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Sample records for mechanical single molecule

  1. Single-molecule studies of DNA mechanics.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, C; Smith, S B; Liphardt, J; Smith, D

    2000-06-01

    During the past decade, physical techniques such as optical tweezers and atomic force microscopy were used to study the mechanical properties of DNA at the single-molecule level. Knowledge of DNA's stretching and twisting properties now permits these single-molecule techniques to be used in the study of biological processes such as DNA replication and transcription.

  2. Mechanics and imaging of single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Hegner, M; Grange, W

    2002-01-01

    We review recent experiments that have revealed mechanical properties of single DNA molecules using advanced manipulation and force sensing techniques(scanning force microscopy (SFM), optical or magnetic tweezers, microneedles). From such measurements, intrinsic relevant parameters (persistence length, stretch modulus) as well as their dependence on external parameters (non-physiological conditions, coating with binding agents or proteins) are obtained on a single-molecule level. In addition, imaging of DNA molecules using SFM is presented.

  3. Single-molecule mechanics of mussel adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Haeshin; Scherer, Norbert F.; Messersmith, Phillip B.

    2006-08-01

    The glue proteins secreted by marine mussels bind strongly to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces in aqueous environments in which most adhesives function poorly. Studies of these functionally unique proteins have revealed the presence of the unusual amino acid 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (dopa), which is formed by posttranslational modification of tyrosine. However, the detailed binding mechanisms of dopa remain unknown, and the chemical basis for mussels' ability to adhere to both inorganic and organic surfaces has never been fully explained. Herein, we report a single-molecule study of the substrate and oxidation-dependent adhesive properties of dopa. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements of a single dopa residue contacting a wet metal oxide surface reveal a surprisingly high strength yet fully reversible, noncovalent interaction. The magnitude of the bond dissociation energy as well as the inability to observe this interaction with tyrosine suggests that dopa is critical to adhesion and that the binding mechanism is not hydrogen bond formation. Oxidation of dopa, as occurs during curing of the secreted mussel glue, dramatically reduces the strength of the interaction to metal oxide but results in high strength irreversible covalent bond formation to an organic surface. A new picture of the interfacial adhesive role of dopa emerges from these studies, in which dopa exploits a remarkable combination of high strength and chemical multifunctionality to accomplish adhesion to substrates of widely varying composition from organic to metallic. 3,4-dihydroxylphenylalanine | atomic force microscopy | mussel adhesive protein

  4. Reversible Unfolding of Single RNA Molecules by Mechanical Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan; Onoa, Bibiana; Smith, Steven B.; Tinoco, Ignacio; Bustamante, Carlos

    2001-04-01

    Here we use mechanical force to induce the unfolding and refolding of single RNA molecules: a simple RNA hairpin, a molecule containing a three-helix junction, and the P5abc domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme. All three molecules (P5abc only in the absence of Mg2+) can be mechanically unfolded at equilibrium, and when kept at constant force within a critical force range, are bi-stable and hop between folded and unfolded states. We determine the force-dependent equilibrium constants for folding/unfolding these single RNA molecules and the positions of their transition states along the reaction coordinate.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

    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.

  8. Recent developments in single-molecule DNA mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Zev; Oberstrass, Florian C.; Basu, Aakash

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, measurements on individual stretched and twisted DNA molecules have helped define the basic elastic properties of the double helix and enabled real-time functional assays of DNA-associated molecular machines. Recently, new magnetic tweezers approaches for simultaneously measuring freely fluctuating twist and extension have begun to shed light on the structural dynamics of large nucleoprotein complexes. Related technical advances have facilitated direct measurements of DNA torque, contributing to a better understanding of abrupt structural transitions in mechanically stressed DNA. The new measurements have also been exploited in studies that hint at a developing synergistic relationship between single-molecule manipulation and structural DNA nanotechnology. PMID:22658779

  9. Ten years of tension: single-molecule DNA mechanics.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Carlos; Bryant, Zev; Smith, Steven B

    2003-01-23

    The basic features of DNA were elucidated during the half-century following the discovery of the double helix. But it is only during the past decade that researchers have been able to manipulate single molecules of DNA to make direct measurements of its mechanical properties. These studies have illuminated the nature of interactions between DNA and proteins, the constraints within which the cellular machinery operates, and the forces created by DNA-dependent motors.

  10. Single-molecule imaging of protein adsorption mechanisms to surfaces.

    PubMed

    Zareh, Shannon Kian; Wang, Yan Mei

    2011-07-01

    Protein-surface interactions cause the desirable effect of controlled protein adsorption onto biodevices as well as the undesirable effect of protein fouling. The key to controlling protein-surface adsorptions is to identify and quantify the main adsorption mechanisms: adsorptions that occur (1) while depositing a protein solution onto dry surfaces and (2) after the deposition onto wet surfaces. Bulk measurements cannot reveal the dynamic protein adsorption pathways and thus cannot differentiate between the two adsorption mechanisms. We imaged the interactions of single streptavidin molecules with hydrophobic fused-silica surfaces in real-time. We observed both adsorbed proteins on surfaces and diffusing proteins near surfaces and analyzed their adsorption kinetics. Our analysis shows that the protein solution deposition process is the primary mechanism of streptavidin adsorption onto surfaces at the subnanomolar to nanomolar protein concentrations. Furthermore, we found that hydrophilic fused-silica surfaces can prevent the adsorption of streptavidin molecules. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    PubMed

    Bell, Jason C; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C

    2016-06-02

    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.

  12. Mechanical coupling between myosin molecules causes differences between ensemble and single-molecule measurements.

    PubMed

    Walcott, Sam; Warshaw, David M; Debold, Edward P

    2012-08-08

    In contracting muscle, individual myosin molecules function as part of a large ensemble, hydrolyzing ATP to power the relative sliding of actin filaments. The technological advances that have enabled direct observation and manipulation of single molecules, including recent experiments that have explored myosin's force-dependent properties, provide detailed insight into the kinetics of myosin's mechanochemical interaction with actin. However, it has been difficult to reconcile these single-molecule observations with the behavior of myosin in an ensemble. Here, using a combination of simulations and theory, we show that the kinetic mechanism derived from single-molecule experiments describes ensemble behavior; but the connection between single molecule and ensemble is complex. In particular, even in the absence of external force, internal forces generated between myosin molecules in a large ensemble accelerate ADP release and increase how far actin moves during a single myosin attachment. These myosin-induced changes in strong binding lifetime and attachment distance cause measurable properties, such as actin speed in the motility assay, to vary depending on the number of myosin molecules interacting with an actin filament. This ensemble-size effect challenges the simple detachment limited model of motility, because even when motility speed is limited by ADP release, increasing attachment rate can increase motility speed.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Jadhav, Vivek S; Brüggemann, Dorothea; Wruck, Florian; Hegner, Martin

    2016-01-01

    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 in time

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Mechanisms of Cellular Proteostasis: Insights from Single-Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Carlos J.; Kaiser, Christian M.; Maillard, Rodrigo A.; Goldman, Daniel H.; Wilson, Christian A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Cells employ a variety of strategies to maintain proteome homeostasis. Beginning during protein biogenesis, the translation machinery and a number of molecular chaperones promote correct de novo folding of nascent proteins even before synthesis is complete. Another set of molecular chaperones helps to maintain proteins in their functional, native state. Polypeptides that are no longer needed or pose a threat to the cell, such as misfolded proteins and aggregates, are removed in an efficient and timely fashion by ATP-dependent proteases. In this review, we describe how applications of single-molecule manipulation methods, in particular optical tweezers, are shedding new light on the molecular mechanisms of quality control during the life cycles of proteins. PMID:24895851

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Mechanical control of spin states in single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parks, J. J.; Champagne, A. R.; Costi, T. A.; Pasupathy, A. N.; Shum, W. W.; Neuscamman, E.; Chan, G. K.-L.; Abruña, H. D.; Ralph, D. C.

    2010-03-01

    We study individual Co(tpy-SH)2 complexes by connecting them within mechanically controllable break-junction devices that allow us to controllably stretch the molecule while measuring its electrical conductance. At low temperature, this molecule produces the Kondo effect, observed as a peak in the conductance at zero bias. We find that as a function of stretching the Kondo peak splits in two, in distinct contrast to behavior observed in spin-1/2 molecules. The temperature dependence of the Kondo signal for the unstretched molecule is in agreement with the scaling prediction for an underscreened S = 1 Kondo effect. The splitting of the Kondo resonance by mechanical stretching can be explained by a spin-orbit-induced lifting of the degeneracy of the S = 1 triplet upon distortion from octahedral symmetry of the Co ion. We observe evidence of the resultant spin anisotropy in the magnetic-field dependence of the Kondo peaks.

  1. 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

  2. Identifying mechanisms of interfacial dynamics using single-molecule tracking.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-28

    The "soft" (i.e., noncovalent) interactions between molecules and surfaces are complex and highly varied (e.g., hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, and ionic), often leading to heterogeneous interfacial behavior. Heterogeneity can arise either from the spatial variation of the surface/interface itself or from molecular configurations (i.e., conformation, orientation, aggregation state, etc.). By observing the 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 track the molecular configuration and simultaneously 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Single-Molecule Mechanical Identification and Sequencing: Proof of Principle

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Fangyuan; Manosas, Maria; Spiering, Michelle M.; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Bensimon, David; Allemand, Jean-François; Croquette, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput low-cost DNA sequencing has emerged as one of the challenges of the post-genomic era. Here we present the proof of concept for a new single-molecule platform that allows for DNA identification and sequencing. In contrast with most present methods, our scheme is not based on the detection of the fluorescence of incorporated nucleotides, but rather on the measurement of a DNA hairpin length. By cyclically modulating the force pulling on small magnetic beads tethered by a hairpin to a surface, one can unzip and rezip the molecule. In the presence of complementary oligonucleotides in solution, reziping may be transiently interrupted by the hybrids they form with the hairpin. By measuring the extension of the blocked hairpin, one can determine the position of the hybrid along the molecule with nearly single base precision. Our approach, well adapted to a high-throughput scheme, can be used to identify a DNA fragment of known sequence among a sample of various fragments and to sequence an unknown DNA fragment by hybridization or ligation. PMID:22406857

  5. Single-molecule and single-nanoparticle SERS: from fundamental mechanisms to biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Qian, X-M; Nie, S M

    2008-05-01

    This tutorial review discusses a new class of colloidal metal nanoparticles that is able to enhance the efficiencies of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) by as much as 10(14)-10(15) fold. This enormous enhancement allows spectroscopic detection and identification of single molecules located on the nanoparticle surface or at the junction of two particles under ambient conditions. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the enhancement mechanisms, including definitive evidence for the single-molecule origin of fluctuating SERS signals. For applications, SERS nanoparticle tags have been developed based on the use of embedded reporter molecules and a silica or polymer encapsulation layer. The SERS nanoparticle tags are capable of providing detailed spectroscopic information and are much brighter than semiconductor quantum dots in the near-infrared spectral window. These properties have raised new opportunities for multiplexed molecular diagnosis and in vivo Raman spectroscopy and imaging.

  6. 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.

  7. Intersystem Crossing Mechanisms and Single Molecule Fluorescence: Terrylene in Anthracene Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Kol'chenko, M.A.; Nicolet, A.; Orrit, M.; Kozankiewicz, B.

    2005-05-15

    Single molecule spectroscopy requires molecules with low triplet yields and/or short triplet lifetimes. The intersystem crossing (ISC) rate may be dramatically enhanced by the host matrix. Comparing the fluorescence intensity of single terrylene molecules in para-terphenyl, naphthalene, and anthracene crystals, we found a reduction of the saturation intensity by three orders of magnitude in the latter case. The fluorescence autocorrelation function indicates that the bottleneck state is the terrylene triplet. We propose a ping-pong mechanism between host and guest. This intermolecular ISC mechanism, which can open whenever the host triplet lies lower than the guest singlet, was overlooked in previous single molecule investigations.

  8. Dissecting contact mechanics from quantum interference in single-molecule junctions of stilbene derivatives.

    PubMed

    Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Meisner, Jeffrey S; Krikorian, Markrete; Ahn, Seokhoon; Parameswaran, Radha; Steigerwald, Michael L; Nuckolls, Colin; Venkataraman, Latha

    2012-03-14

    Electronic factors in molecules such as quantum interference and cross-conjugation can lead to dramatic modulation and suppression of conductance in single-molecule junctions. Probing such effects at the single-molecule level requires simultaneous measurements of independent junction properties, as conductance alone cannot provide conclusive evidence of junction formation for molecules with low conductivity. Here, we compare the mechanics of the conducting para-terminated 4,4'-di(methylthio)stilbene and moderately conducting 1,2-bis(4-(methylthio)phenyl)ethane to that of insulating meta-terminated 3,3'-di(methylthio)stilbene single-molecule junctions. We simultaneously measure force and conductance across single-molecule junctions and use force signatures to obtain independent evidence of junction formation and rupture in the meta-linked cross-conjugated molecule even when no clear low-bias conductance is measured. By separately quantifying conductance and mechanics, we identify the formation of atypical 3,3'-di(methylthio)stilbene molecular junctions that are mechanically stable but electronically decoupled. While theoretical studies have envisaged many plausible systems where quantum interference might be observed, our experiments provide the first direct quantitative study of the interplay between contact mechanics and the distinctively quantum mechanical nature of electronic transport in single-molecule junctions.

  9. Decoherence mechanisms in Mn3 single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeywardana, C.; Mowson, A. M.; Christou, G.; Takahashi, S.

    In spite of wide interest in the quantum nature of SMMs, decoherence effects that ultimately limit such behavior have yet to be fully understood. Recent investigations have shown that there are three main decoherence mechanisms present in SMMs: spins can couple locally (i) to phonons (phonon decoherence); (ii) to many nuclear spins (nuclear decoherence); and (iii) to each other via dipolar interactions (dipolar decoherence). We have recently uncovered quantum coherence in a Mn3 SMM by quenching decoherence due to dipole interaction between SMMs using a high frequency electron paramagnetic resonance and low temperature. In this presentation, we will discuss temperature dependence of spin relaxation times and the decoherence mechanisms in the Mn3 SMM. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1508661) and the Searle scholars program.

  10. Mechanical properties of NRR domain from human Notch 1 studied by single molecule AFM force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szoszkiewicz, Robert; Dey, Ashim

    2011-03-01

    For proteins in living cells, forces are present from macroscopic to single molecule levels. Single molecule atomic force microscopy in force extension (FX-AFM) mode measures forces at which proteins undergo major conformational transitions with ~ 10 pN force sensitivity (FX-AFM). Here, we present the results of the FX-AFM experiments on a construct comprising the NRR domain from human Notch 1. It is believed that understanding the mechanical properties of Notch at the single molecule level can help to understand its role in triggering some breast cancers. The experimental results on the Notch construct and further analysis revealed several conformational transitions of this molecule under force. These results opened a path for further investigations of Notch constructs at various physiologically relevant conditions.

  11. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging for Studying Organic, Organometallic, and Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Blum, Suzanne A.

    2016-05-24

    The reactive behavior of individual molecules is seldom observed, because we usually measure the average properties of billions of molecules. What we miss is important: the catalytic activity of less than 1% of the molecules under observation can dominate the outcome of a chemical reaction seen at a macroscopic level. Currently available techniques to examine reaction mechanisms (such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry) study molecules as an averaged ensemble. These ensemble techniques are unable to detect minor components (under ~1%) in mixtures or determine which components in the mixture are responsible for reactivity and catalysis. In the field of mechanistic chemistry, there is a resulting heuristic device that if an intermediate is very reactive in catalysis, it often cannot be observed (termed “Halpern’s Rule” ). Ultimately, the development of single-molecule imaging technology could be a powerful tool to observe these “unobservable” intermediates and active catalysts. Single-molecule techniques have already transformed biology and the understanding of biochemical processes. The potential of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to address diverse chemical questions, such as the chemical reactivity of organometallic or inorganic systems with discrete metal complexes, however, has not yet been realized. In this respect, its application to chemical systems lags significantly behind its application to biophysical systems. This transformative imaging technique has broad, multidisciplinary impact with the potential to change the way the chemistry community studies reaction mechanisms and reactivity distributions, especially in the core area of catalysis.

  12. 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.

  13. Using optical forces to probe mechanical response from single molecules to biomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, Nancy

    2010-10-01

    In the past decade, the ability to manipulate and measure forces exerted by single biological molecules has transformed our understanding of their mechanical response, stability, and the mechanisms by which they operate. One of the essential tools in this revolution has been optical tweezers, which use a focused laser beam to ``trap'' (hold stably in three dimensions) micrometer-sized refractive particles. In this talk, I will briefly describe how optical tweezers work and how they can be used to manipulate and probe the mechanical response of single DNA and protein molecules. I will then describe the technique of holographic optical tweezers, which modify the phase of a laser beam in order to generate multiple optical traps at specified locations in three dimensions within a sample. I will discuss our work towards applying this technique to mechanical studies of protein-based biomaterials on the microscale.

  14. Single molecule dynamics at a mechanically controllable break junction in solution at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Tatsuya; Kiguchi, Manabu; Takase, Mai; Nagasawa, Fumika; Nabika, Hideki; Ikeda, Katsuyoshi; Uosaki, Kohei; Ueno, Kosei; Misawa, Hiroaki; Murakoshi, Kei

    2013-01-23

    The in situ observation of geometrical and electronic structural dynamics of a single molecule junction is critically important in order to further progress in molecular electronics. Observations of single molecular junctions are difficult, however, because of sensitivity limits. Here, we report surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) of a single 4,4'-bipyridine molecule under conditions of in situ current flow in a nanogap, by using nano-fabricated, mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) electrodes. When adsorbed at room temperature on metal nanoelectrodes in solution to form a single molecule junction, statistical analysis showed that nontotally symmetric b(1) and b(2) modes of 4,4'-bipyridine were strongly enhanced relative to observations of the same modes in solid or aqueous solutions. Significant changes in SERS intensity, energy (wavenumber), and selectivity of Raman vibrational bands that are coincident with current fluctuations provide information on distinct states of electronic and geometrical structure of the single molecule junction, even under large thermal fluctuations occurring at room temperature. We observed the dynamics of 4,4'-bipyridine motion between vertical and tilting configurations in the Au nanogap via b(1) and b(2) mode switching. A slight increase in the tilting angle of the molecule was also observed by noting the increase in the energies of Raman modes and the decrease in conductance of the molecular junction.

  15. Mechanically-Adjustable and Electrically-Gated Single-Molecule Transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, Alexandre

    2006-03-01

    We describe the fabrication and characterization of single-molecule transistors whose properties can be tuned in two independent ways to achieve systematic measurements of electron transport. The spacing between the source and drain electrodes can be adjusted with better than 1 pm stability using the mechanical breakjunction technique -- the electrodes are freely suspended above a flexible substrate, and their spacing can be varied by bending the substrate. In the same devices, we are also able to apply a gate voltage to the molecule. This is done by employing lithographic techniques to suspend the breakjunction only 40 nm above the substrate surface and using the substrate as an electrostatic back gate. With the independent in-situ variations provided by these two experimental ``knobs'', we are able to achieve a more detailed characterization of electron transport through the molecule than is possible with either technique separately. To demonstrate the device capabilities, we have studied transport through single C60 molecules at low temperature. We observe Coulomb blockaded transport and can resolve discrete energy levels of the molecule. We are able to mechanically tune the spacing between the electrodes (over a range of 5 å) to modulate the lead-molecule coupling, and we can electrostatically tune the energy levels on the molecule by up to 160 meV using the gate electrode. We will also present data of Kondo transport in single [Co(tpy-SH)2]^2+ molecules. We are able to vary the strength of the Kondo resonance in these devices by changing the spacing between the source and drain electrodes.

  16. Diversity of chemical mechanisms in thioredoxin catalysis revealed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Li, Jingyuan; Kosuri, Pallav; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Wiita, Arun P; Rodriguez-Larrea, David; Chueca, Ana; Holmgren, Arne; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Becker, Katja; Cho, Seung-Hyun; Beckwith, Jon; Gelhaye, Eric; Jacquot, Jean P; Gaucher, Eric A; Gaucher, Eric; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M; Berne, Bruce J; Fernandez, Julio M

    2009-08-01

    Thioredoxins (Trxs) are oxidoreductase enzymes, present in all organisms, that catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds in proteins. By applying a calibrated force to a substrate disulfide, the chemical mechanisms of Trx catalysis can be examined in detail at the single-molecule level. Here we use single-molecule force-clamp spectroscopy to explore the chemical evolution of Trx catalysis by probing the chemistry of eight different Trx enzymes. All Trxs show a characteristic Michaelis-Menten mechanism that is detected when the disulfide bond is stretched at low forces, but at high forces, two different chemical behaviors distinguish bacterial-origin from eukaryotic-origin Trxs. Eukaryotic-origin Trxs reduce disulfide bonds through a single-electron transfer reaction (SET), whereas bacterial-origin Trxs show both nucleophilic substitution (S(N)2) and SET reactions. A computational analysis of Trx structures identifies the evolution of the binding groove as an important factor controlling the chemistry of Trx catalysis.

  17. Diversity of Chemical Mechanisms in Thioredoxin Catalysis Revealed by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Li, Jingyuan; Kosuri, Pallav; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Wiita, Arun P.; Rodriguez-Larrea, David; Chueca, Ana; Holmgren, Arne; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Becker, Katja; Cho, Seung-Hyun; Beckwith, Jon; Gelhaye, Eric; Jacquot, Jean P.; Gaucher, Eric; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M.; Berne, Bruce J.; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2009-01-01

    Thioredoxins are oxido-reductase enzymes present in all organisms, catalyzing the reduction of disulfide bonds in proteins. By applying a calibrated force to a substrate disulfide, the chemical mechanisms of Trx catalysis can be examined in detail at the single molecule level. Here we use single molecule force-clamp spectroscopy to explore the chemical evolution of Trx catalysis by probing the chemistry of eight different thioredoxin enzymes. While all Trxs show a characteristic Michaelis-Menten mechanism detected when the disulfide bond is stretched at low forces, two different chemical behaviors distinguish bacterial from eukaryotic-origin Trxs at high forces. Eukaryotic-origin Trxs reduce disulfide bonds through a single-electron transfer reaction (SET) whereas bacterial-origin Trxs exhibit both nucleophilic substitution (SN2) and SET reactions. A computational analysis of Trx structures identifies the evolution of the binding groove as an important factor controlling the chemistry of Trx catalysis. PMID:19597482

  18. 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. © 2016 The Protein Society.

  19. Mechanical design of proteins studied by single-molecule force spectroscopy and protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Carrion-Vazquez, M; Oberhauser, A F; Fisher, T E; Marszalek, P E; Li, H; Fernandez, J M

    2000-01-01

    Mechanical unfolding and refolding may regulate the molecular elasticity of modular proteins with mechanical functions. The development of the atomic force microscopy (AFM) has recently enabled the dynamic measurement of these processes at the single-molecule level. Protein engineering techniques allow the construction of homomeric polyproteins for the precise analysis of the mechanical unfolding of single domains. alpha-Helical domains are mechanically compliant, whereas beta-sandwich domains, particularly those that resist unfolding with backbone hydrogen bonds between strands perpendicular to the applied force, are more stable and appear frequently in proteins subject to mechanical forces. The mechanical stability of a domain seems to be determined by its hydrogen bonding pattern and is correlated with its kinetic stability rather than its thermodynamic stability. Force spectroscopy using AFM promises to elucidate the dynamic mechanical properties of a wide variety of proteins at the single molecule level and provide an important complement to other structural and dynamic techniques (e.g., X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, patch-clamp).

  20. 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.

  1. Single-molecule force spectroscopy reveals the individual mechanical unfolding pathways of a surface layer protein.

    PubMed

    Horejs, Christine; Ristl, Robin; Tscheliessnig, Rupert; Sleytr, Uwe B; Pum, Dietmar

    2011-08-05

    Surface layers (S-layers) represent an almost universal feature of archaeal cell envelopes and are probably the most abundant bacterial cell proteins. S-layers are monomolecular crystalline structures of single protein or glycoprotein monomers that completely cover the cell surface during all stages of the cell growth cycle, thereby performing their intrinsic function under a constant intra- and intermolecular mechanical stress. In gram-positive bacteria, the individual S-layer proteins are anchored by a specific binding mechanism to polysaccharides (secondary cell wall polymers) that are linked to the underlying peptidoglycan layer. In this work, atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy and a polyprotein approach are used to study the individual mechanical unfolding pathways of an S-layer protein. We uncover complex unfolding pathways involving the consecutive unfolding of structural intermediates, where a mechanical stability of 87 pN is revealed. Different initial extensibilities allow the hypothesis that S-layer proteins adapt highly stable, mechanically resilient conformations that are not extensible under the presence of a pulling force. Interestingly, a change of the unfolding pathway is observed when individual S-layer proteins interact with secondary cell wall polymers, which is a direct signature of a conformational change induced by the ligand. Moreover, the mechanical stability increases up to 110 pN. This work demonstrates that single-molecule force spectroscopy offers a powerful tool to detect subtle changes in the structure of an individual protein upon binding of a ligand and constitutes the first conformational study of surface layer proteins at the single-molecule level.

  2. The transduction mechanism of carbon nanotube transistors monitoring single molecule protein dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sims, Patrick C.; Choi, Yongki; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2012-02-01

    Recently we have demonstrated high resolution, real-time monitoring of single molecule chemistry using molecules attached to a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) transistor. The transduction mechanism of SWCNT sensing is often claimed to be due to charge transfer, but here we clearly show the entire effect to be electrostatic. In this study, the chemical system of interest is lysozyme and its enzymatic processing of its binding substrate, peptidoglycan. We investigate the interaction of a lysozyme molecule with the SWCNT conductivity by building devices out of eight different lysozyme variants synthesized by mutagenesis. Each lysozyme variant has a different sequence of surface charges near the SWCNT attachment site, providing a calibrated method of looking at the electrostatic interactions. We observe that positively- and negatively-charged amino acids induce signals of opposite magnitude, while quasi-neutral amino acids like alanine induce little signal at all. The results indicate that careful consideration and manipulation of the charge environment near the attachment site may enhance the signal-to-noise of SWCNT sensors for studying single molecule interactions.

  3. The mechanics of DNA loops bridged by proteins unveiled by single-molecule experiments.

    PubMed

    Tardin, Catherine

    2017-08-10

    Protein-induced DNA bridging and looping is a common mechanism for various and essential processes in bacterial chromosomes. This mechanism is preserved despite the very different bacterial conditions and their expected influence on the thermodynamic and kinetic characteristics of the bridge formation and stability. Over the last two decades, single-molecule techniques carried out on in vitro DNA systems have yielded valuable results which, in combination with theoretical works, have clarified the effects of different parameters of nucleoprotein complexes on the protein-induced DNA bridging and looping process. In this review, I will outline the features that can be measured for such processes with various single-molecule techniques in use in the field. I will then describe both the experimental results and the theoretical models that illuminate the contribution of the DNA molecule itself as well as that of the bridging proteins in the DNA looping mechanism at play in the nucleoid of E. coli. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. 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

  5. Single-molecule measurements of replisome composition and function reveal the mechanism of polymerase exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loparo, Joseph

    2011-03-01

    A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the functioning of large, multiprotein complexes requires experimental tools capable of simultaneously visualizing molecular architecture and enzymatic activity in real time. I will describe a novel single-molecule assay that combines the flow-stretching of individual DNA molecules to measure the activity of the DNA-replication machinery with the visualization of fluorescently labeled DNA polymerases at the replication fork. By correlating polymerase stoichiometry with DNA synthesis of T7 bacteriophage replisomes, we are able to quantitatively describe the mechanism of polymerase exchange. We find that even at relatively modest polymerase concentration (2 nM), soluble polymerases are recruited to an actively synthesizing replisome, dramatically increasing local polymerase concentration. These excess polymerases remain passively associated with the replisome through electrostatic interactions with the T7 helicase for 50 seconds until a stochastic and transient dissociation of the synthesizing polymerase from the primer-template allows for a polymerase exchange event to occur.

  6. 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

  7. Molecular Mechanics of Single Protein Molecules Measured with the Atomic Force Microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansma, Paul K.

    2000-03-01

    After a short history of AFM development in our lab, including recent developments with small cantilevers, this talk will focus on 1) pulling single protein molecules to explore the forces involved in unfolding and 2) watching single protein molecules in action to learn how they function mechanically. 1) Pulling experiments on proteins used as marine adhesives in abalone shells and other biological composite materials reveal modules bound together by sacrificial bonds that are weaker than the backbone bonds in the polypeptide chain.1 These self-healing modules provide effective energy absorption and appear to be a real key to understanding the impressive fracture resistance of biological composite materials. For example, the abalone shell is 3000 times more fracture resistant than a single crystal of calcium carbonate, despite the fact that 97% of the mass of the shell is crystalline calcium carbonate. 2) It is becoming possible, again with AFMs, to learn how some enzymes, nature's nanomachines, do their exquisite materials synthesis and processing. The talk will focus on the chaperonin system of GroEL and GroES that processes incorrectly folded proteins and assists them in refolding correctly. It is becoming possible not only to see single molecule events such as the association and disassociation of the GroEL-Gro-ES complex, but also to measure potential energy functions for the molecules in various conformational states. These new measurements, together with detailed structural measurements from other techniques, give new clues about how these proteins use the energy of ATP to do their work. Since the AFMs of today are very far from fundamental limits, this is only the beginning. 1. B. L. Smith, T. E. Schaffer, M. Viani, J. B. Thompson, N. A. Frederick, J. Kindt, A. Belcher, G. D. Stucky, D. E. Morse and P. K. Hansma, Nature 399, 761 (1999)

  8. Modeling single molecule junction mechanics as a probe of interface bonding

    DOE PAGES

    Hybertsen, Mark S.

    2017-03-07

    Using the atomic force microscope based break junction approach, applicable to metal point contacts and single molecule junctions, measurements can be repeated thousands of times resulting in rich data sets characterizing the properties of an ensemble of nanoscale junction structures. This paper focuses on the relationship between the measured force extension characteristics including bond rupture and the properties of the interface bonds in the junction. We analyzed a set of exemplary model junction structures using density functional theory based calculations to simulate the adiabatic potential surface that governs the junction elongation. The junction structures include representative molecules that bond tomore » the electrodes through amine, methylsulfide, and pyridine links. The force extension characteristics are shown to be most effectively analyzed in a scaled form with maximum sustainable force and the distance between the force zero and force maximum as scale factors. Widely used, two parameter models for chemical bond potential energy versus bond length are found to be nearly identical in scaled form. Furthermore, they fit well to the present calculations of N–Au and S–Au donor-acceptor bonds, provided no other degrees of freedom are allowed to relax. Examination of the reduced problem of a single interface, but including relaxation of atoms proximal to the interface bond, shows that a single-bond potential form renormalized by an effective harmonic potential in series fits well to the calculated results. This, then, allows relatively accurate extraction of the interface bond energy. Analysis of full junction models shows cooperative effects that go beyond the mechanical series inclusion of the second bond in the junction, the spectator bond that does not rupture. Calculations for a series of diaminoalkanes as a function of molecule length indicate that the most important cooperative effect is due to the interactions between the dipoles induced by

  9. Modeling single molecule junction mechanics as a probe of interface bonding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hybertsen, Mark S.

    2017-03-01

    Using the atomic force microscope based break junction approach, applicable to metal point contacts and single molecule junctions, measurements can be repeated thousands of times resulting in rich data sets characterizing the properties of an ensemble of nanoscale junction structures. This paper focuses on the relationship between the measured force extension characteristics including bond rupture and the properties of the interface bonds in the junction. A set of exemplary model junction structures has been analyzed using density functional theory based calculations to simulate the adiabatic potential surface that governs the junction elongation. The junction structures include representative molecules that bond to the electrodes through amine, methylsulfide, and pyridine links. The force extension characteristics are shown to be most effectively analyzed in a scaled form with maximum sustainable force and the distance between the force zero and force maximum as scale factors. Widely used, two parameter models for chemical bond potential energy versus bond length are found to be nearly identical in scaled form. Furthermore, they fit well to the present calculations of N-Au and S-Au donor-acceptor bonds, provided no other degrees of freedom are allowed to relax. Examination of the reduced problem of a single interface, but including relaxation of atoms proximal to the interface bond, shows that a single-bond potential form renormalized by an effective harmonic potential in series fits well to the calculated results. This allows relatively accurate extraction of the interface bond energy. Analysis of full junction models shows cooperative effects that go beyond the mechanical series inclusion of the second bond in the junction, the spectator bond that does not rupture. Calculations for a series of diaminoalkanes as a function of molecule length indicate that the most important cooperative effect is due to the interactions between the dipoles induced by the donor

  10. 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

  11. Single-Molecule Chemo-Mechanical Spectroscopy Provides Structural Identity of Folding Intermediates

    PubMed Central

    Motlagh, Hesam N.; Toptygin, Dmitri; Kaiser, Christian M.; Hilser, Vincent J.

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for studying the folding of biological macromolecules. Mechanical manipulation has revealed a wealth of mechanistic information on transient and intermediate states. To date, the majority of state assignment of intermediates has relied on empirical demarcation. However, performing such experiments in the presence of different osmolytes provides an alternative approach that reports on the structural properties of intermediates. Here, we analyze the folding and unfolding of T4 lysozyme with optical tweezers under a chemo-mechanical perturbation by adding osmolytes. We find that two unrelated protective osmolytes, sorbitol and trimethylamine-n-oxide, function by marginally decelerating unfolding rates and specifically modulating early events in the folding process, stabilizing formation of an on-pathway intermediate. The chemo-mechanical perturbation provides access to two independent metrics of the relevant states during folding trajectories, the contour length, and the solvent-accessible surface area. We demonstrate that the dependence of the population of the intermediate in different osmolytes, in conjunction with its measured contour length, provides the ability to discriminate between potential structural models of intermediate states. Our study represents a general strategy that may be employed in the structural modeling of equilibrium intermediate states observed in single-molecule experiments. PMID:27028638

  12. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. A model of stereocilia adaptation based on single molecule mechanical studies of myosin I.

    PubMed Central

    Batters, Christopher; Wallace, Mark I; Coluccio, Lynne M; Molloy, Justin E

    2004-01-01

    We have used an optical tweezers-based apparatus to perform single molecule mechanical experiments using the unconventional myosins, Myo1b and Myo1c. The single-headed nature and slow ATPase kinetics of these myosins make them ideal for detailed studies of the molecular mechanism of force generation by acto-myosin. Myo1c exhibits several features that have not been seen using fast skeletal muscle myosin II. (i) The working stroke occurs in two, distinct phases, producing an initial 3 nm and then a further 1.5 nm of movement. (ii) Two types of binding interaction were observed: short-lived ATP-independent binding events that produced no movement and longer-lived, ATP-dependent events that produced a full working stroke. The stiffness of both types of interaction was similar. (iii) In a new type of experiment, using feedback to apply controlled displacements to a single acto-myosin cross-bridge, we found abrupt changes in force during attachment of the acto-Myo1b cross-bridge, a result that is consistent with the classical 'T2' behaviour of single muscle fibres. Given that these myosins might exhibit the classical T2 behaviour, we propose a new model to explain the slow phase of sensory adaptation of the hair cells of the inner ear. PMID:15647165

  15. Single-Molecule Pull-Down FRET to Dissect the Mechanisms of Biomolecular Machines.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Spliceosomes are multimegadalton RNA-protein complexes responsible for the faithful removal of noncoding 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 toward 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 microscopy in exemplary single-molecule pull-down FRET studies of the yeast spliceosome and discuss the broad application potential of this technique.

  16. Single molecule electronic devices.

    PubMed

    Song, Hyunwook; Reed, Mark A; Lee, Takhee

    2011-04-12

    Single molecule electronic devices in which individual molecules are utilized as active electronic components constitute a promising approach for the ultimate miniaturization and integration of electronic devices in nanotechnology through the bottom-up strategy. Thus, the ability to understand, control, and exploit charge transport at the level of single molecules has become a long-standing desire of scientists and engineers from different disciplines for various potential device applications. Indeed, a study on charge transport through single molecules attached to metallic electrodes is a very challenging task, but rapid advances have been made in recent years. This review article focuses on experimental aspects of electronic devices made with single molecules, with a primary focus on the characterization and manipulation of charge transport in this regime. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-07-04

    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 Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} 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{sup −4} G{sub 0} (1 G{sub 0} = 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.

  20. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-03-01

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions.

  1. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-03-10

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions.

  2. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-01-01

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions. PMID:28281684

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-19

    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.

  5. Studying the mechanism of CD47-SIRPα interactions on red blood cells by single molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yangang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Yanhou; Jiang, Junguang; Yang, Yong-Guang; Wang, Hongda

    2014-09-07

    The interaction forces and binding kinetics between SIRPα and CD47 were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) on both fresh and experimentally aged human red blood cells (hRBCs). We found that CD47 experienced a conformation change after oxidation, which influenced the interaction force and the position of the energy barrier between SIRPα and CD47. Our results are significant for understanding the mechanism of phagocytosis of red blood cells at the single molecule level.

