Science.gov

Sample records for mechanical single molecule

  1. Single-molecule studies of collagen mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, Nancy; Rezaei, Naghmeh; Kirkness, Michael

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hatzakis, Nikos S

    2014-02-01

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

  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. Mechanics and Single-Molecule Interrogation of DNA Recombination.

    PubMed

    Bell, Jason C; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Electrical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Nongjian

    2014-08-20

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

  13. Mechanical fatigue in repetitively stretched single molecules of titin.

    PubMed Central

    Kellermayer, M S; Smith, S B; Bustamante, C; Granzier, H L

    2001-01-01

    Relaxed striated muscle cells exhibit mechanical fatigue when exposed to repeated stretch and release cycles. To understand the molecular basis of such mechanical fatigue, single molecules of the giant filamentous protein titin, which is the main determinant of sarcomeric elasticity, were repetitively stretched and released while their force response was characterized with optical tweezers. During repeated stretch-release cycles titin becomes mechanically worn out in a process we call molecular fatigue. The process is characterized by a progressive shift of the stretch-force curve toward increasing end-to-end lengths, indicating that repeated mechanical cycles increase titin's effective contour length. Molecular fatigue occurs only in a restricted force range (0-25 pN) during the initial part of the stretch half-cycle, whereas the rest of the force response is repeated from one mechanical cycle to the other. Protein-folding models fail to explain molecular fatigue on the basis of an incomplete refolding of titin's globular domains. Rather, the process apparently derives from the formation of labile nonspecific bonds cross-linking various sites along a pre-unfolded titin segment. Because titin's molecular fatigue occurs in a physiologically relevant force range, the process may play an important role in dynamically adjusting muscle's response to the recent history of mechanical perturbations. PMID:11159452

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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

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

    2016-02-24

    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.

  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. Single Molecule as a Local Acoustic Detector for Mechanical Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yuxi; Navarro, Pedro; Orrit, Michel

    2014-09-01

    A single molecule can serve as a nanometer-sized detector of acoustic strain. Such a nanomicrophone has the great advantage that it can be placed very close to acoustic signal sources and high sensitivities can be achieved. We demonstrate this scheme by monitoring the fluorescence intensity of a single dibenzoterrylene molecule in an anthracene crystal attached to an oscillating tuning fork. The characterization of the vibration amplitude and of the detection sensitivity is a first step towards detection and control of nanomechanical oscillators through optical detection and feedback.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  2. Mechanical stability of low-humidity single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Hormeño, Silvia; Ibarra, Borja; Valpuesta, José M; Carrascosa, José L; Arias-Gonzalez, J Ricardo

    2012-04-01

    DNA electrostatic character is mostly determined by both water and counterions activities in the phosphate backbone, which together with base sequence, further confer its higher order structure. The authors overstretch individual double-stranded DNA molecules in water-ethanol solutions to investigate the modulation of its mechanical stability by hydration and polycations. The authors found that DNA denatures as ethanol concentration is increased and spermine concentration decreased. This is manifested by an increase in melting hysteresis between the stretch and release curves, with sharp transition at 10% ethanol and reentrant behavior at 60%, by a loss of cooperativity in the overstretching transition and by a dramatic decrease of both the persistence length and the flexural rigidity. Changes in base-stacking stability which are characteristic of the B-A transition between 70 and 80% ethanol concentration do not manifest in the mechanical properties of the double-helical molecule at low or high force or in the behavior of the overstretching and melting transitions within this ethanol concentration range. This is consistent with a mechanism in which A-type base-stacking is unstable in the presence of tension. Binding of motor proteins to DNA locally reduces the number of water molecules and therefore, our results may shed light on analogous reduced-water activity of DNA conditions caused by other molecules, which interact with DNA in vivo. PMID:22020764

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  11. Single Molecule Manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2011-10-01

    Single-molecule manipulation studies open a door for a close-up investigation of complex biological interactions at the molecular level. In these studies, single biomolecules are pulled while their force response is being monitored. The process is often nonequilibrium, and interpretation of the results has been challenging. We used the atomic force microscope to pull proteins and DNA, and determined the equilibrium properties of the molecules using the recently derived nonequilibrium work theorem. I will present applications of the technique in areas ranging from fundamental biological problems such as DNA mechanics, to complex medical processes such as the mechanical activation of von Willebrand Factor, a key protein in blood coagulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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). PMID:11106807

