in the presence of E. coli single-stranded binding protein (SSB), which would allow for a sliding clamp to wait for binding of the DNA polymerase. Replacement of SSB with Human RP-A eliminates this interaction; free movement of sliding clamp and poor binding of clamp loader to the junction allows sliding clamp to accumulate on DNA. This result implies that the clamp not only acts as a tether, but also a placeholder.

  5. Single-molecule correlated chemical probing of RNA.

    PubMed

    Homan, Philip J; Favorov, Oleg V; Lavender, Christopher A; Kursun, Olcay; Ge, Xiyuan; Busan, Steven; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Weeks, Kevin M

    2014-09-23

    Complex higher-order RNA structures play critical roles in all facets of gene expression; however, the through-space interaction networks that define tertiary structures and govern sampling of multiple conformations are poorly understood. Here we describe single-molecule RNA structure analysis in which multiple sites of chemical modification are identified in single RNA strands by massively parallel sequencing and then analyzed for correlated and clustered interactions. The strategy thus identifies RNA interaction groups by mutational profiling (RING-MaP) and makes possible two expansive applications. First, we identify through-space interactions, create 3D models for RNAs spanning 80-265 nucleotides, and characterize broad classes of intramolecular interactions that stabilize RNA. Second, we distinguish distinct conformations in solution ensembles and reveal previously undetected hidden states and large-scale structural reconfigurations that occur in unfolded RNAs relative to native states. RING-MaP single-molecule nucleic acid structure interrogation enables concise and facile analysis of the global architectures and multiple conformations that govern function in RNA. PMID:25205807

  6. Relaxation paths for single modes of vibrations in isolated molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papoular, R.

    2006-06-01

    A numerical simulation of vibrational excitation of molecules was devised and used to excite computational models of common molecules into a prescribed, pure, normal vibration mode in the ground electronic state, with varying, controllable energy content. The redistribution of this energy (either non-chaotic or irreversible IVR) within the isolated, free molecule is then followed in time with a view to determining the coupling strength between modes. This work was triggered by the need to predict the general characters of the infrared spectra to be expected from molecules in interstellar space, after being excited by photon absorption or reaction with a radical. It is found that IVR from a pure normal mode is very 'restricted' indeed at energy contents of one mode quantum or so. However, as this is increased, or when the excitation is localized, our approach allows us to isolate, describe and quantify a number of interesting phenomena, known to chemists and in nonlinear mechanics, but difficult to demonstrate experimentally: frequency dragging, mode locking or quenching or, still, instability near a potential surface crossing, the first step to generalized chaos as the energy content per mode is increased.

  7. Origins of concentration dependence of waiting times for single-molecule fluorescence binding.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jin; Pearson, John E

    2012-06-28

    Binary fluorescence time series obtained from single-molecule imaging experiments can be used to infer protein binding kinetics, in particular, association and dissociation rate constants from waiting time statistics of fluorescence intensity changes. In many cases, rate constants inferred from fluorescence time series exhibit nonintuitive dependence on ligand concentration. Here, we examine several possible mechanistic and technical origins that may induce ligand dependence of rate constants. Using aggregated Markov models, we show under the condition of detailed balance that non-fluorescent bindings and missed events due to transient interactions, instead of conformation fluctuations, may underly the dependence of waiting times and thus apparent rate constants on ligand concentrations. In general, waiting times are rational functions of ligand concentration. The shape of concentration dependence is qualitatively affected by the number of binding sites in the single molecule and is quantitatively tuned by model parameters. We also show that ligand dependence can be caused by non-equilibrium conditions which result in violations of detailed balance and require an energy source. As to a different but significant mechanism, we examine the effect of ambient buffers that can substantially reduce the effective concentration of ligands that interact with the single molecules. To demonstrate the effects by these mechanisms, we applied our results to analyze the concentration dependence in a single-molecule experiment EGFR binding to fluorophore-labeled adaptor protein Grb2 by Morimatsu et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 18013 (2007)]. PMID:22755586

  8. Reversible Positioning of Single Molecules inside Zero-Mode Waveguides

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a hybrid nanopore/zero-mode waveguide device for single-molecule fluorescence and DNA sequencing applications. The device is a freestanding solid-state membrane with sub-5 nm nanopores that reversibly delivers individual biomolecules to the base of 70 nm diameter waveguides for interrogation. Rapid and reversible molecular loading is achieved by controlling the voltage across the device. Using this device we demonstrate protein and DNA loading with efficiency that is orders of magnitude higher than diffusion-based molecular loading. PMID:25209321

  9. Whole-mount single molecule FISH method for zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Oka, Yuma; Sato, Thomas N

    2015-01-01

    Noise in gene expression renders cells more adaptable to changing environment by imposing phenotypic and functional heterogeneity on genetically identical individual cells. Hence, quantitative measurement of noise in gene expression is essential for the study of biological processes in cells. Currently, there are two complementary methods for quantitatively measuring noise in gene expression at the single cell level: single molecule FISH (smFISH) and single cell qRT-PCR (or single cell RNA-seq). While smFISH has been developed for culture cells, tissue sections and whole-mount invertebrate organisms, the method has not been reported for whole-mount vertebrate organisms. Here, we report an smFISH method that is suitable for whole-mount zebrafish embryo, a popular vertebrate model organism for the studies of development, physiology and disease. We show the detection of individual transcripts for several cell-type specific and ubiquitously expressed genes at the single cell level in whole-mount zebrafish embryo. We also demonstrate that the method can be adapted to detect two different genes in individual cells simultaneously. The whole-mount smFISH method described in this report is expected to facilitate the study of noise in gene expression and its role in zebrafish, a vertebrate animal model relevant to human biology. PMID:25711926

  10. Tracking molecular resonance forms of donor–acceptor push–pull molecules by single-molecule conductance experiments

    PubMed Central

    Lissau, Henriette; Frisenda, Riccardo; Olsen, Stine T.; Jevric, Martyn; Parker, Christian R.; Kadziola, Anders; Hansen, Thorsten; van der Zant, Herre S. J.; Brøndsted Nielsen, Mogens; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.

    2015-01-01

    The ability of molecules to change colour on account of changes in solvent polarity is known as solvatochromism and used spectroscopically to characterize charge-transfer transitions in donor–acceptor molecules. Here we report that donor–acceptor-substituted molecular wires also exhibit distinct properties in single-molecule electronics under the influence of a bias voltage, but in absence of solvent. Two oligo(phenyleneethynylene) wires with donor–acceptor substitution on the central ring (cruciform-like) exhibit remarkably broad conductance peaks measured by the mechanically controlled break-junction technique with gold contacts, in contrast to the sharp peak of simpler molecules. From a theoretical analysis, we explain this by different degrees of charge delocalization and hence cross-conjugation at the central ring. Thus, small variations in the local environment promote the quinoid resonance form (off), the linearly conjugated (on) or any form in between. This shows how the conductance of donor–acceptor cruciforms is tuned by small changes in the environment. PMID:26667583

  11. Kinetic Characterization of Nonmuscle Myosin IIB at the Single Molecule Level*

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Attila; Takagi, Yasuharu; Billington, Neil; Sun, Sara A.; Hong, Davin K. T.; Homsher, Earl; Wang, Aibing; Sellers, James R.

    2013-01-01

    Nonmuscle myosin IIB (NMIIB) is a cytoplasmic myosin, which plays an important role in cell motility by maintaining cortical tension. It forms bipolar thick filaments with ∼14 myosin molecule dimers on each side of the bare zone. Our previous studies showed that the NMIIB is a moderately high duty ratio (∼20–25%) motor. The ADP release step (∼0.35 s−1) of NMIIB is only ∼3 times faster than the rate-limiting phosphate release (0.13 ± 0.01 s−1). The aim of this study was to relate the known in vitro kinetic parameters to the results of single molecule experiments and to compare the kinetic and mechanical properties of single- and double-headed myosin fragments and nonmuscle IIB thick filaments. Examination of the kinetics of NMIIB interaction with actin at the single molecule level was accomplished using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) with fluorescence imaging with 1-nm accuracy (FIONA) and dual-beam optical trapping. At a physiological ATP concentration (1 mm), the rate of detachment of the single-headed and double-headed molecules was similar (∼0.4 s−1). Using optical tweezers we found that the power stroke sizes of single- and double-headed heavy meromyosin (HMM) were each ∼6 nm. No signs of processive stepping at the single molecule level were observed in the case of NMIIB-HMM in optical tweezers or TIRF/in vitro motility experiments. In contrast, robust motility of individual fluorescently labeled thick filaments of full-length NMIIB was observed on actin filaments. Our results are in good agreement with the previous steady-state and transient kinetic studies and show that the individual nonprocessive nonmuscle myosin IIB molecules form a highly processive unit when polymerized into filaments. PMID:23148220

  12. Enhancing Single Molecule Imaging in Optofluidics and Microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Vasdekis, Andreas E.; Laporte, Gregoire P.J.

    2011-01-01

    Microfluidics and optofluidics have revolutionized high-throughput analysis and chemical synthesis over the past decade. Single molecule imaging has witnessed similar growth, due to its capacity to reveal heterogeneities at high spatial and temporal resolutions. However, both resolution types are dependent on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the image. In this paper, we review how the SNR can be enhanced in optofluidics and microfluidics. Starting with optofluidics, we outline integrated photonic structures that increase the signal emitted by single chromophores and minimize the excitation volume. Turning then to microfluidics, we review the compatible functionalization strategies that reduce noise stemming from non-specific interactions and architectures that minimize bleaching and blinking. PMID:21954349

  13. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yan; Deng, Liwei; Yan, Qin; Gao, Yongqian; Wu, Zengding; Cai, Jinsen; Ji, Daorui; Li, Gailing; Wu, Ping; Jin, Huan; Zhao, Luyang; Liu, Song; Ge, Liangjin; Deem, Michael W; He, Jiankui

    2016-01-01

    With the rapid decline in cost of sequencing, it is now affordable to examine multiple genes in a single disease-targeted clinical test using next generation sequencing. Current targeted sequencing methods require a separate step of targeted capture enrichment during sample preparation before sequencing. Although there are fast sample preparation methods available in market, the library preparation process is still relatively complicated for physicians to use routinely. Here, we introduced an amplification-free Single Molecule Targeted Sequencing (SMTS) technology, which combined targeted capture and sequencing in one step. We demonstrated that this technology can detect low-frequency mutations using artificially synthesized DNA sample. SMTS has several potential advantages, including simple sample preparation thus no biases and errors are introduced by PCR reaction. SMTS has the potential to be an easy and quick sequencing technology for clinical diagnosis such as cancer gene mutation detection, infectious disease detection, inherited condition screening and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. PMID:27193446

  14. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yan; Deng, Liwei; Yan, Qin; Gao, Yongqian; Wu, Zengding; Cai, Jinsen; Ji, Daorui; Li, Gailing; Wu, Ping; Jin, Huan; Zhao, Luyang; Liu, Song; Ge, Liangjin; Deem, Michael W.; He, Jiankui

    2016-01-01

    With the rapid decline in cost of sequencing, it is now affordable to examine multiple genes in a single disease-targeted clinical test using next generation sequencing. Current targeted sequencing methods require a separate step of targeted capture enrichment during sample preparation before sequencing. Although there are fast sample preparation methods available in market, the library preparation process is still relatively complicated for physicians to use routinely. Here, we introduced an amplification-free Single Molecule Targeted Sequencing (SMTS) technology, which combined targeted capture and sequencing in one step. We demonstrated that this technology can detect low-frequency mutations using artificially synthesized DNA sample. SMTS has several potential advantages, including simple sample preparation thus no biases and errors are introduced by PCR reaction. SMTS has the potential to be an easy and quick sequencing technology for clinical diagnosis such as cancer gene mutation detection, infectious disease detection, inherited condition screening and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. PMID:27193446

  15. High sensitivity fluorescent single particle and single molecule detection apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Mathies, Richard A.; Peck, Konan; Stryer, Lubert

    1990-01-01

    Apparatus is described for ultrasensitive detection of single fluorescent particles down to the single fluorescent molecule limit in a fluid or on a substrate comprising means for illuminating a predetermined volume of the fluid or area of the substrate whereby to emit light including background light from the fluid and burst of photons from particles residing in the area. The photon burst is detected in real time to generate output representative signal. The signal is received and the burst of energy from the fluorescent particles is distinguished from the background energy to provide an indication of the number, location or concentration of the particles or molecules.