  6. Analysis of single-molecule mechanical measurements with high spatio-temporal resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capitanio, Marco; Gardini, Lucia; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2013-09-01

    Optical tweezers allow recording mechanical data from single biological molecules such as molecular motors, DNA processing enzymes, nucleic acids. Such data consist of time series that are dominated by thermal noise and such noisy recordings require proper analysis to correctly extract kinetic and mechanical information. Several different analysis approaches have been established in the past years. Here, we propose an analysis method for optical trapping recordings of non-processive motor proteins. The method does not assume any particular interaction kinetics, allows detection of sub-millisecond interactions and quantification of the number of false and lost events. Precise alignment of interaction events and ensemble averaging allow the investigation of the stepping dynamics of non-processive motors with a temporal resolution of few tens of microseconds and a spatial resolution of few angstroms. Our analysis is applied to the study of the motor protein myosin from fast skeletal muscle. Thanks to the high spatio-temporal resolution, we can distinguish three mechanical pathways in the acto-myosin interaction, with several orders of magnitude different kinetics, which contribute in a load-dependent manner to the myosin working stroke.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Single-molecule FRET unveils induced-fit mechanism for substrate selectivity in flap endonuclease 1

    PubMed Central

    Rashid, Fahad; Harris, Paul D; Zaher, Manal S; Sobhy, Mohamed A; Joudeh, Luay I; Yan, Chunli; Piwonski, Hubert; Tsutakawa, Susan E; Ivanov, Ivaylo; Tainer, John A; Habuchi, Satoshi; Hamdan, Samir M

    2017-01-01

    Human flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) and related structure-specific 5’nucleases precisely identify and incise aberrant DNA structures during replication, repair and recombination to avoid genomic instability. Yet, it is unclear how the 5’nuclease mechanisms of DNA distortion and protein ordering robustly mediate efficient and accurate substrate recognition and catalytic selectivity. Here, single-molecule sub-millisecond and millisecond analyses of FEN1 reveal a protein-DNA induced-fit mechanism that efficiently verifies substrate and suppresses off-target cleavage. FEN1 sculpts DNA with diffusion-limited kinetics to test DNA substrate. This DNA distortion mutually ‘locks’ protein and DNA conformation and enables substrate verification with extreme precision. Strikingly, FEN1 never misses cleavage of its cognate substrate while blocking probable formation of catalytically competent interactions with noncognate substrates and fostering their pre-incision dissociation. These findings establish FEN1 has practically perfect precision and that separate control of induced-fit substrate recognition sets up the catalytic selectivity of the nuclease active site for genome stability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21884.001 PMID:28230529

  10. Single-molecule FRET unveils induced-fit mechanism for substrate selectivity in flap endonuclease 1

    DOE PAGES

    Rashid, Fahad; Harris, Paul D.; Zaher, Manal S.; ...

    2017-02-23

    Human flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) and related structure-specific 5’nucleases precisely identify and incise aberrant DNA structures during replication, repair and recombination to avoid genomic instability. Yet, it is unclear how the 5’nuclease mechanisms of DNA distortion and protein ordering robustly mediate efficient and accurate substrate recognition and catalytic selectivity. Here, single-molecule sub-millisecond and millisecond analyses of FEN1 reveal a protein-DNA induced-fit mechanism that efficiently verifies substrate and suppresses off-target cleavage. FEN1 sculpts DNA with diffusion-limited kinetics to test DNA substrate. This DNA distortion mutually ‘locks’ protein and DNA conformation and enables substrate verification with extreme precision. Strikingly, FEN1 never missesmore » cleavage of its cognate substrate while blocking probable formation of catalytically competent interactions with noncognate substrates and fostering their pre-incision dissociation. These findings establish FEN1 has practically perfect precision and that separate control of induced-fit substrate recognition sets up the catalytic selectivity of the nuclease active site for genome stability.« less

  11. Mechanical stability of bivalent transition metal complexes analyzed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Gensler, Manuel; Eidamshaus, Christian; Taszarek, Maurice; Reissig, Hans-Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Summary Multivalent biomolecular interactions allow for a balanced interplay of mechanical stability and malleability, and nature makes widely use of it. For instance, systems of similar thermal stability may have very different rupture forces. Thus it is of paramount interest to study and understand the mechanical properties of multivalent systems through well-characterized model systems. We analyzed the rupture behavior of three different bivalent pyridine coordination complexes with Cu2+ in aqueous environment by single-molecule force spectroscopy. Those complexes share the same supramolecular interaction leading to similar thermal off-rates in the range of 0.09 and 0.36 s−1, compared to 1.7 s−1 for the monovalent complex. On the other hand, the backbones exhibit different flexibility, and we determined a broad range of rupture lengths between 0.3 and 1.1 nm, with higher most-probable rupture forces for the stiffer backbones. Interestingly, the medium-flexible connection has the highest rupture forces, whereas the ligands with highest and lowest rigidity seem to be prone to consecutive bond rupture. The presented approach allows separating bond and backbone effects in multivalent model systems. PMID:26124883

  12. Mechanical stability of bivalent transition metal complexes analyzed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Gensler, Manuel; Eidamshaus, Christian; Taszarek, Maurice; Reissig, Hans-Ulrich; Rabe, Jürgen P

    2015-01-01

    Multivalent biomolecular interactions allow for a balanced interplay of mechanical stability and malleability, and nature makes widely use of it. For instance, systems of similar thermal stability may have very different rupture forces. Thus it is of paramount interest to study and understand the mechanical properties of multivalent systems through well-characterized model systems. We analyzed the rupture behavior of three different bivalent pyridine coordination complexes with Cu(2+) in aqueous environment by single-molecule force spectroscopy. Those complexes share the same supramolecular interaction leading to similar thermal off-rates in the range of 0.09 and 0.36 s(-1), compared to 1.7 s(-1) for the monovalent complex. On the other hand, the backbones exhibit different flexibility, and we determined a broad range of rupture lengths between 0.3 and 1.1 nm, with higher most-probable rupture forces for the stiffer backbones. Interestingly, the medium-flexible connection has the highest rupture forces, whereas the ligands with highest and lowest rigidity seem to be prone to consecutive bond rupture. The presented approach allows separating bond and backbone effects in multivalent model systems.

  13. 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

  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 study of viomycin's inhibition mechanism on ribosome translocation.

    PubMed

    Ly, Cindy T; Altuntop, Mediha E; Wang, Yuhong

    2010-11-16

    Viomycin belongs to the tuberactinomycin family of antibiotics against tuberculosis. However, its inhibition mechanism remains elusive. Although it is clear that viomycin inhibits the ribosome intersubunit ratcheting, there are contradictory reports about whether the antibiotic viomycin stabilizes the tRNA hybrid or classical state. By using a single-molecule FRET method to directly observe the tRNA dynamics relative to ribosomal protein L27, we have found that viomycin trapped the hybrid state within certain ribosome subgroups but did not significantly suppress the tRNA dynamics. The persistent fluctuation of tRNA implied that tRNA motions were decoupled from the ribosome intersubunit ratcheting. Viomycin also promoted peptidyl-tRNA fluctuation in the posttranslocation complex, implying that, in addition to acylated P-site tRNA, the decoding center also played an important role of ribosome locking after translocation. Therefore, viomycin inhibits translocation by trapping the hybrid state in the pretranslocation complex and disturbing the stability of posttranslocation complex. Our results imply that ribosome translocation is possibly a synergistic process of multiple decoupled local dynamics.

  16. Mechanical properties of NRR domain from human Notch 1 studied by single molecule AFM force spectroscopy and steered molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dey, Ashim; Chen, Jianhan; Li, Hui; Zolkiewska, Anna; Wu, Hui-Chuan; Zolkiewski, Michal; Szoszkiewicz, Robert

    2010-10-01

    For proteins in living cells, forces are present from macroscopic to single molecule levels. Single molecule atomic force microscopy in force extension (FX-AFM) mode measures forces at which proteins undergo major conformational transitions with ˜ 10 pN force sensitivity (FX-AFM). Here, we present the results of the FX-AFM experiments on a construct comprising the NRR domain from human Notch 1. It is believed that understanding the mechanical properties of Notch at the single molecule level can help to understand its role in triggering some breast cancers. The experimental results on our Notch construct revealed several conformational transitions of this molecule under force. These results were confronted with the steered molecular dynamics simulations based on a simplified Go model. These results opened a path for further investigations of Notch constructs at various physiologically relevant conditions.

  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. Single molecules: Thermodynamic limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Technologies aimed at single-molecule resolution of non-equilibrium systems increasingly require sophisticated new ways of thinking about thermodynamics. An elegant extension to standard fluctuation theory grants access to the kinetic intermediate states of these systems -- as DNA-pulling experiments now demonstrate.

  19. Single-molecule electrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruggeri, Francesca; Zosel, Franziska; Mutter, Natalie; Różycka, Mirosława; Wojtas, Magdalena; Ożyhar, Andrzej; Schuler, Benjamin; Krishnan, Madhavi

    2017-05-01

    Mass and electrical charge are fundamental properties of biological macromolecules. Although molecular mass has long been determined with atomic precision, a direct and precise determination of molecular charge remains an outstanding challenge. Here we report high-precision (<1e) measurements of the electrical charge of molecules such as nucleic acids, and globular and disordered proteins in solution. The measurement is based on parallel external field-free trapping of single macromolecules, permits the estimation of a dielectric coefficient of the molecular interior and can be performed in real time. Further, we demonstrate the direct detection of single amino acid substitution and chemical modifications in proteins. As the electrical charge of a macromolecule strongly depends on its three-dimensional conformation, this kind of high-precision electrometry offers an approach to probe the structure, fluctuations and interactions of a single molecule in solution.

  20. Mechanics and chemistry: single molecule bond rupture forces correlate with molecular backbone structure.

    PubMed

    Frei, Michael; Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Koentopp, Max; Hybertsen, Mark S; Venkataraman, L

    2011-04-13

    We simultaneously measure conductance and force across nanoscale junctions. A new, two-dimensional histogram technique is introduced to statistically extract bond rupture forces from a large data set of individual junction elongation traces. For the case of Au point contacts, we find a rupture force of 1.4 ± 0.2 nN, which is in good agreement with previous measurements. We then study systematic trends for single gold metal-molecule-metal junctions for a series of molecules terminated with amine and pyridine linkers. For all molecules studied, single molecule junctions rupture at the Au-N bond. Selective binding of the linker group allows us to correlate the N-Au bond-rupture force to the molecular backbone. We find that the rupture force ranges from 0.8 nN for 4,4' bipyridine to 0.5 nN in 1,4 diaminobenzene. These experimental results are in excellent quantitative agreement with density functional theory based adiabatic molecular junction elongation and rupture calculations.

  1. Single molecule diffraction.

    PubMed

    Spence, J C H; Doak, R B

    2004-05-14

    For solving the atomic structure of organic molecules such as small proteins which are difficult to crystallize, the use of a jet of doped liquid helium droplets traversing a continuous high energy electron beam is proposed as a means of obtaining electron diffraction patterns (serial crystallography). Organic molecules (such as small proteins) within the droplet (and within a vitreous ice jacket) may be aligned by use of a polarized laser beam. Iterative methods for solving the phase problem are indicated. Comparisons with a related plan for pulsed x-ray diffraction from single proteins in a molecular beam are provided.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Direct correlation of single-molecule properties with bulk mechanical performance for the biomimetic design of polymers.

    PubMed

    Chung, Jaeyoon; Kushner, Aaron M; Weisman, Adam C; Guan, Zhibin

    2014-11-01

    For rational design of advanced polymeric materials, it is critical to establish a clear mechanistic link between the molecular structure of a polymer and the emergent bulk mechanical properties. Despite progress towards this goal, it remains a major challenge to directly correlate the bulk mechanical performance to the nanomechanical properties of individual constituent macromolecules. Here, we show a direct correlation between the single-molecule nanomechanical properties of a biomimetic modular polymer and the mechanical characteristics of the resulting bulk material. The multi-cyclic single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) data enabled quantitative derivation of the asymmetric potential energy profile of individual module rupture and re-folding, in which a steep dissociative pathway accounted for the high plateau modulus, while a shallow associative well explained the energy-dissipative hysteresis and dynamic, adaptive recovery. These results demonstrate the potential for SMFS to serve as a guide for future rational design of advanced multifunctional materials.

  4. Studying the mechanism of CD47-SIRPα interactions on red blood cells by single molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Yangang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Yanhou; Jiang, Junguang; Yang, Yong-Guang; Wang, Hongda

    2014-08-01

    The interaction forces and binding kinetics between SIRPα and CD47 were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) on both fresh and experimentally aged human red blood cells (hRBCs). We found that CD47 experienced a conformation change after oxidation, which influenced the interaction force and the position of the energy barrier between SIRPα and CD47. Our results are significant for understanding the mechanism of phagocytosis of red blood cells at the single molecule level.The interaction forces and binding kinetics between SIRPα and CD47 were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) on both fresh and experimentally aged human red blood cells (hRBCs). We found that CD47 experienced a conformation change after oxidation, which influenced the interaction force and the position of the energy barrier between SIRPα and CD47. Our results are significant for understanding the mechanism of phagocytosis of red blood cells at the single molecule level. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental section. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr02889a

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. A Single-Molecule View of Genome Editing Proteins: Biophysical Mechanisms for TALEs and CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Cuculis, Luke; Schroeder, Charles M

    2017-06-07

    Exciting new advances in genome engineering have unlocked the potential to radically alter the treatment of human disease. In this review, we discuss the application of single-molecule techniques to uncover the mechanisms behind two premier classes of genome editing proteins: transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated system (Cas). These technologies have facilitated a striking number of gene editing applications in a variety of organisms; however, we are only beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms governing the DNA editing properties of these systems. Here, we discuss the DNA search and recognition process for TALEs and Cas9 that have been revealed by recent single-molecule experiments.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2015-07-22

    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.

  10. Mechanism for Si–Si Bond Rupture in Single Molecule Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Haixing; Kim, Nathaniel T.; Su, Timothy A.; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Nuckolls, Colin; Darancet, Pierre; Leighton, James L.; Venkataraman, Latha

    2016-12-14

    The stability of chemical bonds can be studied experimentally by rupturing single molecule junctions under applied voltage. Here, we compare voltage-induced bond rupture in two Si–Si backbones: one has no alternate conductive pathway whereas the other contains an additional naphthyl pathway in parallel to the Si–Si bond. We show that in contrast to the first system, the second can conduct through the naphthyl group when the Si–Si bond is ruptured using an applied voltage. We investigate this voltage induced Si–Si bond rupture by ab initio density functional theory calculations and molecular dynamics simulations that ultimately demonstrate that the excitation of molecular vibrational modes by tunneling electrons leads to homolytic Si–Si bond rupture.

  11. Mechanism for Si-Si Bond Rupture in Single Molecule Junctions.

    PubMed

    Li, Haixing; Kim, Nathaniel T; Su, Timothy A; Steigerwald, Michael L; Nuckolls, Colin; Darancet, Pierre; Leighton, James L; Venkataraman, Latha

    2016-12-14

    The stability of chemical bonds can be studied experimentally by rupturing single molecule junctions under applied voltage. Here, we compare voltage-induced bond rupture in two Si-Si backbones: one has no alternate conductive pathway whereas the other contains an additional naphthyl pathway in parallel to the Si-Si bond. We show that in contrast to the first system, the second can conduct through the naphthyl group when the Si-Si bond is ruptured using an applied voltage. We investigate this voltage induced Si-Si bond rupture by ab initio density functional theory calculations and molecular dynamics simulations that ultimately demonstrate that the excitation of molecular vibrational modes by tunneling electrons leads to homolytic Si-Si bond rupture.

  12. Unfolding single RNA molecules by mechanical force: A stochastic kinetic method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fei; Ou-Yang, Zhong-Can

    2004-10-01

    Using simple polymer elastic theory and known RNA free energies, we study the single RNA folding and unfolding on the secondary structure level under mechanical constant force by stochastic kinetic simulation. As a primary application, this method is used to simulate the experiment performed by Liphardt [Science 292, 733 (2001)]. The extension-force curves in equilibrium and kinetic reaction rate constants for folding and unfolding are calculated. Our results show that the agreement between simulation and experimental measurements is satisfactory.

  13. Chemomechanical regulation of myosin Ic cross-bridges: Deducing the elastic properties of an ensemble from single-molecule mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Hudspeth, A. J.

    2017-01-01

    Myosin Ic is thought to be the principal constituent of the motor that adjusts mechanical responsiveness during adaptation to prolonged stimuli by hair cells, the sensory receptors of the inner ear. In this context myosin molecules operate neither as filaments, as occurs in muscles, nor as single or few molecules, as characterizes intracellular transport. Instead, myosin Ic molecules occur in a complex cluster in which they may exhibit cooperative properties. To better understand the motor’s remarkable function, we introduce a theoretical description of myosin Ic’s chemomechanical cycle based on experimental data from recent single-molecule studies. The cycle consists of distinct chemical states that the myosin molecule stochastically occupies. We explicitly calculate the probabilities of the occupancy of these states and show their dependence on the external force, the availability of actin, and the nucleotide concentrations as required by thermodynamic constraints. This analysis highlights that the strong binding of myosin Ic to actin is dominated by the ADP state for small external forces and by the ATP state for large forces. Our approach shows how specific parameter values of the chemomechanical cycle for myosin Ic result in behaviors distinct from those of other members of the myosin family. Integrating this single-molecule cycle into a simplified ensemble description, we predict that the average number of bound myosin heads is regulated by the external force and nucleotide concentrations. The elastic properties of such an ensemble are determined by the average number of myosin cross-bridges. Changing the binding probabilities and myosin’s stiffness under a constant force results in a mechanical relaxation which is large enough to account for fast adaptation in hair cells. PMID:28549064

  14. 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

  15. Mechanical operation and intersubunit coordination of ring-shaped molecular motors: insights from single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shixin; Chistol, Gheorghe; Bustamante, Carlos

    2014-05-06

    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.

  16. Protein Logic: A Statistical Mechanical Study of Signal Integration at the Single-Molecule Level

    PubMed Central

    de Ronde, Wiet; Rein ten Wolde, Pieter; Mugler, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Information processing and decision-making is based upon logic operations, which in cellular networks has been well characterized at the level of transcription. In recent years, however, both experimentalists and theorists have begun to appreciate that cellular decision-making can also be performed at the level of a single protein, giving rise to the notion of protein logic. Here we systematically explore protein logic using a well-known statistical mechanical model. As an example system, we focus on receptors that bind either one or two ligands, and their associated dimers. Notably, we find that a single heterodimer can realize any of the 16 possible logic gates, including the XOR gate, by variation of biochemical parameters. We then introduce what to our knowledge is a novel idea: that a set of receptors with fixed parameters can encode functionally unique logic gates simply by forming different dimeric combinations. An exhaustive search reveals that the simplest set of receptors (two single-ligand receptors and one double-ligand receptor) can realize several different groups of three unique gates, a result for which the parametric analysis of single receptors and dimers provides a clear interpretation. Both results underscore the surprising functional freedom readily available to cells at the single-protein level. PMID:23009860

  17. Protein logic: a statistical mechanical study of signal integration at the single-molecule level.

    PubMed

    de Ronde, Wiet; Rein ten Wolde, Pieter; Mugler, Andrew

    2012-09-05

    Information processing and decision-making is based upon logic operations, which in cellular networks has been well characterized at the level of transcription. In recent years, however, both experimentalists and theorists have begun to appreciate that cellular decision-making can also be performed at the level of a single protein, giving rise to the notion of protein logic. Here we systematically explore protein logic using a well-known statistical mechanical model. As an example system, we focus on receptors that bind either one or two ligands, and their associated dimers. Notably, we find that a single heterodimer can realize any of the 16 possible logic gates, including the XOR gate, by variation of biochemical parameters. We then introduce what to our knowledge is a novel idea: that a set of receptors with fixed parameters can encode functionally unique logic gates simply by forming different dimeric combinations. An exhaustive search reveals that the simplest set of receptors (two single-ligand receptors and one double-ligand receptor) can realize several different groups of three unique gates, a result for which the parametric analysis of single receptors and dimers provides a clear interpretation. Both results underscore the surprising functional freedom readily available to cells at the single-protein level. Copyright © 2012 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. A Polypeptide-DNA Hybrid with Selective Linking Capability Applied to Single Molecule Nano-Mechanical Measurements Using Optical Tweezers

    PubMed Central

    Tans, Sander J.

    2013-01-01

    Many applications in biosensing, biomaterial engineering and single molecule biophysics require multiple non-covalent linkages between DNA, protein molecules, and surfaces that are specific yet strong. Here, we present a novel method to join proteins and dsDNA molecule at their ends, in an efficient, rapid and specific manner, based on the recently developed linkage between the protein StrepTactin (STN) and the peptide StrepTag II (ST). We introduce a two-step approach, in which we first construct a hybrid between DNA and a tandem of two STs peptides (tST). In a second step, this hybrid is linked to polystyrene bead surfaces and Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) using STN. Furthermore, we show the STN-tST linkage is more stable against forces applied by optical tweezers than the commonly used biotin-Streptavidin (STV) linkage. It can be used in conjunction with Neutravidin (NTV)-biotin linkages to form DNA tethers that can sustain applied forces above 65 pN for tens of minutes in a quarter of the cases. The method is general and can be applied to construct other surface-DNA and protein-DNA hybrids. The reversibility, high mechanical stability and specificity provided by this linking procedure make it highly suitable for single molecule mechanical studies, as well as biosensing and lab on chip applications. PMID:23336001

  2. Single-molecule fluorescence reveals the unwinding stepping mechanism of replicative helicase.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-27

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Mechanical properties of H2Pc self-assembled monolayers at the single molecule level by noncontact atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Mao, Han-Qing; Li, Na; Chen, Xi; Xue, Qi-Kun

    2012-02-29

    The mechanical properties of molecular self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) play an important role in understanding the interactions between molecules in the self-assembly, the interactions between molecules and substrate, and thus the formation mechanism of SAMs. Using a high-resolution noncontact atomic force microscope (NC-AFM) combined with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), we have successfully obtained the sub-molecular resolution of a H(2)Pc self-assembled monolayer grown on a Pb(111) surface. A 2 × 2 superstructure was observed in both AFM and STM topographic images. The lateral critical force of removing a H(2)Pcmolecule from its SAM and moving a single H(2)Pc molecule on Pb(111) were measured. An oscillation of the critical force along the edge of the H(2)Pc SAM with a period of two molecular sites was observed, which can be attributed to the 2 × 2 superstructure. The lateral critical force caused by intermolecular interaction was found to be 25 pN on average and is typically two times larger than the molecule-substrate interaction.

  7. Towards single molecule DNA sequencing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Hao

    Single molecule DNA Sequencing technology has been a hot research topic in the recent decades because it holds the promise to sequence a human genome in a fast and affordable way, which will eventually make personalized medicine possible. Single molecule differentiation and DNA translocation control are the two main challenges in all single molecule DNA sequencing methods. In this thesis, I will first introduce DNA sequencing technology development and its application, and then explain the performance and limitation of prior art in detail. Following that, I will show a single molecule DNA base differentiation result obtained in recognition tunneling experiments. Furthermore, I will explain the assembly of a nanofluidic platform for single strand DNA translocation, which holds the promised to be integrated into a single molecule DNA sequencing instrument for DNA translocation control. Taken together, my dissertation research demonstrated the potential of using recognition tunneling techniques to serve as a general readout system for single molecule DNA sequencing application.

  8. Single-molecule chemo-mechanical unfolding reveals multiple transition state barriers in a small single-domain protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinn, Emily J.; Jagannathan, Bharat; Marqusee, Susan

    2015-04-01

    A fundamental question in protein folding is whether proteins fold through one or multiple trajectories. While most experiments indicate a single pathway, simulations suggest proteins can fold through many parallel pathways. Here, we use a combination of chemical denaturant, mechanical force and site-directed mutations to demonstrate the presence of multiple unfolding pathways in a simple, two-state folding protein. We show that these multiple pathways have structurally different transition states, and that seemingly small changes in protein sequence and environment can strongly modulate the flux between the pathways. These results suggest that in vivo, the crowded cellular environment could strongly influence the mechanisms of protein folding and unfolding. Our study resolves the apparent dichotomy between experimental and theoretical studies, and highlights the advantage of using a multipronged approach to reveal the complexities of a protein's free-energy landscape.

  9. 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.

  10. Methods and applications in single molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hihath, Joshua

    In recent years it has become possible to measure charge transport in a single molecule contacted to two metal electrodes. However, a thorough understanding of how a molecule behaves while contacted to two electrodes and how it interacts with its environment is still lacking. This thesis demonstrates various experimental methods for understanding and controlling charge transport in a single molecule junction and the application of these methods to various molecular systems to help elucidate the conduction mechanisms invoked. First, the conductance of DNA is examined in a controlled environment while varying the length, sequence, base-pair matching, bias, temperature, and electrochemical gate of the molecule. These studies show that the conductance of DNA is extremely sensitive to changes in length, sequence, and base-matching, but not as sensitive to temperature and electrochemical gate. Despite the variety of experimental methods applied, the subtleties of the conduction mechanism remain uncertain, and as such necessitate the development of additional tools for understanding the behavior of a single molecule junction. Next, the Conductance Screening Tool for Molecules (CSTM) is described. This is a new tool capable of creating 1000's of single molecules junctions in a matter of minutes. This tool has been used to study the conductance of alkanedithiols, molecules in an array, and single amino acid residues. This system allows for greater speed and flexibility in determining the conductance of a single molecule junction, and provides a capability for performing large-scale systematic studies of molecular systems to determine the conduction mechanism. Finally, an additional experimental method capable of extracting information about the interaction between a molecule and its environment is developed. Here, electron-phonon interactions in a single molecule contacted to two electrodes are studied. This method allows one to obtain a specific, chemical signature of a

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Single molecule force spectroscopy reveals critical roles of hydrophobic core packing in determining the mechanical stability of protein GB1.

    PubMed

    Bu, Tianjia; Wang, Hui-Chuan Eileen; Li, Hongbin

    2012-08-21

    Understanding molecular determinants of protein mechanical stability is important not only for elucidating how elastomeric proteins are designed and functioning in biological systems but also for designing protein building blocks with defined nanomechanical properties for constructing novel biomaterials. GB1 is a small α/β protein and exhibits significant mechanical stability. It is thought that the shear topology of GB1 plays an important role in determining its mechanical stability. Here, we combine single molecule atomic force microscopy and protein engineering techniques to investigate the effect of side chain reduction and hydrophobic core packing on the mechanical stability of GB1. We engineered seven point mutants and carried out mechanical φ-value analysis of the mechanical unfolding of GB1. We found that three mutations, which are across the surfaces of two subdomains that are to be sheared by the applied stretching force, in the hydrophobic core (F30L, Y45L, and F52L) result in significant decrease in mechanical unfolding force of GB1. The mechanical unfolding force of these mutants drop by 50-90 pN compared with wild-type GB1, which unfolds at around 180 pN at a pulling speed of 400 nm/s. These results indicate that hydrophobic core packing plays an important role in determining the mechanical stability of GB1 and suggest that optimizing hydrophobic interactions across the surfaces that are to be sheared will likely be an efficient method to enhance the mechanical stability of GB1 and GB1 homologues.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Stochastic emergence of multiple intermediates detected by single-molecule quasi-static mechanical unfolding of protein

    PubMed Central

    Fukagawa, Akihiro; Hiroshima, Michio; Sakane, Isao; Tokunaga, Makio

    2009-01-01

    Experimental probing of a protein-folding energy landscape can be challenging, and energy landscapes comprising multiple intermediates have not yet been defined. Here, we quasi-statically unfolded single molecules of staphylococcal nuclease by constant-rate mechanical stretching with a feedback positioning system. Multiple discrete transition states were detected as force peaks, and only some of the multiple transition states emerged stochastically in each trial. This finding was confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations, and agreed with another result of the simulations which showed that individual trajectories took highly heterogeneous pathways. The presence of Ca2+ did not change the location of the transition states, but changed the frequency of the emergence. Transition states emerged more frequently in stabilized domains. The simulations also confirmed this feature, and showed that the stabilized domains had rugged energy surfaces. The mean energy required per residue to disrupt secondary structures was a few times the thermal energy (1–3 kBT), which agreed with the stochastic feature. Thus, single-molecule quasi-static measurement has achieved notable success in detecting stochastic features of a huge number of possible conformations of a protein. PMID:27857576

  17. Analyzing single-molecule manipulation experiments.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Christopher P; Harris, Nolan C; Kiang, Ching-Hwa; Cox, Dennis D

    2009-01-01

    Single-molecule manipulation studies can provide quantitative information about the physical properties of complex biological molecules without ensemble artifacts obscuring the measurements. We demonstrate computational techniques which aim at more fully utilizing the wealth of information contained in noisy experimental time series. The "noise" comes from multiple sources e.g., inherent thermal motion, instrument measurement error, etc. The primary focus of this paper is a methodology that uses time domain based methods to extract the effective molecular friction from single-molecule pulling data. We studied molecules composed of eight tandem repeat titin I27 domains, but the modeling approaches have applicability to other single-molecule mechanical studies. The merits and challenges associated with applying such a computational approach to existing single-molecule manipulation data are also discussed. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Single-molecule mechanics of R403Q cardiac myosin isolated from the mouse model of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Tyska, M J; Hayes, E; Giewat, M; Seidman, C E; Seidman, J G; Warshaw, D M

    2000-04-14

    Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is an inherited cardiac disease that can result in sudden death in the absence of any overt symptoms. Many of the cases documented to date have been linked with missense mutations in the beta-myosin heavy chain gene. Here we present data detailing the functional impact of one of the most deadly mutations, R403Q, on myosin motor function. Experiments were performed on whole cardiac myosin purified from a mouse model of FHC to eliminate potential uncertainties associated with protein expression systems. The R403Q mutant myosin demonstrated 2.3-fold higher actin-activated ATPase activity, 2.2-fold greater average force generation, and 1.6-fold faster actin filament sliding in the motility assay. The force- and displacement-generating capacities of both the normal and mutant myosin were also characterized at the single molecule level in the laser trap assay. Both control and mutant generated similar unitary forces ( approximately 1 pN) and displacements ( approximately 7 nm) without any differences in event durations. On the basis of the distribution of mean unitary displacements, this mutation may possibly perturb the mechanical coordination between the 2 heads of cardiac myosin. Any of these observations could, alone or possibly in combination, result in abnormal power output and potentially a stimulus for the hypertrophic response.

  5. Characterization of unfolding mechanism of human lamin A Ig fold by single-molecule force spectroscopy-implications in EDMD.

    PubMed

    Bera, Manindra; Kotamarthi, Hema Chandra; Dutta, Subarna; Ray, Angana; Ghosh, Saptaparni; Bhattacharyya, Dhananjay; Ainavarapu, Sri Rama Koti; Sengupta, Kaushik

    2014-11-25

    A- and B-type lamins are intermediate filament proteins constituting the nuclear lamina underneath the nuclear envelope thereby conferring proper shape and mechanical rigidity to the nucleus. Lamin proteins are also shown to be related diversely to basic nuclear processes. More than 400 mutations in human lamin A protein alone have been reported to produce at least 11 different disease conditions jointly termed as laminopathies. These mutations in lamin A are scattered throughout its helical rod domain, as well as the C-terminal domain containing the conserved Ig-fold region. The commonality of phenotypes in all these diseases is characterized by misshapen nuclei of the affected tissues which might stem from altered rigidity of the supporting lamina hence lamins. Here we have focused on autosomal dominant Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy, one such laminopathy where R453W is the causative mutation located in the Ig domain of lamin A. We have investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy how a stretching mechanical perturbation senses the destabilizing effect of the mutation in the lamin A Ig domain and compared the mechanoelastic properties of the mutant R453W with that of the wild-type in conjunction with steered molecular dynamics. Furthermore, we have shown the interaction of Ig domain with emerin, another key player and interacting partner in the pathogenesis of EDMD, is disrupted in the R453W mutant. This altered mechanoresistance of Ig domain itself and consequent uncoupling of lamin A-emerin interaction might underlie the altered mechanotransduction properties of EDMD affected nuclei.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Torque Measurement at the Single Molecule Level

    PubMed Central

    Forth, Scott; Sheinin, Maxim Y.; Inman, James; Wang, Michelle D.

    2017-01-01

    Methods for exerting and measuring forces on single molecules have revolutionized the study of the physics of biology. However, it is often the case that biological processes involve rotation or torque generation, and these parameters have been more difficult to access experimentally. Recent advances in the single molecule field have led to the development of techniques which add the capability of torque measurement. By combining force, displacement, torque, and rotational data, a more comprehensive description of the mechanics of a biomolecule can be achieved. In this review, we highlight a number of biological processes for which torque plays a key mechanical role. We describe the various techniques that have been developed to directly probe the torque experienced by a single molecule, and detail a variety of measurements made to date using these new technologies. We conclude by discussing a number of open questions and propose systems of study which would be well suited for analysis with torsional measurement techniques. PMID:23541162

  9. Single-molecule nanopore enzymology

    PubMed Central

    Wloka, Carsten; Maglia, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    Biological nanopores are a class of membrane proteins that open nanoscale water-conduits in biological membranes. When they are reconstituted in artificial membranes and a bias voltage is applied across the membrane, the ionic current passing through individual nanopores can be used to monitor chemical reactions, to recognize individual molecules and, of most interest, to sequence DNA. More recently, proteins and enzymes have started being analysed with nanopores. Monitoring enzymatic reactions with nanopores, i.e. nanopore enzymology, has the unique advantage that it allows long-timescale observations of native proteins at the single-molecule level. Here we describe the approaches and challenges in nanopore enzymology. PMID:28630164

  10. Single molecule and single cell epigenomics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Single molecule junction conductance and binding geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamenetska, Maria

    This Thesis addresses the fundamental problem of controlling transport through a metal-organic interface by studying electronic and mechanical properties of single organic molecule-metal junctions. Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) we image, probe energy-level alignment and perform STM-based break junction (BJ) measurements on molecules bound to a gold surface. Using Scanning Tunneling Microscope-based break-junction (STM-BJ) techniques, we explore the effect of binding geometry on single-molecule conductance by varying the structure of the molecules, metal-molecule binding chemistry and by applying sub-nanometer manipulation control to the junction. These experiments are performed both in ambient conditions and in ultra high vacuum (UHV) at cryogenic temperatures. First, using STM imaging and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) measurements we explore binding configurations and electronic properties of an amine-terminated benzene derivative on gold. We find that details of metal-molecule binding affect energy-level alignment at the interface. Next, using the STM-BJ technique, we form and rupture metal-molecule-metal junctions ˜104 times to obtain conductance-vs-extension curves and extract most likely conductance values for each molecule. With these measurements, we demonstrated that the control of junction conductance is possible through a choice of metal-molecule binding chemistry and sub-nanometer positioning. First, we show that molecules terminated with amines, sulfides and phosphines bind selectively on gold and therefore demonstrate constant conductance levels even as the junction is elongated and the metal-molecule attachment point is modified. Such well-defined conductance is also obtained with paracyclophane molecules which bind to gold directly through the pi system. Next, we are able to create metal-molecule-metal junctions with more than one reproducible conductance signatures that can be accessed by changing junction geometry. In the

  13. 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

  14. Ultrafast dynamics of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Brinks, Daan; Hildner, Richard; van Dijk, Erik M H P; Stefani, Fernando D; Nieder, Jana B; Hernando, Jordi; van Hulst, Niek F

    2014-04-21

    The detection of individual molecules has found widespread application in molecular biology, photochemistry, polymer chemistry, quantum optics and super-resolution microscopy. Tracking of an individual molecule in time has allowed identifying discrete molecular photodynamic steps, action of molecular motors, protein folding, diffusion, etc. down to the picosecond level. However, methods to study the ultrafast electronic and vibrational molecular dynamics at the level of individual molecules have emerged only recently. In this review we present several examples of femtosecond single molecule spectroscopy. Starting with basic pump-probe spectroscopy in a confocal detection scheme, we move towards deterministic coherent control approaches using pulse shapers and ultra-broad band laser systems. We present the detection of both electronic and vibrational femtosecond dynamics of individual fluorophores at room temperature, showing electronic (de)coherence, vibrational wavepacket interference and quantum control. Finally, two colour phase shaping applied to photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is presented, which allows investigation of the persistent coherence in photosynthetic complexes under physiological conditions at the level of individual complexes.