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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)

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

    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

  2. Operation mechanism of rotary molecular motor F1 probed by single-molecule techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iino, Ryota

    2013-03-01

    F1 is a rotary motor protein. Three catalytic β - subunitsinthestator 33ring are torque generators, and rotate the rotor γ-subunit by sequential and cooperative conformational changes coupled with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis reaction. F1 shows remarkable performances such as rotation rate faster than 10,000 rpm, high reversibility and efficiency in chemo-mechanical energy conversion. I will introduce basic characteristics of F1 revealed by single-molecule imaging and manipulation techniques based on optical microscopy and high-speed atomic force microscopy. I will also discuss the possible operation mechanism behind the F1, along with structurally-related hexameric ATPases, also mentioning the possibility of generating hybrid molecular motors.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26068753

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

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Naoki

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Organization of DNA partners and strand exchange mechanisms during Flp site-specific recombination analyzed by difference topology, single molecule FRET and single molecule TPM.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chien-Hui; Liu, Yen-Ting; Savva, Christos G; Rowley, Paul A; Cannon, Brian; Fan, Hsiu-Fang; Russell, Rick; Holzenburg, Andreas; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2014-02-20

    Flp site-specific recombination between two target sites (FRTs) harboring non-homology within the strand exchange region does not yield stable recombinant products. In negatively supercoiled plasmids containing head-to-tail sites, the reaction produces a series of knots with odd-numbered crossings. When the sites are in head-to-head orientation, the knot products contain even-numbered crossings. Both types of knots retain parental DNA configuration. By carrying out Flp recombination after first assembling the topologically well defined Tn3 resolvase synapse, it is possible to determine whether these knots arise by a processive or a dissociative mechanism. The nearly exclusive products from head-to-head and head-to-tail oriented "non-homologous" FRT partners are a 4-noded knot and a 5-noded knot, respectively. The corresponding products from a pair of native (homologous) FRT sites are a 3-noded knot and a 4-noded catenane, respectively. These results are consistent with non-homology-induced two rounds of dissociative recombination by Flp, the first to generate reciprocal recombinants containing non-complementary base pairs and the second to produce parental molecules with restored base pairing. Single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) analysis of geometrically restricted FRTs, together with single molecule tethered particle motion (smTPM) assays of unconstrained FRTs, suggests that the sites are preferentially synapsed in an anti-parallel fashion. This selectivity in synapse geometry occurs prior to the chemical steps of recombination, signifying early commitment to a productive reaction path. The cumulative topological, smFRET and smTPM results have implications for the relative orientation of DNA partners and the directionality of strand exchange during recombination mediated by tyrosine site-specific recombinases.

  12. Conformational dynamics of single protein molecules studied by direct mechanical manipulation.

    PubMed

    Heidarsson, Pétur O; Naqvi, Mohsin M; Sonar, Punam; Valpapuram, Immanuel; Cecconi, Ciro

    2013-01-01

    Advances in single-molecule manipulation techniques have recently enabled researchers to study a growing array of biological processes in unprecedented detail. Individual molecules can now be manipulated with subnanometer precision along a simple and well-defined reaction coordinate, the molecular end-to-end distance, and their conformational changes can be monitored in real time with ever-improving time resolution. The behavior of biomolecules under tension continues to unravel at an accelerated pace and often in combination with computational studies that reveal the atomistic details of the process under investigation. In this chapter, we explain the basic principles of force spectroscopy techniques, with a focus on optical tweezers, and describe some of the theoretical models used to analyze and interpret single-molecule manipulation data. We then highlight some recent and exciting results that have emerged from this research field on protein folding and protein-ligand interactions.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Room temperature single molecule microscopes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-12-31

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Single-molecule electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1995-09-15

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Moro, Daniele; Ulian, Gianfranco; Valdrè, Giovanni

    2015-04-21

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-24

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

  4. Dissecting non-coding RNA mechanisms in cellulo by Single-molecule High-Resolution Localization and Counting.

    PubMed

    Pitchiaya, Sethuramasundaram; Krishnan, Vishalakshi; Custer, Thomas C; Walter, Nils G