  16. Mapping the Transmission Functions of Single-Molecule Junctions.

    PubMed

    Capozzi, Brian; Low, Jonathan Z; Xia, Jianlong; Liu, Zhen-Fei; Neaton, Jeffrey B; Campos, Luis M; Venkataraman, Latha

    2016-06-01

    Charge transport phenomena in single-molecule junctions are often dominated by tunneling, with a transmission function dictating the probability that electrons or holes tunnel through the junction. Here, we present a new and simple technique for measuring the transmission functions of molecular junctions in the coherent tunneling limit, over an energy range of 1.5 eV around the Fermi energy. We create molecular junctions in an ionic environment with electrodes having different exposed areas, which results in the formation of electric double layers of dissimilar density on the two electrodes. This allows us to electrostatically shift the molecular resonance relative to the junction Fermi levels in a manner that depends on the sign of the applied bias, enabling us to map out the junction's transmission function and determine the dominant orbital for charge transport in the molecular junction. We demonstrate this technique using two groups of molecules: one group having molecular resonance energies relatively far from EF and one group having molecular resonance energies within the accessible bias window. Our results compare well with previous electrochemical gating data and with transmission functions computed from first principles. Furthermore, with the second group of molecules, we are able to examine the behavior of a molecular junction as a resonance shifts into the bias window. This work provides a new, experimentally simple route for exploring the fundamentals of charge transport at the nanoscale. PMID:27186894

  17. Single molecule transistor based nanopore for the detection of nicotine

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-28

    A nanopore based detection methodology was proposed and investigated for the detection of Nicotine. This technique uses a Single Molecular Transistor working as a nanopore operational in the Coulomb Blockade regime. When the Nicotine molecule is pulled through the nanopore area surrounded by the Source(S), Drain (D), and Gate electrodes, the charge stability diagram can detect the presence of the molecule and is unique for a specific molecular structure. Due to the weak coupling between the different electrodes which is set by the nanopore size, the molecular energy states stay almost unaffected by the electrostatic environment that can be realised from the charge stability diagram. Identification of different orientation and position of the Nicotine molecule within the nanopore area can be made from specific regions of overlap between different charge states on the stability diagram that could be used as an electronic fingerprint for detection. This method could be advantageous and useful to detect the presence of Nicotine in smoke which is usually performed using chemical chromatography techniques.

  18. Single molecule transistor based nanopore for the detection of nicotine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    A nanopore based detection methodology was proposed and investigated for the detection of Nicotine. This technique uses a Single Molecular Transistor working as a nanopore operational in the Coulomb Blockade regime. When the Nicotine molecule is pulled through the nanopore area surrounded by the Source(S), Drain (D), and Gate electrodes, the charge stability diagram can detect the presence of the molecule and is unique for a specific molecular structure. Due to the weak coupling between the different electrodes which is set by the nanopore size, the molecular energy states stay almost unaffected by the electrostatic environment that can be realised from the charge stability diagram. Identification of different orientation and position of the Nicotine molecule within the nanopore area can be made from specific regions of overlap between different charge states on the stability diagram that could be used as an electronic fingerprint for detection. This method could be advantageous and useful to detect the presence of Nicotine in smoke which is usually performed using chemical chromatography techniques.

  19. Localization of single biological molecules out of the focal plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardini, L.; Capitanio, M.; Pavone, F. S.

    2014-03-01

    Since the behaviour of proteins and biological molecules is tightly related to the cell's environment, more and more microscopy techniques are moving from in vitro to in living cells experiments. Looking at both diffusion and active transportation processes inside a cell requires three-dimensional localization over a few microns range, high SNR images and high temporal resolution (ms order of magnitude). We developed an apparatus that combines different microscopy techniques to satisfy all the technical requirements for 3D tracking of single fluorescent molecules inside living cells with nanometer accuracy. To account for the optical sectioning of thick samples we built up a HILO (Highly Inclined and Laminated Optical sheet) microscopy system through which we can excite the sample in a widefield (WF) configuration by a thin sheet of light that can follow the molecule up and down along the z axis spanning the entire thickness of the cell with a SNR much higher than traditional WF microscopy. Since protein dynamics inside a cell involve all three dimensions, we included a method to measure the x, y, and z coordinates with nanometer accuracy, exploiting the properties of the point-spread-function of out-of-focus quantum dots bound to the protein of interest. Finally, a feedback system stabilizes the microscope from thermal drifts, assuring accurate localization during the entire duration of the experiment.

  20. Transport in ferrocene single molecules for terahertz applications.

    PubMed

    Nemnes, G A; Nicolaev, Adela

    2014-09-14

    The transport properties of single ferrocene molecules connected to nanoscopic gold electrodes are investigated in the framework of density functional theory (DFT) calculations using the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. Our setup describes a molecular rotor, where one cyclopentadienyl (Cp) ring of the ferrocene molecule is fixed by the two electrodes, while the second ring is able to rotate. For small enough rotation energies the barrier between the eclipsed and staggered conformations of the ferrocene molecule ensures the functionality of a molecular oscillator. The changes in the transmission function introduced by the relative rotation angle between the two Cp rings are analyzed in both linear and non-linear bias regimes. For larger rotation energies, the device works in the spinning mode. The real time behavior of the nanomechanical device is investigated using DFT-based molecular dynamics, which shows its feasibility for applications in the terahertz regime. In the oscillating mode the natural frequencies are determined, while the spinning mode shows a remarkably reliable behavior with increasing rotation energy. PMID:25072353

  1. Highly Concentrated Ethanol Solutions: Good Solvents for DNA as Revealed by Single-Molecule Observation.

    PubMed

    Oda, Yuki; Sadakane, Koichiro; Yoshikawa, Yuko; Imanaka, Tadayuki; Takiguchi, Kingo; Hayashi, Masahito; Kenmotsu, Takahiro; Yoshikawa, Kenichi

    2016-02-16

    We observed single DNA molecules at different ethanol concentrations by using fluorescence microscopy. Large single DNA molecules undergo reentrant conformational transitions from elongated coil into folded globule and then into elongated coil state, accompanied by the increase of the concentration of ethanol in a low-salt aqueous environment. The second transition from globule into the coil state occurs at around 70 % (v/v) ethanol. From circular dichroism (CD) measurements, it is confirmed that the reentrant transition of the higher order structure proceeds together with the transitions of the secondary structure from B to C and, then, from C to A in a cooperative manner. The determined mechanism of the reentrant transition is discussed in relation to the unique characteristics of solutions with higher ethanol content, for which clathrate-like nanostructures of alcohol molecules are generated in the surrounding water. PMID:26891092

  2. Dependence of magnetic field and electronic transport of Mn4 Single-molecule magnet in a Single-Electron Transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Alvar; Singh, Simranjeet; Haque, Firoze; Del Barco, Enrique; Nguyen, Tu; Christou, George

    2012-02-01

    Dependence of magnetic field and electronic transport of Mn4 Single-molecule magnet in a Single-Electron Transistor A. Rodriguez, S. Singh, F. Haque and E. del Barco Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32816 USA T. Nguyen and G. Christou Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 USA Abstract We have performed single-electron transport measurements on a series of Mn-based low-nuclearity single-molecule magnets (SMM) observing Coulomb blockade. SMMs with well isolated and low ground spin states, i.e. S = 9/2 (Mn4) and S = 6 (Mn3) were chosen for these studies, such that the ground spin multiplet does not mix with levels of other excited spin states for the magnetic fields (H = 0-8 T) employed in the experiments. Different functionalization groups were employed to change the mechanical, geometrical and transport characteristics of the molecules when deposited from liquid solution on the transistors. Electromigration-broken three-terminal single-electron transistors were used. Results obtained at temperatures down to 240 mK and in the presence of high magnetic fields will be shown.

  3. Placing Single-Molecule T4 Lysozyme Enzymes on a Bacterial Cell Surface: Toward Probing Single-Molecule Enzymatic Reaction in Living Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Dehong; Lu, H PETER.

    2004-07-01

    TheT4 lysozyme enzymatic hydrolyzation reaction of bacterial cell walls is an important biological process, and single-molecule enzymatic reaction dynamics had been studied under physiological condition using purified E. Coli cell walls as substrates. Here, we report progress toward characterizing the T4 lysozyme enzymatic reaction on a living bacterial cell wall using a combined single-molecule placement and spectroscopy. Placing a dye-labeled single T4 lysozyme molecule on a targeted cell wall by using a hydrodynamic micro-injection approach, we monitored single-molecule rotational motions during binding, attachment to, and dissociation from the cell wall by tracing single-molecule fluorescence intensity time trajectories and polarization. The single-molecule attachment duration of the T4 lysozyme to the cell wall during enzymatic reactions was typically shorter than photobleaching time under physiological conditions.

  4. Energetic modeling and single-molecule verification of dynamic regulation on receptor complexes by actin corrals and lipid raft domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chien Y.; Huang, Jung Y.; Lo, Leu-Wei

    2014-12-01

    We developed an energetic model by integrating the generalized Langevin equation with the Cahn-Hilliard equation to simulate the diffusive behaviors of receptor proteins in the plasma membrane of a living cell. Simulation results are presented to elaborate the confinement effects from actin corrals and protein-induced lipid domains. Single-molecule tracking data of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) acquired on live HeLa cells agree with the simulation results and the mechanism that controls the diffusion of single-molecule receptors is clarified. We discovered that after ligand binding, EGFR molecules move into lipid nanodomains. The transition rates between different diffusion states of liganded EGFR molecules are regulated by the lipid domains. Our method successfully captures dynamic interactions of receptors at the single-molecule level and provides insight into the functional architecture of both the diffusing EGFR molecules and their local cellular environment.