  15. Real-time single-molecule studies of the motions of DNA polymerase fingers illuminate DNA synthesis mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Evans, Geraint W; Hohlbein, Johannes; Craggs, Timothy; Aigrain, Louise; Kapanidis, Achillefs N

    2015-07-13

    DNA polymerases maintain genomic integrity by copying DNA with high fidelity. A conformational change important for fidelity is the motion of the polymerase fingers subdomain from an open to a closed conformation upon binding of a complementary nucleotide. We previously employed intra-protein single-molecule FRET on diffusing molecules to observe fingers conformations in polymerase-DNA complexes. Here, we used the same FRET ruler on surface-immobilized complexes to observe fingers-opening and closing of individual polymerase molecules in real time. Our results revealed the presence of intrinsic dynamics in the binary complex, characterized by slow fingers-closing and fast fingers-opening. When binary complexes were incubated with increasing concentrations of complementary nucleotide, the fingers-closing rate increased, strongly supporting an induced-fit model for nucleotide recognition. Meanwhile, the opening rate in ternary complexes with complementary nucleotide was 6 s(-1), much slower than either fingers closing or the rate-limiting step in the forward direction; this rate balance ensures that, after nucleotide binding and fingers-closing, nucleotide incorporation is overwhelmingly likely to occur. Our results for ternary complexes with a non-complementary dNTP confirmed the presence of a state corresponding to partially closed fingers and suggested a radically different rate balance regarding fingers transitions, which allows polymerase to achieve high fidelity.

  16. Trigonal antiprismatic Co(ii) single molecule magnets with large uniaxial anisotropies: importance of Raman and tunneling mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan-Zhu; Gómez-Coca, Silvia; Brown, Andrew J; Saber, Mohamed R; Zhang, Xuan; Dunbar, Kim R

    2016-10-19

    The air-stable mononuclear Co(ii) compounds [Co(II)(Tpm)2][ClO4]2 (1, Tpm = tris(pyrazol-1-yl)methane), [Co(II)(Tpm)2][BPh4]2·2MeCN (2) with trigonal antiprismatic geometry (trigonally elongated octahedral geometry) are reported. Magnetic and theoretical studies reveal that the complexes exhibit single-molecule magnet behavior with uniaxial anisotropy and a huge energy difference between ground and first excited Karmers' doublets (∼200 cm(-1)). Under applied DC fields, compounds 1 and 2 exhibit frequency and temperature dependence of the imaginary susceptibility. The fit of the data to an Orbach relaxation process yields effective energy barriers of 30.6(1) and 44.7(6) cm(-1) for 1 and 2, respectively, but there is no real state at that energy. The inclusion of tunneling, direct and Raman relaxation processes leads to the conclusion that the inclusion of an Orbach process is not required to provide a good fit to the data. More interestingly, a detailed study of the dependence of the relaxation time with field shows that for these Kramers' ions, tunneling is the predominant process at low temperature and that differences in the counteranion allow for a tuning of the Raman process at higher temperatures. These findings underscore the fact that large uniaxial anisotropy can be achieved in hexacoordinate Co(ii) trigonal antiprismatic complexes which is an unexplored geometry in mononuclear single molecule magnets.

  17. 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.

  18. The low-bias conducting mechanism of single-molecule junctions constructed with methylsulfide linker groups and gold electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Minglang; Wang, Yongfeng; Sanvito, Stefano; Hou, Shimin

    2017-08-01

    The atomic structure and electronic transport properties of two types of molecular junctions, in which a series of saturated and conjugated molecules are symmetrically connected to gold electrodes through methylsulfide groups, are investigated using the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism combined with density functional theory. Our calculations show that the low-bias junction conductance is determined by the electronic tunneling between the two Au-S donor-acceptor bonds formed at the molecule-electrode interfaces. For alkanes with 4, 6, and 8 carbon atoms in the chain, the Au-S bonds moderately couple with the σ-type frontier molecular orbitals of the alkane backbone and thus prefer to be coplanar with the alkane backbone in the junction. This results in an exponential decrease of the junction conductance as a function of the number of methylene groups. In contrast, the Au-S bonds couple strongly with the π-type orbitals of the 1,4'-bis(methylsulfide)benzene and 4,4'-bis(methylsulfide)biphenyl molecules and thus tend to be perpendicular to the neighboring benzene rings, leading to the rather large junction conductance. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the low-bias conducting mechanism and facilitate the design of molecular electronic devices with methylsulfide groups and gold electrodes.

  19. 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

  20. A single-molecule diode.

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-21

    We have designed and synthesized a molecular rod that consists of two weakly coupled electronic pi -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 pi-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.

  1. Strongly enhanced field-dependent single-molecule electroluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Tae-Hee; Gonzalez, Jose I.; Dickson, Robert M.

    2002-08-01

    Individual, strongly electroluminescent Agn molecules (n = 28 atoms) have been electrically written within otherwise nonemissive silver oxide films. Exhibiting characteristic single-molecule behavior, these individual room-temperature molecules exhibit extreme electroluminescence enhancements (>104 vs. bulk and dc excitation on a per molecule basis) when excited with specific ac frequencies. Occurring through field extraction of electrons with subsequent reinjection and radiative recombination, single-molecule electroluminescence is enhanced by a general mechanism that avoids slow bulk material response. Thus, while we detail strong electroluminescence from single, highly fluorescent Agn molecules, this mechanism also yields strong ac-excited electroluminescence from similarly prepared, but otherwise nonemissive, individual Cu nanoclusters.

  2. Single molecule imaging of protein molecules in nanopores.

    PubMed

    Ma, Changbei; Yeung, Edward S

    2010-01-15

    The interactions between single protein molecules and nanoporous polycarbonate membranes were investigated at the single molecule level. Entrapment of proteins was shown to be size selective and was dependent on the membrane pore diameter. A pore size that is only slightly larger than the maximum dimension of the proteins was inadequate for intrusion into the pores. For a given protein, the number of molecules found at a given depth decreased as the pore size decreased. In addition, as the depth increased, for a given size pore, the number of molecules decreased rapidly. The depth-dependent histograms nicely fit a one-dimensional diffusion model. However, a highly restricted motion was observed even when the pore diameter was 10 times the size of the protein, resulting in anomalously small diffusion coefficients. We also demonstrated the subtle differences in depth distribution among BSA and hemoglobin that have nearly the same molecular weight but slightly different molecular shapes. These results give unique insights into the detailed mechanism of size-exclusion chromatography and membrane filtration.

  3. Effect of the size of solvent molecules on the single-chain mechanics of poly(ethylene glycol): implications on a novel design of a molecular motor.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhonglong; Zhang, Bo; Qian, Hu-Jun; Lu, Zhong-Yuan; Cui, Shuxun

    2016-10-20

    Excluded-volume (EV) interaction, also known as the EV effect, can drive the collapse of polymer chains in a polymer solution and promote the crystallization of polymer chains. Herein we report, for the first time, the effect of EV interaction on the single-chain mechanics of a polymer, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). By using AFM-based single-molecule force spectroscopy, the single-chain mechanics of a PEG chain has been detected in various nonpolar organic solvents with different molecule sizes. It is observed that the nonpolar solvents can be classified into two categories. In the small-sized organic solvents (e.g., tetrachloroethane and n-nonane), PEG presents its inherent elasticity, which is consistent with the theoretical single-chain elasticity from quantum mechanical calculations. However, in the middle-sized solvents (e.g., n-dodecane and n-hexadecane), the single-chain entropic elasticity of PEG is influenced by EV interactions noticeably, which indicates that the PEG chain tends to adopt a compact conformation under these conditions. To stretch a PEG chain from a free state to a fully extended state, more energy (1.54 kBT per repeating unit) is needed in small-sized organic solvents than in middle-sized organic solvents. It is expected that a partially stretched PEG chain would shrink to some extent when the solvent is changed from a middle-sized organic solvent to a small-sized one. Accordingly, a novel design of a PEG-based single-molecule motor that works with solvent stimuli is proposed.

  4. Mechanobiology of Short DNA Molecules: A Single Molecule Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghunathan, Krishnan

    Mechanical properties of DNA are known to play a significant role in several biological processes like wrapping of DNA around histones and looping. Most of these cellular events occur on a DNA length scale of a few hundred basepairs. Single molecule methods have been highly successful in directly investigating heterogeneity in different biomolecular systems and serve as ideal tools to study the mechanical properties of DNA. However, their use in studying DNA of contour lengths less than a kilobase are fraught with experimental difficulties. The research presented in this thesis explores the behavior of short stretches of DNA (≤ 500bp) using existing and novel single molecule methods. We have quantified the variation in persistence lengths between sequences having different elasticity using a constant force axial optical tweezers. Our experiments have also revealed that this difference in persistence lengths manifests itself as a difference in looping lifetimes of lac repressor, in sequences having the aforementioned constructs as the intervening sequence between the operator sites. We have also developed a system to probe DNA dynamics in vivo. We have found that the active processes in the cell have distinct effects on dynamics of DNA and eliminating the active processes causes a 'phase transition' like behavior in the inside the cell. We are currently extending this technique to understand DNA dynamics inside bacterial systems. Our results provide vital insights into mechanical properties of DNA and the effect of athermal fluctuations on DNA dynamics.

  5. A single-molecule diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

    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. Author contributions: F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. designed research; M.E., R.O., M.K., M.F., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. performed research; M.E., R.O., M.K., M.F., C.v.H., F.W., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; M.E., R.O., M.K., C.v.H., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. analyzed data; and F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. wrote the paper.This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.Abbreviations: A, acceptor; D, donor; MCB, mechanically controlled break junction.Data deposition: The atomic coordinates have been deposited in the Cambridge Structural Database, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Cambridge CB2 1EZ, United Kingdom (CSD reference no. 241632).

  6. Single-Molecule Plasmon Sensing: Current Status and Future Prospects.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Adam B; Zijlstra, Peter

    2017-08-25

    Single-molecule detection has long relied on fluorescent labeling with high quantum-yield fluorophores. Plasmon-enhanced detection circumvents the need for labeling by allowing direct optical detection of weakly emitting and completely nonfluorescent species. This review focuses on recent advances in single molecule detection using plasmonic metal nanostructures as a sensing platform, particularly using a single particle-single molecule approach. In the past decade two mechanisms for plasmon-enhanced single-molecule detection have been demonstrated: (1) by plasmonically enhancing the emission of weakly fluorescent biomolecules, or (2) by monitoring shifts of the plasmon resonance induced by single-molecule interactions. We begin with a motivation regarding the importance of single molecule detection, and advantages plasmonic detection offers. We describe both detection mechanisms and discuss challenges and potential solutions. We finalize by highlighting the exciting possibilities in analytical chemistry and medical diagnostics.

  7. Single-Molecule Plasmon Sensing: Current Status and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Single-molecule detection has long relied on fluorescent labeling with high quantum-yield fluorophores. Plasmon-enhanced detection circumvents the need for labeling by allowing direct optical detection of weakly emitting and completely nonfluorescent species. This review focuses on recent advances in single molecule detection using plasmonic metal nanostructures as a sensing platform, particularly using a single particle–single molecule approach. In the past decade two mechanisms for plasmon-enhanced single-molecule detection have been demonstrated: (1) by plasmonically enhancing the emission of weakly fluorescent biomolecules, or (2) by monitoring shifts of the plasmon resonance induced by single-molecule interactions. We begin with a motivation regarding the importance of single molecule detection, and advantages plasmonic detection offers. We describe both detection mechanisms and discuss challenges and potential solutions. We finalize by highlighting the exciting possibilities in analytical chemistry and medical diagnostics. PMID:28762723

  8. Single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equations.

    PubMed

    Kou, S C; Cherayil, Binny J; Min, Wei; English, Brian P; Xie, X Sunney

    2005-10-20

    This paper summarizes our present theoretical understanding of single-molecule kinetics associated with the Michaelis-Menten mechanism of enzymatic reactions. Single-molecule enzymatic turnover experiments typically measure the probability density f(t) of the stochastic waiting time t for individual turnovers. While f(t) can be reconciled with ensemble kinetics, it contains more information than the ensemble data; in particular, it provides crucial information on dynamic disorder, the apparent fluctuation of the catalytic rates due to the interconversion among the enzyme's conformers with different catalytic rate constants. In the presence of dynamic disorder, f(t) exhibits a highly stretched multiexponential decay at high substrate concentrations and a monoexponential decay at low substrate concentrations. We derive a single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation for the reciprocal of the first moment of f(t), 1/, which shows a hyperbolic dependence on the substrate concentration [S], similar to the ensemble enzymatic velocity. We prove that this single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation holds under many conditions, in particular when the intercoversion rates among different enzyme conformers are slower than the catalytic rate. However, unlike the conventional interpretation, the apparent catalytic rate constant and the apparent Michaelis constant in this single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation are complicated functions of the catalytic rate constants of individual conformers. We also suggest that the randomness parameter r, defined as <(t - )2> / t2, can serve as an indicator for dynamic disorder in the catalytic step of the enzymatic reaction, as it becomes larger than unity at high substrate concentrations in the presence of dynamic disorder.

  9. Modeling of Single Molecule Cytoplasmic Dynein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Clare

    2010-03-01

    A living cell has an infrastructure much like that of a city. We will describe the transportation system that consists of roads (filaments) and molecular motors (proteins) that haul cargo along these roads. Dynein is one type of motor protein that walks along microtubules towards the nucleus of the cell. Dynein is more complicated in its structure and function than other motors. Experiments have found that, unlike other motors, dynein can take different size steps along microtubules depending on load and ATP concentration. We use Monte Carlo simulations to model the molecular motor function of cytoplasmic dynein at the single molecule level. The theory relates dynein's enzymatic properties to its mechanical force production. Our simulations reproduce the main features of recent single molecule experiments. We make testable predictions that should guide future experiments related to dynein function.

  10. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time.

    PubMed

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L

    2011-06-15

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Single molecule thermodynamics in biological motors.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuichi; Karagiannis, Peter; Nishiyama, Masayoshi; Ishii, Yoshiharu; Yanagida, Toshio

    2007-04-01

    Biological molecular machines use thermal activation energy to carry out various functions. The process of thermal activation has the stochastic nature of output events that can be described according to the laws of thermodynamics. Recently developed single molecule detection techniques have allowed each distinct enzymatic event of single biological machines to be characterized providing clues to the underlying thermodynamics. In this study, the thermodynamic properties in the stepping movement of a biological molecular motor have been examined. A single molecule detection technique was used to measure the stepping movements at various loads and temperatures and a range of thermodynamic parameters associated with the production of each forward and backward step including free energy, enthalpy, entropy and characteristic distance were obtained. The results show that an asymmetry in entropy is a primary factor that controls the direction in which the motor will step. The investigation on single molecule thermodynamics has the potential to reveal dynamic properties underlying the mechanisms of how biological molecular machines work.

  13. 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.

  14. Single molecule force spectroscopy of asphaltene aggregates.

    PubMed

    Long, Jun; Xu, Zhenghe; Masliyah, Jacob H

    2007-05-22

    Asphaltene aggregation and deposition cause severe problems in nearly all phases of petroleum processing. To resolve those problems, understanding the aggregation mechanisms is a prerequisite and has attracted the interest of a great number of investigators. However, to date, the nature and extent of asphaltene aggregation remain widely debated. In the present study, we attempt to investigate asphaltene aggregation from a completely new perspective. The technique of single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) was used to investigate the response of single asphaltene aggregates under an external pulling force. Force curves representing the stretching of single asphaltene aggregates were obtained in simple electrolyte solutions (KCl and calcium) and organic solvents (toluene and heptane). These force curves were well-fitted by the modified worm-like chain model, indicating that those asphaltene aggregates acted like long-chain polymers under pulling by an external force. It was found that lower solution pH values and the presence of divalent cations resulted in a lower bending rigidity of the formed aggregates. The information retrieved from the force curves suggests that asphaltene molecules with a structure featuring small aromatic clusters connected by aliphatic chains do exist and that asphaltene aggregation could occur through a linear polymerization mechanism. The current study extends the application scope of SMFS.

  15. Single-molecule dynamics in nanofabricated traps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Adam

    2009-03-01

    The Anti-Brownian Electrokinetic trap (ABEL trap) provides a means to immobilize a single fluorescent molecule in solution, without surface attachment chemistry. The ABEL trap works by tracking the Brownian motion of a single molecule, and applying feedback electric fields to induce an electrokinetic motion that approximately cancels the Brownian motion. We present a new design for the ABEL trap that allows smaller molecules to be trapped and more information to be extracted from the dynamics of a single molecule than was previously possible. In particular, we present strategies for extracting dynamically fluctuating mobilities and diffusion coefficients, as a means to probe dynamic changes in molecular charge and shape. If one trapped molecule is good, many trapped molecules are better. An array of single molecules in solution, each immobilized without surface attachment chemistry, provides an ideal test-bed for single-molecule analyses of intramolecular dynamics and intermolecular interactions. We present a technology for creating such an array, using a fused silica plate with nanofabricated dimples and a removable cover for sealing single molecules within the dimples. With this device one can watch the shape fluctuations of single molecules of DNA or study cooperative interactions in weakly associating protein complexes.

  16. Mechanoenzymatics and Nanoassembly of Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puchner, Elias M.; Gaub, Hermann E.

    We investigated the muscle enzyme, titin kinase, by means of single-molecule force spectroscopy. Our results show that the binding of ATP, which is the first step of its signaling cascade controlling the muscle gene expression and protein turnover, is mechanically induced. The detailed determination of barrier positions in the mechanical activation pathway and the corresponding functional states allow structural insight, by comparing the experiment with molecular dynamics simulations. From our results, we conclude that titin kinase acts as a natural force sensor controlling the muscle build-up. To study the interplay of functional units, we developed the single-molecule cut-and-paste technique, which combines the precision of AFM with the selectivity of DNA hybridization. Functional units can be assembled one-by-one in an arbitrarily predefined pattern, with an accuracy that is better than 11 nm. The cyclic assembly process is optically monitored and mechanically recorded by force-extension traces. Using biotin as a functional unit attached to the transported DNA, patterns of binding sites may be created, to which streptavidin-modified nanoobjects like fluorescent nanoparticles can specifically self-assemble in a second step.

  17. Tracking Nanocars Using Single Molecule Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, Stephan; Khatua, Saumyakanti; Claytor, Kevin; Guerrero, Jason; Tour, James

    2008-03-01

    Nanocars belong to an exciting new class of molecules known as molecular machines. They consist of four fullerene or carborane wheels attached to a chassis consisting of a stiff aromatic backbone. The nanocars are designed to roll over a solid surface making them potential candidates for nano-cargo transporters. Here, we present our results on tracking of nanocars by single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. By attaching the fluorescent tag tetramethylrhodamin isothiocyanate to the nanocars, we were able to visualize and track individual nanocars using confocal sample scanning microscopy. Fluorescence images were analyzed for directional movement as opposed to random diffusion or stage drift. We had to overcome 2 major problems in our image analysis: 1) fluorescence photo-blinking and 2) photo-bleaching. We developed routines that are capable of tracking individual fluorescent molecules while accounting for photo-blinking and photo-bleaching. The ability to track individual nanocars is checked independently by simulations. Our method is not limited to tracking of nanocars however, and can be extended to follow individual molecules in biological or mechanical systems as well.

  18. 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

  19. Single molecule sensing with carbon nanotube devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. In particular, single-walled carbon nanotubes have the requisite sensitivity to detect single molecule events and sufficient bandwidth to directly monitor single molecule dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the dynamic, single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. In each case, recordings resolved detailed trajectories of tens of thousands of individual chemical events and provided excellent statistics for single-molecule events. This electronic technique has a temporal resolution approaching 1 microsecond, which provides a new window for observing brief, intermediate transition states. In addition, the devices are indefinitely stable, so that the same molecule can be observed for minutes and hours. The extended recordings provide new insights into rare events like transitions to chemically-inactive conformations.

  20. 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.

  1. Transport mirages in single-molecule devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudenzi, R.; Misiorny, M.; Burzurí, E.; Wegewijs, M. R.; van der Zant, H. S. J.

    2017-03-01

    Molecular systems can exhibit a complex, chemically tailorable inner structure which allows for targeting of specific mechanical, electronic, and optical properties. At the single-molecule level, two major complementary ways to explore these properties are molecular quantum-dot structures and scanning probes. This article outlines comprehensive principles of electron-transport spectroscopy relevant to both these approaches and presents a new, high-resolution experiment on a high-spin single-molecule junction exemplifying these principles. Such spectroscopy plays a key role in further advancing our understanding of molecular and atomic systems, in particular, the relaxation of their spin. In this joint experimental and theoretical analysis, particular focus is put on the crossover between the resonant regime [single-electron tunneling] and the off-resonant regime [inelastic electron (co)tunneling spectroscopy (IETS)]. We show that the interplay of these two processes leads to unexpected mirages of resonances not captured by either of the two pictures alone. Although this turns out to be important in a large fraction of the possible regimes of level positions and bias voltages, it has been given little attention in molecular transport studies. Combined with nonequilibrium IETS—four-electron pump-probe excitations—these mirages provide crucial information on the relaxation of spin excitations. Our encompassing physical picture is supported by a master-equation approach that goes beyond weak coupling. The present work encourages the development of a broader connection between the fields of molecular quantum-dot and scanning probe spectroscopy.

  2. 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

  3. Recording Single Molecule Dynamics and Function using Carbon Nanotube Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yongki; Sims, Patrick; Moody, Issa; Olsen, Tivoli; Corso, Brad L.; Tolga Gul, O.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2013-03-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors (FETs) have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. In particular, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have the requisite sensitivity to detect single molecule events, and have sufficient bandwidth to directly monitor single molecule dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the dynamic, single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of polymerase I. Initial successes in each case indicate the generality and attractiveness of SWNT FETs as a new tool to complement other single molecule techniques. Furthermore, our focused research on transduction mechanisms provides the design rules necessary to further generalize this SWNT FET technique. This presentation will summarize these rules, and demonstrate how the purposeful incorporation of just one amino acid is sufficient to fabricate effective, single molecule nanocircuits from a wide range of enzymes or proteins.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Organization of Single Molecule Magnets on Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sessoli, Roberta

    2006-03-01

    The field of magnetic molecular clusters showing slow relaxation of the magnetization has attracted a great interest for the spectacular quantum effects in the dynamics of the magnetization that range from resonant quantum tunneling to topological interferences. Recently these systems, known as Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs), have also been proposed as model systems for the investigation of flame propagation in flammable substances. A renewed interest in SMMs also comes from the possibility to exploit their rich and complex magnetic behavior in nano-spintronics. However, at the crystalline state these molecular materials are substantially insulating. They can however exhibit significant transport properties if the conduction occurs through one molecule connected to two metal electrodes, or through a tunneling mechanism when the SMM is grafted on a conducting surface, as occurs in scanning tunnel microscopy experiments. Molecular compounds can be organized on surfaces thanks to the self assembly technique that exploits the strong affinity of some groups for the surface, e.g. thiols for gold surfaces. However the deposition of large molecules mainly comprising relatively weak coordinative bonds is far from trivial. Several different approaches have started to be investigated. We will briefly review here the strategies developed in a collaboration between the Universities of Florence and Modena. Well isolated molecules on Au(111) surfaces have been obtained with sub-monolayer coverage and different spacers. Organization on a large scale of micrometric structures has been obtained thanks to micro-contact printing. The magnetic properties of the grafted molecules have been investigated through magneto-optical techniques and the results show a significant change in the magnetization dynamics whose origin is still object of investigations.

  7. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging Over the Decades

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 1990's, 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

  8. Label-Free, Single-Molecule Detection with Optical Microcavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armani, Andrea M.; Kulkarni, Rajan P.; Fraser, Scott E.; Flagan, Richard C.; Vahala, Kerry J.

    2007-08-01

    Current single-molecule detection techniques require labeling the target molecule. We report a highly specific and sensitive optical sensor based on an ultrahigh quality (Q) factor (Q > 108) whispering-gallery microcavity. The silica surface is functionalized to bind the target molecule; binding is detected by a resonant wavelength shift. Single-molecule detection is confirmed by observation of single-molecule binding events that shift the resonant frequency, as well as by the statistics for these shifts over many binding events. These shifts result from a thermo-optic mechanism. Additionally, label-free, single-molecule detection of interleukin-2 was demonstrated in serum. These experiments demonstrate a dynamic range of 1012 in concentration, establishing the microcavity as a sensitive and versatile detector.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. Electronic control inside a molecule : towards single molecule devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lastapis, Mathieu; Fukuma, Yurie; Boland, John

    2006-03-01

    The chimerical single molecule engineering has been proven to be accessible through the use of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) [1]. In this field, one particularly attractive area is the study of single molecules adsorbed on semiconductor surfaces. It has been recently demonstrated that a spatial fine control of the molecular dynamics is possible through the use of tunnelling current [2]. In order to improve the electronic control of a single molecule, we are currently investigating a promising system: CaF2 on Si(111). This system has been extensively studied as a model system to deposit insulator on silicon. Here we are using this system to electronically decouple the molecule from the substrate. I will present LT STM experiments on atomically thick CaF islands on Si(111). The measured electronic properties of these islands demonstrate their potential as ideal templates to study single molecules. Finally I will present some preliminary results on N-HBC [3] adsorbed on a CaF island. [1] G. Binnig and H. Rohrer, ``In touch with atoms'', Rev. Mod. Phys. 71, S324-S330 (1999) [2] M. Lastapis et al, Science, 308, 1000 (2005) [3] S.Draper et al, JACS, 126, 8694 (2004)

  13. Insights into the mechanisms of myosin and kinesin molecular motors from the single-molecule unbinding force measurements.

    PubMed

    Mikhailenko, Sergey V; Oguchi, Yusuke; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi

    2010-06-06

    In cells, ATP (adenosine triphosphate)-driven motor proteins, both cytoskeletal and nucleic acid-based, operate on their corresponding 'tracks', that is, actin, microtubules or nucleic acids, by converting the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work. During each mechanochemical cycle, a motor proceeds via several nucleotide states, characterized by different affinities for the 'track' filament and different nucleotide (ATP or ADP) binding kinetics, which is crucial for a motor to efficiently perform its cellular functions. The measurements of the rupture force between the motor and the track by applying external loads to the individual motor-substrate bonds in various nucleotide states have proved to be an important tool to obtain valuable insights into the mechanism of the motors' performance. We review the application of this technique to various linear molecular motors, both processive and non-processive, giving special attention to the importance of the experimental geometry.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A General Mechanism of Photoconversion of Green-to-Red Fluorescent Proteins Based on Blue and Infrared Light Reduces Phototoxicity in Live-Cell Single-Molecule Imaging.

    PubMed

    Turkowyd, Bartosz; Balinovic, Alexander; Virant, David; Carnero, Haruko G Gölz; Caldana, Fabienne; Endesfelder, Marc; Bourgeois, Dominique; Endesfelder, Ulrike

    2017-09-11

    Photoconversion of fluorescent proteins by blue and complementary near-infrared light, termed primed conversion (PC), is a mechanism recently discovered for Dendra2. We demonstrate that controlling the conformation of arginine at residue 66 by threonine at residue 69 of fluorescent proteins from Anthozoan families (Dendra2, mMaple, Eos, mKikGR, pcDronpa protein families) represents a general route to facilitate PC. Mutations of alanine 159 or serine 173, which are known to influence chromophore flexibility and allow for reversible photoswitching, prevent PC. In addition, we report enhanced photoconversion for pcDronpa variants with asparagine 116. We demonstrate live-cell single-molecule imaging with reduced phototoxicity using PC and record trajectories of RNA polymerase in Escherichia coli cells. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Intra-nuclear mobility and target search mechanisms of transcription factors: a single-molecule perspective on gene expression.

    PubMed

    Normanno, Davide; Dahan, Maxime; Darzacq, Xavier

    2012-06-01

    Precise expression of specific genes in time and space is at the basis of cellular viability as well as correct development of organisms. Understanding the mechanisms of gene regulation is fundamental and still one of the great challenges for biology. Gene expression is regulated also by specific transcription factors that recognize and bind to specific DNA sequences. Transcription factors dynamics, and especially the way they sample the nucleoplasmic space during the search for their specific target in the genome, are a key aspect for regulation and it has been puzzling researchers for forty years. The scope of this review is to give a state-of-the-art perspective over the intra-nuclear mobility and the target search mechanisms of specific transcription factors at the molecular level. Going through the seminal biochemical experiments that have raised the first questions about target localization and the theoretical grounds concerning target search processes, we describe the most recent experimental achievements and current challenges in understanding transcription factors dynamics and interactions with DNA using in vitro assays as well as in live prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nuclear Transport and RNA Processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel

    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'.

  20. '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

  1. Nanoscience: Single-molecule instant replay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camillone, Nicholas

    2016-11-01

    A nanoscale imaging method that uses ultrashort light pulses to initiate and follow the motion of a single molecule adsorbed on a solid surface opens a window onto the physical and chemical dynamics of molecules on surfaces. See Letter p.263

  2. Near-field single molecule spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, X.S.; Dunn, R.C.

    1995-02-01

    The high spatial resolution and sensitivity of near-field fluorescence microscopy allows one to study spectroscopic and dynamical properties of individual molecules at room temperature. Time-resolved experiments which probe the dynamical behavior of single molecules are discussed. Ground rules for applying near-field spectroscopy and the effect of the aluminum coated near-field probe on spectroscopic measurements are presented.

  3. Fast temporal fluctuations in single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Ochs, Roif; Secker, Daniel; Elbing, Mark; Mayor, Marcel; Weber, Heiko B

    2006-01-01

    The noise within the electrical current through single-molecule junctions is studied cryogenic temperature. The organic sample molecules were contacted with the mechanically controlled break-junction technique. The noise spectra refer to a where only few Lorentzian fluctuators occur in the conductance. The frequency dependence shows qualitative variations from sample to sample.

  4. SINGLE MOLECULE ENZYMOLOGY FINDS ITS STRIDE.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2015-10-01

    More techniques aimed at probing the nature of single molecules are being developed and advanced in biophysics labs. Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at the scientists leading the charge into the micro-world.

  5. 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.

  6. Single-molecule studies on the mechanical interplay between DNA supercoiling and H-NS DNA architectural properties.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ci Ji; Kenney, Linda J; Yan, Jie

    2014-07-01

    The Escherichia coli H-NS protein is a major nucleoid-associated protein that is involved in chromosomal DNA packaging and gene regulatory functions. These biological processes are intimately related to the DNA supercoiling state and thus suggest a direct relationship between H-NS binding and DNA supercoiling. Here, we show that H-NS, which has two distinct DNA-binding modes, is able to differentially regulate DNA supercoiling. H-NS DNA-stiffening mode caused by nucleoprotein filament formation is able to suppress DNA plectoneme formation during DNA supercoiling. In contrast, when H-NS is in its DNA-bridging mode, it is able to promote DNA plectoneme formation during DNA supercoiling. In addition, the DNA-bridging mode is able to block twists diffusion thus trapping DNA in supercoiled domains. Overall, this work reveals the mechanical interplay between H-NS and DNA supercoiling which provides insights to H-NS organization of chromosomal DNA based on its two distinct DNA architectural properties. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Relaxation dynamics of a single DNA molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goshen, E.; Zhao, W. Z.; Carmon, G.; Rosen, S.; Granek, R.; Feingold, M.

    2005-06-01

    The relaxation of a single DNA molecule is studied. The experimental system consists of optical tweezers and a micron-sized bead that is tethered to the bottom of the sample by a single double-stranded DNA molecule. The bead slows down the DNA relaxation from a strongly stretched configuration such that it is passing through stretched equilibrium states. This allows for a theoretical description of the relaxation trajectory, which is in good agreement with experiment.

  8. 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.

  9. Magnetic tweezers for single-molecule manipulation.

    PubMed

    Seol, Yeonee; Neuman, Keir C

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic tweezers provide a versatile tool enabling the application of force and torque on individual biomolecules. Magnetic tweezers are uniquely suited to the study of DNA topology and protein-DNA interactions that modify DNA topology. Perhaps due to its presumed simplicity, magnetic tweezers instrumentation has been described in less detail than comparable techniques. Here, we provide a comprehensive description and guide for the design and implementation of a magnetic tweezers instrument for single-molecule measurements of DNA topology and mechanics. We elucidate magnetic trap design, as well as microscope and illumination setup, and provide a simple LabVIEW-based real-time position tracking algorithm. In addition, we provide procedures for production of supercoilable DNA tethers, flow-cell design, and construction tips.

  10. 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.

  11. Life at the Single Molecule Level

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Xiaoliang Sunny

    2011-03-04

    In a living cell, gene expression—the transcription of DNA to messenger RNA followed by translation to protein—occurs stochastically, as a consequence of the low copy number of DNA and mRNA molecules involved. Can one monitor these processes in a living cell in real time? How do cells with identical genes exhibit different phenotypes? Recent advances in single-molecule imaging in living bacterial cells allow these questions to be answered at the molecular level in a quantitative manner. It was found that rare events of single molecules can have important biological consequences.

  12. Absorption and fluorescence of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Butter, J Y P; Hecht, B; Crenshaw, B R; Weder, C

    2006-10-21

    Simultaneous detection of single molecules by absorption and fluorescence is demonstrated using confocal microscopy at cryogenic temperature. Dynamical processes such as blinking and spectral jumping of single emitters are observed in both detection channels. The relative magnitude of fluorescence and absorption varies between molecules. In particular, we observe molecules that do not emit detectable Stokes-shifted fluorescence but show a strong absorption signal. The fact that coherent resonant scattering underlies the absorption process is demonstrated by a correlation between small linewidth and large absorption amplitude.

  13. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Li, Yiwei; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Single-molecule magnetism in three related {Co(III)2Dy(III)2}-acetylacetonate complexes with multiple relaxation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Langley, Stuart K; Chilton, Nicholas F; Moubaraki, Boujemaa; Murray, Keith S

    2013-06-17

    Three new heterometallic complexes with formulas of [Dy(III)2Co(III)2(OMe)2(teaH)2(acac)4(NO3)2] (1), [Dy(III)2Co(III)2(OH)2(teaH)2(acac)4(NO3)2]·4H2O (2), and [Dy(III)2Co(III)2(OMe)2(mdea)2(acac)4(NO3)2] (3) were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and by dc and ac magnetic susceptibility measurements. All three complexes have an identical "butterfly"-type metallic core that consists of two Dy(III) ions occupying the "body" position and two diamagnetic low-spin Co(III) ions occupying the outer "wing-tips". Each complex displays single-molecule magnet (SMM) behavior in zero applied magnetic field, with thermally activated anisotropy barriers of 27, 28, and 38 K above 7.5 K for 1-3, respectively, as well as observing a temperature-independent mechanism of relaxation below 5 K for 1 and 2 and at 3 K for 3, indicating fast quantum tunneling of magnetization (QTM). A second, faster thermally activated relaxation mechanism may also be active under a zero applied dc field as derived from the Cole-Cole data. Interestingly, these complexes demonstrate further relaxation modes that are strongly dependent upon the application of a static dc magnetic field. Dilution experiments that were performed on 1, in the {Y(III)2Co(III)2} diamagnetic analog, show that the slow magnetic relaxation is of a single-ion origin, but it was found that the neighboring ion also plays an important role in the overall relaxation dynamics.

  17. 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.

  18. Single molecule fluorescence and force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schütz, G J; Hinterdorfer, P

    2002-12-01

    The investigation of biomolecules has entered a new age since the development of methodologies capable of studies at the level of single molecules. In biology, most molecules show a complex dynamical behavior, with individual motions and transitions between different states occurring highly correlated in space and time within an arrangement of various elements. Recent advances in the development of new microscopy techniques with sensitivity at the single molecule have gained access to essentially new types of information obtainable from imaging biomolecular samples. These methodologies are described here in terms of their applicability to the in vivo detection and visualization of molecular processes on surfaces, membranes, and cells. First examples of single molecule microscopy on cell membranes revealed new basic insight into the lateral organization of the plasma membrane, providing the captivating perspective of an ultra-sensitive methodology as a general tool to study local processes and heterogeneities in living cells.

  19. 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

  20. Two steps forward, one step back: determining XPD helicase mechanism by single-molecule fluorescence and high-resolution optical tweezers.

    PubMed

    Spies, Maria

    2014-08-01

    XPD-like helicases constitute a prominent DNA helicase family critical for many aspects of genome maintenance. These enzymes share a unique structural feature, an auxiliary domain stabilized by an iron-sulphur (FeS) cluster, and a 5'-3' polarity of DNA translocation and duplex unwinding. Biochemical analyses alongside two single-molecule approaches, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and high-resolution optical tweezers, have shown how the unique structural features of XPD helicase and its specific patterns of substrate interactions tune the helicase for its specific cellular function and shape its molecular mechanism. The FeS domain forms a duplex separation wedge and contributes to an extended DNA binding site. Interactions within this site position the helicase in an orientation to unwind the duplex, control the helicase rate, and verify the integrity of the translocating strand. Consistent with its cellular role, processivity of XPD is limited and is defined by an idiosyncratic stepping kinetics. DNA duplex separation occurs in single base pair steps punctuated by frequent backward steps and conformational rearrangements of the protein-DNA complex. As such, the helicase in isolation mainly stabilizes spontaneous base pair opening and exhibits a limited ability to unwind stable DNA duplexes. The presence of a cognate ssDNA binding protein converts XPD into a vigorous helicase by destabilizing the upstream dsDNA as well as by trapping the unwound strands. Remarkably, the two proteins can co-exist on the same DNA strand without competing for binding. The current model of the XPD unwinding mechanism will be discussed along with possible modifications to this mechanism by the helicase interacting partners and unique features of such bio-medically important XPD-like helicases as FANCJ (BACH1), RTEL1 and CHLR1 (DDX11). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Single molecule study of silicon quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    So, Woong Young; Li, Qi; Jin, Rongchao; Peteanu, Linda

    2016-09-01

    Recently, fluorescent Silicon (Si) Quantum Dots (QDs) have attracted much interest due to their high quantum yield, use of non-toxic and environmentally-benign chemicals, and water-solubility. However, more research is necessary to understand the energy level characteristics and single molecule behavior to enable their development for imaging applications. Therefore, single molecule time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of fluorescent Si QDs (cyan, green, and yellow) is needed. A rigorous analysis of time-resolved photon correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime data on single Si QDs at room temperature is presented.