    2013-09-15

    Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) recently were discovered to outnumber their protein-coding counterparts, yet their diverse functions are still poorly understood. Here we report on a method for the intracellular Single-molecule High-Resolution Localization and Counting (iSHiRLoC) of microRNAs (miRNAs), a conserved, ubiquitous class of regulatory ncRNAs that controls the expression of over 60% of all mammalian protein coding genes post-transcriptionally, by a mechanism shrouded by seemingly contradictory observations. We present protocols to execute single particle tracking (SPT) and single-molecule counting of functional microinjected, fluorophore-labeled miRNAs and thereby extract diffusion coefficients and molecular stoichiometries of micro-ribonucleoprotein (miRNP) complexes from living and fixed cells, respectively. This probing of miRNAs at the single molecule level sheds new light on the intracellular assembly/disassembly of miRNPs, thus beginning to unravel the dynamic nature of this important gene regulatory pathway and facilitating the development of a parsimonious model for their obscured mechanism of action.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

  12. A polypeptide-DNA hybrid with selective linking capability applied to single molecule nano-mechanical measurements using optical tweezers.

    PubMed

    Moayed, Fatemeh; Mashaghi, Alireza; 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-26

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Cobalt single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Single-molecule kinetics reveal microscopic mechanism by which High-Mobility Group B proteins alter DNA flexibility

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Micah J.; Rueter, Emily M.; Rouzina, Ioulia; Maher, L. James; Williams, Mark C.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic High-Mobility Group B (HMGB) proteins alter DNA elasticity while facilitating transcription, replication and DNA repair. We developed a new single-molecule method to probe non-specific DNA interactions for two HMGB homologs: the human HMGB2 box A domain and yeast Nhp6Ap, along with chimeric mutants replacing neutral N-terminal residues of the HMGB2 protein with cationic sequences from Nhp6Ap. Surprisingly, HMGB proteins constrain DNA winding, and this torsional constraint is released over short timescales. These measurements reveal the microscopic dissociation rates of HMGB from DNA. Separate microscopic and macroscopic (or local and non-local) unbinding rates have been previously proposed, but never independently observed. Microscopic dissociation rates for the chimeric mutants (∼10 s−1) are higher than those observed for wild-type proteins (∼0.1–1.0 s−1), reflecting their reduced ability to bend DNA through short-range interactions, despite their increased DNA-binding affinity. Therefore, transient local HMGB–DNA contacts dominate the DNA-bending mechanism used by these important architectural proteins to increase DNA flexibility. PMID:23143110

  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. Single-molecule junctions beyond electronic transport.

    PubMed

    Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Venkataraman, Latha

    2013-06-01

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

  9. 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

  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.

  11. 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. PMID:24473271

  12. Isomerization reactions on single adsorbed molecules.

    PubMed

    Morgenstern, Karina

    2009-02-17

    Molecular switches occur throughout nature. In one prominent example, light induces the isomerization of retinal from the compact 11-cis form to the elongated all-trans form, a conversion that triggers the transformation of light into a neural impulse in the eye. Applying these natural principles to synthetic systems offers a promising way to construct smaller and faster nanoelectronic devices. In such systems, electronic switches are essential components for storage and logical operations. The development of molecular switches on the single-molecule level would represent a major step toward incorporating molecules as building units into nanoelectronic circuits. Molecular switches must be both reversible and bistable. To meet these requirements, a molecule must have at least two different thermally stable forms and a way to repeatedly interconvert between those forms based on changes in light, heat, pressure, magnetic or electric fields, pH, mechanical forces, or electric currents. The conversion should be connected to a measurable change in electronic, optical, magnetic, or mechanical properties. Because isomers can differ significantly in physical and chemical properties, isomerization could serve as a molecular switching mechanism. Integration of molecular switches into larger circuits will probably require arranging them on surfaces, which will require a better understanding of isomerization reactions in these environments. In this Account, we describe our scanning tunneling microscopy studies of the isomerization of individual molecules adsorbed on metal surfaces. Investigating chlorobenzene and azobenzene derivatives on the fcc(111) faces of Ag, Cu, and Au, we explored the influence of substituents and the substrate on the excitation mechanism of the isomerization reaction induced by inelastically tunneling electrons. We achieved an irreversible configurational (cis-trans) isomerization of individual 4-dimethyl-amino-azobenzene-4-sulfonic acid molecules on Au