  5. Single molecule studies of the neuronal SNARE fusion machinery

    PubMed Central

    Brunger, Axel T.; Weninger, Keith; Bowen, Mark; Chu, Steven

    2010-01-01

    SNAREs are essential components of the machinery for Ca2+-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, resulting in neurotransmitter release into the synaptic cleft. While much is known about their biophysical and structural properties and their interactions with accessory proteins such as the Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin, their precise role in membrane fusion remains an enigma. Ensemble studies of liposomes with reconstituted SNAREs have demonstrated that SNAREs and accessory proteins can trigger lipid mixing/fusion, but the inability to study individual fusion events has precluded molecular insights into the fusion process. Thus, this field is ripe for studies with single molecule methodology. In this review we discuss first applications of single-molecule approaches to observe reconstituted SNAREs, their complexes, associated proteins, and their effect on biological membranes. Some of the findings are provocative, such the possibility of parallel and anti-parallel SNARE complexes, or vesicle docking with only syntaxin and synaptobrevin, but have been confirmed by other experiments. PMID:19489736

  6. Single-molecule methods to quantify adsorptive separations (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landes, Christy

    2015-08-01

    Interfacial adsorption and transport are the chemical and physical processes that underlie separations. Although separations technology accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in the global economy, the process is not well-understood at the mechanistic level and instead is almost always optimized empirically. One of the reasons is that access to the underlying molecular phenomena has only been available recently via single-molecule methods. There are still interesting challenges because adsorption, desorption, and transport are all dynamic processes, whereas much of the advances in super-resolution imaging have focused on imaging static materials. Our lab has focused in recent years on developing and optimizing data analysis methods for quantifying the dynamics of adsorption and transport in porous materials at nanometer-resolution spatial scales. Our methods include maximizing information content in dynamic single-molecule data and developing methods to detect change-points in binned data. My talk will outline these methods, and will address how and when they can be applied to extract dynamic details in heterogeneous materials such as porous membranes.

  7. Dual-Colored DNA Comb Polymers for Single Molecule Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Marciel, Amanda; Schroeder, Charles

    2014-03-01

    We report the synthesis and characterization of branched biopolymers for single molecule rheology. In our work, we utilize a hybrid enzymatic-synthetic approach to graft ``short'' DNA branches to ``long'' DNA backbones, thereby producing macromolecular DNA comb polymers. The branches and backbones are synthesized via polymerase chain reaction with chemically modified deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs): ``short'' branches consist of Cy5-labeled dNTPs and a terminal azide group, and ``long'' backbones contain dibenzylcyclooctyne-modified (DBCO) dNTPs. In this way, we utilize strain-promoted, copper-free cycloaddition ``click'' reactions for facile grafting of azide-terminated branches at DBCO sites along backbones. Copper-free click reactions are bio-orthogonal and nearly quantitative when carried out under mild conditions. Moreover, comb polymers can be labeled with an intercalating dye (e.g., YOYO) for dual-color fluorescence imaging. We characterized these materials using gel electrophoresis, HPLC, and optical microscopy, with atomic force microscopy in progress. Overall, DNA combs are suitable for single molecule dynamics, and in this way, our work holds the potential to improve our understanding of topologically complex polymer melts and solutions.

  8. Defining the Limits of Single-Molecule FRET Resolution in TIRF Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Holden, Seamus J.; Uphoff, Stephan; Hohlbein, Johannes; Yadin, David; Le Reste, Ludovic; Britton, Oliver J.; Kapanidis, Achillefs N.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule FRET (smFRET) has long been used as a molecular ruler for the study of biology on the nanoscale (∼2–10 nm); smFRET in total-internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) Förster resonance energy transfer (TIRF-FRET) microscopy allows multiple biomolecules to be simultaneously studied with high temporal and spatial resolution. To operate at the limits of resolution of the technique, it is essential to investigate and rigorously quantify the major sources of noise and error; we used theoretical predictions, simulations, advanced image analysis, and detailed characterization of DNA standards to quantify the limits of TIRF-FRET resolution. We present a theoretical description of the major sources of noise, which was in excellent agreement with results for short-timescale smFRET measurements (<200 ms) on individual molecules (as opposed to measurements on an ensemble of single molecules). For longer timescales (>200 ms) on individual molecules, and for FRET distributions obtained from an ensemble of single molecules, we observed significant broadening beyond theoretical predictions; we investigated the causes of this broadening. For measurements on individual molecules, analysis of the experimental noise allows us to predict a maximum resolution of a FRET change of 0.08 with 20-ms temporal resolution, sufficient to directly resolve distance differences equivalent to one DNA basepair separation (0.34 nm). For measurements on ensembles of single molecules, we demonstrate resolution of distance differences of one basepair with 1000-ms temporal resolution, and differences of two basepairs with 80-ms temporal resolution. Our work paves the way for ultra-high-resolution TIRF-FRET studies on many biomolecules, including DNA processing machinery (DNA and RNA polymerases, helicases, etc.), the mechanisms of which are often characterized by distance changes on the scale of one DNA basepair. PMID:21044609

  9. Rational design of single-molecule magnets: a supramolecular approach.

    PubMed

    Glaser, Thorsten

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery that Mn(12)OAc acts as a single-molecule magnet (SMM), an increasing number of transition metal complexes have been demonstrated to behave as SMMs. The signature of a SMM is a slow relaxation of the magnetization at low temperatures accompanied by a magnetic hysteresis. The origin of SMM behaviour is the existence of an appreciable thermal barrier U for spin-reversal called magnetic anisotropy barrier which is related to the combination of a large total spin ground state (S(t)) and an easy-axis magnetic anisotropy. The extensive research on Mn(12)OAc and other SMMs has established more prerequisites for a rational development of new SMMs besides the high-spin ground state and the magnetic anisotropy: the symmetry should be at least C(3) to minimize the quantum tunneling of the magnetization through the anisotropy barrier but lower than cubic to avoid the cancellation of the local anisotropies upon projection onto the spin ground state. Based on these prerequisites, we have designed the ligand triplesalen which combines the phloroglucinol bridging unit for high spin ground states by the spin-polarization mechanism with a salen-like ligand environment for single-site magnetic anisotropies by a strong tetragonal ligand field. The C(3) symmetric, trinuclear complexes of the triplesalen ligand (talen(t-Bu(2)))(6-) exhibit a strong ligand folding resulting in an overall bowl-shaped molecular structure. This ligand folding preorganizes the axial coordination sites of the metal salen subunits for the complementary binding of three facial nitrogen atoms of a hexacyanometallate unit. This leads to a high driving force for the formation of heptanuclear complexes [M(t)(6)M(c)](n+) by the assembly of three molecular building blocks. Attractive van der Waals interactions of the tert-butyl phenyl units of two triplesalen trinuclear building blocks increase the driving force. In this respect, we have been able to synthesize the isostructural series [Mn(III)(6

  10. Direct Measurement of Single-Molecule DNA Hybridization Dynamics with Single-Base Resolution.

    PubMed

    He, Gen; Li, Jie; Ci, Haina; Qi, Chuanmin; Guo, Xuefeng

    2016-07-25

    Herein, we report label-free detection of single-molecule DNA hybridization dynamics with single-base resolution. By using an electronic circuit based on point-decorated silicon nanowires as electrical probes, we directly record the folding/unfolding process of individual hairpin DNAs with sufficiently high signal-to-noise ratio and bandwidth. These measurements reveal two-level current oscillations with strong temperature dependence, enabling us to determine the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of hairpin DNA hybridization. More importantly, successive, stepwise increases and decreases in device conductance at low temperature on a microsecond timescale are successfully observed, indicating a base-by-base unfolding/folding process. The process demonstrates a kinetic zipper model for DNA hybridization/dehybridization at the single base-pair level. This measurement capability promises a label-free single-molecule approach to probe biomolecular interactions with fast dynamics. PMID:27272178

  11. Deterministically Polarized Fluorescence from Single Dye Molecules Aligned in Liquid Crystal Host

    SciTech Connect

    Lukishova, S.G.; Schmid, A.W.; Knox, R.; Freivald, P.; Boyd, R. W.; Stroud, Jr., C. R.; Marshall, K.L.

    2005-09-30

    We demonstrated for the first time to our konwledge deterministically polarized fluorescence from single dye molecules. Planar aligned nematic liquid crystal hosts provide deterministic alignment of single dye molecules in a preferred direction.

  12. Single-Molecule Investigation of Initiation Dynamics of an Organometallic Catalyst.

    PubMed

    Ng, James D; Upadhyay, Sunil P; Marquard, Angela N; Lupo, Katherine M; Hinton, Daniel A; Padilla, Nicolas A; Bates, Desiree M; Goldsmith, Randall H

    2016-03-23

    The action of molecular catalysts comprises multiple microscopic kinetic steps whose nature is of central importance in determining catalyst activity and selectivity. Single-molecule microscopy enables the direct examination of these steps, including elucidation of molecule-to-molecule variability. Such molecular diversity is particularly important for the behavior of molecular catalysts supported at surfaces. We present the first combined investigation of the initiation dynamics of an operational palladium cross-coupling catalyst at the bulk and single-molecule levels, including under turnover conditions. Base-initiated kinetics reveal highly heterogeneous behavior indicative of diverse catalyst population. Unexpectedly, this distribution becomes more heterogeneous at increasing base concentration. We model this behavior with a two-step saturation mechanism and identify specific microscopic steps where chemical variability must exist in order to yield observed behavior. Critically, we reveal how structural diversity at a surface translates into heterogeneity in catalyst behavior, while demonstrating how single-molecule experiments can contribute to understanding of molecular catalysts. PMID:26944030

  13. Force-Manipulation Single-Molecule Spectroscopy Studies of Enzymatic Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter; He, Yufan; Lu, Maolin; Cao, Jin; Guo, Qing

    2014-03-01

    Subtle conformational changes play a crucial role in protein functions, especially in enzymatic reactions involving complex substrate-enzyme interactions and chemical reactions. We applied AFM-enhanced and magnetic tweezers-correlated single-molecule spectroscopy to study the mechanisms and dynamics of enzymatic reactions involved with kinase and lysozyme proteins. Enzymatic reaction turnovers and the associated structure changes of individual protein molecules were observed simultaneously in real-time by single-molecule FRET detections. Our single-molecule spectroscopy measurements of enzymatic conformational dynamics have revealed time bunching effect and intermittent coherence in conformational state change dynamics involving in enzymatic reaction cycles. The coherent conformational state dynamics suggests that the enzymatic catalysis involves a multi-step conformational motion along the coordinates of substrate-enzyme complex formation and product releasing. Our results support a multiple-conformational state model, being consistent with a complementary conformation selection and induced-fit enzymatic loop-gated conformational change mechanism in substrate-enzyme active complex formation.

  14. Monitoring patterned enzymatic polymerization on DNA origami at single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okholm, A. H.; Aslan, H.; Besenbacher, F.; Dong, M.; Kjems, J.