  2. Polymer physics experiments with single DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Douglas E.

    1999-11-01

    Bacteriophage DNA molecules were taken as a model flexible polymer chain for the experimental study of polymer dynamics at the single molecule level. Video fluorescence microscopy was used to directly observe the conformational dynamics of fluorescently labeled molecules, optical tweezers were used to manipulate individual molecules, and micro-fabricated flow cells were used to apply controlled hydrodynamic strain to molecules. These techniques constitute a powerful new experimental approach in the study of basic polymer physics questions. I have used these techniques to study the diffusion and relaxation of isolated and entangled polymer molecules and the hydrodynamic deformation of polymers in elongational and shear flows. These studies revealed a rich, and previously unobserved, ``molecular individualism'' in the dynamical behavior of single molecules. Individual measurements on ensembles of identical molecules allowed the average conformation to be determined as well as the underlying probability distributions for molecular conformation. Scaling laws, that predict the dependence of properties on chain length and concentration, were also tested. The basic assumptions of the reptation model were directly confirmed by visualizing the dynamics of entangled chains.

  3. 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.

  4. Unfolding Dynamics of Single Collapsed DNA Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murayama, Y.; Wada, H.; Ishida, R.; Sano, M.

    We observed elastic responses of single DNA molecules and visualized them during the collapsing transition induced by trivalent cation, spermidine (SPD). The force-extension curves show worm-like behavior, force plateau, and stick-release responses depending on SPD concentration. The periodic stick-release responses may reflect the unraveling of toroidal condensates. At much higher SPD concentration, we observed re-elongation of a single collapsed DNA. For the visualization, a fluorescent dye, YOYO, was used. We observed bright spots in the fluorescence intensity profile of a collapsed DNA during stretching, which may correspond to the collapsed parts within the single DNA. The decrease of the intensity of the spots in stretching implies the mechanical unfolding of collapsed parts. Towards achieving a microscopic understanding of these experimental results, we also investigate the elastic properties of a highly charged polyelectrolyte (PE) chain by Brownian dynamics simulation method. In our dynamic simulation, a PE has a small intrinsic stiffness (i.e., the PE is semiflexible) to model the stiffness of DNA chain, and added multivalent counterions are explicitly taken into account. As the electrostatic coupling parameter (proportional to counterion valency) is increased, counterion condensation is observed, leading finally to the PE collapse through the discontinuous transition for a sufficiently large coupling parameter. Mechanical unfolding of a PE globule reveals its molecular elasticities including force plateau, in agreement with the experimental observations. A numerically deduced electrostatic condensation energy is compared to the experimental value. Charge ordering in the PE-counterion complex and its deformation by the external forcing are elucidated in conjunction with the PE elastic responses. Other dynamic effects such as the effect of a pulling speed are also discussed.

  5. Single-molecule experiments in vitro and in silico.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-05-25

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Stochastic simulation of single-molecule pulling experiments.

    PubMed

    Gupta, V K

    2014-10-01

    Single-molecule pulling experiments are widely used for studying the structure, dynamics, and function of single biological molecules via applying mechanical forces on them in a controlled way. Pulling at a constant speed or at a constant force builds up a mechanical force on a molecule or molecular complex leading to a molecular transition such as the dissociation of a molecular complex, unfolding of a protein, or unwrapping of a higher-order structure. We perform Brownian dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations of single-molecule pulling experiments. Through our simulations we demonstrate that the molecular transition rate based on the Kramers theory in the high-barrier limit becomes unsuitable as the applied force approaches the critical force at which the barrier disappears. We also demonstrate that use of molecular transition rate based on mean first passage time (MFPT) approach would be more relevant in describing molecular transition especially as the applied force approaches the critical force.

  10. Quantum transport of the single metallocene molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jing-Xin; Chang, Jing; Wei, Rong-Kai; Liu, Xiu-Ying; Li, Xiao-Dong

    2016-10-01

    The Quantum transport of three single metallocene molecule is investigated by performing theoretical calculations using the non-equilibrium Green's function method combined with density functional theory. We find that the three metallocen molecules structure become stretched along the transport direction, the distance between two Cp rings longer than the other theory and experiment results. The lager conductance is found in nickelocene molecule, the main transmission channel is the electron coupling between molecule and the electrodes is through the Ni dxz and dyz orbitals and the s, dxz, dyz of gold. This is also confirmed by the highest occupied molecular orbital resonance at Fermi level. In addition, negative differential resistance effect is found in the ferrocene, cobaltocene molecules, this is also closely related with the evolution of the transmission spectrum under applied bias.

  11. Molecular electronics: the single-molecule switch and transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotthewes, Kai; Geskin, Victor; Heimbuch, Rene; Kumar, Avijit; Zandvliet, Harold

    2014-03-01

    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.

  12. Enhancing single-molecule fluorescence with nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-10-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an important research tool in the life sciences but a number of limitations hinder the widespread use as a standard technique. The limited dynamic concentration range is one of the major hurdles. Recent developments in the nanophotonic field promise to alleviate these restrictions to an extent that even low affinity biomolecular interactions can be studied. After motivating the need for nanophotonics we introduce the basic concepts of nanophotonic devices such as zero mode waveguides and nanoantennas. We highlight current applications and the future potential of nanophotonic approaches when combined with biological systems and single-molecule spectroscopy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-21

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool (SMART): An Integrated Approach for Analyzing Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Mabuchi, Hideo; Herschlag, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Single molecule studies have expanded rapidly over the past decade and have the ability to provide an unprecedented level of understanding of biological systems. A common challenge upon introduction of novel, data-rich approaches is the management, processing, and analysis of the complex data sets that are generated. We provide a standardized approach for analyzing these data in the freely available software package SMART: Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool. SMART provides a format for organizing and easily accessing single molecule data, a general hidden Markov modeling algorithm for fitting an array of possible models specified by the user, a standardized data structure and graphical user interfaces to streamline the analysis and visualization of data. This approach guides experimental design, facilitating acquisition of the maximal information from single molecule experiments. SMART also provides a standardized format to allow dissemination of single molecule data and transparency in the analysis of reported data. PMID:22363412

  17. 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.

  18. Single-Molecule Imaging of Nuclear Transport

    PubMed Central

    Goryaynov, Alexander; Sarma, Ashapurna; Ma, Jiong; Yang, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    The utility of single molecule fluorescence microscopy approaches has been proven to be of a great avail in understanding biological reactions over the last decade. The investigation of molecular interactions with high temporal and spatial resolutions deep within cells has remained challenging due to the inherently weak signals arising from individual molecules. Recent works by Yang et al. demonstrated that narrow-field epifluorescence microscopy allows visualization of nucleocytoplasmic transport at the single molecule level. By the single molecule approach, important kinetics, such as nuclear transport time and efficiency, for signal-dependent and independent cargo molecules have been obtained. Here we described a protocol for the methodological approach with an improved spatiotemporal resolution of 0.4 ms and 12 nm. The improved resolution enabled us to capture transient active transport and passive diffusion events through the nuclear pore complexes (NPC) in semi-intact cells. We expect this method to be used in elucidating other binding and trafficking events within cells. PMID:20548283

  19. Single-molecule detection with active transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, David Allan

    A glass capillary is used near the focal region of a custom-built confocal microscope to investigate the use of active transport for single-molecule detection in solution, with both one and two-photon laser excitation. The capillary tip has a diameter of several microns and is carefully aligned nearby to the sub-micron laser beam waist, collinear to the optical axis, so that a negative pressure-difference causes molecules to be drawn into the capillary, along the laser beam axis. The flow of solution, which is characterized by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), can increase the single-molecule detection rate for slowly diffusing proteins by over a factor of 100, while the mean rate of photons during each burst is similar to that for random diffusional transport. Also, the flow is along the longest axis of the ellipsoidally-shaped confocal volume, which results in more collected photons per molecule than that for transverse flow at the same speed. When transport is dominated by flow, FCS can no longer distinguish molecules with differing translational diffusion, and hence a fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy method based on differences in fluorescence brightness is investigated as a means for assaying different solution components, for applications in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Multi-channel fluctuation spectroscopy techniques can also be used for assays with the flow system and hence this dissertation also reports the characterization of a prototype 4-channel single-photon detector with a two-wavelength polarization-resolved optical set-up.

  20. Large negative differential conductance in single-molecule break junctions.

    PubMed

    Perrin, Mickael L; Frisenda, Riccardo; Koole, Max; Seldenthuis, Johannes S; Gil, Jose A Celis; Valkenier, Hennie; Hummelen, Jan C; Renaud, Nicolas; Grozema, Ferdinand C; Thijssen, Joseph M; Dulić, Diana; van der Zant, Herre S J

    2014-10-01

    Molecular electronics aims at exploiting the internal structure and electronic orbitals of molecules to construct functional building blocks. To date, however, the overwhelming majority of experimentally realized single-molecule junctions can be described as single quantum dots, where transport is mainly determined by the alignment of the molecular orbital levels with respect to the Fermi energies of the electrodes and the electronic coupling with those electrodes. Particularly appealing exceptions include molecules in which two moieties are twisted with respect to each other and molecules in which quantum interference effects are possible. Here, we report the experimental observation of pronounced negative differential conductance in the current-voltage characteristics of a single molecule in break junctions. The molecule of interest consists of two conjugated arms, connected by a non-conjugated segment, resulting in two coupled sites. A voltage applied across the molecule pulls the energy of the sites apart, suppressing resonant transport through the molecule and causing the current to decrease. A generic theoretical model based on a two-site molecular orbital structure captures the experimental findings well, as confirmed by density functional theory with non-equilibrium Green's functions calculations that include the effect of the bias. Our results point towards a conductance mechanism mediated by the intrinsic molecular orbitals alignment of the molecule.

  1. Single-molecule studies using magnetic traps.

    PubMed

    Lionnet, Timothée; Allemand, Jean-François; Revyakin, Andrey; Strick, Terence R; Saleh, Omar A; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, techniques have been developed to study and manipulate single molecules of DNA and other biopolymers. In one such technique, the magnetic trap, a single DNA molecule is bound at one end to a glass surface and at the other to a magnetic microbead. Small magnets, whose position and rotation can be controlled, pull on and rotate the microbead. This provides a simple method to stretch and twist the molecule. The system allows one to apply and measure forces ranging from 10(-3) to >100 pN. In contrast to other techniques, the force measurement is absolute and does not require calibration of the sensor. In this article, we describe the principle of the magnetic trap, as well as its use in the measurement of the elastic properties of DNA and the study of DNA-protein interactions.

  2. Single-molecule techniques for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Gary M; Visscher, Koen

    2004-08-01

    Single-molecule techniques offer a number of key benefits over conventional in vitro assay methods for drug screening, as they use less material and unlock the ability to observe transient states. By observing such states, it should be possible to screen for chemical compounds that isolate these steps. The benefit of this is twofold: (a) inhibitors can be found that target key phases in biochemical processes, e.g., transcription initiation; and (b) the total number of drug targets increases as many biochemical processes consist of many transient steps, e.g., transcription promoter binding, initiation, elongation, and termination. Although single-molecule methods offer exciting opportunities for new ways of discovering drugs, there are a number of obstacles to their adoption for drug screening. The main hurdle is to develop robust apparatus that will allow many thousands of individual single molecule experiments to be performed in parallel. By using recently developed integrated microfluidics technology, this hurdle may be overcome. Here, a number of potential single-molecule approaches to drug screening are presented along with a discussion of the benefits and technical obstacles that must be overcome.

  3. Graphene-porphyrin single-molecule transistors.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-08-21

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Detection of Steps in Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Tanuj; Materassi, Donatello; Davison, Robert; Hays, Thomas; Salapaka, Murti

    2013-01-01

    Over the past few decades, single molecule investigations employing optical tweezers, AFM and TIRF microscopy have revealed that molecular behaviors are typically characterized by discrete steps or events that follow changes in protein conformation. These events, that manifest as steps or jumps, are short-lived transitions between otherwise more stable molecular states. A major limiting factor in determining the size and timing of the steps is the noise introduced by the measurement system. To address this impediment to the analysis of single molecule behaviors, step detection algorithms incorporate large records of data and provide objective analysis. However, existing algorithms are mostly based on heuristics that are not reliable and lack objectivity. Most of these step detection methods require the user to supply parameters that inform the search for steps. They work well, only when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is high and stepping speed is low. In this report, we have developed a novel step detection method that performs an objective analysis on the data without input parameters, and based only on the noise statistics. The noise levels and characteristics can be estimated from the data providing reliable results for much smaller SNR and higher stepping speeds. An iterative learning process drives the optimization of step-size distributions for data that has unimodal step-size distribution, and produces extremely low false positive outcomes and high accuracy in finding true steps. Our novel methodology, also uniquely incorporates compensation for the smoothing affects of probe dynamics. A mechanical measurement probe typically takes a finite time to respond to step changes, and when steps occur faster than the probe response time, the sharp step transitions are smoothed out and can obscure the step events. To address probe dynamics we accept a model for the dynamic behavior of the probe and invert it to reveal the steps. No other existing method addresses

  6. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Latinwo, Folarin

    2012-01-01

    Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of “ideal” and “real” chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force–extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer–monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of “real” polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena. PMID:22956980

  7. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics.

    PubMed

    Latinwo, Folarin; Schroeder, Charles M

    2011-01-01

    Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of "ideal" and "real" chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force-extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer-monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of "real" polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena.

  8. Torque measurement at the single-molecule level.

    PubMed

    Forth, Scott; Sheinin, Maxim Y; Inman, James; Wang, Michelle D

    2013-01-01

    Methods for exerting and measuring forces on single molecules have revolutionized the study of the physics of biology. However, it is often the case that biological processes involve rotation or torque generation, and these parameters have been more difficult to access experimentally. Recent advances in the single-molecule field have led to the development of techniques that add the capability of torque measurement. By combining force, displacement, torque, and rotational data, a more comprehensive description of the mechanics of a biomolecule can be achieved. In this review, we highlight a number of biological processes for which torque plays a key mechanical role. We describe the various techniques that have been developed to directly probe the torque experienced by a single molecule, and detail a variety of measurements made to date using these new technologies. We conclude by discussing a number of open questions and propose systems of study that would be well suited for analysis with torsional measurement techniques.

  9. 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.

  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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Analysis of diffuse K+ and Mg2+ ion binding to a two-base-pair kissing complex by single-molecule mechanical unfolding.

    PubMed

    Li, Pan T X

    2013-07-23

    The folding and stability of RNA tertiary interactions depend critically on cationic conditions. It is usually difficult, however, to isolate such effects on tertiary interactions from those on the entire RNA. By manipulating conformations of single RNA molecules using optical tweezers, we distinguished individual steps of breaking and forming of a two-base-pair kissing interaction from those of secondary folding. The binding of metal ions to the small tertiary structure appeared to be saturable with an apparent Kd of 160 mM for K(+) and 1.5 mM for Mg(2+). The kissing formation was estimated to be associated with binding of ~2-3 diffuse K(+) or Mg(2+) ions. At their saturated binding, Mg(2+) provided ~3 kcal/mol more stabilizing energy to the structure than K(+). Furthermore, the cations change the unkissing forces significantly more than the kissing ones. For example, the presence of Mg(2+) ions increased the average unkissing force from 21 pN to 44 pN, surprisingly high for breaking merely two base pairs; in contrast, the mean kissing force was changed by only 4.5 pN. Interestingly, the differential salt effects on the transition forces were not caused by different changes in the height of the kinetic barriers but were instead attributed to how different molecular structures respond to the applied force. Our results showed the importance of diffuse cation binding to the stability of tertiary interaction and demonstrated the utility of mechanical unfolding in studying tertiary interactions.

  13. Illuminating single molecules in condensed matter.

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E; Orrit, M

    1999-03-12

    Efficient collection and detection of fluorescence coupled with careful minimization of background from impurities and Raman scattering now enable routine optical microscopy and study of single molecules in complex condensed matter environments. This ultimate method for unraveling ensemble averages leads to the observation of new effects and to direct measurements of stochastic fluctuations. Experiments at cryogenic temperatures open new directions in molecular spectroscopy, quantum optics, and solid-state dynamics. Room-temperature investigations apply several techniques (polarization microscopy, single-molecule imaging, emission time dependence, energy transfer, lifetime studies, and the like) to a growing array of biophysical problems where new insight may be gained from direct observations of hidden static and dynamic inhomogeneity.

  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. Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy in Eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Markus; Heilemann, Mike

    2017-06-14

    Super-resolution fluorescence imaging by photoactivation or photoswitching of single fluorophores and position determination (single-molecule localization microscopy, SMLM) provides microscopic images with subdiffraction spatial resolution. This technology has enabled new insights into how proteins are organized in a cellular context, with a spatial resolution approaching virtually the molecular level. A unique strength of SMLM is that it delivers molecule-resolved information, along with super-resolved images of cellular structures. This allows quantitative access to cellular structures, for example, how proteins are distributed and organized and how they interact with other biomolecules. Ultimately, it is even possible to determine protein numbers in cells and the number of subunits in a protein complex. SMLM thus has the potential to pave the way toward a better understanding of how cells function at the molecular level. In this review, we describe how SMLM has contributed new knowledge in eukaryotic biology, and we specifically focus on quantitative biological data extracted from SMLM images.

  16. Visualization of Single Molecules of RNA Polymerase Sliding along DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kabata, Hiroyuki; Kurosawa, Osamu; Arai, Ichiro; Washizu, Masao; Margarson, Stefanie A.; Glass, Robert E.; Shimamoto, Nobuo

    1993-12-01

    Transcription requires that RNA polymerase binds to promoters buried in nonspecific sites on DNA. The search for promoters may be facilitated if the polymerase slides along the molecule of DNA. Single molecules of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase were visualized, and their movements on immobilized bacteriophage λ and T7 DNAs were examined. Deviating from drifts by bulk flow, about 40 percent of the enzyme molecules moved along the extended DNA. The results provide direct evidence for sliding as a mechanism for relocation of the enzyme on DNA.

  17. Nanoscale methods for single-molecule electrochemistry.

    PubMed

    Mathwig, Klaus; Aartsma, Thijs J; Canters, Gerard W; Lemay, Serge G

    2014-01-01

    The development of experiments capable of probing individual molecules has led to major breakthroughs in fields ranging from molecular electronics to biophysics, allowing direct tests of knowledge derived from macroscopic measurements and enabling new assays that probe population heterogeneities and internal molecular dynamics. Although still somewhat in their infancy, such methods are also being developed for probing molecular systems in solution using electrochemical transduction mechanisms. Here we outline the present status of this emerging field, concentrating in particular on optical methods, metal-molecule-metal junctions, and electrochemical nanofluidic devices.

  18. Single molecule techniques in DNA repair: A primer

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Craig D.; Simons, Michelle; Mackenzie, Cassidy E.; Van Houten, Bennett; Kad, Neil M.

    2016-01-01

    A powerful new approach has become much more widespread and offers insights into aspects of DNA repair unattainable with billions of molecules. Single molecule techniques can be used to image, manipulate or characterize the action of a single repair protein on a single strand of DNA. This allows search mechanisms to be probed, and the effects of force to be understood. These physical aspects can dominate a biochemical reaction, where at the ensemble level their nuances are obscured. In this paper we discuss some of the many technical advances that permit study at the single molecule level. We focus on DNA repair to which these techniques are actively being applied. DNA repair is also a process that encompasses so much of what single molecule studies benefit – searching for targets, complex formation, sequential biochemical reactions and substrate hand-off to name just a few. We discuss how single molecule biophysics is poised to transform our understanding of biological systems, in particular DNA repair. PMID:24819596

  19. 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.

  20. XAS and XMCD of Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sessoli, R.; Mannini, M.; Pineider, F.; Cornia, A.; Sainctavit, Ph.

    Molecular magnetism is here presented with emphasis concerning the single molecule magnets (SMMs). The architecture of SMMs is reviewed as well as the various ingredients promoting magnetic anisotropy and the relation between magnetic anisotropy and the dynamics of magnetization. Then it is shown how XAS and XMCD can be unique tools to unravel the magnetic properties of SMM submonolayers grafted on clean surfaces. We bring a special attention to the spectral features associated with the magnetic anisotropy and magnetization dynamics.

  1. Controlling quantum transport through a single molecule.

    PubMed

    Cardamone, David M; Stafford, Charles A; Mazumdar, Sumit

    2006-11-01

    We investigate multiterminal quantum transport through single monocyclic aromatic annulene molecules, and their derivatives, using the nonequilibrium Green function approach within the self-consistent Hartree-Fock approximation. We propose a new device concept, the quantum interference effect transistor, that exploits perfect destructive interference stemming from molecular symmetry and controls current flow by introducing decoherence and/or elastic scattering that break the symmetry. This approach overcomes the fundamental problems of power dissipation and environmental sensitivity that beset nanoscale device proposals.

  2. A plutonium-based single-molecule magnet.

    PubMed

    Magnani, N; Colineau, E; Griveau, J-C; Apostolidis, C; Walter, O; Caciuffo, R

    2014-08-04

    The magnetic properties of the 5f(5) [tris-(tri-1-pyrazolylborato)-plutonium(III)] complex have been investigated by ac susceptibility measurements, showing it to be the first plutonium single-molecule magnet; its magnetic relaxation slows down with decreasing temperature through a thermally activated mechanism followed by a quantum tunnelling regime below 5 K.

  3. Graphical models for inferring single molecule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The recent explosion of experimental techniques in single molecule biophysics has generated a variety of novel time series data requiring equally novel computational tools for analysis and inference. This article describes in general terms how graphical modeling may be used to learn from biophysical time series data using the variational Bayesian expectation maximization algorithm (VBEM). The discussion is illustrated by the example of single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) versus time data, where the smFRET time series is modeled as a hidden Markov model (HMM) with Gaussian observables. A detailed description of smFRET is provided as well. Results The VBEM algorithm returns the model’s evidence and an approximating posterior parameter distribution given the data. The former provides a metric for model selection via maximum evidence (ME), and the latter a description of the model’s parameters learned from the data. ME/VBEM provide several advantages over the more commonly used approach of maximum likelihood (ML) optimized by the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm, the most important being a natural form of model selection and a well-posed (non-divergent) optimization problem. Conclusions The results demonstrate the utility of graphical modeling for inference of dynamic processes in single molecule biophysics. PMID:21034427

  4. 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.

  5. Toward Single-Molecule Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roukes, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a preeminent methodology of proteomics since it provides rapid and quantitative identification of protein species with relatively low sample consumption. Yet with the trend toward biological analysis at increasingly smaller scales, ultimately down to the volume of an individual cell, MS with few-to-single molecule resolution will be required. We report the first realization of MS based on single-biological-molecule detection with nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). NEMS provide unparalleled mass resolution, now sufficient for detection of individual molecular species in real time. However, high sensitivity is only one of several components required for MS. We demonstrate a first complete prototype NEMS-MS system for single-molecule mass spectrometry providing proof-of-principle for this new technique. Nanoparticles and protein species are introduced by electrospray injection from the fluid phase in ambient conditions into vacuum and subsequently delivered to the NEMS detector by hexapole ion optics . Mass measurements are then recorded in real-time as analytes adsorb, one-by-one, onto a phase-locked, ultrahigh frequency (UHF) NEMS resonator. These first NEMS-MS spectra, obtained with modest resolution from only several hundred mass adsorption events, presage the future capabilities of this methodology. We outline the substantial improvements feasible in near term, through recent advances and technological avenues that are unique to NEMS-MS.

  6. Current status of single-molecule spectroscopy: Theoretical aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, YounJoon; Barkai, Eli; Silbey, Robert J.

    2002-12-01

    We survey the current status of single-molecule spectroscopy in the view point of theoretical aspects. After an explanation of basic concepts in single-molecule spectroscopy, we focus on the following topics: (1) line shape phenomena in disordered media, (2) photon counting statistics for time-dependent fluctuations in single-molecule spectroscopy, (3) fluorescence intensity fluctuations for nonergodic systems, (4) time-resolved single-molecule fluorescence for conformational dynamics of single biomolecules, (5) single-molecule reaction dynamics at room temperature, and (6) quantum jump method of single quantum system. We conclude this paper with some open questions and perspectives of single-molecule spectroscopy.

  7. 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

  8. Nanomanipulation of single RNA molecules by optical tweezers.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, William; Wan, Gorby; Tenenbaum, Scott A; Li, Pan T X

    2014-08-20

    A large portion of the human genome is transcribed but not translated. In this post genomic era, regulatory functions of RNA have been shown to be increasingly important. As RNA function often depends on its ability to adopt alternative structures, it is difficult to predict RNA three-dimensional structures directly from sequence. Single-molecule approaches show potentials to solve the problem of RNA structural polymorphism by monitoring molecular structures one molecule at a time. This work presents a method to precisely manipulate the folding and structure of single RNA molecules using optical tweezers. First, methods to synthesize molecules suitable for single-molecule mechanical work are described. Next, various calibration procedures to ensure the proper operations of the optical tweezers are discussed. Next, various experiments are explained. To demonstrate the utility of the technique, results of mechanically unfolding RNA hairpins and a single RNA kissing complex are used as evidence. In these examples, the nanomanipulation technique was used to study folding of each structural domain, including secondary and tertiary, independently. Lastly, the limitations and future applications of the method are discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Exploration of the spontaneous fluctuating activity of single enzyme molecules.

    PubMed

    Schwabe, Anne; Maarleveld, Timo R; Bruggeman, Frank J

    2013-09-02

    Single enzyme molecules display inevitable, stochastic fluctuations in their catalytic activity. In metabolism, for instance, the stochastic activity of individual enzymes is averaged out due to their high copy numbers per single cell. However, many processes inside cells rely on single enzyme activity, such as transcription, replication, translation, and histone modifications. Here we introduce the main theoretical concepts of stochastic single-enzyme activity starting from the Michaelis-Menten enzyme mechanism. Next, we discuss stochasticity of multi-substrate enzymes, of enzymes and receptors with multiple conformational states and finally, how fluctuations in receptor activity arise from fluctuations in signal concentration. This paper aims to introduce the exciting field of single-molecule enzyme kinetics and stochasticity to a wider audience of biochemists and systems biologists. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Single Molecule Cluster Analysis dissects splicing pathway conformational dynamics.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Mario R; Martin, Joshua S; Kahlscheuer, Matthew L; Krishnan, Ramya; Abelson, John; Laederach, Alain; Walter, Nils G

    2015-11-01

    We report Single Molecule Cluster Analysis (SiMCAn), which utilizes hierarchical clustering of hidden Markov modeling-fitted single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) trajectories to dissect the complex conformational dynamics of biomolecular machines. We used this method to study the conformational dynamics of a precursor mRNA during the splicing cycle as carried out by the spliceosome. By clustering common dynamic behaviors derived from selectively blocked splicing reactions, SiMCAn was able to identify the signature conformations and dynamic behaviors of multiple ATP-dependent intermediates. In addition, it identified an open conformation adopted late in splicing by a 3' splice-site mutant, invoking a mechanism for substrate proofreading. SiMCAn enables rapid interpretation of complex single-molecule behaviors and should prove useful for the comprehensive analysis of a plethora of dynamic cellular machines.

  12. 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.

  13. Single molecule studies of RNA polymerase II transcription in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Abigail E; Goodrich, James A; Kugel, Jennifer F

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic mRNA transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is the first step in gene expression and a key determinant of cellular regulation. Elucidating the mechanism by which RNAP II synthesizes RNA is therefore vital to determining how genes are controlled under diverse biological conditions. Significant advances in understanding RNAP II transcription have been achieved using classical biochemical and structural techniques; however, aspects of the transcription mechanism cannot be assessed using these approaches. The application of single-molecule techniques to study RNAP II transcription has provided new insight only obtainable by studying molecules in this complex system one at a time. PMID:25764112

  14. Single molecule studies of RNA polymerase II transcription in vitro.

    PubMed

    Horn, Abigail E; Goodrich, James A; Kugel, Jennifer F

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic mRNA transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is the first step in gene expression and a key determinant of cellular regulation. Elucidating the mechanism by which RNAP II synthesizes RNA is therefore vital to determining how genes are controlled under diverse biological conditions. Significant advances in understanding RNAP II transcription have been achieved using classical biochemical and structural techniques; however, aspects of the transcription mechanism cannot be assessed using these approaches. The application of single-molecule techniques to study RNAP II transcription has provided new insight only obtainable by studying molecules in this complex system one at a time.

  15. 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.

  16. Manipulating Kondo temperature via single molecule switching.

    PubMed

    Iancu, Violeta; Deshpande, Aparna; Hla, Saw-Wai

    2006-04-01

    Two conformations of isolated single TBrPP-Co molecules on a Cu(111) surface are switched by applying +2.2 V voltage pulses from a scanning tunneling microscope tip at 4.6 K. The TBrPP-Co has a spin-active cobalt atom caged at its center, and the interaction between the spin of this cobalt atom and free electrons from the Cu(111) substrate can cause a Kondo resonance. Tunneling spectroscopy data reveal that switching from the saddle to a planar molecular conformation enhances spin-electron coupling, which increases the associated Kondo temperature from 130 to 170 K. This result demonstrates that the Kondo temperature can be manipulated just by changing molecular conformation without altering chemical composition of the molecule.

  17. Biophysical characterization of DNA binding from single molecule force measurements

    PubMed Central

    Chaurasiya, Kathy R.; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; McCauley, Micah J.; Williams, Mark C.

    2010-01-01

    Single molecule force spectroscopy is a powerful method that uses the mechanical properties of DNA to explore DNA interactions. Here we describe how DNA stretching experiments quantitatively characterize the DNA binding of small molecules and proteins. Small molecules exhibit diverse DNA binding modes, including binding into the major and minor grooves and intercalation between base pairs of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Histones bind and package dsDNA, while other nuclear proteins such as high mobility group proteins bind to the backbone and bend dsDNA. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins slide along dsDNA to locate and stabilize ssDNA during replication. Other proteins exhibit binding to both dsDNA and ssDNA. Nucleic acid chaperone proteins can switch rapidly between dsDNA and ssDNA binding modes, while DNA polymerases bind both forms of DNA with high affinity at distinct binding sites at the replication fork. Single molecule force measurements quantitatively characterize these DNA binding mechanisms, elucidating small molecule interactions and protein function. PMID:20576476

  18. Biophysical characterization of DNA binding from single molecule force measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaurasiya, Kathy R.; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; McCauley, Micah J.; Williams, Mark C.

    2010-09-01

    Single molecule force spectroscopy is a powerful method that uses the mechanical properties of DNA to explore DNA interactions. Here we describe how DNA stretching experiments quantitatively characterize the DNA binding of small molecules and proteins. Small molecules exhibit diverse DNA binding modes, including binding into the major and minor grooves and intercalation between base pairs of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Histones bind and package dsDNA, while other nuclear proteins such as high mobility group proteins bind to the backbone and bend dsDNA. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins slide along dsDNA to locate and stabilize ssDNA during replication. Other proteins exhibit binding to both dsDNA and ssDNA. Nucleic acid chaperone proteins can switch rapidly between dsDNA and ssDNA binding modes, while DNA polymerases bind both forms of DNA with high affinity at distinct binding sites at the replication fork. Single molecule force measurements quantitatively characterize these DNA binding mechanisms, elucidating small molecule interactions and protein function.

  19. Deep learning for single-molecule science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albrecht, Tim; Slabaugh, Gregory; Alonso, Eduardo; Al-Arif, SM Masudur R.

    2017-10-01

    Exploring and making predictions based on single-molecule data can be challenging, not only due to the sheer size of the datasets, but also because a priori knowledge about the signal characteristics is typically limited and poor signal-to-noise ratio. For example, hypothesis-driven data exploration, informed by an expectation of the signal characteristics, can lead to interpretation bias or loss of information. Equally, even when the different data categories are known, e.g., the four bases in DNA sequencing, it is often difficult to know how to make best use of the available information content. The latest developments in machine learning (ML), so-called deep learning (DL) offer interesting, new avenues to address such challenges. In some applications, such as speech and image recognition, DL has been able to outperform conventional ML strategies and even human performance. However, to date DL has not been applied much in single-molecule science, presumably in part because relatively little is known about the ‘internal workings’ of such DL tools within single-molecule science as a field. In this Tutorial, we make an attempt to illustrate in a step-by-step guide how one of those, a convolutional neural network (CNN), may be used for base calling in DNA sequencing applications. We compare it with a SVM as a more conventional ML method, and discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach. In particular, a ‘deep’ neural network has many features of a ‘black box’, which has important implications on how we look at and interpret data.

  20. Deep learning for single-molecule science.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Tim; Slabaugh, Gregory; Alonso, Eduardo; Al-Arif, Masudur R

    2017-08-01

    Exploring and making predictions based on single-molecule data can be challenging, not only due to the sheer size of the datasets, but also because a priori knowledge about the signal characteristics is typically limited and poor signal-to-noise ratio. For example, hypothesis-driven data exploration, informed by an expectation of the signal characteristics, can lead to interpretation bias or loss of information. Equally, even when the different data categories are known, e.g., the four bases in DNA sequencing, it is often difficult to know how to make best use of the available information content. The latest developments in Machine Learning (ML), so-called Deep Learning (DL) offers an interesting, new avenues to address such challenges. In some applications, such as speech and image recognition, DL has been able to outperform conventional Machine Learning strategies and even human performance. However, to date DL has not been applied much in single-molecule science, presumably in part because relatively little is known about the 'internal workings' of such DL tools within single-molecule science as a field. In this Tutorial, we make an attempt to illustrate in a step-by-step guide how one of those, a Convolutional Neural Network, may be used for base calling in DNA sequencing applications. We compare it with a Support Vector Machine as a more conventional ML method, and and discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach. In particular, a 'deep' neural network has many features of a 'black box', which has important implications on how we look at and interpret data. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  1. Single-molecule measurements of adsorbed polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Changqian; Guan, Juan; Bae, Sung Chul; Granick, Steve

    2011-03-01

    Single-molecule tracking is used to study the surface mobility of PEG (polyethylene glycol) chains adsorbed to the solid-liquid interface from dilute aqueous solution. The end-labeled chains are visualized by objective-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) and their trajectories are analyzed after cleaning the images with denoising algorithms. Surface mobility, which in this system depends on pH, is decomposed into one family of chains which remains adsorbed over the observation time window, and another family that appears to translate from point to point by hopping. This we quantify with nm-level resolution.

  2. Single-molecule optomechanics in "picocavities".

    PubMed

    Benz, Felix; Schmidt, Mikolaj K; Dreismann, Alexander; Chikkaraddy, Rohit; Zhang, Yao; Demetriadou, Angela; Carnegie, Cloudy; Ohadi, Hamid; de Nijs, Bart; Esteban, Ruben; Aizpurua, Javier; Baumberg, Jeremy J

    2016-11-11

    Trapping light with noble metal nanostructures overcomes the diffraction limit and can confine light to volumes typically on the order of 30 cubic nanometers. We found that individual atomic features inside the gap of a plasmonic nanoassembly can localize light to volumes well below 1 cubic nanometer ("picocavities"), enabling optical experiments on the atomic scale. These atomic features are dynamically formed and disassembled by laser irradiation. Although unstable at room temperature, picocavities can be stabilized at cryogenic temperatures, allowing single atomic cavities to be probed for many minutes. Unlike traditional optomechanical resonators, such extreme optical confinement yields a factor of 10(6) enhancement of optomechanical coupling between the picocavity field and vibrations of individual molecular bonds. This work sets the basis for developing nanoscale nonlinear quantum optics on the single-molecule level.