  13. Pair Tunneling through Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raikh, Mikhail

    2007-03-01

    Coupling to molecular vibrations induces a polaronic shift, and can lead to a negative charging energy, U. For negative U, the occupation of the ground state of the molecule is even. In this situation, virtual pair transitions between the molecule and the leads can dominate electron transport. At low temperature, T, these transitions give rise to the charge-Kondo effect [1]. We developed the electron transport theory through the negative-U molecule [2] at relatively high T, when the Kondo correlations are suppressed. Two physical ingredients distinguish our theory from the transport through a superconducting grain coupled to the normal leads [3]: (i) in parallel with sequential pair-tunneling processes, single-particle cotunneling processes take place; (ii) the electron pair on the molecule can be created (or annihilated) by two electrons tunneling in from (or out to) opposite leads. We found that, even within the rate-equation description, the behavior of differential conductance through the negative-U molecule as function of the gate voltage is quite peculiar: the height of the peak near the degeneracy point is independent of temperature, while its width is proportional to T. This is in contrast to the ordinary Coulomb-blockade conductance peak, whose integral strength is T-independent. At finite source-drain bias, V>>T, the width of the conductance peak is ˜V, whereas the conventional Coulomb-blockade peak at finite V splits into two sharp peaks at detunings V/2, and -V/2. Possible applications to the gate-controlled current rectification and switching will be discussed. [1] A. Taraphder and P. Coleman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 66, 2814 (1991). [2] J. Koch, M. E. Raikh, and F. von Oppen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 056803 (2006). [3] F. W. J. Hekking, L. I. Glazman, K. A. Matveev, and R. I. Shekhter, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 4138 (1993).

  14. Kinetic partitioning mechanism governs the folding of the third FnIII domain of tenascin-C: evidence at the single-molecule level.

    PubMed

    Peng, Qing; Fang, Jie; Wang, Meijia; Li, Hongbin

    2011-09-30

    Statistical mechanics and molecular dynamics simulations proposed that the folding of proteins can follow multiple parallel pathways on a rugged energy landscape from unfolded state en route to their folded native states. Kinetic partitioning mechanism is one of the possible mechanisms underlying such complex folding dynamics. Here, we use single-molecule atomic force microscopy technique to directly probe the multiplicity of the folding pathways of the third fibronectin type III domain from the extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C (TNfn3). By stretching individual (TNfn3)(8) molecules, we forced TNfn3 domains to undergo mechanical unfolding and refolding cycles, allowing us to directly observe the folding pathways of TNfn3. We found that, after being mechanically unraveled and then relaxed to zero force, TNfn3 follows multiple parallel pathways to fold into their native states. The majority of TNfn3 fold into the native state in a simple two-state fashion, while a small percentage of TNfn3 were found to be trapped into kinetically stable folding intermediate states with well-defined three-dimensional structures. Furthermore, the folding of TNfn3 was also influenced by its neighboring TNfn3 domains. Complex misfolded states of TNfn3 were observed, possibly due to the formation of domain-swapped dimeric structures. Our studies revealed the ruggedness of the folding energy landscape of TNfn3 and provided direct experimental evidence that the folding dynamics of TNfn3 are governed by the kinetic partitioning mechanism. Our results demonstrated the unique capability of single-molecule AFM to probe the folding dynamics of proteins at the single-molecule level.

  15. Single-molecule tracking of small GTPase Rac1 uncovers spatial regulation of membrane translocation and mechanism for polarized signaling

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sulagna; Yin, Taofei; Yang, Qingfen; Zhang, Jingqiao; Wu, Yi I.; Yu, Ji

    2015-01-01

    Polarized Rac1 signaling is a hallmark of many cellular functions, including cell adhesion, motility, and cell division. The two steps of Rac1 activation are its translocation to the plasma membrane and the exchange of nucleotide from GDP to GTP. It is, however, unclear whether these two processes are regulated independent of each other and what their respective roles are in polarization of Rac1 signaling. We designed a single-particle tracking (SPT) method to quantitatively analyze the kinetics of Rac1 membrane translocation in living cells. We found that the rate of Rac1 translocation was significantly elevated in protrusions during cell spreading on collagen. Furthermore, combining FRET sensor imaging with SPT measurements in the same cell, the recruitment of Rac1 was found to be polarized to an extent similar to that of the nucleotide exchange process. Statistical analysis of single-molecule trajectories and optogenetic manipulation of membrane lipids revealed that Rac1 membrane translocation precedes nucleotide exchange, and is governed primarily by interactions with phospholipids, particularly PI(3,4,5)P3, instead of protein factors. Overall, the study highlights the significance of membrane translocation in spatial Rac1 signaling, which is in addition to the traditional view focusing primarily on GEF distribution and exchange reaction. PMID:25561548