    2015-06-01

    DNA origami has been used to orchestrate reactions with nano-precision using a variety of biomolecules. Here, the dynamics of albumin-assisted, localized single-molecule DNA polymerization by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase on a 2D DNA origami are monitored using AFM in liquid. Direct visualization of the surface activity revealed the mechanics of growth.DNA origami has been used to orchestrate reactions with nano-precision using a variety of biomolecules. Here, the dynamics of albumin-assisted, localized single-molecule DNA polymerization by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase on a 2D DNA origami are monitored using AFM in liquid. Direct visualization of the surface activity revealed the mechanics of growth. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr01945a

  15. Single-stranded DNA scanning and deamination with Single molecule resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda, David

    2012-04-01

    Over the past decade, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (smFRET) has become an increasingly popular tool to study the structural dynamics of biopolymers, such as DNA, RNA and proteins. The most attractive aspect of single-molecule experiments is that, unlike ensemble-averaged techniques, they directly reveal the structural dynamics of individual molecules, which would otherwise be hidden in ensemble-averaged experiments. Here, we will present a novel single molecule assay to study, for the first time, scanning of an enzyme (APOBEC3G, involved in the defense against HIV) on single stranded DNA (ssDNA). We have investigated the ssDNA scanning and activity of Apo3G with smFRET. Our data show that Apo3G scans ssDNA randomly and bidirectionally with average excursion lengths of ˜ 10 å and ˜1 s-1 scanning rates. Apo3G quasi-localization is observed on highly reactive motifs located near the one end of the ssDNA. Motif-dependent ssDNA bending is also observed, where the bending is maximal for highly reactive targets located near the DNA end. Interestingly, both the Apo3G scanning and Apo3G-induced ssDNA bending is reduced with lowered ionic strength, indicating that Apo3G motion on ssDNA is facilitated by salt by reducing `electrostatic friction'. Although scanning is random, asymmetric catalytic orientation may be the reason for Apo3G directional activity.

  16. Characterization of cellular traction forces at the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    The ability of cells to generate and respond to mechanical cues is an essential aspect of stem cell differentiation, embryonic development, and our senses of touch and hearing. However, our understanding of the roles of mechanical force in cell biology remains in its infancy, due largely to a lack of tools that measure the forces generated by living cells at the molecular scale. Here we describe a new technique termed Molecular Force Microscopy (MFM) that visualizes the forces exerted by single cellular adhesion molecules with nm, pN, and sub-second resolutions. MFM uses novel FRET-based molecular tension sensors that bind to a glass coverslip and present a binding site for integrins, a ubiquitous class of cell adhesion proteins. Cell-generated forces stretch the MFM sensor molecules, resulting in decreased FRET with increasing load that can be imaged at the single-molecule level. Human foreskin fibroblasts adhere to surfaces functionalized with the MFM probes and develop robust focal adhesions. FRET values measured using MFM indicate forces of between 1 and 4 pN per integrin, thus providing the first direct measurement of the tension per integrin molecule necessary to form stable adhesions. The relatively narrow force distribution suggests that mechanical tension is subject to exquisite feedback and control at the molecular level.

  17. Pushing single molecule techniques to microsecond resolution proves that T4 Lysozyme is a Brownian ratchet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhterov, Maxim V.; Choi, Yongki; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Sims, Patrick C.; Iftikhar, Mariam; Gul, O. Tolga; Corso, Brad L.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2015-03-01

    Single-molecule techniques can monitor conformational dynamics of proteins, but such methods usually lack the resolution to directly observe conformational pathways or intermediate conformational states. We have recently described a single-molecule electronic technique that breaks this barrier. Using a 1 MHz-bandwidth carbon nanotube transistor, the transition pathways between open and closed conformations of T4 lysozyme have been recorded with a microsecond resolution. We directly resolve a smooth, continuous transition with an average duration of 37 microseconds. Unexpectedly, the mechanical closing and re-opening of the enzyme have identical distributions of transition durations, and the motion is independent of the enzyme catalyzing the substrate. These results illustrate the principle of microscopic reversibility applied to a Brownian ratchet, with lysozyme tracing a single pathway for closing and the reverse pathway for enzyme opening, regardless of its instantaneous catalytic productivity.

  18. What have single-molecule studies taught us about gene expression?

    PubMed

    Chen, Huimin; Larson, Daniel R

    2016-08-15

    The production of a single mRNA is the result of many sequential steps, from docking of transcription factors to polymerase initiation, elongation, splicing, and, finally, termination. Much of our knowledge about the fundamentals of RNA synthesis and processing come from ensemble in vitro biochemical measurements. Single-molecule approaches are very much in this same reductionist tradition but offer exquisite sensitivity in space and time along with the ability to observe heterogeneous behavior and actually manipulate macromolecules. These techniques can also be applied in vivo, allowing one to address questions in living cells that were previously restricted to reconstituted systems. In this review, we examine the unique insights that single-molecule techniques have yielded on the mechanisms of gene expression. PMID:27601529

  19. Negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise in single-molecule magnet junctions

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Hai-Bin; Liang, Jiu-Qing; Liu, Wu-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Molecular spintroinic device based on a single-molecule magnet is one of the ultimate goals of semiconductor nanofabrication technologies. It is thus necessary to understand the electron transport properties of a single-molecule magnet junction. Here we study the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise properties of electron transport through a single-molecule magnet weakly coupled to two electrodes with either one or both of them being ferromagnetic. We predict that the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise, which can be tuned by a gate voltage, depend sensitively on the spin polarization of the source and drain electrodes. In particular, the shot noise in the negative differential conductance region can be enhanced or decreased originating from the different formation mechanisms of negative differential conductance. The effective competition between fast and slow transport channels is responsible for the observed negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise. In addition, we further discuss the skewness and kurtosis properties of transport current in the super-Poissonian shot noise regions. Our findings suggest a tunable negative differential conductance molecular device, and the predicted properties of high-order current cumulants are very interesting for a better understanding of electron transport through single-molecule magnet junctions. PMID:25736094

  20. Shedding light on protein folding, structural and functional dynamics by single molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Bavishi, Krutika; Hatzakis, Nikos S

    2014-01-01

    The advent of advanced single molecule measurements unveiled a great wealth of dynamic information revolutionizing our understanding of protein dynamics and behavior in ways unattainable by conventional bulk assays. Equipped with the ability to record distribution of behaviors rather than the mean property of a population, single molecule measurements offer observation and quantification of the abundance, lifetime and function of multiple protein states. They also permit the direct observation of the transient and rarely populated intermediates in the energy landscape that are typically averaged out in non-synchronized ensemble measurements. Single molecule studies have thus provided novel insights about how the dynamic sampling of the free energy landscape dictates all aspects of protein behavior; from its folding to function. Here we will survey some of the state of the art contributions in deciphering mechanisms that underlie protein folding, structural and functional dynamics by single molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques. We will discuss a few selected examples highlighting the power of the emerging techniques and finally discuss the future improvements and directions. PMID:25429564

  1. The Kinetic Mechanism for DNA Unwinding by Multiple Molecules of Dda Helicase Aligned on DNA†

    PubMed Central

    Eoff, Robert L.; Raney, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

    Helicases catalyze the separation of double-stranded nucleic acids to form single-stranded intermediates. Using transient state kinetic methods we have determined the kinetic properties of DNA unwinding under conditions that favor a monomeric form of the Dda helicase as well as conditions that allow multiple molecules to function on the same substrate. Multiple helicase molecules can align like a train on the DNA track. The number of base pairs unwound in a single binding event for Dda is increased from ~19 bp for the monomeric form to ~64 bp when as many as four Dda molecules are aligned on the same substrate, while the kinetic step-size (3.2 ± 0.7 bp) and unwinding rate (242 ± 25 bp s−1) appear to be independent of the number of Dda molecules present on a given substrate. The data support a model in which the helicase molecules bound to the same substrate move along the DNA track independently during DNA unwinding. The observed increase in processivity arises from the increased probability that at least one of the helicases will completely unwind the DNA prior to dissociation. These results are in contrast to previous reports in which multiple Dda molecules on the same track greatly enhanced the rate and amplitude for displacement of protein blocks on the track. Therefore, only when the progress of the lead molecule in the train is impeded by some type of block, such as a protein bound to DNA, do the trailing molecules interact with the lead molecule in order to overcome the block. The fact that trailing helicase molecules have little impact on the lead molecule in the train during routine DNA unwinding suggests that the trailing molecules are moving at similar rates as the lead molecule. This result implicates a step in the translocation mechanism as contributing greatly to the overall rate-limiting step for unwinding of duplex DNA. PMID:20408588

  2. A single-molecule platform for investigation of interactions between G-quadruplexes and small-molecule ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koirala, Deepak; Dhakal, Soma; Ashbridge, Beth; Sannohe, Yuta; Rodriguez, Raphaël; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Mao, Hanbin

    2011-10-01

    Ligands that stabilize the formation of telomeric DNA G-quadruplexes have potential as cancer treatments, because the G-quadruplex structure cannot be extended by telomerase, an enzyme over-expressed in many cancer cells. Understanding the kinetic, thermodynamic and mechanical properties of small-molecule binding to these structures is therefore important, but classical ensemble assays are unable to measure these simultaneously. Here, we have used a laser tweezers method to investigate such interactions. With a force jump approach, we observe that pyridostatin promotes the folding of telomeric G-quadruplexes. The increased mechanical stability of pyridostatin-bound G-quadruplex permits the determination of a dissociation constant Kd of 490 ± 80 nM. The free-energy change of binding obtained from a Hess-like process provides an identical Kd for pyridostatin and a Kd of 42 ± 3 µM for a weaker ligand RR110. We anticipate that this single-molecule platform can provide detailed insights into the mechanical, kinetic and thermodynamic properties of liganded bio-macromolecules, which have biological relevance.