  3. Increased throughput single molecule detection of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurjar, Rajan; Seetamraju, Madhavi; Kolodziejski, Noah; Myers, Richard; Staples, Christopher; Christian, James; Squillante, Michael R.; Entine, Gerald

    2007-09-01

    In this work, we present research in using confocal optical techniques with femtolitre focal volumes and obtain very high signal-to-noise and signal-to-background ratios for single molecule detection (SMD). We were able to achieve improved signal strength by using highly fluorescent quantum dots and nanopatterned substrates to obtain plasmon induced resonant fluorescence enhancement. A method to simultaneously using multiple excitation spots without the use of confocal apertures and an array of single photon sensitive Geiger mode avalanche photodiodes was used to increase the throughput of the detection system. Using this highly sensitive SMD system, we detect small quantities of synthetic DNA through hybridization eliminating the need of polymerase chain reaction.

  4. Electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy for single-molecule investigation.

    PubMed

    Alessandrini, Andrea; Facci, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    The technique of electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM) and spectroscopy (ECSTS) for studying electron transport through single redox molecules is here described. Redox molecules of both biological and organic nature have been studied by this technique with the aim of understanding the transport mechanisms ruling the flow of electrons via a single molecule placed in a nanometer-sized gap between two electrodes while elucidating the role of the redox density of states brought about by the molecule. The obtained results provide unique clues to single-molecule transport behavior and support the concept of single-molecule electrochemical gating.

  5. Single-molecule enzymology à la Michaelis-Menten.

    PubMed

    Grima, Ramon; Walter, Nils G; Schnell, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Over the past 100 years, deterministic rate equations have been successfully used to infer enzyme-catalysed reaction mechanisms and to estimate rate constants from reaction kinetics experiments conducted in vitro. In recent years, sophisticated experimental techniques have been developed that begin to allow the measurement of enzyme-catalysed and other biopolymer-mediated reactions inside single cells at the single-molecule level. Time-course data obtained using these methods are considerably noisy because molecule numbers within cells are typically quite small. As a consequence, the interpretation and analysis of single-cell data requires stochastic methods, rather than deterministic rate equations. Here, we concisely review both experimental and theoretical techniques that enable single-molecule analysis, with particular emphasis on the major developments in the field of theoretical stochastic enzyme kinetics, from its inception in the mid-20th century to its modern-day status. We discuss the differences between stochastic and deterministic rate equation models, how these depend on enzyme molecule numbers and substrate inflow into the reaction compartment, and how estimation of rate constants from single-cell data is possible using recently developed stochastic approaches.

  6. Challenges in quantitative single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Shivanandan, A; Deschout, H; Scarselli, M; Radenovic, A

    2014-10-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), which can provide up to an order of magnitude improvement in spatial resolution over conventional fluorescence microscopy, has the potential to be a highly useful tool for quantitative biological experiments. It has already been used for this purpose in varied fields in biology, ranging from molecular biology to neuroscience. In this review article, we briefly review the applications of SMLM in quantitative biology, and also the challenges involved and some of the solutions that have been proposed. Due to its advantages in labeling specificity and the relatively low overcounting caused by photoblinking when photo-activable fluorescent proteins (PA-FPs) are used as labels, we focus specifically on Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy (PALM), even though the ideas presented might be applicable to SMLM in general. Also, we focus on the following three quantitative measurements: single molecule counting, analysis of protein spatial distribution heterogeneity and co-localization analysis. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladenthin, Janina N.; Frederiksen, Thomas; Persson, Mats; Sharp, John C.; Gawinkowski, Sylwester; Waluk, Jacek; Kumagai, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Heat transfer, electrical potential and light energy are common ways to activate chemical reactions. Applied force is another way, but dedicated studies for such a mechanical activation are limited, and this activation is poorly understood at the single-molecule level. Here, we report force-induced tautomerization in a single porphycene molecule on a Cu(110) surface at 5 K, which is studied by scanning probe microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Force spectroscopy quantifies the force needed to trigger tautomerization with submolecular spatial resolution. The calculations show how the reaction pathway and barrier of tautomerization are modified in the presence of a copper tip and reveal the atomistic origin of the process. Moreover, we demonstrate that a chemically inert tip whose apex is terminated by a xenon atom cannot induce the reaction because of a weak interaction with porphycene and a strong relaxation of xenon on the tip as contact to the molecule is formed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Single molecule measurements and biological motors.

    PubMed

    Knight, Alex E; Mashanov, Gregory; Molloy, Justin E

    2005-12-01

    Recent technological advances in lasers and optical detectors have enabled a variety of new, single molecule technologies to be developed. Using intense and highly collimated laser light sources in addition to super-sensitive cameras, the fluorescence of single fluorophores can now be imaged in aqueous solution. Also, laser optical tweezers have enabled the piconewton forces produced by pair of interacting biomolecules to be measured directly. However, for a researcher new to the field to begin to use such techniques in their own research might seem a daunting prospect. Most of the equipment that is in use is custom-built. However, most of the equipment is essence fairly simple and the aim of this article is to provide an entry point to the field for a newcomer. It focuses mainly on those practical aspects which are not particularly well covered in the literature, and aims to provide an overview of the field as a whole with references and web links to more detailed sources elsewhere. Indeed, the opportunity to publish an article such as this on the Internet affords many new opportunities (and more space!) for presenting scientific ideas and information. For example, we have illustrated the nature of optical trap data with an interactive Java simulation; provided links to relevant web sites and technical documents, and included a large number of colour figures and plots. Our group's research focuses on molecular motors, and the bias of this article reflects this. It turns out that molecular motors have been a paradigm (or prototype) for single molecule research and the field has seen a rapid development in the techniques. It is hoped that the methods described here will be broadly applicable to other biological systems.

  11. Predicting single-molecule conductance through machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzillo, Nicholas A.; Breneman, Curt M.

    2016-10-01

    We present a robust machine learning model that is trained on the experimentally determined electrical conductance values of approximately 120 single-molecule junctions used in scanning tunnelling microscope molecular break junction (STM-MBJ) experiments. Quantum mechanical, chemical, and topological descriptors are used to correlate each molecular structure with a conductance value, and the resulting machine-learning model can predict the corresponding value of conductance with correlation coefficients of r 2 = 0.95 for the training set and r 2 = 0.78 for a blind testing set. While neglecting entirely the effects of the metal contacts, this work demonstrates that single molecule conductance can be qualitatively correlated with a number of molecular descriptors through a suitably trained machine learning model. The dominant features in the machine learning model include those based on the electronic wavefunction, the geometry/topology of the molecule as well as the surface chemistry of the molecule. This model can be used to identify promising molecular structures for use in single-molecule electronic circuits and can guide synthesis and experiments in the future.

  12. 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.

  13. Photophysics of Molecular Materials: From Single Molecules to Single Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzani, Guglielmo

    2005-12-01

    Carbon based pi-conjugated materials offer a broad range of applications, going from molecular electronics and single molecule devices to nanotechnology, plastic electronics and optoelectronics. The proper physical description of such materials is in between that of molecular solids and that of low-dimensional covalent semiconductors. This book is a comprehensive review of their elementary excitations processes and dynamics, which merges the two viewpoints, sometimes very different if not contrasting. In each chapter, a broad tutorial introduction provides a solid physical background to the topic, which is further discussed based on recent experimental results obtained via state-of-the-art techniques. Both the molecular, intra-chain character and the solid state, inter-molecular physics is addressed. Reports on single molecule and single polymer chain spectroscopy introduce the on-site phenomena. Several chapters are dedicated to nano-probes, steady state and transient spectroscopies. The highly ordered state, occurring in single crystals, is also discussed thoroughly. Finally, less conventional tools such as THz spectroscopy are discussed in detail. The book provides a useful introduction to the field for newcomers, and a valid reference for experienced researchers in the field.

  14. Photophysics of Molecular Materials: From Single Molecules to Single Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzani, Guglielmo

    2003-09-01

    Carbon based pi-conjugated materials offer a broad range of applications, going from molecular electronics and single molecule devices to nanotechnology, plastic electronics and optoelectronics. The proper physical description of such materials is in between that of molecular solids and that of low-dimensional covalent semiconductors. This book is a comprehensive review of their elementary excitations processes and dynamics, which merges the two viewpoints, sometimes very different if not contrasting. In each chapter, a broad tutorial introduction provides a solid physical background to the topic, which is further discussed based on recent experimental results obtained via state-of-the-art techniques. Both the molecular, intra-chain character and the solid state, inter-molecular physics is addressed. Reports on single molecule and single polymer chain spectroscopy introduce the on-site phenomena. Several chapters are dedicated to nano-probes, steady state and transient spectroscopies. The highly ordered state, occurring in single crystals, is also discussed thoroughly. Finally, less conventional tools such as THz spectroscopy are discussed in detail. The book provides a useful introduction to the field for newcomers, and a valid reference for experienced researchers in the field.

  15. Surface enhanced single-molecule magnetism involving 4f spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yachao

    2016-03-01

    We study the magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) of the isolated and deposited Eu(C8H8)2 by first-principles calculations considering the van der Waals correction and the strong correlation effects. We find that both the molecular spin moment and the easy-axis magnetic anisotropy are enhanced upon deposition on Cu(111). We propose a mechanism in terms of the weakened spin polarization of the π-2p orbitals and the induced anisotropic occupations of the 4f orbitals. Our findings pave the way for raising the MAE of 4f-element single-molecule magnets by tailoring the molecule-surface contacts.

  16. Contact and Length Dependent Effects in Single-Molecule Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hines, Thomas

    Understanding charge transport in single molecules covalently bonded to electrodes is a fundamental goal in the field of molecular electronics. In the past decade, it has become possible to measure charge transport on the single-molecule level using the STM break junction method. Measurements on the single-molecule level shed light on charge transport phenomena which would otherwise be obfuscated by ensemble measurements of groups of molecules. This thesis will discuss three projects carried out using STM break junction. In the first project, the transition between two different charge transport mechanisms is reported in a set of molecular wires. The shortest wires show highly length dependent and temperature invariant conductance behavior, whereas the longer wires show weakly length dependent and temperature dependent behavior. This trend is consistent with a model whereby conduction occurs by coherent tunneling in the shortest wires and by incoherent hopping in the longer wires. Measurements are supported with calculations and the evolution of the molecular junction during the pulling process is investigated. The second project reports controlling the formation of single-molecule junctions by means of electrochemically reducing two axial-diazonium terminal groups on a molecule, thereby producing direct Au-C covalent bonds in-situ between the molecule and gold electrodes. Step length analysis shows that the molecular junction is significantly more stable, and can be pulled over a longer distance than a comparable junction created with amine anchoring bonds. The stability of the junction is explained by the calculated lower binding energy associated with the direct Au-C bond compared with the Au-N bond. Finally, the third project investigates the role that molecular conformation plays in the conductance of oligothiophene single-molecule junctions. Ethyl substituted oligothiophenes were measured and found to exhibit temperature dependent conductance and transition

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  19. A single molecule immunoassay by localized surface plasmon resonance.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Kathryn M; Hao, Feng; Lee, Seunghyun; Nordlander, Peter; Hafner, Jason H

    2010-06-25

    Noble metal nanoparticles exhibit sharp spectral extinction peaks at visible and near-infrared frequencies due to the resonant excitation of their free electrons, termed localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). Since the resonant frequency is dependent on the refractive index of the nanoparticle surroundings, LSPR can be the basis for sensing molecular interactions near the nanoparticle surface. However, previous studies have not yet determined whether the LSPR mechanism can reach the ultimate sensing limit: the detection of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate single molecule LSPR detection by monitoring antibody-antigen unbinding events through the scattering spectra of individual gold bipyramids. Both experiments and finite element simulations indicate that the unbinding of single antigen molecules results in small, discrete < 0.5 nm blue-shifts of the plasmon resonance. The unbinding rate is consistent with antibody-antigen binding kinetics determined from previous ensemble experiments. According to these results, the effective refractive index of a single protein is approximately 1.54. LSPR sensing could therefore be a powerful addition to the current toolbox of single molecule detection methods since it probes interactions on long timescales and under relatively natural conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Madsen, J R; Akabani, G

    2014-05-07

    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 for the

  1. Grafting single molecule magnets on gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Mauro; Pineider, Francesco; Poggini, Lorenzo; Otero, Edwige; Mannini, Matteo; Sorace, Lorenzo; Sangregorio, Claudio; Cornia, Andrea; Sessoli, Roberta

    2014-01-29

    The chemical synthesis and characterization of the first hybrid material composed by gold nanoparticles and single molecule magnets (SMMs) are described. Gold nanoparticles are functionalized via ligand exchange using a tetrairon(III) SMM containing two 1,2-dithiolane end groups. The grafting is evidenced by the shift of the plasmon resonance peak recorded with a UV-vis spectrometer, by the suppression of nuclear magnetic resonance signals, by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy peaks, and by transmission electron microscopy images. The latter evidence the formation of aggregates of nanoparticles as a consequence of the cross-linking ability of Fe4 through the two 1,2-dithiolane rings located on opposite sides of the metal core. The presence of intact Fe4 molecules is directly proven by synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy, while a detailed magnetic characterization, obtained using electron paramagnetic resonance and alternating-current susceptibility, confirms the persistence of SMM behavior in this new hybrid nanostructure.

  2. Proteomics: from single molecules to biological pathways.

    PubMed

    Langley, Sarah R; Dwyer, Joseph; Drozdov, Ignat; Yin, Xiaoke; Mayr, Manuel

    2013-03-15

    The conventional reductionist approach to cardiovascular research investigates individual candidate factors or linear signalling pathways but ignores more complex interactions in biological systems. The advent of molecular profiling technologies that focus on a global characterization of whole complements allows an exploration of the interconnectivity of pathways during pathophysiologically relevant processes, but has brought about the issue of statistical analysis and data integration. Proteins identified by differential expression as well as those in protein-protein interaction networks identified through experiments and through computational modelling techniques can be used as an initial starting point for functional analyses. In combination with other '-omics' technologies, such as transcriptomics and metabolomics, proteomics explores different aspects of disease, and the different pillars of observations facilitate the data integration in disease-specific networks. Ultimately, a systems biology approach may advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease processes at a 'biological pathway' instead of a 'single molecule' level and accelerate progress towards disease-modifying interventions.

  3. Single-molecule studies of actin assembly and disassembly factors.

    PubMed

    Smith, Benjamin A; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is very dynamic and highly regulated by multiple associated proteins in vivo. Understanding how this system of proteins functions in the processes of actin network assembly and disassembly requires methods to dissect the mechanisms of activity of individual factors and of multiple factors acting in concert. The advent of single-filament and single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods has provided a powerful new approach to discovering actin-regulatory activities and obtaining direct, quantitative insights into the pathways of molecular interactions that regulate actin network architecture and dynamics. Here we describe techniques for acquisition and analysis of single-molecule data, applied to the novel challenges of studying the filament assembly and disassembly activities of actin-associated proteins in vitro. We discuss the advantages of single-molecule analysis in directly visualizing the order of molecular events, measuring the kinetic rates of filament binding and dissociation, and studying the coordination among multiple factors. The methods described here complement traditional biochemical approaches in elucidating actin-regulatory mechanisms in reconstituted filamentous networks.

  4. 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.

  5. Spectroscopic characterization of Venus at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    David, Charlotte C; Dedecker, Peter; De Cremer, Gert; Verstraeten, Natalie; Kint, Cyrielle; Michiels, Jan; Hofkens, Johan

    2012-02-01

    Venus is a recently developed, fast maturating, yellow fluorescent protein that has been used as a probe for in vivo applications. In the present work the photophysical characteristics of Venus were analyzed spectroscopically at the bulk and single molecule level. Through time-resolved single molecule measurements we found that single molecules of Venus display pronounced fluctuations in fluorescence emission, with clear fluorescence on- and off-times. These fluorescence intermittencies were found to occupy a broad range of time scales, ranging from milliseconds to several seconds. Such long off-times can complicate the analysis of single molecule counting experiments or single-molecule FRET experiments.

  6. 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

  7. Multiple relaxation times in single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Le Tuan Anh; Chibotaru, Liviu F.

    2016-09-01

    Multiple relaxation times detected in the ac magnetic susceptibility of several single-molecule magnets have been always assigned to extrinsic factors, such as nonequivalent magnetic centers or effects of intermolecular interactions in the crystal. By solving quantum relaxation equations, we prove that the observed multiple relaxation times can be of intramolecular origin and can show up even in single-ion metal complexes. For the latter a remarkably good description of the coexistent two relaxation times is demonstrated on several experimental examples. This proves the relevance of the intramolecular mechanism of multiple relaxation times in such systems, which is even easier justified in polynuclear magnetic complexes.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  10. Experimental and computational characterization of biological liquid crystals: a review of single-molecule bioassays.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-10

    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.

  11. Evidence of disorder in biological molecules from single molecule pulling experiments.

    PubMed

    Hyeon, Changbong; Hinczewski, Michael; Thirumalai, D

    2014-04-04

    Heterogeneity in biological molecules, resulting in molecule-to-molecule variations in their dynamics and function, is an emerging theme. To elucidate the consequences of heterogeneous behavior at the single molecule level, we propose an exactly solvable model in which the unfolding rate due to mechanical force depends parametrically on an auxiliary variable representing an entropy barrier arising from fluctuations in internal dynamics. When the rate of fluctuations--a measure of dynamical disorder--is comparable to or smaller than the rate of force-induced unbinding, we show that there are two experimentally observable consequences: nonexponential survival probability at constant force, and a heavy-tailed rupture force distribution at constant loading rate. By fitting our analytical expressions to data from single molecule pulling experiments on proteins and DNA, we quantify the extent of disorder. We show that only by analyzing data over a wide range of forces and loading rates can the role of disorder due to internal dynamics be quantitatively assessed.

  12. Multiplexed single-molecule force proteolysis measurements using magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Arjun S; Chai, Jack; Dunn, Alexander R

    2012-07-25

    The generation and detection of mechanical forces is a ubiquitous aspect of cell physiology, with direct relevance to cancer metastasis(1), atherogenesis(2) and wound healing(3). In each of these examples, cells both exert force on their surroundings and simultaneously enzymatically remodel the extracellular matrix (ECM). The effect of forces on ECM has thus become an area of considerable interest due to its likely biological and medical importance(4-7). Single molecule techniques such as optical trapping(8), atomic force microscopy(9), and magnetic tweezers(10,11) allow researchers to probe the function of enzymes at a molecular level by exerting forces on individual proteins. Of these techniques, magnetic tweezers (MT) are notable for their low cost and high throughput. MT exert forces in the range of ~1-100 pN and can provide millisecond temporal resolution, qualities that are well matched to the study of enzyme mechanism at the single-molecule level(12). Here we report a highly parallelizable MT assay to study the effect of force on the proteolysis of single protein molecules. We present the specific example of the proteolysis of a trimeric collagen peptide by matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1); however, this assay can be easily adapted to study other substrates and proteases.

  13. 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.

  14. Recording intramolecular mechanics during the manipulation of a large molecule.

    PubMed

    Moresco, F; Meyer, G; Rieder, K H; Tang, H; Gourdon, A; Joachim, C

    2001-08-20

    The technique of single atom manipulation by means of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) applies to the controlled displacement of large molecules. By a combined experimental and theoretical work, we show that in a constant height mode of manipulation the STM current intensity carries detailed information on the internal mechanics of the molecule when guided by the STM tip. Controlling and time following the intramolecular behavior of a large molecule on a surface is the first step towards the design of molecular tunnel-wired nanorobots.

  15. Recording Intramolecular Mechanics during the Manipulation of a Large Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresco, Francesca; Meyer, Gerhard; Rieder, Karl-Heinz; Tang, Hao; Gourdon, André; Joachim, Christian

    2001-08-01

    The technique of single atom manipulation by means of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) applies to the controlled displacement of large molecules. By a combined experimental and theoretical work, we show that in a constant height mode of manipulation the STM current intensity carries detailed information on the internal mechanics of the molecule when guided by the STM tip. Controlling and time following the intramolecular behavior of a large molecule on a surface is the first step towards the design of molecular tunnel-wired nanorobots.

  16. Geometric Phases in Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenochio, Brian Canchola

    The characterization of the material properties of Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs) has grown in importance over the last few decades with the rise of novel applications such as high-density magnetic storage and quantum computation. Many of the applications require the probing of SMMs with spectroscopic methods that make use of electromagnetic radiation. The interaction with these time-dependent fields leads to energy shifts, which can be attributed to the geometric phase acquired by the system or the Bloch-Siegert shift. We model an SMM by a giant spin Hamiltonian, and use Floquet perturbation theory to find the geometric phase shifts. The locations where the phase shift between two levels is zero is useful for performing accurate spectroscopies, whereas the regions where relative phase differences exist are useful in applications like quantum computing. Using the same giant spin Hamiltonian, we can use Floquet theory and Salwen perturbation theory to determine the Bloch-Siegert shift and derive a modified version of the Rabi formula for transition probabilities between the energy states Ealpha → Ealpha+/-1, Ealpha → Ealpha+/-3, and Ealpha → Ealpha+/-5 , where alpha is the index of an arbitrary initial state. The shifted eigenvalues and modified transition probabilities can be useful in spectroscopies where accurate values for the energy-splitting between magnetic states needs to be determined.

  17. Giant magnetoresistance through a single molecule.

    PubMed

    Schmaus, Stefan; Bagrets, Alexei; Nahas, Yasmine; Yamada, Toyo K; Bork, Annika; Bowen, Martin; Beaurepaire, Eric; Evers, Ferdinand; Wulfhekel, Wulf

    2011-03-01

    Magnetoresistance is a change in the resistance of a material system caused by an applied magnetic field. Giant magnetoresistance occurs in structures containing ferromagnetic contacts separated by a metallic non-magnetic spacer, and is now the basis of read heads for hard drives and for new forms of random access memory. Using an insulator (for example, a molecular thin film) rather than a metal as the spacer gives rise to tunnelling magnetoresistance, which typically produces a larger change in resistance for a given magnetic field strength, but also yields higher resistances, which are a disadvantage for real device operation. Here, we demonstrate giant magnetoresistance across a single, non-magnetic hydrogen phthalocyanine molecule contacted by the ferromagnetic tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope. We measure the magnetoresistance to be 60% and the conductance to be 0.26G(0), where G(0) is the quantum of conductance. Theoretical analysis identifies spin-dependent hybridization of molecular and electrode orbitals as the cause of the large magnetoresistance.

  18. Tools for Studying Electron and Spin Transport in Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ralph, Daniel C.

    2005-03-01

    Experiments in the field of single-molecule electronics are challenging in part because it can be very difficult to control and characterize the device structure. Molecules contacted by metal electrodes cannot easily be imaged by microscopy techniques. Moreover, if one attempts to characterize the device structure simply by measuring a current-voltage curve, it is easy to mistake nonlinear transport across a bare tunnel junction or a metallic short for a molecular signal. I will discuss the development of a set of experimental test structures that enable the properties of a molecular device to be tuned controllably in-situ, so that the transport mechanisms can be studied more systematically and compared with theoretical predictions. My collaborators and I are developing the means to use several different types of such experimental "knobs" in coordination: electrostatic gating to shift the energy levels in a molecule, mechanical motion to adjust the molecular configuration or the molecule-electrode coupling strength, illumination with light to promote electrons to excited states or to make and break chemical bonds, and the use of ferromagnetic electrodes to study spin-polarized transport. Our work so far has provided new insights into Kondo physics, the coupling between a molecule's electronic and mechanical degrees of freedom, and spin transport through a molecule between magnetic electrodes. Collaborators: Radek Bialczak, Alex Champagne, Luke Donev, Jonas Goldsmith, Jacob Grose, Janice Guikema, Jiwoong Park, Josh Parks, Abhay Pasupathy, Jason Petta, Sara Slater, Burak Ulgut, Alexander Soldatov, H'ector Abruña, and Paul McEuen.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A brief introduction to single-molecule fluorescence methods.

    PubMed

    van den Wildenberg, Siet M J L; Prevo, Bram; Peterman, Erwin J G

    2011-01-01

    One of the more popular single-molecule approaches in biological science is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which is the subject of the following section of this volume. Fluorescence methods provide the sensitivity required to study biology on the single-molecule level, but they also allow access to useful measurable parameters on time and length scales relevant for the biomolecular world. Before several detailed experimental approaches are addressed, we first give a general overview of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We start with discussing the phenomenon of fluorescence in general and the history of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Next, we review fluorescent probes in more detail and the equipment required to visualize them on the single-molecule level. We end with a description of parameters measurable with such approaches, ranging from protein counting and tracking, to distance measurements with Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and orientation measurements with fluorescence polarization.

  3. Promising anchoring groups for single-molecule conductance measurements.

    PubMed

    Kaliginedi, Veerabhadrarao; Rudnev, Alexander V; Moreno-García, Pavel; Baghernejad, Masoud; Huang, Cancan; Hong, Wenjing; Wandlowski, Thomas

    2014-11-21

    The understanding of the charge transport through single molecule junctions is a prerequisite for the design and building of electronic circuits based on single molecule junctions. However, reliable and robust formation of such junctions is a challenging task to achieve. In this topical review, we present a systematic investigation of the anchoring group effect on single molecule junction conductance by employing two complementary techniques, namely scanning tunneling microscopy break junction (STM-BJ) and mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) techniques, based on the studies published in the literature and important results from our own work. We compared conductance studies for conventional anchoring groups described earlier with the molecular junctions formed through π-interactions with the electrode surface (Au, Pt, Ag) and we also summarized recent developments in the formation of highly conducting covalent Au-C σ-bonds using oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE) and an alkane molecular backbone. Specifically, we focus on the electron transport properties of diaryloligoyne, oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE) and/or alkane molecular junctions composed of several traditional anchoring groups, (dihydrobenzo[b]thiophene (BT), 5-benzothienyl analogue (BTh), thiol (SH), pyridyl (PY), amine (NH2), cyano (CN), methyl sulphide (SMe), nitro (NO2)) and other anchoring groups at the solid/liquid interface. The qualitative and quantitative comparison of the results obtained with different anchoring groups reveals structural and mechanistic details of the different types of single molecular junctions. The results reported in this prospective may serve as a guideline for the design and synthesis of molecular systems to be used in molecule-based electronic devices.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

    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.

  6. Surface enhanced single-molecule magnetism involving 4f spin

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yachao

    2016-03-28

    We study the magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) of the isolated and deposited Eu(C{sub 8}H{sub 8}){sub 2} by first-principles calculations considering the van der Waals correction and the strong correlation effects. We find that both the molecular spin moment and the easy-axis magnetic anisotropy are enhanced upon deposition on Cu(111). We propose a mechanism in terms of the weakened spin polarization of the π-2p orbitals and the induced anisotropic occupations of the 4f orbitals. Our findings pave the way for raising the MAE of 4f-element single-molecule magnets by tailoring the molecule–surface contacts.

  7. Single-Molecule Imaging of RNA Splicing in Live Cells.

    PubMed

    Rino, José; Martin, Robert M; Carvalho, Célia; de Jesus, Ana C; Carmo-Fonseca, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Expression of genetic information in eukaryotes involves a series of interconnected processes that ultimately determine the quality and amount of proteins in the cell. Many individual steps in gene expression are kinetically coupled, but tools are lacking to determine how temporal relationships between chemical reactions contribute to the output of the final gene product. Here, we describe a strategy that permits direct measurements of intron dynamics in single pre-mRNA molecules in live cells. This approach reveals that splicing can occur much faster than previously proposed and opens new avenues for studying how kinetic mechanisms impact on RNA biogenesis.

  8. 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.

  9. Single Fungal Kinesin Motor Molecules Move Processively along Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Lakämper, Stefan; Kallipolitou, Athina; Woehlke, Günther; Schliwa, Manfred; Meyhöfer, Edgar

    2003-01-01

    Conventional kinesins are two-headed molecular motors that move as single molecules micrometer-long distances on microtubules by using energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. The presence of two heads is a prerequisite for this processive motility, but other interacting domains, like the neck and K-loop, influence the processivity and are implicated in allowing some single-headed kinesins to move processively. Neurospora kinesin (NKin) is a phylogenetically distant, dimeric kinesin from Neurospora crassa with high gliding speed and an unusual neck domain. We quantified the processivity of NKin and compared it to human kinesin, HKin, using gliding and fluorescence-based processivity assays. Our data show that NKin is a processive motor. Single NKin molecules translocated microtubules in gliding assays on average 2.14 μm (N = 46). When we tracked single, fluorescently labeled NKin motors, they moved on average 1.75 μm (N = 182) before detaching from the microtubule, whereas HKin motors moved shorter distances (0.83 μm, N = 229) under identical conditions. NKin is therefore at least twice as processive as HKin. These studies, together with biochemical work, provide a basis for experiments to dissect the molecular mechanisms of processive movement. PMID:12609885

  10. Visualizing Cyclic Peptide Hydration at the Single-Molecule Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yumin; Deng, Ke; Qiu, Xiaohui; Wang, Chen

    2013-08-01

    The role of water molecules in the selective transport of potassium ions across cell membranes is important. Experimental investigations of valinomycin-water interactions remain huge challenge due to the poor solubility of valinomycin in water. Herein, we removed this experimental obstacle by introducing gaseous water and valinomycin onto a Cu(111) surface to investigate the hydration of valinomycin. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we revealed that water could affect the adsorption structure of valinomycin. Hydrogen bond interactions occurred primarily at the carbonyl oxygen of valinomycin and resulted in the formation of valinomycin hydrates. The single-molecule perspective revealed in our investigation could provide new insight into the role of water on the conformation transition of valinomycin, which might provide a new molecular basis for the ion transport mechanism at the water/membrane interface.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Stochastic models of transcription: from single molecules to single cells.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Alvaro; Choubey, Sandeep; Kondev, Jane

    2013-07-15

    Genes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are typically regulated by complex promoters containing multiple binding sites for a variety of transcription factors leading to a specific functional dependence between regulatory inputs and transcriptional outputs. With increasing regularity, the transcriptional outputs from different promoters are being measured in quantitative detail in single-cell experiments thus providing the impetus for the development of quantitative models of transcription. We describe recent progress in developing models of transcriptional regulation that incorporate, to different degrees, the complexity of multi-state promoter dynamics, and its effect on the transcriptional outputs of single cells. The goal of these models is to predict the statistical properties of transcriptional outputs and characterize their variability in time and across a population of cells, as a function of the input concentrations of transcription factors. The interplay between mathematical models of different regulatory mechanisms and quantitative biophysical experiments holds the promise of elucidating the molecular-scale mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in cells, from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Breaking the concentration limit of optical single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Holzmeister, Phil; Acuna, Guillermo P; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-02-21

    Over the last decade, single-molecule detection has been successfully utilized in the life sciences and materials science. Yet, single-molecule measurements only yield meaningful results when working in a suitable, narrow concentration range. On the one hand, diffraction limits the minimal size of the observation volume in optical single-molecule measurements and consequently a sample must be adequately diluted so that only one molecule resides within the observation volume. On the other hand, at ultra-low concentrations relevant for sensing, the detection volume has to be increased in order to detect molecules in a reasonable timespan. This in turn results in the loss of an optimal signal-to-noise ratio necessary for single-molecule detection. This review discusses the requirements for effective single-molecule fluorescence applications, reflects on the motivation for the extension of the dynamic concentration range of single-molecule measurements and reviews various approaches that have been introduced recently to solve these issues. For the high-concentration limit, we identify four promising strategies including molecular confinement, optical observation volume reduction, temporal separation of signals and well-conceived experimental designs that specifically circumvent the high concentration limit. The low concentration limit is addressed by increasing the measurement speed, parallelization, signal amplification and preconcentration. The further development of these ideas will expand our possibilities to interrogate research questions with the clarity and precision provided only by the single-molecule approach.

  16. Single molecule energetics of F1-ATPase motor.

    PubMed

    Muneyuki, Eiro; Watanabe-Nakayama, Takahiro; Suzuki, Tetsuya; Yoshida, Masasuke; Nishizaka, Takayuki; Noji, Hiroyuki

    2007-03-01

    Motor proteins are essential in life processes because they convert the free energy of ATP hydrolysis to mechanical work. However, the fundamental question on how they work when different amounts of free energy are released after ATP hydrolysis remains unanswered. To answer this question, it is essential to clarify how the stepping motion of a motor protein reflects the concentrations of ATP, ADP, and P(i) in its individual actions at a single molecule level. The F(1) portion of ATP synthase, also called F(1)-ATPase, is a rotary molecular motor in which the central gamma-subunit rotates against the alpha(3)beta(3) cylinder. The motor exhibits clear step motion at low ATP concentrations. The rotary action of this motor is processive and generates a high torque. These features are ideal for exploring the relationship between free energy input and mechanical work output, but there is a serious problem in that this motor is severely inhibited by ADP. In this study, we overcame this problem of ADP inhibition by introducing several mutations while retaining high enzymatic activity. Using a probe of attached beads, stepping rotation against viscous load was examined at a wide range of free energy values by changing the ADP concentration. The results showed that the apparent work of each individual step motion was not affected by the free energy of ATP hydrolysis, but the frequency of each individual step motion depended on the free energy. This is the first study that examined the stepping motion of a molecular motor at a single molecule level with simultaneous systematic control of DeltaG(ATP). The results imply that microscopically defined work at a single molecule level cannot be directly compared with macroscopically defined free energy input.

  17. Localized single molecule isotherms of DNA molecules at confined liquid-solid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Liang, Heng; Cheng, Xiaoliang; Ma, Yinfa

    2009-03-15

    The study of dynamics and thermodynamics of single biological molecules at confined liquid-solid interfaces is crucially important, especially in the case of low-copy number molecules in a single cell. Using a high-throughput single molecule imaging system and Lagrangian coordinates of single molecule images, we discovered that the local equilibrium isotherms of single lambdaDNA molecules at a confined liquid-solid interface varied from a stair type for the regions of single or double molecular DNA to a mild "S" type for the regions of triple molecular DNA spots, which does not agree with the conventional equilibrium isotherms in the literature. Single molecule images in time sequence for different lambdaDNA concentrations were statistically analyzed by measuring preferential partitioning from shearing effects, which were used to measure the local velocity of DNA molecules by directly observing the migration of DNA fluorescence spots for the 12 continuous images. The local linear velocity of hydrodynamic flow was calculated by the Hagen-Poiseuille equation in different microregions with a local Lagrangian approach. The local single molecule isotherms for the tracked molecules in the regions of single, double, or triple molecular DNA layers within the laminar flows were obtained according to the average local velocities of both the stochastic molecule events and the corresponding local Poiseuille flows. A millisecond and microvolume approach to directly determine local single molecule isotherms at confined liquid-solid interfaces was established, and the microspace scale effects on the types of isotherms were discovered. This study may have significant impact on preparations of low-copy number proteins in a single cell, membrane separations, and other bioseparation studies.

  18. 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.

  19. Electromechanical and conductance switching properties of single oligothiophene molecules.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bingqian Q; Li, Xiulan L; Xiao, Xiaoyin Y; Sakaguchi, Hiroshi; Tao, Nongjian J

    2005-07-01

    We have studied the electron transport and electromechanical properties of single oligothiophenes with three and four thiophene repeating units covalently linked to two Au electrodes. The four-repeating unit molecule is found to be more conductive than the three-repeating unit molecule. This unusual length dependence is due to the different electronic states of the molecules. Both molecules can be switched reversibly between a high and low conducting state by oxidizing and reducing the molecules using an electrochemical gate. The conductance of the molecules decreases upon stretching, which is attributed to a force-induced increase in the HOMO-LUMO gap.

  20. Single-Molecule Analysis of Chromatin: Changing the View of Genomes One Molecule at a Time

    PubMed Central

    Pondugula, Santhi; Kladde, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Wrapping DNA into chromatin provides a wealth of regulatory mechanisms that ensure normal growth and development in eukaryotes. Our understanding of chromatin structure, including nucleosomes and non-histone protein-DNA interactions, has benefited immensely from nuclease and chemical digestion techniques. DNA-bound proteins, such as histones or site-specific factors, protect DNA against nuclease cleavage and generate large nucleosomal or small regulatory factor footprints. Chromatin subject to distinct modes of regulation often coincides with sites of nuclease hypersensitivity or nucleosome positioning. An inherent limitation of cleavage-based analyses has been the inability to reliably analyze regions of interest when levels of digestion depart from single-hit kinetics. Moreover, cleavage-based techniques provide views that are averaged over all the molecules in a sample population. Therefore, in cases of occupancy of multiple regulatory elements by factors, one cannot define whether the factors are bound to the same or different molecules in the population. The recent development of DNA methyltransferase-based, single-molecule MAP-IT technology overcomes limitations of ensemble approaches and has opened numerous new avenues in chromatin research. Here, we review the strengths, limitations, applications and future prospects of MAP-IT ranging from structural issues to mechanistic questions in eukaryotic chromatin regulation. PMID:18615586

  1. Probing molecular choreography through single-molecule biochemistry.

    PubMed

    van Oijen, Antoine M; Dixon, Nicholas E

    2015-12-01

    Single-molecule approaches are having a dramatic impact on views of how proteins work. The ability to observe molecular properties at the single-molecule level allows characterization of subpopulations and acquisition of detailed kinetic information that would otherwise be hidden in the averaging over an ensemble of molecules. In this Perspective, we discuss how such approaches have successfully been applied to in vitro-reconstituted systems of increasing complexity.