  16. Single-molecule imaging by optical absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Itoh, Tamitake; Yamamoto, Yuko S

    2016-08-15

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

  18. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-06

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

  19. Single-molecule Measurements of DNA Topology and Topoisomerases*

    PubMed Central

    Neuman, Keir C.

    2010-01-01

    Topological properties of DNA influence its mechanical and biochemical interactions. Genomic DNA is maintained in a state of topological homeostasis by topoisomerases and is subjected to mechanical stress arising from replication and segregation. Despite their fundamental roles, the effects of topology and force have been difficult to ascertain. Developments in single-molecule manipulation techniques have enabled precise control and measurement of the topology of individual DNA molecules under tension. This minireview provides an overview of these single-molecule techniques and illustrates their unique capabilities through a number of specific examples of single-molecule measurements of DNA topology and topoisomerase activity. PMID:20382732

  20. Synthesis of single-molecule nanocars.

    PubMed

    Vives, Guillaume; Tour, James M

    2009-03-17

    The drive to miniaturize devices has led to a variety of molecular machines inspired by macroscopic counterparts such as molecular motors, switches, shuttles, turnstiles, barrows, elevators, and nanovehicles. Such nanomachines are designed for controlled mechanical motion and the transport of nanocargo. As researchers miniaturize devices, they can consider two complementary approaches: (1) the "top-down" approach, which reduces the size of macroscopic objects to reach an equivalent microscopic entity using photolithography and related techniques and (2) the "bottom-up" approach, which builds functional microscopic or nanoscopic entities from molecular building blocks. The top-down approach, extensively used by the semiconductor industry, is nearing its scaling limits. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach takes advantage of the self-assembly of smaller molecules into larger networks by exploiting typically weak molecular interactions. But self-assembly alone will not permit complex assembly. Using nanomachines, we hope to eventually consider complex, enzyme-like directed assembly. With that ultimate goal, we are currently exploring the control of nanomachines that would provide a basis for the future bottom-up construction of complex systems. This Account describes the synthesis of a class of molecular machines that resemble macroscopic vehicles. We designed these so-called nanocars for study at the single-molecule level by scanning probe microscopy (SPM). The vehicles have a chassis connected to wheel-terminated axles and convert energy inputs such as heat, electric fields, or light into controlled motion on a surface, ultimately leading to transport of nanocargo. At first, we used C(60) fullerenes as wheels, which allowed the demonstration of a directional rolling mechanism of a nanocar on a gold surface by STM. However, because of the low solubility of the fullerene nanocars and the incompatibility of fullerenes with photochemical processes, we developed new

  1. Optical interfacing single molecules with atomic vapor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siyushev, Petr; Stein, Guilherme; Wrachtrup, Jörg; Gerhardt, Ilja

    2013-05-01

    Organic molecules at liquid Helium temperatures can constitute high-brightness and narrow-band single photon sources. Thus, they might form an important building block for quantum information processing. A number of quantum optical experiments were conducted with single photon sources based on single molecules. It was shown that it is possible to spectrally detune the molecules, and optical interaction between several molecules could be shown. Another important ingredient for quantum information processing is the implementation of quantum memory. Atomic vapors do not only allow for slowing down light, but also for its storage and can be used as an efficient quantum memory. In the past it was impossible to utilize the high brightness of single molecules in combination with an efficient quantum memory, since the lack of spectral overlap. Here, we present spectral tuning of a single molecule to match the resonance of the sodium D-line. We reach up to 6 ×105 detected 30 MHz narrow-band single photons per second. We are able to slow down near-resonant photons from a single molecule, and simultaneous show its single photon properties. We are further able to explore the properties of atomic vapor for its use as a narrow-band filter for single molecule studies.