  3. Mechanisms of single bubble cleaning.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Fabian; Mettin, Robert

    2016-03-01

    The dynamics of collapsing bubbles close to a flat solid is investigated with respect to its potential for removal of surface attached particles. Individual bubbles are created by nanosecond Nd:YAG laser pulses focused into water close to glass plates contaminated with melamine resin micro-particles. The bubble dynamics is analysed by means of synchronous high-speed recordings. Due to the close solid boundary, the bubble collapses with the well-known liquid jet phenomenon. Subsequent microscopic inspection of the substrates reveals circular areas clean of particles after a single bubble generation and collapse event. The detailed bubble dynamics, as well as the cleaned area size, is characterised by the non-dimensional bubble stand-off γ=d/Rmax, with d: laser focus distance to the solid boundary, and Rmax: maximum bubble radius before collapse. We observe a maximum of clean area at γ≈0.7, a roughly linear decay of the cleaned circle radius for increasing γ, and no cleaning for γ>3.5. As the main mechanism for particle removal, rapid flows at the boundary are identified. Three different cleaning regimes are discussed in relation to γ: (I) For large stand-off, 1.8<γ<3.5, bubble collapse induced vortex flows touch down onto the substrate and remove particles without significant contact of the gas phase. (II) For small distances, γ<1.1, the bubble is in direct contact with the solid. Fast liquid flows at the substrate are driven by the jet impact with its subsequent radial spreading, and by the liquid following the motion of the collapsing and rebounding bubble wall. Both flows remove particles. Their relative timing, which depends sensitively on the exact γ, appears to determine the extension of the area with forces large enough to cause particle detachment. (III) At intermediate stand-off, 1.1<γ<1.8, only the second bubble collapse touches the substrate, but acts with cleaning mechanisms similar to an effective small γ collapse: particles are removed by

  4. Novel Polymer Linkers for Single Molecule AFM Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Zenghan; Mikheikin, Andrey; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey; Lv, Zhengjian; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2013-01-01

    Flexible polymer linkers play an important role in various imaging and probing techniques that require surface immobilization, including atomic force microscopy (AFM). In AFM force spectroscopy, polymer linkers are necessary for the covalent attachment of molecules of interest to the AFM tip and the surface. The polymer linkers tether the molecules and provide their proper orientation in probing experiments. Additionally, the linkers separate specific interactions from nonspecific short-range adhesion and serve as a reference point for the quantitative analysis of single molecule probing events. In this report, we present our results on the synthesis and testing of a novel polymer linker and the identification of a number of potential applications for its use in AFM force spectroscopy experiments. The synthesis of the linker is based on the well-developed phosphoramidate (PA) chemistry that allows the routine synthesis of linkers with predetermined lengths and PA composition. These linkers are homogeneous in length and can be terminated with various functional groups. PA linkers with different functional groups were synthesized and tested in experimental systems utilizing different immobilization chemistries. We probed interactions between complementary DNA oligonucleotides; DNA and protein complexes formed by the site-specific binding protein SfiI; and interactions between amyloid peptide (Aβ42). The results of the AFM force spectroscopy experiments validated the feasibility of the proposed approach for the linker design and synthesis. Furthermore, the properties of the tether (length, functional groups) can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements for different force spectroscopy experiments and system characteristics, suggesting that it could be used for a large number of various applications. PMID:23624104

  5. Drug-DNA interactions at single molecule level: A view with optical tweezers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramanathan, Thayaparan

    Studies of small molecule--DNA interactions are essential for developing new drugs for challenging diseases like cancer and HIV. The main idea behind developing these molecules is to target and inhibit the reproduction of the tumor cells and infected cells. We mechanically manipulate single DNA molecule using optical tweezers to investigate two molecules that have complex and multiple binding modes. Mononuclear ruthenium complexes have been extensively studied as a test for rational drug design. Potential drug candidates should have high affinity to DNA and slow dissociation kinetics. To achieve this, motifs of the ruthenium complexes are altered. Our collaborators designed a dumb-bell shaped binuclear ruthenium complex that can only intercalate DNA by threading through its bases. Studying the binding properties of this complex in bulk studies took hours. By mechanically manipulating a single DNA molecule held with optical tweezers, we lower the barrier to thread and make it fast compared to the bulk experiments. Stretching single DNA molecules with different concentration of drug molecules and holding it at a constant force allows the binding to reach equilibrium. By this we can obtain the equilibrium fractional ligand binding and length of DNA at saturated binding. Fitting these results yields quantitative measurements of the binding thermodynamics and kinetics of this complex process. The second complex discussed in this study is Actinomycin D (ActD), a well studied anti-cancer agent that is used as a prototype for developing new generations of drugs. However, the biophysical basis of its activity is still unclear. Because ActD is known to intercalate double stranded DNA (dsDNA), it was assumed to block replication by stabilizing dsDNA in front of the replication fork. However, recent studies have shown that ActD binds with even higher affinity to imperfect duplexes and some sequences of single stranded DNA (ssDNA). We directly measure the on and off rates by

  6. Single Molecule Series A New View of Protein Synthesis: Mapping the Free Energy Landscape of the Ribosome Using Single-Molecule FRET

    PubMed Central

    Munro, James B.; Vaiana, Andrea; Sanbonmatsu, Kevin Y.; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews the application of single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) methods to the study of protein synthesis catalyzed by the ribosome. smFRET is a powerful new technique that can be used to investigate dynamic processes within enzymes spanning many orders of magnitude. The application of wide-field smFRET imaging methods to the study of dynamic processes in the ribosome offers a new perspective on the mechanism of protein synthesis. Using this technique, the structural and kinetic parameters of tRNA motions within wild-type and specifically mutated ribosome complexes have been obtained that provide valuable new insights into the mechanism and regulation of translation elongation. The results of these studies are discussed in the context of current knowledge of the ribosome mechanism from both structural and biophysical perspectives. PMID:18286627

  7. Active Microfluidic Devices for Single-Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hao; Meiners, Jens-Christian

    2003-03-01

    Microfluidic chips have become an increasingly powerful and versatile tool in the life sciences. Multilayer devices fabricated from soft silicone elastomers in a replication molding technique are especially promising, because they permit flexible integration of active elements such as valves and pumps. In addition, they are fairly easy and inexpensive to produce. In a wide range of applications, microfluidic chips are used in conjunction with optical detection and manipulation techniques. However their widespread use has been hampered due to problems with interconnect stability, optical accessibility, and ability to perform surface chemistry. We have developed a packaging technique that encapsulates the elastomer in an epoxy resin of high optical quality. This stabilizes the interconnects so that a chip can be repeatedly plugged in and out of a socket. Our technique also eliminates the need for a baking step that is conventionally used to attach a glass cover slip to the elastomer surface. This allows us to assemble devices that contain a cover slip coated with proteins, thereby permitting subsequent in situ attachment of DNA molecules to the bottom of the flow channels. We demonstrate the utility of our chips in single-molecule applications involving tethered-particles and optical tweezers. Support: NIH R01 GM065934 & Research Corporation

  8. Nanofluidics and Single Molecule Detection for DNA analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegenfeldt, Jonas; Cao, Han; Austin, Robert H.; Cox, Edward C.; Tilghman, Shirley M.

    2002-03-01

    We present a device for high-resolution detection of fluorescent tags bound to DNA molecules. Submicron slits are defined in an aluminum film on a quartz wafer. Microfluidic channels are defined perpendicular to the slits. Fluorescently labeled DNA is passed through the microfluidic channels and is illuminated through the submicron slits. The resulting fluorescence is detected in using an APD. We are particularly interested in studying the pattern of transcription factors along single DNA molecules. We use the lac operon as a model system. Fusion proteins of lac-repressor and GFP have been made and imaged individually. To achieve reliable measurements of the positions of the transcription factors along the DNA, the DNA must be uniformly stretched. Previous devices relied on posts for stretching, resulting in poorly stretched DNA with highly disordered head and tail. Here we show that by forcing the DNA into channels that have a diameter close to or below the persistence length of the DNA (Lp=50nm), the DNA is forced into a stretched conformation along its entire length.

  9. Thermopower distribution of single molecule junctions with different interaction types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taekyeong

    2015-11-01

    The thermopower (S) distribution in single-molecule junctions with different interaction types were investigated by using a scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) technique. We used 4,4'-bipyridine (BPy) and 1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene (BPyE) molecules, each having the Van der Waals (vdW) interaction between a pyridine ring and a Au atom and a donor-acceptor (DA) interaction between a nitrogen(N) atom and a Au atom, depending on the different binding geometries formed with the Au electrodes. From the full width at half maximum (FWHM) in the distribution of S, we found that S had a smaller variation for the vdW interaction compared to the DA interaction, due to the high binding stability of vdW interaction. Furthermore, we measured the molecular bonding forces which are in the range of 1.5 nN - 1.8 nN for the vdW interaction and 0.8 nN for the DA interaction. This confirms that the bonding is stronger for the vdW interaction than for the DA interaction, which is consistent with the experimental results for the S distributions as well as those for the molecular bonding stabilities.

  10. Three dimensional single molecule localization using a phase retrieved pupilfunction

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sheng; Kromann, Emil B.; Krueger, Wesley D.; Bewersdorf, Joerg; Lidke, Keith A.

    2013-01-01

    Localization-based superresolution imaging is dependent on finding the positions of individualfluorophores in a sample by fitting the observed single-molecule intensity pattern to the microscopepoint spread function (PSF). For three-dimensional imaging, system-specific aberrations of theoptical system can lead to inaccurate localizations when the PSF model does not account for theseaberrations. Here we describe the use of phase-retrieved pupil functions to generate a more accuratePSF and therefore more accurate 3D localizations. The complex-valued pupil function containsinformation about the system-specific aberrations and can thus be used to generate the PSF forarbitrary defocus. Further, it can be modified to include depth dependent aberrations. We describethe phase retrieval process, the method for including depth dependent aberrations, and a fastfitting algorithm using graphics processing units. The superior localization accuracy of the pupilfunction generated PSF is demonstrated with dual focal plane 3D superresolution imaging ofbiological structures. PMID:24514501

  11. Visualizing electromagnetic fields at the nanoscale by single molecule localization.

    PubMed

    Steuwe, Christian; Erdelyi, Miklos; Szekeres, G; Csete, M; Baumberg, Jeremy J; Mahajan, Sumeet; Kaminski, Clemens F

    2015-05-13

    Coupling of light to the free electrons at metallic surfaces allows the confinement of electric fields to subwavelength dimensions, far below the optical diffraction limit. While this is routinely used to manipulate light at the nanoscale, in electro-optic devices and enhanced spectroscopic techniques, no characterization technique for imaging the underlying nanoscopic electromagnetic fields exists, which does not perturb the field or employ complex electron beam imaging. Here, we demonstrate the direct visualization of electromagnetic fields on patterned metallic substrates at nanometer resolution, exploiting a strong "autonomous" fluorescence-blinking behavior of single molecules within the confined fields allowing their localization. Use of DNA-constructs for precise positioning of fluorescence dyes on the surface induces this distance-dependent autonomous blinking thus completely obviating the need for exogenous agents or switching methods. Mapping such electromagnetic field distributions at nanometer resolution aids the rational design of nanometals for diverse photonic applications. PMID:25915093

  12. Observation of vibrational overtones by single-molecule resonant photodissociation

    PubMed Central

    Khanyile, Ncamiso B.; Shu, Gang; Brown, Kenneth R.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular ions can be held in a chain of laser-cooled atomic ions by sympathetic cooling. This system is ideal for performing high-precision molecular spectroscopy with applications in astrochemistry and fundamental physics. Here we show that this same system can be coupled with a broadband laser to discover new molecular transitions. We use three-ion chains of Ca+ and CaH+ to observe vibrational transitions via resonance-enhanced multiphoton dissociation detected by Ca+ fluorescence. On the basis of theoretical calculations, we assign the observed peaks to the transition from the ground vibrational state, ν=0 to ν=9 and 10. Our method allows us to track single-molecular events, and it can be extended to work with any molecule by using normal mode frequency shifts to detect the dissociation. This survey spectroscopy serves as a bridge to the precision spectroscopy required for molecular ion control. PMID:26197787

  13. Observation of vibrational overtones by single-molecule resonant photodissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khanyile, Ncamiso B.; Shu, Gang; Brown, Kenneth R.