  2. Microfluidics for biological measurements with single-molecule resolution.

    PubMed

    Streets, Aaron M; Huang, Yanyi

    2014-02-01

    Single-molecule approaches in biology have been critical in studies ranging from the examination of physical properties of biological macromolecules to the extraction of genetic information from DNA. The variation intrinsic to many biological processes necessitates measurements with single-molecule resolution in order to accurately recapitulate population distributions. Microfluidic technology has proven to be useful in the facilitation and even enhancement of single-molecule studies because of the precise liquid handling, small volume manipulation, and high throughput capabilities of microfluidic devices. In this review we survey the microfluidic "toolbox" available to the single-molecule specialist and summarize some recent biological applications of single-molecule detection on chip. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mg(2+) -Dependent High Mechanical Anisotropy of Three-Way-Junction pRNA as Revealed by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yang; Di, Weishuai; Li, Yiran; Huang, Wenmao; Wang, Xin; Qin, Meng; Wang, Wei; Cao, Yi

    2017-08-01

    Mechanical anisotropy is ubiquitous in biological tissues but is hard to reproduce in synthetic biomaterials. Developing molecular building blocks with anisotropic mechanical response is the key towards engineering anisotropic biomaterials. The three-way-junction (3WJ) pRNA, derived from ϕ29 DNA packaging motor, shows strong mechanical anisotropy upon Mg(2+) binding. In the absence of Mg(2+) , 3WJ-pRNA is mechanically weak without noticeable mechanical anisotropy. In the presence of Mg(2+) , the unfolding forces can differ by more than 4-fold along different pulling directions, ranging from about 47 pN to about 219 pN. Mechanical anisotropy of 3WJ-pRNA stems from pulling direction dependent cooperativity for the rupture of two Mg(2+) binding sites, which is a novel mechanism for the mechanical anisotropy of biomacromolecules. It is anticipated that 3WJ-pRNA can be used as a key element for the construction of biomaterials with controllable mechanical anisotropy. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Nonequilibrium energetics of a single F1-ATPase molecule.

    PubMed

    Toyabe, Shoichi; Okamoto, Tetsuaki; Watanabe-Nakayama, Takahiro; Taketani, Hiroshi; Kudo, Seishi; Muneyuki, Eiro

    2010-05-14

    Molecular motors drive mechanical motions utilizing the free energy liberated from chemical reactions such as ATP hydrolysis. Although it is essential to know the efficiency of this free energy transduction, it has been a challenge due to the system's microscopic scale. Here, we evaluate the single-molecule energetics of a rotary molecular motor, F1-ATPase, by applying a recently derived nonequilibrium equality together with an electrorotation method. We show that the sum of the heat flow through the probe's rotational degree of freedom and the work against an external load is almost equal to the free energy change per a single ATP hydrolysis under various conditions. This implies that F1-ATPase works at an efficiency of nearly 100% in a thermally fluctuating environment.

  7. Synthesis of technomimetic molecules: towards rotation control in single-molecular machines and motors.

    PubMed

    Rapenne, Gwénaël

    2005-04-07

    Technomimetic molecules are molecules designed to imitate macroscopic objects at the molecular level, also transposing the motions that these objects are able to undergo. This article focuses on technomimetic molecules with rotary motions, including gears, wheelbarrows and motors. Following the bottom-up approach the synthesis of technomimetic molecules grants access to the study of mechanical properties at the molecular level. These molecules are designed to operate as single molecules on surfaces under the control of the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope or atomic force microscope.

  8. Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications.

    PubMed

    Ritort, F

    2006-08-16

    I review single-molecule experiments (SMEs) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SMEs it is possible to manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties, characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and detect molecular intermediates. SMEs provide additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SMEs it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level, emphasizing the importance of SMEs to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SMEs from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOTs), magnetic tweezers (MTs), biomembrane force probes (BFPs) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation) and proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SMEs to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.

  9. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Fast quantitative single-molecule detection at ultralow concentrations.

    PubMed

    Haas, Philippe; Then, Patrick; Wild, Andreas; Grange, Wilfried; Zorman, Sylvain; Hegner, Martin; Calame, Michel; Aebi, Ueli; Flammer, Josef; Hecht, Bert

    2010-07-15

    The applicability of single-molecule fluorescence assays in liquids is limited by diffusion to concentrations in the low picomolar range. Here, we demonstrate quantitative single-molecule detection at attomolar concentrations within 1 min by excitation and detection of fluorescence through a single-mode optical fiber in presence of turbulent flow. The combination of high detectability and short measurement times promises applications in ultrasensitive assays, sensors, and point-of-care medical diagnostics.

  11. STM studies of single molecules: molecular orbital aspects.

    PubMed

    Li, Bin; Li, Zhenyu; Yang, Jinlong; Hou, J G

    2011-03-14

    As a fundamental and frequently referred concept in modern chemistry, the molecular orbital plays a vital role in the science of single molecules, which has become an active field in recent years. For the study of single molecules, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) has been proven to be a powerful scientific technique. Utilizing specific distribution of the molecular orbitals at spatial, energy, and spin scales, STM can explore many properties of single molecule systems, such as geometrical configuration, electronic structure, magnetic polarization, and so on. Various interactions between the substrate and adsorbed molecules are also understood in terms of the molecular orbitals. Molecular engineering methods, such as mode-selective chemistry based on the molecular orbitals, and resonance tunneling between the molecular orbitals of the molecular sample and STM tip, have stimulated new advances of single molecule science.

  12. Quantitative analysis of single-molecule superresolution images

    PubMed Central

    Coltharp, Carla; Yang, Xinxing; Xiao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    This review highlights the quantitative capabilities of single-molecule localization-based superresolution imaging methods. In addition to revealing fine structural details, the molecule coordinate lists generated by these methods provide the critical ability to quantify the number, clustering, and colocalization of molecules with 10 – 50 nm resolution. Here we describe typical workflows and precautions for quantitative analysis of single-molecule superresolution images. These guidelines include potential pitfalls and essential control experiments, allowing critical assessment and interpretation of superresolution images. PMID:25179006

  13. DNA-psoralen interaction: A single molecule experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha, M. S.; Viana, N. B.; Mesquita, O. N.

    2004-11-01

    By attaching one end of a single λ-DNA molecule to a microscope coverslip and the other end to a polystyrene microsphere trapped by an optical tweezers, we can study the entropic elasticity of the λ-DNA by measuring force versus extension as we stretch the molecule. This powerful method permits single molecule studies. We are particulary interested in the effects of the photosensitive drug psoralen on the elasticity of the DNA molecule. We have illuminated the sample with different light sources, studying how the different wavelengths affect the psoralen-DNA linkage. To do this, we measure the persistence length of individual DNA-psoralen complexes.

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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.

  18. 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.

  19. Single Molecule Electrical Sequencing of DNA and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taniguchi, Masateru

    2013-03-01

    Gating nanopore devices are composed of nanopores with embedded nanoelectrodes, and they are expected to be one of the core devices used to realize label-free, low-cost DNA sequencing, subsequently leading to 1000-genome sequencing technologies. The operating principle of these nanodevices is based on identifying single base molecules of single DNA passing through a nanopore using a tunneling current between nanoelectrodes. We successfully identified single base molecules of DNA and RNA using tunneling currents. To make gating nanopore devices fit for practical use, core technologies should be integrated on one device chip. One core technology is the identification of single DNA and RNA composed of many base molecules using tunneling currents. We have succeeded in the single-molecule electrical sequencing of DNA and RNA formed by 3 and 7 base molecules, respectively, using a hybrid method of identifying single base molecules via a tunnelling current and random sequencing. A method that controls the speed of a single DNA passing through a nanopore is one core technology that determines the speed and accuracy of sequencing. We successfully developed a method that controls the translocation speed of a single DNA by three orders of magnitude using a voltage between nanoelectrodes.

  20. 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.

  1. Single-molecule Force Spectroscopy Approach to Enzyme Catalysis*

    PubMed Central

    Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Kosuri, Pallav; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2010-01-01

    Enzyme catalysis has been traditionally studied using a diverse set of techniques such as bulk biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, and NMR. Recently, single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy has been used as a new tool to study the catalytic properties of an enzyme. In this approach, a mechanical force ranging up to hundreds of piconewtons is applied to the substrate of an enzymatic reaction, altering the conformational energy of the substrate-enzyme interactions during catalysis. From these measurements, the force dependence of an enzymatic reaction can be determined. The force dependence provides valuable new information about the dynamics of enzyme catalysis with sub-angstrom resolution, a feat unmatched by any other current technique. To date, single-molecule force spectroscopy has been applied to gain insight into the reduction of disulfide bonds by different enzymes of the thioredoxin family. This minireview aims to present a perspective on this new approach to study enzyme catalysis and to summarize the results that have already been obtained from it. Finally, the specific requirements that must be fulfilled to apply this new methodology to any other enzyme will be discussed. PMID:20382731

  2. Insights into adhesion biology using single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tabarin, Thibault; Pageon, Sophie V; Bach, Cuc T T; Lu, Yong; O'Neill, Geraldine M; Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2014-03-17

    Focal adhesions are complex multi-protein structures that mediate cell adhesion and cell migration in multicellular organisms. Most of the protein components involved in focal adhesion formation have been identified, but a major challenge remains: determination of the spatial and temporal dynamics of adhesion proteins in order to understand the molecular mechanisms of adhesion assembly, maturation, signal regulation, and disassembly. Progress in this field has been hampered by the limited resolution of fluorescence microscopy. Recent advances have led to the development of super-resolution techniques including single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). Here, we discuss how the application of these techniques has revealed important new insights into focal adhesion structure and dynamics, including the first description of the three-dimensional nano-architecture of focal adhesions and of the dynamic exchange of integrins in focal adhesions. Hence, SMLM has contributed to the refinement of existing models of adhesions as well as the establishment of novel models, thereby opening new research directions. With current improvements in SMLM instrumentation and analysis, it has become possible to study cellular adhesions at the single-molecule level. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. CMOS Integration of Single-Molecule Field-Effect Transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, Steven Benjamin

    Point functionalized carbon nanotubes have recently demonstrated the ability to serve as single-molecule biosensors. Operating as single-molecule Field-Effect Transistors (smFET), the sensors have been used to explore activity ranging in scope from DNA hybridization kinetics to DNA polymerase functionality. High signal levels and an all-electronic label-free transduction mechanism make the smFET an attractive candidate for next-generation medical diagnostics platforms and high-bandwidth basic science research studies. In this work, carbon nanotubes are integrated onto a custom designed CMOS chip. Integration enables arraying many devices for measurement, providing the requisite scale-up for any commercial application of smFETs. Integration also provides substantial benefits towards achieving high bandwidths through the reduction of electrical parasitics. In a first exploitation of these high-bandwidth measurement capabilities, integrated devices are electrically characterized over a 1-MHz bandwidth. Functionalization through electrochemical oxidation of the devices is observed with microsecond temporal resolution, revealing complex reaction pathways with resolvable scattering signatures. High rate random telegraph noise (RTN) is observed in certain oxidized devices, further illustrating the temporal resolution of the integrated sensing platform.

  4. 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

  5. Single-molecule analysis of the full transcription cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strick, Terence

    2005-03-01

    By monitoring the extension of a mechanically stretched, supercoiled DNA molecule containing a single bacterial promoter, we have been able to directly observe in real time the change in DNA extension associated with topological unwinding of ˜1 helical turn of promoter DNA by RNAP during transcription initiation. We find that this stage of transcription initiation is extremely sensitive to the torque acting on the supercoiled DNA. Upon addition of limited sets of nucleotides, changes in the polymerase/promoter interaction which are related to the process of abortive initiation can be studied in detail. Upon addition of the full set of nucleotides, the subsequent stages of transcription -- promoter escape, productive elongation and transcription termination -- can also be observed in real-time. The changes in DNA topology which occur at each of these stages have been determined, and these results provide for the first global view of the entire transcription cycle at the resolution of single molecules. Co-authors: Richard H. Ebright, Chen-Yu Liu and Andrey Revyakin, HHMI & Waksman Institute, Rutgers University.

  6. Single-molecule force spectroscopy approach to enzyme catalysis.

    PubMed

    Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Kosuri, Pallav; Fernandez, Julio M

    2010-06-18

    Enzyme catalysis has been traditionally studied using a diverse set of techniques such as bulk biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, and NMR. Recently, single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy has been used as a new tool to study the catalytic properties of an enzyme. In this approach, a mechanical force ranging up to hundreds of piconewtons is applied to the substrate of an enzymatic reaction, altering the conformational energy of the substrate-enzyme interactions during catalysis. From these measurements, the force dependence of an enzymatic reaction can be determined. The force dependence provides valuable new information about the dynamics of enzyme catalysis with sub-angstrom resolution, a feat unmatched by any other current technique. To date, single-molecule force spectroscopy has been applied to gain insight into the reduction of disulfide bonds by different enzymes of the thioredoxin family. This minireview aims to present a perspective on this new approach to study enzyme catalysis and to summarize the results that have already been obtained from it. Finally, the specific requirements that must be fulfilled to apply this new methodology to any other enzyme will be discussed.

  7. Frustrated Rotations in Single-Molecule Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Park,Y.S.; Hybertsen,M.; Widawsky, J.R.; Kamenetska, M.; Steigerwald, M.L.; Nuckolls, C.; Venkataraman, L.

    2009-07-17

    We compare the conductance of 1,4-bis(methylthio)benzene with that of 2,3,6,7-tetrahydrobenzo[1,2-b:4,5-b{prime}]dithiophene and the conductance of 1,4-bis(methylseleno)benzene with that of 2,3,6,7-tetrahydrobenzo[1,2-b:4,5-b{prime}]diselenophene and show explicitly that the orientation of an Au-S or Au-Se bond relative to the aromatic {pi} system controls electron transport through conjugated molecules. Specifically, we have found that the conduction pathway connects the Au electrodes to the aromatic {pi}-system via the chalcogen p lone pairs, and greater overlaps among these components lead to higher conductivity through the molecular junction.

  8. 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.

  9. Plasmonic imaging and detection of single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hui; Shan, Xiaonan; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hongyuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2014-04-22

    The capability of imaging and detecting single DNA molecules is critical in the study, analysis, and applications of DNA. Fluorescence imaging is a widely used method, but it suffers from blinking and photobleaching, and fluorescence tags may block or affect binding sites on DNA. We report on label-free imaging of single DNA molecules with a differential plasmonic imaging technique. The technique produces high contrast images due to the scattering of surface plasmonic waves by the molecules and the removal of background noises and interference patterns, allowing for quantitative analysis of individual DNA molecules. Simulation of the images based on a scattering model shows good agreement with the experiment. We further demonstrate optical mapping of single DNA molecules.

  10. STM CONTROL OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS: Single-Molecule Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hla, Saw-Wai; Rieder, Karl-Heinz

    2003-10-01

    The fascinating advances in single atom/molecule manipulation with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip allow scientists to fabricate atomic-scale structures or to probe chemical and physical properties of matters at an atomic level. Owing to these advances, it has become possible for the basic chemical reaction steps, such as dissociation, diffusion, adsorption, readsorption, and bond-formation processes, to be performed by using the STM tip. Complete sequences of chemical reactions are able to induce at a single-molecule level. New molecules can be constructed from the basic molecular building blocks on a one-molecule-at-a-time basis by using a variety of STM manipulation schemes in a systematic step-by-step manner. These achievements open up entirely new opportunities in nanochemistry and nanochemical technology. In this review, various STM manipulation techniques useful in the single-molecule reaction process are reviewed, and their impact on the future of nanoscience and technology are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. Investigating single molecule adhesion by atomic force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-27

    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.

  13. Investigating Single Molecule Adhesion by Atomic Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Single-molecule analysis of the microtubule cross-linking protein MAP65-1 reveals a molecular mechanism for contact-angle-dependent microtubule bundling.

    PubMed

    Tulin, Amanda; McClerklin, Sheri; Huang, Yue; Dixit, Ram

    2012-02-22

    Bundling of microtubules (MTs) is critical for the formation of complex MT arrays. In land plants, the interphase cortical MTs form bundles specifically following shallow-angle encounters between them. To investigate how cells select particular MT contact angles for bundling, we used an in vitro reconstitution approach consisting of dynamic MTs and the MT-cross-linking protein MAP65-1. We found that MAP65-1 binds to MTs as monomers and inherently targets antiparallel MTs for bundling. Dwell-time analysis showed that the affinity of MAP65-1 for antiparallel overlapping MTs is about three times higher than its affinity for single MTs and parallel overlapping MTs. We also found that purified MAP65-1 exclusively selects shallow-angle MT encounters for bundling, indicating that this activity is an intrinsic property of MAP65-1. Reconstitution experiments with mutant MAP65-1 proteins with different numbers of spectrin repeats within the N-terminal rod domain showed that the length of the rod domain is a major determinant of the range of MT bundling angles. The length of the rod domain also determined the distance between MTs within a bundle. Together, our data show that the rod domain of MAP65-1 acts both as a spacer and as a structural element that specifies the MT encounter angles that are conducive for bundling.

  15. 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

  16. Electrical Measurement of Single Molecule Catalysis using Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Brett R.; Kane, Alexander A.; Khalap, Vaikunth; Coroneus, John; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2008-03-01

    We demonstrate single molecule chemical sensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT). The architecture uses a SWNT conductor having a single, reactive species covalently bonded to the sidewall [1]. Dynamics of the molecule are electrically transduced as it interacts with its surrounding environment. As a test case, we investigate the catalytic modification of EDC by a carboxylate. After creating a carboxylate terminus on the SWNT, the circuit is monitored for several hours and through hundreds of individual EDC reactions. Statistical analysis determines the lifetime of the carboxyl-EDC complex, as well as the catalytic turnover rate, from discrete events. Because the carboxylate site can be readily derivatized with proteins, peptides, or other functional molecules, the technique shows promise as a tool for single molecule research independent of optics and scanning probe microscopy. 1. B.R. Goldsmith, et al. Science 315, 77 (2007).

  17. Extending single-molecule microscopy using optical Fourier processing.

    PubMed

    Backer, Adam S; Moerner, W E

    2014-07-17

    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.

  18. Single-molecule emulsion PCR in microfluidic droplets.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhi; Jenkins, Gareth; Zhang, Wenhua; Zhang, Mingxia; Guan, Zhichao; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-06-01

    The application of microfluidic droplet PCR for single-molecule amplification and analysis has recently been extensively studied. Microfluidic droplet technology has the advantages of compartmentalizing reactions into discrete volumes, performing highly parallel reactions in monodisperse droplets, reducing cross-contamination between droplets, eliminating PCR bias and nonspecific amplification, as well as enabling fast amplification with rapid thermocycling. Here, we have reviewed the important technical breakthroughs of microfluidic droplet PCR in the past five years and their applications to single-molecule amplification and analysis, such as high-throughput screening, next generation DNA sequencing, and quantitative detection of rare mutations. Although the utilization of microfluidic droplet single-molecule PCR is still in the early stages, its great potential has already been demonstrated and will provide novel solutions to today's biomedical engineering challenges in single-molecule amplification and analysis.

  19. Field Regulation of Single Molecule Conductivity by a Charged Atom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkow, Robert

    2006-03-01

    A new concept for a single molecule transistor is demonstrated [1]. A single chargeable atom adjacent to a molecule shifts molecular energy levels into alignment with electrode levels, thereby gating current through the molecule. Seemingly paradoxically, the silicon substrate to which the molecule is covalently attached provides 2, not 1, effective contacts to the molecule. This is achieved because the single charged silicon atom is at a substantially different potential than the remainder of the substrate. Charge localization at one dangling bond is ensured by covalently capping all other surface atoms. Dopant level control and local Fermi level control can change the charge state of that atom. The same configuration is shown to be an effective transducer to an electrical signal of a single molecule detection event. Because the charged atom induced shifting results in conductivity changes of substantial magnitude, these effects are easily observed at room temperature. [1] Paul G. Piva1,Gino A. DiLabio, Jason L. Pitters, Janik Zikovsky, Moh'd Rezeq, Stanislav Dogel, Werner A. Hofer & Robert A. Wolkow, Field regulation of single-molecule conductivity by a charged surface atom, NATURE 435, 658-661 (2005)

  20. Complex formation dynamics in a single-molecule electronic device

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Huimin; Li, Wengang; Chen, Jiewei; He, Gen; Li, Longhua; Olson, Mark A.; Sue, Andrew C.-H.; Stoddart, J. Fraser; Guo, Xuefeng

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule electronic devices offer unique opportunities to investigate the properties of individual molecules that are not accessible in conventional ensemble experiments. However, these investigations remain challenging because they require (i) highly precise device fabrication to incorporate single molecules and (ii) sufficient time resolution to be able to make fast molecular dynamic measurements. We demonstrate a graphene-molecule single-molecule junction that is capable of probing the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of a host-guest complex. By covalently integrating a conjugated molecular wire with a pendent crown ether into graphene point contacts, we can transduce the physical [2]pseudorotaxane (de)formation processes between the electron-rich crown ether and a dicationic guest into real-time electrical signals. The conductance of the single-molecule junction reveals two-level fluctuations that are highly dependent on temperature and solvent environments, affording a nondestructive means of quantitatively determining the binding and rate constants, as well as the activation energies, for host-guest complexes. The thermodynamic processes reveal the host-guest binding to be enthalpy-driven and are consistent with conventional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance titration experiments. This electronic device opens up a new route to developing single-molecule dynamics investigations with microsecond resolution for a broad range of chemical and biochemical applications. PMID:28138528

  1. Regulating a benzodifuran single molecule redox switch via electrochemical gating and optimization of molecule/electrode coupling.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhihai; Li, Hui; Chen, Songjie; Froehlich, Toni; Yi, Chenyi; Schönenberger, Christian; Calame, Michel; Decurtins, Silvio; Liu, Shi-Xia; Borguet, Eric

    2014-06-25

    We report a novel strategy for the regulation of charge transport through single molecule junctions via the combination of external stimuli of electrode potential, internal modulation of molecular structures, and optimization of anchoring groups. We have designed redox-active benzodifuran (BDF) compounds as functional electronic units to fabricate metal-molecule-metal (m-M-m) junction devices by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and mechanically controllable break junctions (MCBJ). The conductance of thiol-terminated BDF can be tuned by changing the electrode potentials showing clearly an off/on/off single molecule redox switching effect. To optimize the response, a BDF molecule tailored with carbodithioate (-CS2(-)) anchoring groups was synthesized. Our studies show that replacement of thiol by carbodithioate not only enhances the junction conductance but also substantially improves the switching effect by enhancing the on/off ratio from 2.5 to 8.

  2. 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

  3. Intermittent Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Biju, Vasudevan P.; Micic, Miodrag; Hu, Dehong; Lu, H. Peter

    2004-08-04

    We report on single molecule studies of photosensitized interfacial electron transfer (ET) processes in Coumarin 343 (C343)-TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) and Cresyl Violet (CV+)-TiO2 NP systems, using time-correlated single photon counting coupled with scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence intensity trajectories of individual dye molecules adsorbed on a semiconductor NP surface showed fluorescence fluctuations and blinking, with time constrants distributed from sub-milliseconds to several seconds.

  4. Single-molecule spectroscopy of uniaxially oriented terrylene in polyethylene.

    PubMed

    Butter, Jacqueline Y P; Crenshaw, Brent R; Weder, Christoph; Hecht, Bert

    2006-01-16

    Single terrylene molecules doped into linear low-density polyethylene can be oriented by tensile deformation of the matrix. In measurements on ensembles at ambient and on single terrylene molecules at cryogenic temperature, strong orientation along the stretching direction was observed by polarization-resolved confocal microscopy. At cryogenic temperatures narrow and spectrally stable zero-phonon lines were found. The low saturation intensity of 0.07 W cm(-2) is consistent with an uniaxial orientation of terrylene in the sample plane.

  5. 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

  6. Single molecule conformational analysis of DNA G-quadruplexes

    PubMed Central

    Shirude, Pravin S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2008-01-01

    Single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) can be employed to study conformational heterogeneity and real-time dynamics of biological macromolecules. Here we present single molecule studies on human genomic DNA G-quadruplex sequences that occur in the telomeres and in the promoter of a proto-oncogene. The findings are discussed with respect to the proposed biological function(s) of such motifs in living cells. PMID:18295608

  7. Modification of single molecule fluorescence using external fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Rui-Yun; Zhang, Guo-Feng; Qin, Cheng-Bin; Gao, Yan; Xiao, Lian-Tuan; Jia, Suo-Tang

    2017-10-01

    Controlling and manipulating the fluorescence of single fluorophores is of great interest in recent years for its potential uses in improving the performance of molecular photonics and molecular electronics, such as in organic light-emitting devices, single photon sources, organic field-effect transistors, and probes or sensors based on single molecules. This review shows how the fluorescence emission of single organic molecules can be modified using local electromagnetic fields of metallic nanostructures and electric-field-induced electron transfer. Electric-field-induced fluorescence modulation, hysteresis, and the achievement of fluorescence switch are discussed in detail.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Belyy, Vladislav; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2014-10-01

    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.

  11. Analysis of DNA interactions using single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ritzefeld, Markus; Walhorn, Volker; Anselmetti, Dario; Sewald, Norbert

    2013-06-01

    Protein-DNA interactions are involved in many biochemical pathways and determine the fate of the corresponding cell. Qualitative and quantitative investigations on these recognition and binding processes are of key importance for an improved understanding of biochemical processes and also for systems biology. This review article focusses on atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single-molecule force spectroscopy and its application to the quantification of forces and binding mechanisms that lead to the formation of protein-DNA complexes. AFM and dynamic force spectroscopy are exciting tools that allow for quantitative analysis of biomolecular interactions. Besides an overview on the method and the most important immobilization approaches, the physical basics of the data evaluation is described. Recent applications of AFM-based force spectroscopy to investigate DNA intercalation, complexes involving DNA aptamers and peptide- and protein-DNA interactions are given.

  12. A Low Spin Manganese(IV) Nitride Single Molecule Magnet

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Mei; Cutsail, George E.; Aravena, Daniel; Amoza, Martín; Rouzières, Mathieu; Dechambenoit, Pierre; Losovyj, Yaroslav; Pink, Maren

    2016-01-01

    Structural, spectroscopic and magnetic methods have been used to characterize the tris(carbene)borate compound PhB(MesIm)3Mn≡N as a four-coordinate manganese(IV) complex with a low spin (S = 1/2) configuration. The slow relaxation of the magnetization in this complex, i.e. its single-molecule magnet (SMM) properties, is revealed under an applied dc field. Multireference quantum mechanical calculations indicate that this SMM behavior originates from an anisotropic ground doublet stabilized by spin-orbit coupling. Consistent theoretical and experiment data show that the resulting magnetization dynamics in this system is dominated by ground state quantum tunneling, while its temperature dependence is influenced by Raman relaxation. PMID:27746891

  13. Exon-skipped dystrophins for treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: mass spectrometry mapping of most exons and cooperative domain designs based on single molecule mechanics.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Christine Carag; Bhasin, Nishant; Tewari, Manorama; Brown, Andre E X; Safer, Daniel; Sweeney, H Lee; Discher, Dennis E

    2010-12-01

    Force-bearing linkages between the cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix are clearly important to normal cell viability-as is evident in a disease such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) which arises in the absence of the linkage protein dystrophin. Therapeutic approaches to DMD include antisense-mediated skipping of exons to delete nonsense mutations while maintaining reading frame, but the structure and stability of the resulting proteins are generally unclear. Here we use mass spectrometry to detect most dystrophin exons, and we express and physically characterize dystrophin "nano"-constructs based on multiexon deletions that might find use in a large percentage of DMD patients. The primary structure challenge is addressed first with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) which can detect tryptic peptides from 53 of dystrophin's 79 exons; equivalent information from immunodetection would require 53 different high-specificity antibodies. Folding predictions for the nano-constructs reveal novel helical bundle domains that arise out of exon-deleted "linkers," while secondary structure studies confirm high helicity and also melting temperatures well above physiological. Extensional forces with an atomic force microscope nonetheless unfold the constructs, and the ensemble of unfolding trajectories reveal the number of folded domains, proving consistent with structure predictions. A mechanical cooperativity parameter for unfolding of tandem domains is also introduced as the best predictor of a multiexon deletion that is asymptomatic in humans. The results thereby provide insight and confidence in exon-skipped designs.

  14. Uncovering hierarchical data structure in single molecule transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ben H.; Ivie, Jeffrey A.; Johnson, Tyler K.; Monti, Oliver L. A.

    2017-03-01

    Interpretation of single molecule transport data is complicated by the fact that all such data are inherently highly stochastic in nature. Features are often broad, seemingly unstructured and distributed over more than an order of magnitude. However, the distribution contains information necessary for capturing the full variety of processes relevant in nanoscale transport, and a better understanding of its hierarchical structure is needed to gain deeper insight into the physics and chemistry of single molecule electronics. Here, we describe a novel data analysis approach based on hierarchical clustering to aid in the interpretation of single molecule conductance-displacement histograms. The primary purpose of statistically partitioning transport data is to provide avenues for unbiased hypothesis generation in single molecule break junction experiments by revealing otherwise potentially hidden aspects in the conductance data. Our approach is generalizable to the analysis of a wide variety of other single molecule experiments in molecular electronics, as well as in single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, force microscopy, and ion-channel conductance measurements.

  15. Single-molecule manipulation experiments to explore friction and adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlak, R.; Kawai, S.; Meier, T.; Glatzel, T.; Baratoff, A.; Meyer, E.

    2017-03-01

    Friction forces, which arise when two bodies that are in contact are moved with respect to one another, are ubiquitous phenomena. Although various measurement tools have been developed to study these phenomena at all length scales, such investigations are highly challenging when tackling the scale of single molecules in motion on a surface. This work reviews the recent advances in single-molecule manipulation experiments performed at low temperature with the aim of understanding the fundamental frictional response of single molecules. Following the advent of ‘nanotribology’ in the field based on the atomic force microscopy technique, we will show the technical requirements to direct those studies at the single-molecule level. We will also discuss the experimental prerequisites needed to obtain and interpret the phenomena, such as the implementation of single-molecule manipulation techniques, the processing of the experimental data or their comparison with appropriate numerical models. Finally, we will report examples of the controlled vertical and lateral manipulation of long polymeric chains, graphene nanoribbons or single porphyrin molecules that systematically reveal friction-like characteristics while sliding over atomically clean surfaces.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. From the molecule to the mole: improving heterogeneous copper catalyzed click chemistry using single molecule spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bowen; Durantini, Javier; Decan, Matthew R; Nie, Jun; Lanterna, Anabel E; Scaiano, Juan C

    2016-12-22

    Single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) inspired the optimization of a heterogeneous 'click' catalyst leading to enhanced yields of the Cu-catalyzed reaction of azides with terminal alkynes. Changes in SMS data after optimization confirm the improvements in catalyst performance.

  19. Single molecule analysis of cytoplasmic dynein motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yildiz, Ahmet

    2014-03-01

    Cytoplasmic dynein is a homodimeric AAA + motor that transports a multitude of cargos towards the microtubule (MT) minus end. The mechanism of dynein motility remains unclear, due to its large size (2.6 MDa) and the complexity of its structure. By tracking the stepping motion of both heads at nanometer resolution, we observed that dynein heads move independently along the MT, in contrast to hand over hand movement of kinesins and myosin. Stepping behavior of the heads varies as a function of interhead separation and establishing the basis of high variability in dynein step size. By engineering the mechanical and catalytic properties of the dynein motor domain, we show that a rigid linkage between monomers and dimerization between N-terminal tail domains are not essential for processive movement. Instead, dynein processivity minimally requires the linker domain of one active monomer to be attached to an inert MT tether retaining only the MT-binding domain. The release of a dynein monomer from the MT can be mediated either by nucleotide binding or external load. Nucleotide dependent release is inhibited by the tension on the linker domain at high interhead separations. Tension dependent release is highly asymmetric, with faster release towards the minus-end. Reversing the asymmetry of the MT binding interface results in plus end directed motility, even though the force was generated by the dynein motor activity. On the basis of these measurements, we propose a model that describes the basis of dynein processivity, directionality and force generation.

  20. A starting point for fluorescence-based single-molecule measurements in biomolecular research.

    PubMed

    Gust, Alexander; Zander, Adrian; Gietl, Andreas; Holzmeister, Phil; Schulz, Sarah; Lalkens, Birka; Tinnefeld, Philip; Grohmann, Dina

    2014-09-30

    Single-molecule fluorescence techniques are ideally suited to provide information about the structure-function-dynamics relationship of a biomolecule as static and dynamic heterogeneity can be easily detected. However, what type of single-molecule fluorescence technique is suited for which kind of biological question and what are the obstacles on the way to a successful single-molecule microscopy experiment? In this review, we provide practical insights into fluorescence-based single-molecule experiments aiming for scientists who wish to take their experiments to the single-molecule level. We especially focus on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments as these are a widely employed tool for the investigation of biomolecular mechanisms. We will guide the reader through the most critical steps that determine the success and quality of diffusion-based confocal and immobilization-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. We discuss the specific chemical and photophysical requirements that make fluorescent dyes suitable for single-molecule fluorescence experiments. Most importantly, we review recently emerged photoprotection systems as well as passivation and immobilization strategies that enable the observation of fluorescently labeled molecules under biocompatible conditions. Moreover, we discuss how the optical single-molecule toolkit has been extended in recent years to capture the physiological complexity of a cell making it even more relevant for biological research.

  1. The statistics of single molecule detection: An overview

    SciTech Connect

    Enderlein, J.; Robbins, D.L.; Ambrose, W.P.

    1995-12-31

    An overview of our recent results in modeling single molecule detection in fluid flow is presented. Our mathematical approach is based on a path integral representation. The model accounts for all experimental details, such as light collection, laser excitation, hydrodynamics and diffusion, and molecular photophysics. Special attention is paid to multiple molecule crossings through the detection volume. Numerical realization of the theory is discussed. Measurements of burst size distributions in single B-phycoerythrin molecule detection experiments are presented and compared with theoretical predictions.

  2. Single-molecule binding experiments on long time scales.

    PubMed

    Elenko, Mark P; Szostak, Jack W; van Oijen, Antoine M

    2010-08-01

    We describe an approach for performing single-molecule binding experiments on time scales from hours to days, allowing for the observation of slower kinetics than have been previously investigated by single-molecule techniques. Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy is used to image the binding of labeled ligand to molecules specifically coupled to the surface of an optically transparent flow cell. Long-duration experiments are enabled by ensuring sufficient positional, chemical, thermal, and image stability. Principal components of this experimental stability include illumination timing, solution replacement, and chemical treatment of solution to reduce photodamage and photobleaching; and autofocusing to correct for spatial drift.

  3. Deciphering Complexity in Molecular Biophysics with Single-Molecule Resolution.

    PubMed

    Deniz, Ashok A

    2016-01-29

    The structural features and dynamics of biological macromolecules underlie the molecular biology and correct functioning of cells. However, heterogeneity and other complexity of these molecules and their interactions often lead to loss of important information in traditional biophysical experiments. Single-molecule methods have dramatically altered the conceptual thinking and experimental tests available for such studies, leveraging their ability to avoid ensemble averaging. Here, I discuss briefly the rise of fluorescence single-molecule methods over the past two decades, a few key applications, and end with a view to challenges and future prospects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Future Challenges in Single-Molecule Fluorescence and Laser Trap Approaches to Studies of Molecular Motors

    PubMed Central

    Elting, Mary Williard; Spudich, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule analysis is a powerful modern form of biochemistry, in which individual kinetic steps of a catalytic cycle of an enzyme can be explored in exquisite detail. Both single-molecule fluorescence and single-molecule force techniques have been widely used to characterize a number of protein systems. We focus here on molecular motors as a paradigm. We describe two areas where we expect to see exciting developments in the near future: first, characterizing the coupling of force production to chemical and mechanical changes in motors, and second, understanding how multiple motors work together in the environment of the cell. PMID:23237942

  5. Future challenges in single-molecule fluorescence and laser trap approaches to studies of molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Elting, Mary Williard; Spudich, James A

    2012-12-11

    Single-molecule analysis is a powerful modern form of biochemistry, in which individual kinetic steps of a catalytic cycle of an enzyme can be explored in exquisite detail. Both single-molecule fluorescence and single-molecule force techniques have been widely used to characterize a number of protein systems. We focus here on molecular motors as a paradigm. We describe two areas where we expect to see exciting developments in the near future: first, characterizing the coupling of force production to chemical and mechanical changes in motors, and second, understanding how multiple motors work together in the environment of the cell.