  2. 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

  3. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Single molecule nanometry for biological physics

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Ha, Taekjip

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Selvam, Sangeetha; Yu, Zhongbo; Mao, Hanbin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Selvam, Sangeetha; Yu, Zhongbo; Mao, Hanbin

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Relating single-molecule measurements to thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Keller, David; Swigon, David; Bustamante, Carlos

    2003-02-01

    Measurements made on large ensembles of molecules are routinely interpreted using thermodynamics, but the normal rules of thermodynamics may not apply to measurements made on single molecules. Using a polymer stretching experiment as an example, it is shown that in the limit of a single, short molecule the outcome of experimental measurements may depend on which variables are held fixed and which are allowed to fluctuate. Thus an experiment in which the end-to-end distance of the polymer molecule is fixed and the tension fluctuates yields a different result than an experiment where the force is fixed and the end-to-end distance fluctuates. It is further shown that this difference is due to asymmetry in the distribution of end-to-end distances for a single molecule, and that the difference vanishes in the appropriate thermodynamic limit; that is, as the polymer molecule becomes long compared to its persistence length. Despite these differences, much of the thermodynamic formalism still applies on the single-molecule level if the thermodynamic free energies are replaced with appropriate potentials of mean force. The primary remaining differences are consequences of the fact that unlike the free energies, the potentials of mean force are not in general homogeneous functions of their variables. The basic thermodynamic concepts of an intensive or extensive quantity, and the thermodynamic relationships that follow from them, are therefore less useful for interpreting single-molecule experiments.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24990375

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Single-Molecule Studies in Live Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Ji

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Fluorescence Detection of Single DNA Molecules.

    PubMed

    Huang, Weidong; Wang, Yue; Wang, Zhimin

    2015-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Single-Molecule Experiments in Vitro and in Silico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-05-01

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

  12. Structural dynamics of nucleosomes at single molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Choy, John S.; Lee, Tae-Hee

    2013-01-01

    The detailed mechanisms of how DNA that is assembled around a histone core can be accessed by DNA-binding proteins for transcription, replication, or repair, remain elusive nearly 40 years after Kornberg's nucleosome model was proposed. Uncovering the structural dynamics of nucleosomes is a crucial step in elucidating the mechanisms regulating genome accessibility. This requires the deconvolultion of multiple structural states within an ensemble. Recent advances in single molecule methods enable unprecedented efficiency in examining subpopulation dynamics. In this review, we summarize studies of nucleosome structure and dynamics from single molecule approaches and how they advance our understanding of the mechanisms that govern DNA transactions. PMID:22831768

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Single molecule 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A gate-tunable single-molecule diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Sing, Charles; Schroeder, Charles

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

  2. Stretched polyethylene films probed by single molecules.

    PubMed

    Wirtz, Alexander C; Hofmann, Clemens; Groenen, Edgar J J

    2011-06-01

    Stretched films of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) doped with 2.3,8.9-dibenzanthanthrene (DBATT) were studied using polarization-selective single-molecule spectroscopy at 1.8 K. By measuring the in-plane component of the electronic transition-dipole moments of individual chromophores, the alignment of dopant molecules is determined without averaging. The distributions of chromophore orientations reveal the presence of two fractions of dopant molecules: those oriented along the stretching direction and randomly oriented molecules. With increasing drawing ratio of the polyethylene films, the ratio of oriented to randomly oriented guest molecules increases, whereas the extent of chromophore orientation, that is, the width of the orientation distribution, remains the same. The results are consistent with the interpretation that oriented chromophores reside on the surfaces of polyethylene crystals, instead of in the amorphous polyethylene regions. Guest molecules in stretched polyethylene are oriented due to the alignment of the crystallites on which they are adsorbed. As such, the shape and width of the distributions of chromophore orientations are determined by the interaction of guest molecules with the crystal surfaces.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Origin of discrete current fluctuations in a single molecule junction.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dong; Lee, Takhee; Kim, Youngsang; Mei, Tingting; Wang, Qingling

    2014-11-21

    A series of fresh molecular junctions at a single molecule level were created and the current fluctuations were studied as electrons passed through them. Our results indicate that telegraph-like current fluctuations at room temperature neither originate from electron trapping/detrapping processes nor from molecule re-conformation. Our results will be helpful in better understanding the mechanism of current fluctuations. PMID:25271483