    2015-07-01

    Molecular ions can be held in a chain of laser-cooled atomic ions by sympathetic cooling. This system is ideal for performing high-precision molecular spectroscopy with applications in astrochemistry and fundamental physics. Here we show that this same system can be coupled with a broadband laser to discover new molecular transitions. We use three-ion chains of Ca+ and CaH+ to observe vibrational transitions via resonance-enhanced multiphoton dissociation detected by Ca+ fluorescence. On the basis of theoretical calculations, we assign the observed peaks to the transition from the ground vibrational state, ν=0 to ν=9 and 10. Our method allows us to track single-molecular events, and it can be extended to work with any molecule by using normal mode frequency shifts to detect the dissociation. This survey spectroscopy serves as a bridge to the precision spectroscopy required for molecular ion control.

  14. Single-molecule protein sequencing through fingerprinting: computational assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; van Ginkel, Jetty; de Ridder, Dick; Joo, Chirlmin

    2015-10-01

    Proteins are vital in all biological systems as they constitute the main structural and functional components of cells. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have brought the promise of complete proteomics by helping draft the human proteome. Yet, this commonly used protein sequencing technique has fundamental limitations in sensitivity. Here we propose a method for single-molecule (SM) protein sequencing. A major challenge lies in the fact that proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids, which demands 20 molecular reporters. We computationally demonstrate that it suffices to measure only two types of amino acids to identify proteins and suggest an experimental scheme using SM fluorescence. When achieved, this highly sensitive approach will result in a paradigm shift in proteomics, with major impact in the biological and medical sciences.

  15. Folding and unfolding single RNA molecules under tension

    PubMed Central

    Woodside, Michael T; García-García, Cuauhtémoc; Block, Steven M

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy constitutes a powerful method for probing RNA folding: it allows the kinetic, energetic, and structural properties of intermediate and transition states to be determined quantitatively, yielding new insights into folding pathways and energy landscapes. Recent advances in experimental and theoretical methods, including fluctuation theorems, kinetic theories, novel force clamps, and ultrastable instruments, have opened new avenues for study. These tools have been used to probe folding in simple model systems, for example, RNA and DNA hairpins. Knowledge gained from such systems is helping to build our understanding of more complex RNA structures composed of multiple elements, as well as how nucleic acids interact with proteins involved in key cellular activities, such as transcription and translation. PMID:18786653

  16. Single-molecule Analysis of Telomerase Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Hengesbach, Martin; Akiyama, Benjamin M.; Stone, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    The telomerase ribonucleoprotein is a specialized reverse transcriptase required to maintain protective chromosome end-capping structures called telomeres. In most cells, telomerase is not active and the natural shortening of telomeres with each round of DNA replication ultimately triggers cell growth arrest. In contrast, the presence of telomerase confers a high level of renewal capacity upon rapidly dividing cells. Telomerase is aberrantly activated in 90% of human cancers and thus represents an important target for anticancer therapeutics. However, the naturally low abundance of telomerase has hampered efforts to obtain high-resolution models for telomerase structure and function. To circumvent these challenges, single molecule techniques have recently been employed to investigate telomerase assembly, structure, and catalysis. PMID:22057212

  17. Observation of vibrational overtones by single molecule resonant photodissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Gang; Khanyile, Ncamiso; Brown, Kenneth

    2016-05-01

    Molecular ions sympathetically cooled by a chain of laser-cooled atomic ions are ideal for performing high-precision molecular spectroscopy with applications in astrochemistry and fundamental physics. The same system can be coupled with a broadband laser to perform survey spectroscopy and discover new molecular transitions. Here we present our results using three-ion chains of Ca+ and CaH+ to observe vibrational transitions via resonance enhanced multiphoton dissociation detected by Ca+ fluorescence. Based on theoretical calculations, the observed peaks are assigned to two vibrational overtones corresponding to transitions from the ground vibrational state, ν = 0, to the excited vibrational states, ν = 9 and ν = 10. Our method allows us to track single molecular events, and it can be extended to handle any molecule by monitoring normal mode frequency shifts to detect the dissociation.

  18. Exploiting single-molecule transcript sequencing for eukaryotic gene prediction.

    PubMed

    Minoche, André E; Dohm, Juliane C; Schneider, Jessica; Holtgräwe, Daniela; Viehöver, Prisca; Montfort, Magda; Sörensen, Thomas Rosleff; Weisshaar, Bernd; Himmelbauer, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    We develop a method to predict and validate gene models using PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) cDNA reads. Ninety-eight percent of full-insert SMRT reads span complete open reading frames. Gene model validation using SMRT reads is developed as automated process. Optimized training and prediction settings and mRNA-seq noise reduction of assisting Illumina reads results in increased gene prediction sensitivity and precision. Additionally, we present an improved gene set for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and the first genome-wide gene set for spinach (Spinacia oleracea). The workflow and guidelines are a valuable resource to obtain comprehensive gene sets for newly sequenced genomes of non-model eukaryotes. PMID:26328666

  19. Ultrasensitive nucleic acid sequence detection by single-molecule electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A; Shera, E.B.

    1996-09-01

    This is the final report of a one-year laboratory-directed research and development project at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There has been considerable interest in the development of very sensitive clinical diagnostic techniques over the last few years. Many pathogenic agents are often present in extremely small concentrations in clinical samples, especially at the initial stages of infection, making their detection very difficult. This project sought to develop a new technique for the detection and accurate quantification of specific bacterial and viral nucleic acid sequences in clinical samples. The scheme involved the use of novel hybridization probes for the detection of nucleic acids combined with our recently developed technique of single-molecule electrophoresis. This project is directly relevant to the DOE`s Defense Programs strategic directions in the area of biological warfare counter-proliferation.

  20. New insights into the spliceosome by single molecule fluorescence microscopy.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Aaron A; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J

    2011-12-01

    Splicing is an essential eukaryotic process in which introns are excised from precursors to messenger RNAs and exons ligated together. This reaction is catalyzed by a multi-MegaDalton machine called the spliceosome, composed of 5 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and a core set of ∼100 proteins minimally required for activity. Because of the spliceosome's size, its low abundance in cellular extracts, and its highly dynamic assembly pathway, analysis of the kinetics of splicing and the conformational rearrangements occurring during spliceosome assembly and disassembly has proven extraordinarily challenging. Here, we review recent progress in combining chemical biology methodologies with single molecule fluorescence techniques to provide a window into splicing in real time. These methods complement ensemble measurements of splicing in vivo and in vitro to facilitate kinetic dissection of pre-mRNA splicing. PMID:22057211

  1. Investigation of the binding modes between AIE-active molecules and dsDNA by single molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ying; Ma, Ke; Hu, Ting; Jiang, Bo; Xu, Bin; Tian, Wenjing; Sun, Jing Zhi; Zhang, Wenke

    2015-05-01

    AIE (aggregation-induced emission)-active molecules hold promise for the labeling of biomolecules as well as living cells. The study of the binding modes of such molecules to biomolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins, will shed light on a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of molecular interactions and eventually facilitate the design/preparation of new AIE-active bioprobes. Herein, we studied the binding modes of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) with two types of synthetic AIE-active molecules, namely, tetraphenylethene-derived dicationic compounds (cis-TPEDPy and trans-TPEDPy) and anthracene-derived dicationic compounds (DSAI and DSABr-C6) using single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The experimental data indicate that DSAI can strongly intercalate into DNA base pairs, while DSABr-C6 is unable to intercalate into DNA due to the steric hindrance of the alkyl side chains. Cis-TPEDPy and trans-TPEDPy can also intercalate into DNA base pairs, but the binding shows strong ionic strength dependence. Multiple binding modes of TPEDPy with dsDNA have been discussed. In addition, the electrostatic interaction enhanced intercalation of cis-TPEDPy with dsDNA has also been revealed.AIE (aggregation-induced emission)-active molecules hold promise for the labeling of biomolecules as well as living cells. The study of the binding modes of such molecules to biomolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins, will shed light on a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of molecular interactions and eventually facilitate the design/preparation of new AIE-active bioprobes. Herein, we studied the binding modes of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) with two types of synthetic AIE-active molecules, namely, tetraphenylethene-derived dicationic compounds (cis-TPEDPy and trans-TPEDPy) and anthracene-derived dicationic compounds (DSAI and DSABr-C6) using single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The

  2. Tunneling spectroscopy of organic monolayers and single molecules.

    PubMed

    Hipps, K W

    2012-01-01

    Basic concepts in tunneling spectroscopy applied to molecular systems are presented. Junctions of the form M-A-M, M-I-A-M, and M-I-A-I'-M, where A is an active molecular layer, are considered. Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) is found to be readily applied to all the above device types. It can provide both vibrational and electron spectroscopic data about the molecules comprising the A layer. In IETS there are no strong selection rules (although there are preferences) so that transitions that are normally IR, Raman, or even photon-forbidden can be observed. In the electronic transition domain, spin and Laporte forbidden transitions may be observed. Both vibrational and electronic IETS can be acquired from single molecules. The negative aspect of this seemingly ideal spectroscopic method is the thermal line width of about 5 k(B)T. This limits the useful measurement of vibrational IETS to temperatures below about 10 K. In the case of most electronic transitions where the intrinsic linewidth is much broader, useful experiments above 100 K are possible. One further limitation of electronic IETS is that it is generally limited to transitions with energy less than about 20,000 cm(-1). IETS can be identified by peaks in d(2) I/dV (2) vs bias voltage plots that occur at the same position (but not necessarily same intensity) in either bias polarity.Elastic tunneling spectroscopy is discussed in the context of processes involving molecular ionization and electron affinity states, a technique we call orbital mediated tunneling spectroscopy, or OMTS. OMTS can be applied readily to M-I-A-M and M-I-A-I'-M systems, but application to M-A-M junctions is problematic. Spectra can be obtained from single molecules. Ionization state results correlate well with UPS spectra obtained from the same systems in the same environment. Both ionization and affinity levels measured by OMTS can usually be correlated with one electron oxidation and reduction potentials for the

  3. Single-molecule protein unfolding and translocation by an ATP-fueled proteolytic machine

    PubMed Central

    Aubin-Tam, Marie-Eve; Olivares, Adrian O.; Sauer, Robert T.; Baker, Tania A.; Lang, Matthew J.