  6. Correlation Analysis of Enzymatic Reaction of a Single Protein Molecule.

    PubMed

    Du, Chao; Kou, S C

    2012-09-01

    New advances in nano sciences open the door for scientists to study biological processes on a microscopic molecule-by-molecule basis. Recent single-molecule biophysical experiments on enzyme systems, in particular, reveal that enzyme molecules behave fundamentally differently from what classical model predicts. A stochastic network model was previously proposed to explain the experimental discovery. This paper conducts detailed theoretical and data analyses of the stochastic network model, focusing on the correlation structure of the successive reaction times of a single enzyme molecule. We investigate the correlation of experimental fluorescence intensity and the correlation of enzymatic reaction times, and examine the role of substrate concentration in enzymatic reactions. Our study shows that the stochastic network model is capable of explaining the experimental data in depth.

  7. Single molecule dynamics of polyproline by using AFM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamamushi, Hironori; Kawakami, Masaru; Furukawa, Hidemitsu

    2017-04-01

    Polyproline forms a unique structure, called polyproline helix. It takes polyproline II helix in water and Polyproline I helix in n-propanol. PP II is known to be a rigid molecule in spite of no hydrogen bonds between backbone atoms, and to play an important role in biological functions such as formation of collagen structure and in the cell-adhesion. In this study, we carried out single molecule force spectroscopy of polyproline with AFM(Atomic Force Microscope) and covalent immobilization of polyproline molecule on gold substrate to evaluate the rigidity of PP II at single molecule level. We found that the force-extension curve of polyproline shows a linear increase, which is unusual and not seen with others homo-polypeptide molecules. These results indicate that the high rigidity of polyproline II helix can be explained by "enthalpic", not "entropic" driven elasticity.

  8. 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

  9. Statistics and Related Topics in Single-Molecule Biophysics.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Low Temperature STM Manipulation and Spectroscopy of Chlorophyll-a Single Molecules from Spinach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, Jessica J.; Iancu, Violeta; Deshpande, Aparna; Hla, Saw-Wai

    2004-04-01

    We interrogate single chlorophyll-a, a molecule produced from Spinach, on Cu(111) surface to check its mechanical stability and electronic properties using an ultra-high-vacuum low-temperature scanning-tunneling-microscope (UHV-LT-STM) at liquid helium temperatures. The measured results of isolated single chlorophyll-a molecules are then compared with that of self-assembled molecular layer. The tunneling I/V and dI/dV spectroscopy techniques are used to probe the electronic properties of the chlorophyll-a molecule with atomic precision (1). These spectroscopic investigations elucidate properties of the single molecule such as the band gap and additional molecular orbital states. Mechanical stability of the chlorophyll-a molecule is examined using lateral manipulation techniques with the STM tip (2). In this procedure, the STM tip is placed in close proximity to the molecule (just a few angstrom separation) to increase the tip-molecule interaction. Then the tip is laterally moved across the surface, which results in pulling of the chlorophyll-a molecule to relocate to the specific surface sites. The detailed molecule movement during this manipulation is directly monitored through the corresponding STM-tip height signals. Our results highlight that the Spinach molecule is a promising candidate for environmental friendly nano-electronic device applications. (1) F. Moresco et al, Phy. Rev. Lett. 86, 672-675, (2001) (2) S-W. Hla, K-H. Rieder, Ann. Phy. Chem. 54, 307-330, (2003)

  11. Single molecule methods with applications in living cells.

    PubMed

    Persson, Fredrik; Barkefors, Irmeli; Elf, Johan

    2013-08-01

    Our knowledge about dynamic processes in biological cells systems has been obtained roughly on two levels of detail; molecular level experiments with purified components in test tubes and system wide experiments with indirect readouts in living cells. However, with the development of single molecule methods for application in living cells, this partition has started to dissolve. It is now possible to perform detailed biophysical experiments at high temporal resolution and to directly observe processes at the level of molecules in living cells. In this review we present single molecule methods that can easily be implemented by readers interested to venture into this exciting and expanding field. We also review some recent studies where single molecule methods have been used successfully to answer biological questions as well as some of the most common pitfalls associated with these methods. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Single-molecule mechanochemical sensing using DNA origami nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Koirala, Deepak; Shrestha, Prakash; Emura, Tomoko; Hidaka, Kumi; Mandal, Shankar; Endo, Masayuki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Mao, Hanbin

    2014-07-28

    While single-molecule sensing offers the ultimate detection limit, its throughput is often restricted as sensing events are carried out one at a time in most cases. 2D and 3D DNA origami nanostructures are used as expanded single-molecule platforms in a new mechanochemical sensing strategy. As a proof of concept, six sensing probes are incorporated in a 7-tile DNA origami nanoassembly, wherein binding of a target molecule to any of these probes leads to mechanochemical rearrangement of the origami nanostructure, which is monitored in real time by optical tweezers. Using these platforms, 10 pM platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are detected within 10 minutes, while demonstrating multiplex sensing of the PDGF and a target DNA in the same solution. By tapping into the rapid development of versatile DNA origami nanostructures, this mechanochemical platform is anticipated to offer a long sought solution for single-molecule sensing with improved throughput.

  13. Single-Molecule Studies of Telomeres and Telomerase.

    PubMed

    Parks, Joseph W; Stone, Michael D

    2017-05-22

    Telomeres are specialized chromatin structures that protect chromosome ends from dangerous processing events. In most tissues, telomeres shorten with each round of cell division, placing a finite limit on cell growth. In rapidly dividing cells, including the majority of human cancers, cells bypass this growth limit through telomerase-catalyzed maintenance of telomere length. The dynamic properties of telomeres and telomerase render them difficult to study using ensemble biochemical and structural techniques. This review describes single-molecule approaches to studying how individual components of telomeres and telomerase contribute to function. Single-molecule methods provide a window into the complex nature of telomeres and telomerase by permitting researchers to directly visualize and manipulate the individual protein, DNA, and RNA molecules required for telomere function. The work reviewed in this article highlights how single-molecule techniques have been utilized to investigate the function of telomeres and telomerase.

  14. Optical microscopy using a single-molecule light source

    PubMed

    Michaelis; Hettich; Mlynek; Sandoghdar

    2000-05-18

    Rapid progress in science on nanoscopic scales has promoted increasing interest in techniques of ultrahigh-resolution optical microscopy. The diffraction limit can be surpassed by illuminating an object in the near field through a sub-wavelength aperture at the end of a sharp metallic probe. Proposed modifications of this technique involve replacing the physical aperture by a nanoscopic active light source. Advances in the spatial and spectral detection of individual fluorescent molecules, using near-field and far-field methods, suggest the possibility of using a single molecule as the illumination source. Here we present optical images taken with a single molecule as a point-like source of illumination, by combining fluorescence excitation spectroscopy with shear-force microscopy. Our single-molecule probe has potential for achieving molecular resolution in optical microscopy; it should also facilitate controlled studies of nanometre-scale phenomena (such as resonant energy transfer) with improved lateral and axial spatial resolution.

  15. Tracking single molecules at work in living cells.

    PubMed

    Kusumi, Akihiro; Tsunoyama, Taka A; Hirosawa, Kohichiro M; Kasai, Rinshi S; Fujiwara, Takahiro K

    2014-07-01

    Methods for imaging and tracking single molecules conjugated with fluorescent probes, called single-molecule tracking (SMT), are now providing researchers with the unprecedented ability to directly observe molecular behaviors and interactions in living cells. Current SMT methods are achieving almost the ultimate spatial precision and time resolution for tracking single molecules, determined by the currently available dyes. In cells, various molecular interactions and reactions occur as stochastic and probabilistic processes. SMT provides an ideal way to directly track these processes by observing individual molecules at work in living cells, leading to totally new views of the biochemical and molecular processes used by cells whether in signal transduction, gene regulation or formation and disintegration of macromolecular complexes. Here we review SMT methods, summarize the recent results obtained by SMT, including related superresolution microscopy data, and describe the special concerns when SMT applications are shifted from the in vitro paradigms to living cells.

  16. Massively Parallel Single-Molecule Manipulation Using Centrifugal Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wesley; Halvorsen, Ken

    2011-03-01

    Precise manipulation of single molecules has led to remarkable insights in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. However, two issues that have impeded the widespread adoption of these techniques are equipment cost and the laborious nature of making measurements one molecule at a time. To meet these challenges, we have developed an approach that enables massively parallel single- molecule force measurements using centrifugal force. This approach is realized in the centrifuge force microscope, an instrument in which objects in an orbiting sample are subjected to a calibration-free, macroscopically uniform force- field while their micro-to-nanoscopic motions are observed. We demonstrate high- throughput single-molecule force spectroscopy with this technique by performing thousands of rupture experiments in parallel, characterizing force-dependent unbinding kinetics of an antibody-antigen pair in minutes rather than days. Currently, we are taking steps to integrate high-resolution detection, fluorescence, temperature control and a greater dynamic range in force. With significant benefits in efficiency, cost, simplicity, and versatility, single-molecule centrifugation has the potential to expand single-molecule experimentation to a wider range of researchers and experimental systems.

  17. 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.

  18. Single-Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Cell Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H PETER.

    2004-08-22

    We have demonstrated the application of single-molecule imaging and ultrafast spectroscopy to probe protein conformational dynamics in solution and in lipid bilayers. Dynamic protein-protein interactions involve significant conformational motions that initiate chain reactions leading to specific cellular responses. We have carried out a single molecule study of dynamic protein-protein interactions in a GTPase intracellular signaling protein Cdc42 in complex with a downstream effector protein, WASP. We were able to probe hydrophobic interactions significant to Cdc42/WASP recognition. Single molecule fluorescence intensity and polarization measurements have revealed the dynamic and inhomogeneous nature of protein-protein interactions within the Cdc42/WASP complex that is characterized by structured distributions of conformational fluctuation rates. Conducting a single-molecule fluorescence anisotropy study of calmodulin (CaM), a regulatory protein for calcium-dependent cell signaling, we were able to probe CaM conformational dynamics at a wide time scale. In this study, CaM contains a site-specifically inserted tetra-cysteine motif that reacted with FlAsH, a biarsenic fluorescein derivative that can be rotationally locked to the host protein. The study provided direct characterization of the nanosecond motions of CaM tethered to a biologically compatible surface under physiological buffer solution. The unique technical approaches are applicable of studying single-molecule dynamics of protein conformational motions and protein-protein interactions at a wide time range without the signal convolution of probe-dye molecule motions

  19. Single molecule RNA folding studied with optical trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieregg, Jeffrey Robert

    The RNA folding problem (predicting the equilibrium structure and folding pathway of an RNA molecule from its sequence) is one of the classic problems of biophysics. Recent discoveries of many new functions for RNA have increased its importance, and new instrumental techniques have provided new ways to characterize molecular behavior. In particular, optical trapping (optical tweezers) allows controlled mechanical force to be applied to single RNA molecules while their end-to-end extension is monitored in real time. This enables characterization of RNA folding dynamics at a level unreachable by traditional bulk methods. Furthermore, recent advances in statistical mechanics make it possible to recover equilibrium quantities such as free energy from reactions which occur away from equilibrium. This dissertation describes the application of optical trapping and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to quantitatively characterize folding of RNA secondary structures. By measuring the folding free energy of several specially designed hairpins in solutions containing various amounts of sodium and potassium, we were able to determine that RNA secondary structure thermodynamics depends not only on monovalent cation concentration but also surprisingly, on species. We also investigated the temperature dependence of hairpin folding thermodynamics and kinetics, which provided a direct measurement of enthalpy and entropy for RNA folding at physiological temperatures. We found that the folding pathway was quite sensitive to both salt and temperature, as measured by the folding success rate of a biologically important hairpin from the HIV-1 viral genome. Finally, I discuss modeling of force-induced RNA folding and unfolding, as well as a series of efforts which have dramatically improved the performance of our optical trapping instrument.

  20. 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

  1. An all-electric single-molecule motor.

    PubMed

    Seldenthuis, Johannes S; Prins, Ferry; Thijssen, Joseph M; van der Zant, Herre S J

    2010-11-23

    Many types of molecular motors have been proposed and synthesized in recent years, displaying different kinds of motion, and fueled by different driving forces such as light, heat, or chemical reactions. We propose a new type of molecular motor based on electric field actuation and electric current detection of the rotational motion of a molecular dipole embedded in a three-terminal single-molecule device. The key aspect of this all-electronic design is the conjugated backbone of the molecule, which simultaneously provides the potential landscape of the rotor orientation and a real-time measure of that orientation through the modulation of the conductivity. Using quantum chemistry calculations, we show that this approach provides full control over the speed and continuity of motion, thereby combining electrical and mechanical control at the molecular level over a wide range of temperatures. Moreover, chemistry can be used to change all key parameters of the device, enabling a variety of new experiments on molecular motors.

  2. Polarization of excitation light influences molecule counting in single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ye; Lin, Han; Ludford-Menting, Mandy J; Clayton, Andrew H; Gu, Min; Russell, Sarah M

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule localization microscopy has been widely applied to count the number of biological molecules within a certain structure. The percentage of molecules that are detected significantly affects the interpretation of data. Among many factors that affect this percentage, the polarization state of the excitation light is often neglected or at least unstated in publications. We demonstrate by simulation and experiment that the number of molecules detected can be different from -40 up to 100% when using circularly or linearly polarized excitation light. This is determined mainly by the number of photons emitted by single fluorescent molecule, namely the choice of fluorescence proteins, and the background noise in the system, namely the illumination scheme. This difference can be further exaggerated or mitigated by various fixation methods, magnification, and camera settings We conclude that the final choice between circularly or linearly polarized excitation light should be made experimentally, based on the signal to noise ratio of the system.

  3. Mechanical and chemical properties of cysteine-modified kinesin molecules.

    PubMed

    Iwatani, S; Iwane, A H; Higuchi, H; Ishii, Y; Yanagida, T

    1999-08-10

    To probe the structural changes within kinesin molecules, we made the mutants of motor domains of two-headed kinesin (4-411 aa) in which either all the five cysteines or all except Cys45 were mutated. A residual cysteine (Cys45) of the kinesin mutant was labeled with an environment-sensitive fluorescent probe, acrylodan. ATPase activity, mechanical properties, and fluorescence intensity of the mutants were measured. Upon acrylodan-labeled kinesin binding to microtubules in the presence of 1 mM AMPPNP, the peak intensity was enhanced by 3.4-fold, indicating the structural change of the kinesin head by the binding. Substitution of cysteines decreased both the maximum microtubule-activated ATPase and the sliding velocity to the same extent. However, the maximum force and the step size were not affected; the force produced by a single molecule was 6-6.5 pN, and a step size due to the hydrolysis of one ATP molecule by kinesin molecules was about 10 nm for all kinesins. This step size was close to a unitary step size of 8 nm. Thus, the mechanical events of kinesin are tightly coupled with the chemical events.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-17

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Multicolour single molecule imaging on cells using a supercontinuum source

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Stephen E. D.; Zanetti-Domingues, Laura; Coles, Benjamin C.; Rolfe, Daniel J.; Wareham, Richard J.; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L.

    2012-01-01

    Multicolour single molecule fluorescence imaging enables the study of multiple proteins in the membranes of living cells. We describe the use of a supercontinuum laser as the excitation source, show its comparability with multiplexed single-wavelength lasers and demonstrate that it can be used to study membrane proteins such as the ErbB receptor family. We discuss the benefits of white-light sources for single molecule fluorescence, in particular their ease of use and the freedom to use the most appropriate dye without being constrained by available laser wavelengths. PMID:22435089

  8. Some problems in spectroscopy of a single impurity molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Wild, U.; Guetter, F.; Plam, V.

    1994-12-01

    Single-impurity-center spectroscopy (SCS) results are reported for molecules of pentacene in a p-terphenyl single crystal at 4.2 and 1.7 K. The shapes of about ten zero-phonon lines belonging to different single molecules are measured at both temperatures. A substantial dispersion of intensities and linewidths of the zero-phonon lines is observed. In addition, abrupt changes in the resonance frequencies of some of the lines are detected. Some theoretical problems of SCS are discussed. 18 refs., 6 figs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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).

  13. Single molecule Michaelis-Menten equation beyond quasistatic disorder.

    PubMed

    Xue, Xiaochuan; Liu, Fei; Ou-Yang, Zhong-Can

    2006-09-01

    The classic Michaelis-Menten equation describes the catalytic activities for ensembles of enzyme molecules very well. But recent single-molecule experiments showed that the waiting time distribution and other properties of single enzyme molecules were not consistent with the prediction based on the ensemble viewpoint. They have contributed to the slow conformational changes of a single enzyme in the catalytic processes. In this work, we study the general dynamics of single enzymes in the presence of dynamic disorder. We find that, within the time separation regimes, i.e., the slow reaction and nondiffusion limits, the Michaelis-Menten equation holds exactly. In particular, by employing the decoupling approximation we demonstrate analytically that the classic Michaelis-Menten equation is still an excellent approximation in the presence of general dynamic disorder.

  14. Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry in a Protein Nanoreactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayley, Hagan; Luchian, Tudor; Shin, Seong-Ho; Steffensen, Mackay B.

    Covalent chemistry can be observed at the single-molecule level by using engineered protein pores as "nanoreactors". By recording the ionic current driven through single engineered alpha-hemolysin (αHL) pores in a transmembrane potential, individual bond-making and bond-breaking steps that occur within the pore and perturb the current are monitored with sub-millisecond time-resolution. Recently, a variety of covalent reactions of small molecules have been observed by this approach including irreversible light-activated chemistry, multiple turnovers of reversible reactions, the turnover of normally irreversible reactions in a twocompartment system and a step-by- step polymerization. These single-molecule experiments are revealing information about fundamental chemical processes that cannot be extracted from ensemble measurements. Further, the approach can be used to examine the effects of the local environment on chemistry and catalysis, and to construct sensors for reactive molecules based on covalent chemistry rather than non-covalent binding interactions. Alternative approaches to small molecule covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level are described in the review, as well as the problems and present limitations of the nanoreactor approach.

  15. Imaging of photoinduced tautomerism in single porphyrin molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jäger, Regina; Chizhik, Anna M.; Chizhik, Alexey I.; Mack, Hans-Georg; Lyubimtsev, Alexey; Hanack, Michael; Meixner, Alfred J.

    2011-10-01

    In this work we present our new experimental and theoretical results upon investigations of the photoinduced tautomerism processes of single metal-free porphyrin-type molecules. During tautomerization a molecule changes its structure, therefore the excitation transition dipole moment (TDM) of the molecule changes its orientation. Using confocal microscopy in combination with azimuthally and radially polarized laser beams we are able to determine the orientation of the TDM as well as the orientation of a single molecule itself. In the case of tautomerism we are able to visualize this process and even the involved isomers separately. The study first focuses on two symmetrical compounds: a phthalocyanine and a porphyrin. Additionally, differences of the single molecules embedded in a polymer matrix or just spin-coated on a glass cover slide and under nitrogen flow are investigated. In the latter case we observe a higher frequency of the change of the TDM orientation. The experimental studies are supplemented by quantum chemical calculations. Variations of the molecular substituents, the environment and excitation wavelength can give new insights into the excited-state tautomerism process of a single molecule. We also introduce some suggestions for future experiments to support the understanding of the photoinduced tautomerism.

  16. Convex lens-induced confinement for imaging single molecules.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Sabrina R; Fields, Alexander P; Cohen, Adam E

    2010-07-15

    Fluorescence imaging is used to study the dynamics of a wide variety of single molecules in solution or attached to a surface. Two key challenges in this pursuit are (1) to image immobilized single molecules in the presence of a high level of fluorescent background and (2) to image freely diffusing single molecules for long times. Strategies that perform well by one measure often perform poorly by the other. Here, we present a simple modification to a wide-field fluorescence microscope that addresses both challenges and dramatically improves single-molecule imaging. The technique of convex lens-induced confinement (CLIC) restricts molecules to a wedge-shaped gap of nanoscale depth, formed between a plano-convex lens and a planar coverslip. The shallow depth of the imaging volume leads to 20-fold greater rejection of background fluorescence than is achieved with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging. Elimination of out-of-plane diffusion leads to an approximately 10,000-fold longer diffusion-limited observation time per molecule than is achieved with confocal fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The CLIC system also provides a new means to determine molecular size. The CLIC system does not require any nanofabrication, nor any custom optics, electronics, or computer control.

  17. Methods of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E.; Fromm, David P.

    2003-08-01

    Optical spectroscopy at the ultimate limit of a single molecule has grown over the past dozen years into a powerful technique for exploring the individual nanoscale behavior of molecules in complex local environments. Observing a single molecule removes the usual ensemble average, allowing the exploration of hidden heterogeneity in complex condensed phases as well as direct observation of dynamical state changes arising from photophysics and photochemistry, without synchronization. This article reviews the experimental techniques of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy with emphasis on studies at room temperature where the same single molecule is studied for an extended period. Key to successful single-molecule detection is the need to optimize signal-to-noise ratio, and the physical parameters affecting both signal and noise are described in detail. Four successful microscopic methods including the wide-field techniques of epifluorescence and total internal reflection, as well as confocal and near-field optical scanning microscopies are described. In order to extract the maximum amount of information from an experiment, a wide array of properties of the emission can be recorded, such as polarization, spectrum, degree of energy transfer, and spatial position. Whatever variable is measured, the time dependence of the parameter can yield information about excited state lifetimes, photochemistry, local environmental fluctuations, enzymatic activity, quantum optics, and many other dynamical effects. Due to the breadth of applications now appearing, single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy may be viewed as useful new tools for the study of dynamics in complex systems, especially where ensemble averaging or lack of synchronization may obscure the details of the process under study.

  18. Towards physiological complexity with in vitro single-molecule biophysics.

    PubMed

    Duzdevich, Daniel; Greene, Eric C

    2013-02-05

    Single-molecule biology has matured in recent years, driven to greater sophistication by the development of increasingly advanced experimental techniques. A progressive appreciation for its unique strengths is attracting research that spans an exceptionally broad swath of physiological phenomena--from the function of nucleosomes to protein diffusion in the cell membrane. Newfound enthusiasm notwithstanding, the single-molecule approach is limited to an intrinsically defined set of biological questions; such limitation applies to all experimental approaches, and an explicit statement of the boundaries delineating each set offers a guide to most fruitfully orienting in vitro single-molecule research in the future. Here, we briefly describe a simple conceptual framework to categorize how submolecular, molecular and intracellular processes are studied. We highlight the domain of single-molecule biology in this scheme, with an emphasis on its ability to probe various forms of heterogeneity inherent to populations of discrete biological macromolecules. We then give a general overview of our high-throughput DNA curtain methodology for studying protein-nucleic acid interactions, and by contextualizing it within this framework, we explore what might be the most enticing avenues of future research. We anticipate that a focus on single-molecule biology's unique strengths will suggest a new generation of experiments with greater complexity and more immediately translatable physiological relevance.

  19. 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.

  20. Quantitative study of single molecule location estimation techniques

    PubMed Central

    Abraham, Anish V.; Ram, Sripad; Chao, Jerry; Ward, E. S.; Ober, Raimund J.

    2010-01-01

    Estimating the location of single molecules from microscopy images is a key step in many quantitative single molecule data analysis techniques. Different algorithms have been advocated for the fitting of single molecule data, particularly the nonlinear least squares and maximum likelihood estimators. Comparisons were carried out to assess the performance of these two algorithms in different scenarios. Our results show that both estimators, on average, are able to recover the true location of the single molecule in all scenarios we examined. However, in the absence of modeling inaccuracies and low noise levels, the maximum likelihood estimator is more accurate than the nonlinear least squares estimator, as measured by the standard deviations of its estimates, and attains the best possible accuracy achievable for the sets of imaging and experimental conditions that were tested. Although neither algorithm is consistently superior to the other in the presence of modeling inaccuracies or misspecifications, the maximum likelihood algorithm emerges as a robust estimator producing results with consistent accuracy across various model mismatches and misspecifications. At high noise levels, relative to the signal from the point source, neither algorithm has a clear accuracy advantage over the other. Comparisons were also carried out for two localization accuracy measures derived previously. Software packages with user-friendly graphical interfaces developed for single molecule location estimation (EstimationTool) and limit of the localization accuracy calculations (FandPLimitTool) are also discussed. PMID:20052043

  1. Quantitative study of single molecule location estimation techniques.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Anish V; Ram, Sripad; Chao, Jerry; Ward, E S; Ober, Raimund J

    2009-12-21

    Estimating the location of single molecules from microscopy images is a key step in many quantitative single molecule data analysis techniques. Different algorithms have been advocated for the fitting of single molecule data, particularly the nonlinear least squares and maximum likelihood estimators. Comparisons were carried out to assess the performance of these two algorithms in different scenarios. Our results show that both estimators, on average, are able to recover the true location of the single molecule in all scenarios we examined. However, in the absence of modeling inaccuracies and low noise levels, the maximum likelihood estimator is more accurate than the nonlinear least squares estimator, as measured by the standard deviations of its estimates, and attains the best possible accuracy achievable for the sets of imaging and experimental conditions that were tested. Although neither algorithm is consistently superior to the other in the presence of modeling inaccuracies or misspecifications, the maximum likelihood algorithm emerges as a robust estimator producing results with consistent accuracy across various model mismatches and misspecifications. At high noise levels, relative to the signal from the point source, neither algorithm has a clear accuracy advantage over the other. Comparisons were also carried out for two localization accuracy measures derived previously. Software packages with user-friendly graphical interfaces developed for single molecule location estimation (EstimationTool) and limit of the localization accuracy calculations (FandPLimitTool) are also discussed.

  2. THEORY OF SINGLE-MOLECULE SPECTROSCOPY: Beyond the Ensemble Average

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkai, Eli; Jung, Younjoon; Silbey, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) is a powerful experimental technique used to investigate a wide range of physical, chemical, and biophysical phenomena. The merit of SMS is that it does not require ensemble averaging, which is found in standard spectroscopic techniques. Thus SMS yields insight into complex fluctuation phenomena that cannot be observed using standard ensemble techniques. We investigate theoretical aspects of SMS, emphasizing (a) dynamical fluctuations (e.g., spectral diffusion, photon-counting statistics, antibunching, quantum jumps, triplet blinking, and nonergodic blinking) and (b) single-molecule fluctuations in disordered systems, specifically distribution of line shapes of single molecules in low-temperature glasses. Special emphasis is given to single-molecule systems that reveal surprising connections to Levy statistics (i.e., blinking of quantum dots and single molecules in glasses). We compare theory with experiment and mention open problems. Our work demonstrates that the theory of SMS is a complementary field of research for describing optical spectroscopy in the condensed phase.

  3. Towards physiological complexity with in vitro single-molecule biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Duzdevich, Daniel; Greene, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule biology has matured in recent years, driven to greater sophistication by the development of increasingly advanced experimental techniques. A progressive appreciation for its unique strengths is attracting research that spans an exceptionally broad swath of physiological phenomena—from the function of nucleosomes to protein diffusion in the cell membrane. Newfound enthusiasm notwithstanding, the single-molecule approach is limited to an intrinsically defined set of biological questions; such limitation applies to all experimental approaches, and an explicit statement of the boundaries delineating each set offers a guide to most fruitfully orienting in vitro single-molecule research in the future. Here, we briefly describe a simple conceptual framework to categorize how submolecular, molecular and intracellular processes are studied. We highlight the domain of single-molecule biology in this scheme, with an emphasis on its ability to probe various forms of heterogeneity inherent to populations of discrete biological macromolecules. We then give a general overview of our high-throughput DNA curtain methodology for studying protein–nucleic acid interactions, and by contextualizing it within this framework, we explore what might be the most enticing avenues of future research. We anticipate that a focus on single-molecule biology's unique strengths will suggest a new generation of experiments with greater complexity and more immediately translatable physiological relevance. PMID:23267187

  4. alpha-Synuclein misfolding: single molecule AFM force spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Yu, Junping; Malkova, Sarka; Lyubchenko, Yuri L

    2008-12-26

    Protein misfolding and aggregation are the very first and critical steps in development of various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, induced by misfolding of alpha-synuclein. Thus, elucidating properties of proteins in misfolded states and understanding the mechanisms of their assembly into the disease prone aggregates are critical for the development of rational approaches to prevent protein misfolding-mediated pathologies. To accomplish this goal and as a first step to elucidate the mechanism of alpha-synuclein misfolding, we applied single-molecule force spectroscopy capable of detecting protein misfolding. We immobilized alpha-synuclein molecules at their C-termini at the atomic force microscope tips and substrate surfaces, and measured the interaction between the proteins by probing the microscope tip at various locations on the surface. Using this approach, we detected alpha-synuclein misfolded states by enhanced interprotein interaction. We used a dynamics force spectroscopy approach to measure such an important characteristic of dimers of misfolded alpha-synuclein as their lifetimes. We found that the dimer lifetimes are in the range of seconds and these values are much higher than the characteristics for the dynamics of the protein in monomeric state. These data show that compared to highly dynamic monomeric forms, alpha-synuclein dimers are much more stable and thus can serve as stable nuclei for the formation of multimeric and aggregated forms of alpha-synuclein. Importantly, two different lifetimes were observed for the dimers, suggesting that aggregation can follow different pathways that may lead to different aggregated morphologies of alpha-synuclein.

  5. Coherent spectroscopy in the single molecule limit (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potma, Eric O.; Crampton, Kevin; Fast, Alex; Alfonso García, Alba; Apkarian, Vartkess A.

    2016-10-01

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a popular technique for detecting and analyzing molecules at very low concentrations. The sensitivity of SERS is high enough to detect single molecules. It has proven difficult, however, to perform similar measurements in the so-called nonlinear optical regime, a regime in which the molecule is responding to multiple light pulses. Nonetheless, recent experiments indicate that after careful optimization, it is possible to generate signals derived from nonlinear analogs of SERS. Such measurements make it possible to view molecular vibrations in real time, which amounts to the femto- to pico-second range. In this contribution, we discuss in detail under which conditions detectable surface-enhanced coherent Raman signals can be expected, provide experimental evidence of coherent Raman scattering of single molecules, and highlight the unique information that can be attained from such measurements.

  6. The Single-Molecule Approach to Membrane Protein Stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Michael G; Hallworth, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The advent of techniques for imaging solitary fluorescent molecules has made possible many new kinds of biological experiments. Here, we describe the application of single-molecule imaging to the problem of subunit stoichiometry in membrane proteins. A membrane protein of unknown stoichiometry, prestin, is coupled to the fluorescent enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and synthesized in the human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell line. We prepare adherent membrane fragments containing prestin-eGFP by osmotic lysis. The molecules are then exposed to continuous low-level excitation until their fluorescence reaches background levels. Their fluorescence decreases in discrete equal-amplitude steps, consistent with the photobleaching of single fluorophores. We count the number of steps required to photobleach each molecule. The molecular stoichiometry is then deduced using a binomial model.

  7. Electronic transport in benzodifuran single-molecule transistors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-07

    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.

  8. Carbon tips for all-carbon single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Dappe, Y J; González, C; Cuevas, J C

    2014-06-21

    We present here an exhaustive ab initio study of the use of carbon-based tips as electrodes in single-molecule junctions. Motivated by recent experiments, we show that carbon tips can be combined with other carbon nanostructures, such as graphene, to form all-carbon molecular junctions with molecules like benzene or C60. Our results show that the use of carbon tips can lead to relatively conductive molecular junctions. However, contrary to junctions formed with standard metals, the conductance traces recorded during the formation of the all-carbon single-molecule junctions do not exhibit clear conductance plateaus, which can be attributed to the inability of the hydrogenated carbon tips to form chemical bonds with the organic molecules. Additionally, we explore here the use of carbon tips for scanning tunneling microscopy and show that they are well suited for obtaining sample images with atomic resolution.

  9. Observing Single Enzyme Molecules Interconvert between Activity States upon Heating

    PubMed Central

    Rojek, Marcin J.; Walt, David R.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate that single enzyme molecules of β-galactosidase interconvert between different activity states upon exposure to short pulses of heat. We show that these changes in activity are the result of different enzyme conformations. Hundreds of single β-galactosidase molecules are trapped in femtoliter reaction chambers and the individual enzymes are subjected to short heating pulses. When heating pulses are introduced into the system, the enzyme molecules switch between different activity states. Furthermore, we observe that the changes in activity are random and do not correlate with the enzyme's original activity. This study demonstrates that different stable conformations play an important role in the static heterogeneity reported previously, resulting in distinct long-lived activity states of enzyme molecules in a population. PMID:24465972

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 on protein dynamics and localization, including single particle tracking (SPT) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), and finish by examining prospects of upcoming applications, such as correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) and super-resolution. Advances in single molecule imaging, including multi-color and 3D QD tracking, have provided new insights into the mechanisms of cell signaling and protein trafficking. New forms of QD tracking in vivo have allowed for observation of biological processes with molecular level resolution in the physiological context of the whole animal. Further methodological development of multiplexed QD-based immunohistochemistry assays are allowing 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Long-Lived Intracellular Single-Molecule Fluorescence Using Electroporated Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Robert; Torella, Joseph P.; Aigrain, Louise; Plochowietz, Anne; Gryte, Kristofer; Uphoff, Stephan; Kapanidis, Achillefs N.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of biomolecules in vivo are crucial to understand their function in a natural, biological context. One powerful approach involves fusing molecules of interest to fluorescent proteins to study their expression, localization, and action; however, the scope of such studies would be increased considerably by using organic fluorophores, which are smaller and more photostable than their fluorescent protein counterparts. Here, we describe a straightforward, versatile, and high-throughput method to internalize DNA fragments and proteins labeled with organic fluorophores into live Escherichia coli by employing electroporation. We studied the copy numbers, diffusion profiles, and structure of internalized molecules at the single-molecule level in vivo, and were able to extend single-molecule observation times by two orders of magnitude compared to green fluorescent protein, allowing continuous monitoring of molecular processes occurring from seconds to minutes. We also exploited the desirable properties of organic fluorophores to perform single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer measurements in the cytoplasm of live bacteria, both for DNA and proteins. Finally, we demonstrate internalization of labeled proteins and DNA into yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a model eukaryotic system. Our method should broaden the range of biological questions addressable in microbes by single-molecule fluorescence. PMID:24314075

  15. Single-molecule dataset (SMD): a generalized storage format for raw and processed single-molecule data.

    PubMed

    Greenfeld, Max; van de Meent, Jan-Willem; Pavlichin, Dmitri S; Mabuchi, Hideo; Wiggins, Chris H; Gonzalez, Ruben L; Herschlag, Daniel

    2015-01-16

    Single-molecule techniques have emerged as incisive approaches for addressing a wide range of questions arising in contemporary biological research [Trends Biochem Sci 38:30-37, 2013; Nat Rev Genet 14:9-22, 2013; Curr Opin Struct Biol 2014, 28C:112-121; Annu Rev Biophys 43:19-39, 2014]. The analysis and interpretation of raw single-molecule data benefits greatly from the ongoing development of sophisticated statistical analysis tools that enable accurate inference at the low signal-to-noise ratios frequently associated with these measurements. While a number of groups have released analysis toolkits as open source software [J Phys Chem B 114:5386-5403, 2010; Biophys J 79:1915-1927, 2000; Biophys J 91:1941-1951, 2006; Biophys J 79:1928-1944, 2000; Biophys J 86:4015-4029, 2004; Biophys J 97:3196-3205, 2009; PLoS One 7:e30024, 2012; BMC Bioinformatics 288 11(8):S2, 2010; Biophys J 106:1327-1337, 2014; Proc Int Conf Mach Learn 28:361-369, 2013], it remains difficult to compare analysis for experiments performed in different labs due to a lack of standardization. Here we propose a standardized single-molecule dataset (SMD) file format. SMD is designed to accommodate a wide variety of computer programming languages, single-molecule techniques, and analysis strategies. To facilitate adoption of this format we have made two existing data analysis packages that are used for single-molecule analysis compatible with this format. Adoption of a common, standard data file format for sharing raw single-molecule data and analysis outcomes is a critical step for the emerging and powerful single-molecule field, which will benefit both sophisticated users and non-specialists by allowing standardized, transparent, and reproducible analysis practices.

  16. Single-molecule quantum dot as a Kondo simulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiraoka, R.; Minamitani, E.; Arafune, R.; Tsukahara, N.; Watanabe, S.; Kawai, M.; Takagi, N.

    2017-06-01

    Structural flexibility of molecule-based systems is key to realizing the novel functionalities. Tuning the structure in the atomic scale enables us to manipulate the quantum state in the molecule-based system. Here we present the reversible Hamiltonian manipulation in a single-molecule quantum dot consisting of an iron phthalocyanine molecule attached to an Au electrode and a scanning tunnelling microscope tip. We precisely controlled the position of Fe2+ ion in the molecular cage by using the tip, and tuned the Kondo coupling between the molecular spins and the Au electrode. Then, we realized the crossover between the strong-coupling Kondo regime and the weak-coupling regime governed by spin-orbit interaction in the molecule. The results open an avenue to simulate low-energy quantum many-body physics and quantum phase transition through the molecular flexibility.