  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. Medium Effects in Single Molecule Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Simon

    2010-03-01

    We use STM-based techniques for measuring the electrical properties of metal|molecule|metal junctions. For a family of molecules HS(CH2)6-Ar-(CH2)6SH (Ar = substituted benzene), we found that the single molecule conductances varied significantly with substituent, being higher for electron-donating substituents [1]. Later, we studied the effect of increasing conjugation on this system by examining oligothiophenes HS(CH2)6-[C4H4S]x-(CH2)6SH (x = 1, 2, 3, 5). We found that the conductances of junctions involving these molecules depended upon the medium in which the measurements were made. In fact, for x = 3, the conductance was two orders of magnitude higher in the presence of water than in anhydrous conditions [2]. This presentation will outline these studies, together with the results of transport calculations that rationalise these unusual findings, and will set the results in the context of existing literature on medium effects in single molecule conductance determinations. In collaboration with Edmund Leary and Richard Nichols, University of Liverpool; Colin Lambert, Iain Grace, and Chris Finch, University of Lancaster; and Wolfgang Haiss, University of Liverpool.

  8. Molecular spintronics using single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Bogani, Lapo; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2008-03-01

    A revolution in electronics is in view, with the contemporary evolution of the two novel disciplines of spintronics and molecular electronics. A fundamental link between these two fields can be established using molecular magnetic materials and, in particular, single-molecule magnets. Here, we review the first progress in the resulting field, molecular spintronics, which will enable the manipulation of spin and charges in electronic devices containing one or more molecules. We discuss the advantages over more conventional materials, and the potential applications in information storage and processing. We also outline current challenges in the field, and propose convenient schemes to overcome them.

  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. Single-Molecule Microscopy of Nanocatalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Peng

    2014-06-01

    Nanoparticles are important catalysts. Understanding their structure-activity correlation is paramount for developing better catalysts, but hampered by their inherent inhomogeneity: individual nanoparticles differ from one to another, and for every nanoparticle, it can change from time to time, especially during catalysis. Furthermore, each nanoparticle presents on its surface various types of sites, which are often unequal in catalytic activity. I will present our work of using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to overcome these challenges and study single-nanoparticle catalysis at the single-turnover resolution and nanometer precision. I will present how we interrogate the catalytic activity and dynamics of individual metal nanoparticles, map the reactivity of different surface sites, and uncover surprising spatial reactivity patterns within single facets at the nanoscale. This spatiotemporally resolved catalysis mapping also enables us to probe the communication between catalytic reactions at different locations on a single nanocatalyst, in much relation to allosteric effects in enzymes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Electron Transport Through Single Fullerene Molecules (abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stróżecka, Anna; Muthukumar, Kaliappan; Larsson, J. Andreas; Voigtländer, Bert

    2009-04-01

    Fullerenes show potential for applications in nanotechnology due to the possibility of tuning their properties by doping or functionalization. In particular, the endohedral doping of the hollow carbon cage with metal atoms allows changing the electronic and magnetic properties of the molecule without distorting the geometry of the outer shell. Here we present a low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy study of the vibrational and transport properties of Ce2atC80 metallofullerenes. We observe that electron transport through the endohedral fullerene is strongly mediated by excitation of molecular vibrations, especially the dynamics of encapsulated atoms. We measure the conductance of the single-molecule junction upon contact between the molecule and the STM tip. To determine the role of doping atoms we compare the results obtained for the endohedrally doped species with those for a hollow fullerene. Analysis shows that localization of electron density on encapsulated atoms hinders the conduction process through the fullerene.

  15. 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.

  16. Artifacts in single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Figuration and detection of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Tong; Huang, Ji-Ping

    2015-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-07

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

  7. Exploring one-state downhill protein folding in single molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianwei; Campos, Luis A.; Cerminara, Michele; Wang, Xiang; Ramanathan, Ravishankar; English, Douglas S.; Muñoz, Victor