    2011-01-01

    All cells employ ATP-powered proteases for protein-quality control and regulation. In the ClpXP protease, ClpX is a AAA+ machine that recognizes specific protein substrates, unfolds these molecules, and then translocates the denatured polypeptide through a central pore and into ClpP for degradation. Here, we use optical-trapping nanometry to probe the mechanics of enzymatic unfolding and translocation of single molecules of a multidomain substrate. Our experiments demonstrate the capacity of ClpXP and ClpX to perform mechanical work under load, reveal very fast and highly cooperative unfolding of individual substrate domains, suggest a translocation step size of 5–8 amino acids, and support a power-stroke model of denaturation in which successful enzyme-mediated unfolding of stable domains requires coincidence between mechanical pulling by the enzyme and a transient stochastic reduction in protein stability. We anticipate that single-molecule studies of the mechanical properties of other AAA+ proteolytic machines will reveal many shared features with ClpXP. PMID:21496645

  4. On the critical role of Rayleigh scattering in single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman scattering via a plasmonic nanogap.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bao-Qin; Zhang, Chao; Li, Jiafang; Li, Zhi-Yuan; Xia, Younan

    2016-08-25

    Electromagnetic and chemical enhancement mechanisms are commonly used to account for single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SM-SERS). Due to many practical limitations, however, the overall enhancement factor summed up from these two mechanisms is typically 5-6 orders of magnitude below the level of 10(14)-10(15) required for SM-SERS. Here, we demonstrate that the multiple elastic Rayleigh scattering of a molecule could play a critical role in further enhancing the Raman signal, when the molecule is trapped in a 2 nm gap between two Ag nanoparticles, pushing the overall enhancement factor close to the level needed for SM-SERS. As a universal physical process for all molecules interacting with light, we believe that Rayleigh scattering plays a pivotal and as yet unrecognized role in SERS, in particular, for enabling single-molecule sensitivity. PMID:27526632

  5. Extracting intrinsic dynamic parameters of biomolecular folding from single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments.

    PubMed

    Nam, Gi-Moon; Makarov, Dmitrii E

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule studies in which a mechanical force is transmitted to the molecule of interest and the molecular extension or position is monitored as a function of time are versatile tools for probing the dynamics of protein folding, stepping of molecular motors, and other biomolecular processes involving activated barrier crossing. One complication in interpreting such studies, however, is the fact that the typical size of a force probe (e.g., a dielectric bead in optical tweezers or the atomic force microscope tip/cantilever assembly) is much larger than the molecule itself, and so the observed molecular motion is affected by the hydrodynamic drag on the probe. This presents the experimenter with a nontrivial task of deconvolving the intrinsic molecular parameters, such as the intrinsic free energy barrier and the effective diffusion coefficient exhibited while crossing the barrier from the experimental signal. Here we focus on the dynamical aspect of this task and show how the intrinsic diffusion coefficient along the molecular reaction coordinate can be inferred from single-molecule measurements of the rates of biomolecular folding and unfolding. We show that the feasibility of accomplishing this task is strongly dependent on the relationship between the intrinsic molecular elasticity and that of the linker connecting the molecule to the force probe and identify the optimal range of instrumental parameters allowing determination of instrument-free molecular dynamics. PMID:26088347

  6. A 48-pixel array of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes for multispot Single Molecule analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rech, Ivan; Maccagnani, Piera; Ghioni, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present an array of 48 Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) specifically designed for multispot Single Molecule Analysis. The detectors have been arranged in a 12×4 square geometry with a pitch-to-diameter ratio of ten in order to minimize the collection of the light from non-conjugated excitation spots. In order to explore the trade-offs between the detectors’ performance and the optical coupling with the experimental setup, SPADs with an active diameter of 25 and of 50µm have been manufactured. The use of a custom technology, specifically designed for the fabrication of the detectors, allowed us to combine a high photon detection efficiency (peak close to 50% at a wavelength of 550nm) with a low dark count rate compatible with true single molecule detection. In order to allow easy integration into the optical setup for parallel single-molecule analysis, the SPAD array has been incorporated in a compact module containing all the electronics needed for a proper operation of the detectors. PMID:24357913

  7. Interferometric three-dimensional single molecule localization microscopy using a single high-numerical-aperture objective.

    PubMed

    Zhang, P; Goodwin, P M; Werner, J H

    2014-11-01

    Interferometric detection of the fluorescence emission from a single molecule [interferometric photoactivated localization microscopy (iPALM)] enables a localization accuracy of nanometers in axial localization for 3D superresolution imaging. However, iPALM uses two high-numerical-aperture (NA) objectives in juxtaposition for fluorescence collection (a 4Pi microscope geometry), increasing expense and limiting samples that can be studied. Here, we propose an interferometric single molecule localization microscopy method using a single high-NA objective. The axial position of single molecules can be unambiguously determined from the phase-shifted interference signals with nanometer precision and over a range of 2λ. The use of only one objective simplifies the system configuration and sample mounting. In addition, due to the use of wavefront-splitting interference in our approach, the two parts of the wavefront that eventually merge and interfere with each other travel along nearly equivalent optical paths, which should minimize the effect of drift for long-term 3D superresolution imaging. PMID:25402907

  8. DNA Y structure: a versatile, multidimensional single molecule assay.

    PubMed

    Inman, James T; Smith, Benjamin Y; Hall, Michael A; Forties, Robert A; Jin, Jing; Sethna, James P; Wang, Michelle D

    2014-11-12

    Optical trapping is a powerful single molecule technique used to study dynamic biomolecular events, especially those involving DNA and DNA-binding proteins. Current implementations usually involve only one of stretching, unzipping, or twisting DNA along one dimension. To expand the capabilities of optical trapping for more complex measurements would require a multidimensional technique that combines all of these manipulations in a single experiment. Here, we report the development and utilization of such a novel optical trapping assay based on a three-branch DNA construct, termed a "Y structure". This multidimensional assay allows precise, real-time tracking of multiple configurational changes. When the Y structure template is unzipped under both force and torque, the force and extension of all three branches can be determined simultaneously. Moreover, the assay is readily compatible with fluorescence, as demonstrated by unzipping through a fluorescently labeled, paused transcription complex. This novel assay thus allows for the visualization and precision mapping of complex interactions of biomechanical events. PMID:25291441

  9. Multiplex single-molecule interaction profiling of DNA barcoded proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Liangcai; Li, Chao; Aach, John; Hill, David E.; Vidal, Marc; Church, George M.

    2014-01-01

    In contrast with advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing1, high-throughput protein analyses2-4 are often limited by ensemble measurements, individual analyte purification and hence compromised quality and cost-effectiveness. Single-molecule (SM) protein detection achieved using optical methods5 is limited by the number of spectrally nonoverlapping chromophores. Here, we introduce a single molecular interaction-sequencing (SMI-Seq) technology for parallel protein interaction profiling leveraging SM advantages. DNA barcodes are attached to proteins collectively via ribosome display6 or individually via enzymatic conjugation. Barcoded proteins are assayed en masse in aqueous solution and subsequently immobilized in a polyacrylamide (PAA) thin film to construct a random SM array, where barcoding DNAs are amplified into in situ polymerase colonies (polonies)7 and analyzed by DNA sequencing. This method allows precise quantification of various proteins with a theoretical maximum array density of over one million polonies per square millimeter. Furthermore, protein interactions can be measured based on the statistics of colocalized polonies arising from barcoding DNAs of interacting proteins. Two demanding applications, G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and antibody binding profiling, were demonstrated. SMI-Seq enables “library vs. library” screening in a one-pot assay, simultaneously interrogating molecular binding affinity and specificity. PMID:25252978

  10. Cisplatin induces loop structures and condensation of single DNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Xi-Miao; Zhang, Xing-Hua; Wei, Kong-Ji; Ji, Chao; Dou, Shuo-Xing; Wang, Wei-Chi; Li, Ming; Wang, Peng-Ye

    2009-01-01

    Structural properties of single λ DNA treated with anti-cancer drug cisplatin were studied with magnetic tweezers and AFM. Under the effect of low-concentration cisplatin, the DNA became more flexible, with the persistence length decreased significantly from ∼52 to 15 nm. At a high drug concentration, a DNA condensation phenomenon was observed. Based on experimental results from both single-molecule and AFM studies, we propose a model to explain this kind of DNA condensation by cisplatin: first, di-adducts induce local distortions of DNA. Next, micro-loops of ∼20 nm appear through distant crosslinks. Then, large aggregates are formed through further crosslinks. Finally, DNA is condensed into a compact globule. Experiments with Pt(dach)Cl2 indicate that oxaliplatin may modify the DNA structures in the same way as cisplatin. The observed loop structure formation of DNA may be an important feature of the effect of platinum anti-cancer drugs that are analogous to cisplatin in structure. PMID:19129234

  11. Single Molecule Analysis of Serotonin Transporter Regulation Using Quantum Dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Jerry; Tomlinson, Ian; Warnement, Michael; Ustione, Alessandro; Carneiro, Ana; Piston, David; Blakely, Randy; Rosenthal, Sandra

    2011-03-01

    For the first time, we implement a novel, single molecule approach to define the localization and mobility of the brain's major target of widely prescribed antidepressant medications, the serotonin transporter (SERT). SERT labeled with single quantum dot (Qdot) revealed unsuspected features of transporter mobility with cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains (often referred to as ``lipid rafts'') and cytoskeleton network linked to transporter activation. We document two pools of surface SERT proteins defined by their lateral mobility, one that exhibits relatively free diffusion in the plasma membrane and a second that displays significantly restricted mobility and localizes to cholesterol-enriched microdomains. Diffusion model prediction and instantaneous velocity analysis indicated that stimuli that act through p38 MAPK-dependent signaling pathways to activate SERT trigger rapid SERT movements within membrane microdomains. Cytoskeleton disruption showed that SERT lateral mobility behaves a membrane raft-constrained, cytoskeleton-associated manner. Our results identify an unsuspected aspect of neurotransmitter transporter regulation that we propose reflects the dissociation of inhibitory, SERT-associated cytoskeletal anchors.

  12. Micromanipulation by laser microbeam and optical tweezers: from plant cells to single molecules.

    PubMed

    Greulich, K O; Pilarczyk, G; Hoffmann, A; Meyer Zu Hörste, G; Schäfer, B; Uhl, V; Monajembashi, S

    2000-06-01

    Complete manipulation by laser light allows precise and gentle treatment of plant cells, subcellular structures, and even individual DNA molecules. Recently, affordable lasers have become available for the construction of microbeams as well as for optical tweezers. This may generate new interest in these tools for plant biologists. Early experiments, reviewed in this journal, showed that laser supported microinjection of material into plant cells or tissues circumvents mechanical problems encountered in microinjection by fragile glass capillaries. Plant protoplasts could be fused with each other when under microscopical observation, and it was no major problem to generate a triple or quadruple fusion product. In the present paper we review experiments where membrane material was prepared from root hair tips and microgravity was simulated in algae. As many plant cells are transparent, it is possible to work inside living, intact cells. New experiments show that it is possible to release by optical micromanipulation, with high spatial resolutions, intracellular calcium from caged compounds and to study calcium oscillations. An example for avian cardiac tissue is given, but the technique is also suitable for plant cell research. As a more technical tool, optical tweezers can be used to spatially fix subcellular structures otherwise moving inside a cell and thus make them available for investigation with a confocal microscope even when the time for image formation is extended (for example at low fluorescence emission). A molecular biological example is the handling of chromosomes and isolated individual DNA molecules by laser microtools. For example, chromosomes can be cut along complex trajectories, not only perpendicular to their long axis. Single DNA molecules are cut by the laser microbeam and, after coupling such a molecule to a polystrene microbead, are handled in complex geometries. Here, the individual DNA molecules are made visible with a conventional

  13. Combining Single-molecule Manipulation and Imaging for the Study of Protein-DNA Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Monico, Carina; Belcastro, Gionata; Vanzi, Francesco; Pavone, Francesco S.; Capitanio, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The paper describes the combination of optical tweezers and single molecule fluorescence detection for the study of protein-DNA interaction. The method offers the opportunity of investigating interactions occurring in solution (thus avoiding problems due to closeby surfaces as in other single molecule methods), controlling the DNA extension and tracking interaction dynamics as a function of both mechanical parameters and DNA sequence. The methods for establishing successful optical trapping and nanometer localization of single molecules are illustrated. We illustrate the experimental conditions allowing the study of interaction of lactose repressor (lacI), labeled with Atto532, with a DNA molecule containing specific target sequences (operators) for LacI binding. The method allows the observation of specific interactions at the operators, as well as one-dimensional diffusion of the protein during the process of target search. The method is broadly applicable to the study of protein-DNA interactions but also to molecular motors, where control of the tension applied to the partner track polymer (for example actin or microtubules) is desirable. PMID:25226304

  14. Comparison of Ensemble and Single Molecule Methods for Particle Characterization and Binding Analysis of a PEGylated Single-Domain Antibody.