  17. High throughput single molecule detection for monitoring biochemical reactions

    PubMed Central

    Okagbare, Paul I.; Soper, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The design, performance and application of a novel optical system for high throughput single molecule detection (SMD) configured in a continuous flow format using microfluidics is reported. The system consisted of a microfabricated polymer-based multi-channel fluidic network situated within the optical path of a laser source (λex = 660 nm) with photon transduction accomplished using an electron-multiplying charge coupled device (EMCCD) operated in a frame transfer mode that allowed tracking single molecules as they passed through a large field-of-view (FoV) illumination zone. The microfluidic device consisted of 30 microchannels possessing dimensions of 30 μm (width) × 20 μm (depth) with a 25 mm pitch. Individual molecules were electrokinetically driven through the fluidic network and excited within the wide-field illumination area with the resulting fluorescence collected via an objective and imaged onto the EMCCD camera. The detection system demonstrated sufficient sensitivity to detect single DNA molecules labeled with a fluorescent tag (AlexaFluor 660) identified through their characteristic emission wavelength and the burst of photons produced during their transit through the excitation volume. In its present configuration and fluidic architecture, the sample processing throughput was ∼4.02 × 105 molecules s−1, but could be increased dramatically through the use of narrower channels and a smaller pitch. The system was further evaluated using a single molecule-based fluorescence quenching assay for measuring the population differences between duplexed and single-stranded DNA molecules as a function of temperature for determining the duplex melting temperature, Tm. PMID:19082181

  18. Single-molecule force-conductance spectroscopy of hydrogen-bonded complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirrotta, Alessandro; De Vico, Luca; Solomon, Gemma C.; Franco, Ignacio

    2017-03-01

    The emerging ability to study physical properties at the single-molecule limit highlights the disparity between what is observable in an ensemble of molecules and the heterogeneous contributions of its constituent parts. A particularly convenient platform for single-molecule studies are molecular junctions where forces and voltages can be applied to individual molecules, giving access to a series of electromechanical observables that can form the basis of highly discriminating multidimensional single-molecule spectroscopies. Here, we computationally examine the ability of force and conductance to inform about molecular recognition events at the single-molecule limit. For this, we consider the force-conductance characteristics of a prototypical class of hydrogen bonded bimolecular complexes sandwiched between gold electrodes. The complexes consist of derivatives of a barbituric acid and a Hamilton receptor that can form up to six simultaneous hydrogen bonds. The simulations combine classical molecular dynamics of the mechanical deformation of the junction with non-equilibrium Green's function computations of the electronic transport. As shown, in these complexes hydrogen bonds mediate transport either by directly participating as a possible transport pathway or by stabilizing molecular conformations with enhanced conductance properties. Further, we observe that force-conductance correlations can be very sensitive to small changes in the chemical structure of the complexes and provide detailed information about the behavior of single molecules that cannot be gleaned from either measurement alone. In fact, there are regions during the elongation that are only mechanically active, others that are only conductance active, and regions where both force and conductance changes as the complex is mechanically manipulated. The implication is that force and conductance provide complementary information about the evolution of molecules in junctions that can be used to

  19. 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)

  20. Sizing of single globular DNA molecules by using a circular acceleration technique with laser trapping.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Ken; Nagata, Hideya; Ishido, Tomomi; Tanaka, Yoshio; Baba, Yoshinobu; Ishikawa, Mitsuru

    2008-07-01

    We describe a method for in situ sizing individual huge DNA molecules by laser trapping. Single DNA molecules are reversibly transformed, without mechanical fragmentation of fragile huge-sized DNA, from their random coil state into their globular state induced by condensing agents poly(ethylene glycol) and Mg(2+). With the use of a globular DNA molecule folded by condensation, the critical velocity of the circularly accelerated single globular DNA molecule by laser trapping was found to be proportional to the size of the DNA. Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, chromosome III (285 kbp) was successfully sized (281 +/- 40 kbp) from a calibration curve scaled using lambda, T4, and yeast chromosome VI (48.5, 166, and 385 kbp, respectively). The use of critical velocity as a sizing parameter makes it possible to size single DNA molecules without prior conformational information, i.e., the radius of a single globular huge DNA molecule as a nanoparticle. A sized single globular DNA molecule could be trapped again for subsequent manipulation, such as transportation of it anywhere. We also investigated a possibility of reusing the globular DNA molecules condensed by PEG and Mg(2+) for PCR and found that PCR efficiency was not deteriorated in the presence of the condensation agents.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Opportunities and challenges in single-molecule and single-particle fluorescence microscopy for mechanistic studies of chemical reactions.

    PubMed

    Cordes, Thorben; Blum, Suzanne A

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, single-molecule and single-particle fluorescence microscopy has emerged as a tool to investigate chemical systems. After an initial lag of over a decade with respect to biophysical studies, this powerful imaging technique is now revealing mechanisms of 'classical' organic reactions, spatial distribution of chemical reactivity on surfaces and the phase of active catalysts. The recent advance into commercial imaging systems obviates the need for home-built laser systems and thus opens this technique to traditionally trained synthetic chemists. We discuss the requisite photophysical and chemical properties of fluorescent reporters and highlight the main challenges in applying single-molecule techniques to chemical questions. The goal of this Perspective is to provide a snapshot of an emerging multidisciplinary field and to encourage broader use of this young experimental approach that aids the observation of chemical reactions as depicted in many textbooks: molecule by molecule.

  5. Opportunities and challenges in single-molecule and single-particle fluorescence microscopy for mechanistic studies of chemical reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, Thorben; Blum, Suzanne A.

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, single-molecule and single-particle fluorescence microscopy has emerged as a tool to investigate chemical systems. After an initial lag of over a decade with respect to biophysical studies, this powerful imaging technique is now revealing mechanisms of 'classical' organic reactions, spatial distribution of chemical reactivity on surfaces and the phase of active catalysts. The recent advance into commercial imaging systems obviates the need for home-built laser systems and thus opens this technique to traditionally trained synthetic chemists. We discuss the requisite photophysical and chemical properties of fluorescent reporters and highlight the main challenges in applying single-molecule techniques to chemical questions. The goal of this Perspective is to provide a snapshot of an emerging multidisciplinary field and to encourage broader use of this young experimental approach that aids the observation of chemical reactions as depicted in many textbooks: molecule by molecule.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2007-07-31

    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.

  7. Quantum dots find their stride in single molecule tracking

    PubMed Central

    Bruchez, Marcel P.

    2011-01-01

    Thirteen years after the demonstration of quantum dots as biological imaging agents, and nine years after the initial commercial introduction of bioconjugated quantum dots, the brightness and photostability of the quantum dots has enabled a range of investigations using single molecule tracking. These materials are being routinely utilized by a number of groups to track the dynamics of single molecules in reconstituted biophysical systems and on living cells, and are especially powerful for investigations of single molecules over long timescales with short exposure times and high pointing accuracy. New approaches are emerging where the quantum dots are used as “hard-sphere” probes for intracellular compartments. Innovations in quantum dot surface modification are poised to substantially expand the utility of these materials. PMID:22055494

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Srabanti

    2014-09-04

    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.

  11. Improved Dye Stability in Single-Molecule Fluorescence Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    EcheverrÍa Aitken, Colin; Marshall, R. Andrew; Pugi, Joseph D.

    Complex biological systems challenge existing single-molecule methods. In particular, dye stability limits observation time in singlemolecule fluorescence applications. Current approaches to improving dye performance involve the addition of enzymatic oxygen scavenging systems and small molecule additives. We present an enzymatic oxygen scavenging system that improves dye stability in single-molecule experiments. Compared to the currently-employed glucose-oxidase/catalase system, the protocatechuate-3,4-dioxygenase system achieves lower dissolved oxygen concentration and stabilizes single Cy3, Cy5, and Alexa488 fluorophores. Moreover, this system possesses none of the limitations associated with the glucose oxidase/catalase system. We also tested the effects of small molecule additives in this system. Biological reducing agents significantly destabilize the Cy5 fluorophore as a function of reducing potential. In contrast, anti-oxidants stabilize the Cy3 and Alexa488 fluorophores. We recommend use of the protocatechuate-3,4,-dioxygenase system with antioxidant additives, and in the absence of biological reducing agents. This system should have wide application to single-molecule fluorescence experiments.

  12. Single molecule thermodynamics and nanopore-based thermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Burden, Lisa K.; Burden, Daniel L.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2012-02-01

    The nanopore-based resistive pulse method measures the reduction in ionic current caused by the interaction of single molecules with the pore. It has great promise in addressing problems across a range of fields that include biomedicine and genomics. The technique requires the residence time of the molecules in the pore to exceed the inverse bandwidth of the detection system (˜ 10 μs). Efforts are underway to improve this by molecular modification of the pore wall, but little effort has focused on modifying the solution conditions in and around the pore. We address this issue by precisely controlling the solution temperature around a protein ion channel (alpha hemolysin) via laser-induced heating of gold nanoparticles. In this technique, the nanopore serves dual roles as both a highly local thermometer and single molecule sensor. Preliminary data suggests that the solution temperature can be controlled over a wide range, the nanopore conductance can be used to directly measure rapid changes in temperature, and the temperature change can dramatically alter the interaction kinetics of single molecules with the nanopore. The method will improve the development of biochip sensors and lead to a new platform for single molecule thermodynamic studies.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Single-molecule chemistry of metal phthalocyanine on noble metal surfaces.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenyu; Li, Bin; Yang, Jinlong; Hou, Jian Guo

    2010-07-20

    To develop new functional materials and nanoscale electronics, researchers would like to accurately describe and precisely control the quantum state of a single molecule on a surface. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), combined with first-principles simulations, provides a powerful technique for acquiring this level of understanding. Traditionally, metal phthalocyanine (MPc) molecules, composed of a metal atom surrounded by a ligand ring, have been used as dyes and pigments. Recently, MPc molecules have shown great promise as components of light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, photovoltaic cells, and single-molecule devices. In this Account, we describe recent research on the characterization and control of adsorption and electronic states of a single MPc molecule on noble metal surfaces. In general, the electronic and magnetic properties of a MPc molecule largely depend on the type of metal ion within the phthalocyanine ligand and the type of surface on which the molecule is adsorbed. However, with the STM technique, we can use on-site molecular "surgery" to manipulate the structure and the properties of the molecule. For example, STM can induce a dehydrogenation reaction of the MPc, which allows us to control the Kondo effect, which describes the spin polarization of the molecule and its interaction with the complex environment. A specially designed STM tip can allow researchers to detect certain molecule-surface hybrid states that are not accessible by other techniques. By matching the local orbital symmetry of the STM tip and the molecule, we can generate the negative differential resistance effect in the formed molecular junction. This orbital symmetry based mechanism is extremely robust and does not critically depend on the geometry of the STM tip. In summary, this simple model system, a MPc molecule absorbed on a noble metal surface, demonstrates the power of STM for quantum characterization and manipulation of single molecules, highlighting the

  16. Single-Molecule and Superresolution Imaging in Live Bacteria Cells

    PubMed Central

    Biteen, Julie S.; Moerner, W.E.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule imaging enables biophysical measurements devoid of ensemble averaging, gives enhanced spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit, and permits superresolution reconstructions. Here, single-molecule and superresolution imaging are applied to the study of proteins in live Caulobacter crescentus cells to illustrate the power of these methods in bacterial imaging. Based on these techniques, the diffusion coefficient and dynamics of the histidine protein kinase PleC, the localization behavior of the polar protein PopZ, and the treadmilling behavior and protein superstructure of the structural protein MreB are investigated with sub-40-nm spatial resolution, all in live cells. PMID:20300204

  17. 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.

  18. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy in Living Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    van Krugten, Jaap; Peterman, Erwin J G

    2018-01-01

    Transportation of organelles and biomolecules is vital for many cellular processes. Single-molecule (SM) fluorescence microscopy can expose molecular aspects of the dynamics that remain unresolved in ensemble experiments. For example, trajectories of individual, moving biomolecules can reveal velocity and changes therein, including pauses. We use SM imaging to study the dynamics of motor proteins and their cargo in the cilia of living C. elegans. To this end, we employ standard fluorescent proteins, an epi-illuminated, wide-field fluorescence microscope and mostly open-source software. This chapter describes the setup we use, the preparation of samples, a protocol for single-molecule imaging in C. elegans and data analysis.

  19. An improved surface passivation method for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    We report a surface passivation method based on dichlorodimethylsilane (DDS)-Tween-20 for in vitro single-molecule studies, which, under the conditions tested here, more efficiently prevented nonspecific binding of biomolecules than the standard poly(ethylene glycol) surface. The DDS-Tween-20 surface was simple and inexpensive to prepare and did 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.

  20. Single-molecule enzyme kinetics in the presence of inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Saha, Soma; Sinha, Antara; Dua, Arti

    2012-07-28

    Recent studies in single-molecule enzyme kinetics reveal that the turnover statistics of a single enzyme is governed by the waiting time distribution that decays as mono-exponential at low substrate concentration and multi-exponential at high substrate concentration. The multi-exponentiality arises due to protein conformational fluctuations, which act on the time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic reaction step, thereby inducing temporal fluctuations in the catalytic rate resulting in dynamic disorder. In this work, we study the turnover statistics of a single enzyme in the presence of inhibitors to show that the multi-exponentiality in the waiting time distribution can arise even when protein conformational fluctuations do not influence the catalytic rate. From the Michaelis-Menten mechanism of inhibited enzymes, we derive exact expressions for the waiting time distribution for competitive, uncompetitive, and mixed inhibitions to quantitatively show that the presence of inhibitors can induce dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions resulting in temporal fluctuations in the reaction rate. In the presence of inhibitors, dynamic disorder arises due to transitions between active and inhibited states of enzymes, which occur on time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic step. In this limit, the randomness parameter (dimensionless variance) is greater than unity indicating the presence of dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions. In the opposite limit, when the time scale of the catalytic step is longer than the time scale of transitions between active and inhibited enzymatic states, the randomness parameter is unity, implying no dynamic disorder in the reaction pathway.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Optimal Background Estimators in Single-Molecule FRET Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Preus, Søren; Hildebrandt, Lasse L; Birkedal, Victoria

    2016-09-20

    Single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy constitutes an umbrella of powerful tools that facilitate direct observation of the biophysical properties, population heterogeneities, and interactions of single biomolecules without the need for ensemble synchronization. Due to the low signal/noise ratio in single-molecule TIRF microscopy experiments, it is important to determine the local background intensity, especially when the fluorescence intensity of the molecule is used quantitatively. Here we compare and evaluate the performance of different aperture-based background estimators used particularly in single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer. We introduce the general concept of multiaperture signatures and use this technique to demonstrate how the choice of background can affect the measured fluorescence signal considerably. A new, to our knowledge, and simple background estimator is proposed, called the local statistical percentile (LSP). We show that the LSP background estimator performs as well as current background estimators at low molecular densities and significantly better in regions of high molecular densities. The LSP background estimator is thus suited for single-particle TIRF microscopy of dense biological samples in which the intensity itself is an observable of the technique. Copyright © 2016 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Single-molecule visualization of ROS-induced DNA damage in large DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jinyong; Kim, Yongkyun; Lim, Sangyong; Jo, Kyubong

    2016-02-07

    We present a single molecule visualization approach for the quantitative analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced DNA damage, such as base oxidation and single stranded breaks in large DNA molecules. We utilized the Fenton reaction to generate DNA damage with subsequent enzymatic treatment using a mixture of three types of glycosylases to remove oxidized bases, and then fluorescent labeling on damaged lesions via nick translation. This single molecule analytical platform provided the capability to count one or two damaged sites per λ DNA molecule (48.5 kb), which were reliably dependent on the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous ion at the micromolar level. More importantly, the labeled damaged sites that were visualized under a microscope provided positional information, which offered the capability of comparing DNA damaged sites with the in silico genomic map to reveal sequence specificity that GTGR is more sensitive to oxidative damage. Consequently, single DNA molecule analysis provides a sensitive analytical platform for ROS-induced DNA damage and suggests an interesting biochemical insight that the genome primarily active during the lysogenic cycle may have less probability for oxidative DNA damage.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Coherent control of single molecules at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Brinks, Daan; Hildner, Richard; Stefani, Fernando D; van Hulst, Niek F

    2011-01-01

    The detection of individual molecules allows to unwrap the inhomogeneously broadened ensemble and reveal the spatial disorder and temporal dynamics of single entities. During 20 years of increasing sophistication this approach has provided valuable insights into biomolecular interactions, cellular processes, polymer dynamics, etc. Unfortunately the detection of fluorescence, i.e. incoherent spontaneous emission, has essentially kept the time resolution of the single molecule approach out of the range of ultrafast coherent processes. In parallel coherent control of quantum interferences has developed as a powerful method to study and actively steer ultrafast molecular interactions and energy conversion processes. However the degree of coherent control that can be reached in ensembles is restricted, due to the intrinsic inhomogeneity of the synchronized subset. Clearly the only way to overcome spatio-temporal disorder and achieve key control is by addressing individual units: coherent control of single molecules. Here we report the observation and manipulation of vibrational wave-packet interference in individual molecules at ambient conditions. We show that adapting the time and phase distribution of the optical excitation field to the dynamics of each molecule results in a superior degree of control compared to the ensemble approach. Phase reversal does invert the molecular response, confirming the control of quantum coherence. Time-phase maps show a rich diversity in excited state dynamics between different, yet chemically identical, molecules. The presented approach is promising for single-unit coherent control in multichromophoric systems. Especially the role of coherence in the energy transfer of single antenna complexes under physiological conditions is subject of great attention. Now the role of energy disorder and variation in coupling strength can be explored, beyond the inhomogeneously broadened ensemble.

  10. Force of Single Kinesin Molecules Measured With Optical Tweezers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Scot C.; Sheetz, Michael P.

    1993-04-01

    Isometric forces generated by single molecules of the mechanochemical enzyme kinesin were measured with a laser-induced, single-beam optical gradient trap, also known as optical tweezers. For the microspheres used in this study, the optical tweezers was spring-like for a radius of 100 nanometers and had a maximum force region at a radius of ~150 nanometers. With the use of biotinylated microtubules and special streptavidin-coated latex microspheres as handles, microtubule translocation by single squid kinesin molecules was reversibly stalled. The stalled microtubules escaped optical trapping forces of 1.9 ± 0.4 piconewtons. The ability to measure force parameters of single macromolecules now allows direct testing of molecular models for contractility.

  11. Improved Glass Surface Passivation for Single-Molecule Nanoarrays.

    PubMed

    Cai, Haogang; Wind, Shalom J

    2016-10-04

    Single-molecule fluorescence techniques provide a critical tool for probing biomolecular and cellular interactions with unprecedented resolution and precision. Unfortunately, many of these techniques are hindered by a common problem, namely, the nonspecific adsorption of target biomolecules. This issue is mostly addressed by passivating the glass surfaces with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) brush. This is effective only at low concentrations of the probe molecule because there are defects inherent to polymer brushes formed on glass coverslips due to the presence of surface impurities. Tween-20, a detergent, is a promising alternative that can improve surface passivation, but it is incompatible with living cells, and it also possesses limited selectivity for glass background over metallic nanoparticles, which are frequently used as anchors for the probe molecules. To address these issues, we have developed a more versatile method to improve the PEG passivation. A thin film of hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) is spin-coated and thermally cured on glass coverslips in order to cover the surface impurities. This minimizes the formation of PEG defects and reduces nonspecific adsorption, resulting in an improvement comparable to Tween-20 treatment. This approach was applied to single-molecule nanoarrays of streptavidin bound to AuPd nanodots patterned by e-beam lithography (EBL). The fluorescence signal to background ratio (SBR) on HSQ-coated glass was improved by ∼4-fold as compared to PEG directly on glass. This improvement enables direct imaging of ordered arrays of single molecules anchored to lithographically patterned arrays of metallic nanodots.

  12. Towards Single-Molecule Optical Mapping of the Epigenome

    PubMed Central

    Levy-Sakin, Michal; Grunwald, Assaf; Kim, Soohong; Gassman, Natalie R.; Gottfried, Anna; Antelman, Josh; Kim, Younggyu; Ho, Sam; Samuel, Robin; Michalet, Xavier; Lin, Ron R.; Dertinger, Thomas; Kim, Andrew S.; Chung, Sangyoon; Colyer, Ryan A.; Weinhold, Elmar; Weiss, Shimon; Ebenstein, Yuval

    2014-01-01

    The last decade has seen an explosive growth in the utilization of single-molecule techniques for the study of complex systems. The ability to resolve phenomena otherwise masked by ensemble averaging has made these approaches especially attractive for the study of biological systems, where stochastic events lead to inherent inhomogeneity on the population level. The complex composition of the genome has made it an ideal system to study on the single-molecule level and methods aimed at resolving genetic information from long, individual, genomic DNA molecules have been in use for the last 30 years. These methods, and particularly optical based mapping of DNA, have been instrumental in highlighting genomic variation and contributed significantly to the assembly of many genomes including the human genome. Nanotechnology and nanoscopy have been a strong driving force for advancing genomic mapping approaches, allowing both better manipulation of DNA on the nano-scale and enhanced optical resolving power for analysis of genomic information. In the very last years, these developments have been adopted also for epigenetic studies. The common principle for these studies is the use of advanced optical microscopy for the detection of fluorescently labeled epigenetic marks on long, extended DNA molecules. Here we will discuss recent single-molecule studies for the mapping of chromatin composition and epigenetic DNA modifications, such as DNA methylation. PMID:24328256

  13. Probing Nanoparticle Reactivity at the Single-Molecule Level

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-15

    doi: Xiaochun Zhou, Weilin Xu, Guokun Liu, Debashis Panda , Peng Chen. Size-Dependent Catalytic Activity and Dynamics of Gold Nanoparticles at the...Debashis Panda , Peng Chen. Size Dependent Catalytic Activity and Dynamics of Gold Nanoparticles at the Single-Molecule Level, (12 2009) Books...Bibliography 1 X. Zhou, W. Xu, G. Liu, D. Panda & P. Chen. Size dependent catalytic activity and dynamics of gold nanoparticles at the single

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

    PubMed

    Vukojevic, Vladana; Heidkamp, Marcus; Ming, Yu; Johansson, Björn; Terenius, Lars; Rigler, Rudolf

    2008-11-25

    A new approach to quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is presented. It relies on fluorescence intensity distribution to analyze the molecular occurrence statistics captured by digital imaging and enables direct determination of the number of fluorescent molecules and their diffusion rates without resorting to temporal or spatial autocorrelation analyses. Digital images of fluorescent molecules were recorded by using fast scanning and avalanche photodiode detectors. In this way the signal-to-background ratio was significantly improved, enabling direct quantitative imaging by CLSM. The potential of the proposed approach is demonstrated by using standard solutions of fluorescent dyes, fluorescently labeled DNA molecules, quantum dots, and the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein in solution and in live cells. The method was verified by using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The relevance for biological applications, in particular, for live cell imaging, is discussed.

  17. The Elasticity of a Single Supercoiled DNA Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strick, T. R.; Allemand, J.-F.; Bensimon, D.; Bensimon, A.; Croquette, V.

    1996-03-01

    Single linear DNA molecules were bound at multiple sites at one extremity to a treated glass cover slip and at the other to a magnetic bead. The DNA was therefore torsionally constrained. A magnetic field was used to rotate the beads and thus to coil and pull the DNA. The stretching force was determined by analysis of the Brownian fluctuations of the bead. Here, the elastic behavior of individual λ DNA molecules over-and underwound by up to 500 turns was studied. A sharp transition was discovered from a low to a high extension state at a force of ~0.45 piconewtons for underwound molecules and at a force of ~3 piconewtons for overwound ones. These transitions, probably reflecting the formation of alternative structure in stretched coiled DNA molecules, might be relevant for DNA transcription and replication.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Minimizing detection errors in single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Křížek, Pavel; Raška, Ivan; Hagen, Guy M

    2011-02-14

    Fluorescence microscopy using single molecule imaging and localization (PALM, STORM, and similar approaches) has quickly been adopted as a convenient method for obtaining multicolor, 3D superresolution images of biological samples. Using an approach based on extensive Monte Carlo simulations, we examined the performance of various noise reducing filters required for the detection of candidate molecules. We determined a suitable noise reduction method and derived an optimal, nonlinear threshold which minimizes detection errors introduced by conventional algorithms. We also present a new technique for visualization of single molecule localization microscopy data based on adaptively jittered 2D histograms. We have used our new methods to image both Atto565-phalloidin labeled actin in fibroblast cells, and mCitrine-erbB3 expressed in A431 cells. The enhanced methods developed here were crucial in processing the data we obtained from these samples, as the overall signal to noise ratio was quite low.

  1. A Single-Molecule Study of RNA Catalysis and Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Xiaowei; Bartley, Laura E.; Babcock, Hazen P.; Russell, Rick; Ha, Taekjip; Herschlag, Daniel; Chu, Steven

    2000-06-01

    Using fluorescence microscopy, we studied the catalysis by and folding of individual Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme molecules . The dye-labeled and surface-immobilized ribozymes used were shown to be functionally indistinguishable from the unmodified free ribozyme in solution. A reversible local folding step in which a duplex docks and undocks from the ribozyme core was observed directly in single-molecule time trajectories, allowing the determination of the rate constants and characterization of the transition state. A rarely populated docked state, not measurable by ensemble methods, was observed. In the overall folding process, intermediate folding states and multiple folding pathways were observed. In addition to observing previously established folding pathways, a pathway with an observed folding rate constant of 1 per second was discovered. These results establish single-molecule fluorescence as a powerful tool for examining RNA folding.

  2. Magnetic subunits within a single molecule-surface hybrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heß, Volkmar; Friedrich, Rico; Matthes, Frank; Caciuc, Vasile; Atodiresei, Nicolae; Bürgler, Daniel E.; Blügel, Stefan; Schneider, Claus M.

    2017-05-01

    Magnetic molecule-surface hybrids are ideal building blocks for molecular spintronic devices due to their appealing tailorable magnetic properties and nanoscale size. So far, assemblies of interacting molecular-surface hybrids needed for spintronic functionality were generated by depositing aromatic molecules onto transition-metal surfaces, resulting in a random arrangement of hybrid magnets due to the inherent and strong hybridization. Here, we demonstrate the formation of multiple intramolecular subunits within a single molecule-surface hybrid by means of spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy experiments and ab initio density functional theory calculations. This novel effect is realized by depositing a polycyclic aromatic molecule on a magnetic surface. A highly asymmetric chiral adsorption position induces different structural, electronic, and magnetic properties in each aromatic ring of the molecule. In particular, the induced molecular spin polarization near the Fermi energy varies among the rings due to site- and spin-dependent molecule-surface hybridization. Our results showcase a possible organic chemistry route of tailoring geometrically well-defined assemblies of magnetically distinguishable subunits in molecule-surface hybrids.

  3. 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.

  4. Photoemission of Mn6Cr single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzmann, U.; Merschjohann, F.; Helmstedt, A.; Gryzia, A.; Winter, A.; Steppeler, S.; Müller, N.; Brechling, A.; Sacher, M.; Richthofen, C.-G. Freiherr v.; Glaser, T.; Voss, S.; Fonin, M.; Rüdiger, U.

    2009-11-01

    We present the status of new experimental studies of X-ray absorption spectroscopy, magnetic circular dichroism in photoemission and spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy of Mn6Cr single-molecule magnet systems by use of circularly-polarized synchrotron radiation of the electron storage rings in Maxlab Lund, Sweden und BESSY, Berlin, Germany.

  5. 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.

  6. The properties and applications of single-molecule DNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule sequencing enables DNA or RNA to be sequenced directly from biological samples, making it well-suited for diagnostic and clinical applications. Here we review the properties and applications of this rapidly evolving and promising technology. PMID:21349208

  7. Temperature-cycle single-molecule FRET microscopy on polyprolines.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Haifeng; Xia, Ted; Schuler, Benjamin; Orrit, Michel

    2011-02-07

    Accessing the microsecond dynamics of a single fluorescent molecule in real time is difficult because molecular fluorescence rates usually limit the time resolution to milliseconds. We propose to apply single-molecule temperature-cycle microscopy to probe molecular dynamics at microsecond timescales. Here, we follow donor and acceptor signals of single FRET-labeled polyprolines in glycerol to investigate their conformational dynamics. We observe a steady-state FRET efficiency distribution which differs from theoretical distributions for isotropically orientated fluorescent labels. This may indicate that the orientation of fluorescent labels in glycerol is not isotropic and may reflect the influence of the dye linkers. With proper temperature-cycle parameters, we observed large FRET changes in long series of cycles of the same molecule. We attribute the main conformational changes to reorientations of the fluorescent labels with respect to the oligopeptide chain, which take place in less than a few microseconds at the highest temperature of the cycle (250 K). We were able to follow the FRET efficiency of a particular construct for more than 2000 cycles. This trajectory displays switching between two conformations, which give rise to maxima in the FRET efficiency histogram. Our experiments open the possibility to study biomolecular dynamics at a time scale of a few microseconds at the single-molecule level.

  8. Single-molecule approaches to prion protein misfolding.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hao; Dee, Derek R; Woodside, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    The structural conversion of the prion protein PrP into a transmissible, misfolded form is the central element of prion disease, yet there is little consensus as to how it occurs. Key aspects of conversion into the diseased state remain unsettled, from details about the earliest stages of misfolding such as the involvement of partially- or fully-unfolded intermediates to the structure of the infectious state. Part of the difficulty in understanding the structural conversion arises from the complexity of the underlying energy landscapes. Single molecule methods provide a powerful tool for probing complex folding pathways as in prion misfolding, because they allow rare and transient events to be observed directly. We discuss recent work applying single-molecule probes to study misfolding in prion proteins, and what it has revealed about the folding dynamics of PrP that may underlie its unique behavior. We also discuss single-molecule studies probing the interactions that stabilize non-native structures within aggregates, pointing the way to future work that may help identify the microscopic events triggering pathogenic conversion. Although single-molecule approaches to misfolding are relatively young, they have a promising future in prion science.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Single-molecule choreography between telomere proteins and G quadruplexes.

    PubMed

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2014-06-10

    Telomeric DNA binds proteins to protect chromosome ends, but it also adopts G quadruplex (GQ) structures. Two new studies by Hwang and colleagues (in this issue of Structure) and Ray and colleagues (published elsewhere) use single molecule imaging to reveal how GQs affect the binding of different telomere associated proteins. The data suggest that GQs play important roles in regulating accessibility of telomeres.

  11. Structural Integrity of Single - Molecules on Metal Surfaces with Different Reactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahrendorf, Sarah; Matthes, Frank; Bürgler, Daniel E.; Schneider, Claus M.; Atodiresei, Nicolae; Caciuc, Vasile; Blügel, Stefan; Besson, Claire; Kögerler, Paul

    2014-07-01

    Magnetic molecules are auspicious candidates to act as functional units in molecular spintronics. Integrating molecules into a device environment providing mechanical support and electrical contacts requires their deposition as intact entities onto substrates. Thermal sublimation is a very clean deposition process that, however, thermally decomposes molecules of insufficient stability leading to the deposition of molecular fragments. Here, we show that the molecule-surface interaction of chemisorbed molecules affects the intramolecular bonding and can lead depending on the surface reactivity to either molecular decomposition or enhanced stability. We study the integrity of single bis(phthalocyaninato)-neodymium(III) molecules (NdPc2) deposited by sublimation on differently reactive surfaces, namely Au(111), Cu(100), and two atomic layers of Fe on W(110), on the single molecular level by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy. We find a strongly substrate-dependent tendency of the NdPc2 molecules to decompose into two Pc molecules. Surprisingly, the most reactive Fe/W(110) surface shows the lowest molecular decomposition probability, whereas there are no intact NdPc2 molecules at all on the least reactive Au(111) surface. We attribute these findings to substrate-dependent partial charge transfer from the substrate to the Pc ligands of the molecule, which strengthens the intramolecular bonding mediated predominantly by electrostatic interaction.

  12. Analytical tools for single-molecule fluorescence imaging in cellulo.

    PubMed

    Leake, M C

    2014-07-07

    Recent technological advances in cutting-edge ultrasensitive fluorescence microscopy have allowed single-molecule imaging experiments in living cells across all three domains of life to become commonplace. Single-molecule live-cell data is typically obtained in a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime sometimes only marginally in excess of 1, in which a combination of detector shot noise, sub-optimal probe photophysics, native cell autofluorescence and intrinsically underlying stochasticity of molecules result in highly noisy datasets for which underlying true molecular behaviour is non-trivial to discern. The ability to elucidate real molecular phenomena is essential in relating experimental single-molecule observations to both the biological system under study as well as offering insight into the fine details of the physical and chemical environments of the living cell. To confront this problem of faithful signal extraction and analysis in a noise-dominated regime, the 'needle in a haystack' challenge, such experiments benefit enormously from a suite of objective, automated, high-throughput analysis tools that can home in on the underlying 'molecular signature' and generate meaningful statistics across a large population of individual cells and molecules. Here, I discuss the development and application of several analytical methods applied to real case studies, including objective methods of segmenting cellular images from light microscopy data, tools to robustly localize and track single fluorescently-labelled molecules, algorithms to objectively interpret molecular mobility, analysis protocols to reliably estimate molecular stoichiometry and turnover, and methods to objectively render distributions of molecular parameters.

  13. Experimental evidence for quantum interference and vibrationally induced decoherence in single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Ballmann, Stefan; Härtle, Rainer; Coto, Pedro B; Elbing, Mark; Mayor, Marcel; Bryce, Martin R; Thoss, Michael; Weber, Heiko B

    2012-08-03

    We analyze quantum interference and decoherence effects in single-molecule junctions both experimentally and theoretically by means of the mechanically controlled break junction technique and density-functional theory. We consider the case where interference is provided by overlapping quasidegenerate states. Decoherence mechanisms arising from electronic-vibrational coupling strongly affect the electrical current flowing through a single-molecule contact and can be controlled by temperature variation. Our findings underline the universal relevance of vibrations for understanding charge transport through molecular junctions.

  14. 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.

  15. Single-molecule force spectroscopy of the Aplysia cell adhesion molecule reveals two homophilic bonds.

    PubMed

    Martines, E; Zhong, J; Muzard, J; Lee, A C; Akhremitchev, B B; Suter, D M; Lee, G U

    2012-08-22

    Aplysia californica neurons comprise a powerful model system for quantitative analysis of cellular and biophysical properties that are essential for neuronal development and function. The Aplysia cell adhesion molecule (apCAM), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules, is present in the growth cone plasma membrane and involved in neurite growth, synapse formation, and synaptic plasticity. apCAM has been considered to be the Aplysia homolog of the vertebrate neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM); however, whether apCAM exhibits similar binding properties and neuronal functions has not been fully established because of the lack of detailed binding data for the extracellular portion of apCAM. In this work, we used the atomic force microscope to perform single-molecule force spectroscopy of the extracellular region of apCAM and show for the first time (to our knowledge) that apCAM, like NCAM, is indeed a homophilic cell adhesion molecule. Furthermore, like NCAM, apCAM exhibits two distinct bonds in the trans configuration, although the kinetic and structural parameters of the apCAM bonds are quite different from those of NCAM. In summary, these single-molecule analyses further indicate that apCAM and NCAM are species homologs likely performing similar functions.

  16. Alternative Spliceosome Assembly Pathways Revealed by Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Inna; Hoskins, Aaron A.; Friedman, Larry J.; Serebrov, Victor; Corrêa, Ivan R.; Xu, Ming-Qun; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Removal of introns from nascent transcripts (pre-mRNAs) by the spliceosome is an essential step in eukaryotic gene expression. Previous studies have suggested that the earliest steps in spliceosome assembly in yeast are highly ordered, with stable recruitment of U1 snRNP to the 5' splice site necessarilypreceding recruitment of U2 snRNP to the branch site to form the “pre-spliceosome”. Using Colocalization Single Molecule Spectroscopy (CoSMoS) to follow initial spliceosome assembly on eight different S. cerevisiae pre-mRNAs, we here demonstrate that active yeast spliceosomes can form by both U1-first and U2-first pathways. Both assembly pathways yield prespliceosomes functionally equivalent for subsequent U5•U4/U6 tri-snRNP recruitment and for intron excision. Although fractional flux through the two pathways varies on different introns, both are operational on all introns studied. Thus, multiple pathways exist toassemble functional spliceosomes. These observations provide new insight into the mechanisms of cross-intron coordination of initial spliceosome assembly. PMID:24075986

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-09

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Constructing a magnetic tweezers to monitor RNA translocation at the single-molecule level.

    PubMed

    Salas, Desiree; Gocheva, Veronika; Nöllmann, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule methods have become an invaluable tool in the investigation of the mechanisms of nucleic-acid motors. Magnetic tweezers is a single-molecule manipulation technique that permits the real-time measurement of enzyme activities on single nucleic-acid molecules at high-resolution, high-throughput, and inherently constant force. Here, we describe several aspects of the implementation of magnetic tweezers, with special emphasis on the construction of a simple magnetic trap and, in particular, on the detailed description of image analysis methods to measure the extension changes in nucleic-acid molecules induced by protein activity. Finally, we carefully describe the steps involved in performing a full magnetic tweezers experiment.