    PubMed

    Schneeweis, Lumelle A; Obenauer-Kutner, Linda; Kaur, Parminder; Yamniuk, Aaron P; Tamura, James; Jaffe, Neil; O'Mara, Brian W; Lindsay, Stuart; Doyle, Michael; Bryson, James

    2015-12-01

    Domain antibodies (dAbs) are single immunoglobulin domains that form the smallest functional unit of an antibody. This study investigates the behavior of these small proteins when covalently attached to the polyethylene glycol (PEG) moiety that is necessary for extending the half-life of a dAb. The effect of the 40 kDa PEG on hydrodynamic properties, particle behavior, and receptor binding of the dAb has been compared by both ensemble solution and surface methods [light scattering, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), surface Plasmon resonance (SPR)] and single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods (topography, recognition imaging, and force microscopy). The large PEG dominates the properties of the dAb-PEG conjugate such as a hydrodynamic radius that corresponds to a globular protein over four times its size and a much reduced association rate. We have used AFM single-molecule studies to determine the mechanism of PEG-dependent reductions in the effectiveness of the dAb observed by SPR kinetic studies. Recognition imaging showed that all of the PEGylated dAb molecules are active, suggesting that some may transiently become inactive if PEG sterically blocks binding. This helps explain the disconnect between the SPR, determined kinetically, and the force microscopy and ITC results that demonstrated that PEG does not change the binding energy. PMID:26343417

  15. Single cell and single molecule techniques for the analysis of the epigenome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, Christopher Benjamin

    Epigenetic regulation is a critical biological process for the health and development of a cell. Epigenetic regulation is facilitated by covalent modifications to the underlying DNA and chromatin proteins. A fundamental understanding of these epigenetic modifications and their associated interactions at the molecular scale is necessary to explain phenomena including cellular identity, stem cell plasticity, and neoplastic transformation. It is widely known that abnormal epigenetic profiles have been linked to many diseases, most notably cancer. While the field of epigenetics has progressed rapidly with conventional techniques, significant advances remain to be made with respect to combinatoric analysis of epigenetic marks and single cell epigenetics. Therefore, in this dissertation, I will discuss our development of devices and methodologies to address these pertinent issues. First, we designed a preparatory polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microdevice for the extraction, purification, and stretching of human chromosomal DNA and chromatin from small cell populations down to a single cell. The valveless device captures cells by size exclusion within the micropillars, entraps the DNA or chromatin in the micropillars after cell lysis, purifies away the cellular debris, and fluorescently labels the DNA and/or chromatin all within a single reaction chamber. With the device, we achieve nearly 100% extraction efficiency of the DNA. The device is also used for in-channel immunostaining of chromatin followed by downstream single molecule chromatin analysis in nanochannels (SCAN). Second, using multi-color, time-correlated single molecule measurements in nanochannels, simultaneous coincidence detection of 2 epigenetic marks is demonstrated. Coincidence detection of 3 epigenetic marks is also established using a pulsed interleaved excitation scheme. With these two promising results, genome-wide quantification of epigenetic marks was pursued. Unfortunately, quantitative SCAN never

  16. Single-molecule denaturation and degradation of proteins by the AAA+ ClpXP protease

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Yongdae; Davis, Joseph H.; Brau, Ricardo R.; Martin, Andreas; Kenniston, Jon A.; Baker, Tania A.; Sauer, Robert T.; Lang, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    ClpXP is an ATP-fueled molecular machine that unfolds and degrades target proteins. ClpX, an AAA+ enzyme, recognizes specific proteins, and then uses cycles of ATP hydrolysis to denature any native structure and to translocate the unfolded polypeptide into ClpP for degradation. Here, we develop and apply single-molecule fluorescence assays to probe the kinetics of protein denaturation and degradation by ClpXP. These assays employ a single-chain variant of the ClpX hexamer, linked via a single biotin to a streptavidin-coated surface, and fusion substrates with an N-terminal fluorophore and a C-terminal GFP-titin-ssrA module. In the presence of adenosine 5′-[γ-thio]triphosphate (ATPγS), ClpXP degrades the titin-ssrA portion of these substrates but stalls when it encounters GFP. Exchange into ATP then allows synchronous resumption of denaturation and degradation of GFP and any downstream domains. GFP unfolding can be monitored directly, because intrinsic fluorescence is quenched by denaturation. The time required for complete degradation coincides with loss of the substrate fluorophore from the protease complex. Fitting single-molecule data for a set of related substrates provides time constants for ClpX unfolding, translocation, and a terminal step that may involve product release. Comparison of these single-molecule results with kinetics measured in bulk solution indicates similar levels of microscopic and macroscopic ClpXP activity. These results support a stochastic engagement/unfolding mechanism that ultimately results in highly processive degradation and set the stage for more detailed single-molecule studies of machine function. PMID:19892734

  17. Single-molecule dissection of the high-affinity cohesin–dockerin complex

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Stefan W.; Nash, Michael A.; Fried, Daniel B.; Slutzki, Michal; Barak, Yoav; Bayer, Edward A.; Gaub, Hermann E.

    2012-01-01

    Cellulose-degrading enzyme systems are of significant interest from both a scientific and technological perspective due to the diversity of cellulase families, their unique assembly and substrate binding mechanisms, and their potential applications in several key industrial sectors, notably cellulose hydrolysis for second-generation biofuel production. Particularly fascinating are cellulosomes, the multimodular extracellular complexes produced by numerous anaerobic bacteria. Using single-molecule force spectroscopy, we analyzed the mechanical stability of the intermolecular interfaces between the cohesin and the dockerin modules responsible for self-assembly of the cellulosomal components into the multienzyme complex. The observed cohesin–dockerin rupture forces (>120 pN) are among the highest reported for a receptor–ligand system to date. Using an atomic force microscope protocol that quantified single-molecule binding activity, we observed force-induced dissociation of calcium ions from the duplicated loop–helix F-hand motif located within the dockerin module, which in the presence of EDTA resulted in loss of affinity to the cohesin partner. A cohesin amino acid mutation (D39A) that eliminated hydrogen bonding with the dockerin’s critically conserved serine residues reduced the observed rupture forces. Consequently, no calcium loss occurred and dockerin activity was maintained throughout multiple forced dissociation events. These results offer insights at the single-molecule level into the stability and folding of an exquisite class of high-affinity protein–protein interactions that dictate fabrication and architecture of cellulose-degrading molecular machines. PMID:23188794

  18. Ensemble and Single-Molecule Studies on Fluorescence Quenching in Transition Metal Bipyridine-Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Brox, Dominik; Kiel, Alexander; Wörner, Svenja Johanna; Pernpointner, Markus; Comba, Peter; Martin, Bodo; Herten, Dirk-Peter

    2013-01-01

    Beyond their use in analytical chemistry fluorescent probes continuously gain importance because of recent applications of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor elementary reaction steps. In this context, we characterized quenching of a fluorescent probe by different metal ions with fluorescence spectroscopy in the bulk and at the single-molecule level. We apply a quantitative model to explain deviations from existing standard models for fluorescence quenching. The model is based on a reversible transition from a bright to a dim state upon binding of the metal ion. We use the model to estimate the stability constants of complexes with different metal ions and the change of the relative quantum yield of different reporter dye labels. We found ensemble data to agree widely with results from single-molecule experiments. Our data indicates a mechanism involving close molecular contact of dye and quenching moiety which we also found in molecular dynamics simulations. We close the manuscript with a discussion of possible mechanisms based on Förster distances and electrochemical potentials which renders photo-induced electron transfer to be more likely than Förster resonance energy transfer. PMID:23483966

  19. Resolving dual binding conformations of cellulosome cohesin-dockerin complexes using single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Jobst, Markus A; Milles, Lukas F; Schoeler, Constantin; Ott, Wolfgang; Fried, Daniel B; Bayer, Edward A; Gaub, Hermann E; Nash, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Receptor-ligand pairs are ordinarily thought to interact through a lock and key mechanism, where a unique molecular conformation is formed upon binding. Contrary to this paradigm, cellulosomal cohesin-dockerin (Coh-Doc) pairs are believed to interact through redundant dual binding modes consisting of two distinct conformations. Here, we combined site-directed mutagenesis and single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) to study the unbinding of Coh:Doc complexes under force. We designed Doc mutations to knock out each binding mode, and compared their single-molecule unfolding patterns as they were dissociated from Coh using an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever. Although average bulk measurements were unable to resolve the differences in Doc binding modes due to the similarity of the interactions, with a single-molecule method we were able to discriminate the two modes based on distinct differences in their mechanical properties. We conclude that under native conditions wild-type Doc from Clostridium thermocellum exocellulase Cel48S populates both binding modes with similar probabilities. Given the vast number of Doc domains with predicteddual binding modes across multiple bacterial species, our approach opens up newpossibilities for understanding assembly and catalytic properties of a broadrange of multi-enzyme complexes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10319.001 PMID:26519733

  20. Clusterization of water molecules as deduced from statistical mechanical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnoholovets, Volodymyr

    2004-12-01

    Using the methods of statistical mechanics we have shown that a homogeneous water network is unstable and spontaneously disintegrates to the nonhomogeneous state (i.e. peculiar clusters), which can be treated as an ordinary state of liquid water. The major peculiarity of the concept is that it separates the paired potential into two independent components—the attractive potential and the repulsive one, which in turn should feature a very different dependence on the distance from the particle (a water molecule in the present case). We choose the interaction potential as a combination of the ionic crystal potential and the vibratory potential associated with the elastic properties of the water system as a whole. The number ℵ of water molecules that enters a cluster is calculated as a function of several parameters, such as the dielectric constant, the mass of a water molecule, the distance between nearest molecules, and the vibrations of nearest molecules in their nodes. The number of H2O molecules that comprise a cluster is estimated as about ℵ ≈ 900, which agrees with the available experimental data.