    2012-01-01

    A one-state downhill protein folding process is barrierless at all conditions, resulting in gradual melting of native structure that permits resolving folding mechanisms step-by-step at atomic resolution. Experimental studies of one-state downhill folding have typically focused on the thermal denaturation of proteins that fold near the speed limit (ca. 106 s-1) at their unfolding temperature, thus being several orders of magnitude too fast for current single-molecule methods, such as single-molecule FRET. An important open question is whether one-state downhill folding kinetics can be slowed down to make them accessible to single-molecule approaches without turning the protein into a conventional activated folder. Here we address this question on the small helical protein BBL, a paradigm of one-state downhill thermal (un)folding. We decreased 200-fold the BBL folding-unfolding rate by combining chemical denaturation and low temperature, and carried out free-diffusion single-molecule FRET experiments with 50-μs resolution and maximal photoprotection using a recently developed Trolox-cysteamine cocktail. These experiments revealed a single conformational ensemble at all denaturing conditions. The chemical unfolding of BBL was then manifested by the gradual change of this unique ensemble, which shifts from high to low FRET efficiency and becomes broader at increasing denaturant. Furthermore, using detailed quantitative analysis, we could rule out the possibility that the BBL single-molecule data are produced by partly overlapping folded and unfolded peaks. Thus, our results demonstrate the one-state downhill folding regime at the single-molecule level and highlight that this folding scenario is not necessarily associated with ultrafast kinetics. PMID:22184219

  8. A single-molecule optical transistor.

    PubMed

    Hwang, J; Pototschnig, M; Lettow, R; Zumofen, G; Renn, A; Götzinger, S; Sandoghdar, V

    2009-07-01

    The transistor is one of the most influential inventions of modern times and is ubiquitous in present-day technologies. In the continuing development of increasingly powerful computers as well as alternative technologies based on the prospects of quantum information processing, switching and amplification functionalities are being sought in ultrasmall objects, such as nanotubes, molecules or atoms. Among the possible choices of signal carriers, photons are particularly attractive because of their robustness against decoherence, but their control at the nanometre scale poses a significant challenge as conventional nonlinear materials become ineffective. To remedy this shortcoming, resonances in optical emitters can be exploited, and atomic ensembles have been successfully used to mediate weak light beams. However, single-emitter manipulation of photonic signals has remained elusive and has only been studied in high-finesse microcavities or waveguides. Here we demonstrate that a single dye molecule can operate as an optical transistor and coherently attenuate or amplify a tightly focused laser beam, depending on the power of a second 'gating' beam that controls the degree of population inversion. Such a quantum optical transistor has also the potential for manipulating non-classical light fields down to the single-photon level. We discuss some of the hurdles along the road towards practical implementations, and their possible solutions. PMID:19571881

  9. Microarray analysis at single molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Single-molecule imaging studies of protein dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zareh, Shannon Kian G.

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Single molecule studies of helicases with magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27657869

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kozankiewicz, Bolesław; Orrit, Michel

    2014-02-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-13

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Single-molecule observations of ribosome function.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Scott C

    2009-02-01

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

  3. Single-Molecule Studies of Actin Assembly and Disassembly Factors

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24630103

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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. Such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies of RNA: A Decade's Progress

    PubMed Central

    Karunatilaka, Krishanthi S.; Rueda, David

    2009-01-01

    Over the past decade, single-molecule fluorescence studies have elucidated the structure-function relationship of RNA molecules. The real-time observation of individual RNAs by single-molecule fluorescence has unveiled the dynamic behavior of complex RNA systems in unprecedented detail, revealing the presence of transient intermediate states and their kinetic pathways. This review provides an overview of how single-molecule fluorescence has been used to explore the dynamics of RNA folding and catalysis. PMID:20161154

  9. Single-molecule observation of prokaryotic DNA replication.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Modular stitching to image single-molecule DNA transport.

    PubMed

    Guan, Juan; Wang, Bo; Bae, Sung Chul; Granick, Steve

    2013-04-24

    For study of time-dependent conformation, all previous single-molecule imaging studies of polymer transport involve fluorescence labeling uniformly along the chain, which suffers from limited resolution due to the diffraction limit. Here we demonstrate the concept of submolecular single-molecule imaging with DNA chains assembled from DNA fragments such that a chain is labeled at designated spots with covalently attached fluorescent dyes and the chain backbone with dyes of different color. High density of dyes ensures good signal-to-noise ratio to localize the designated spots in real time with nanometer precision and prevents significant photobleaching for long-time tracking purposes. To demonstrate usefulness of this approach, we image electrophoretic transport of λ-DNA through agarose gels. The unexpected pattern is observed that one end of each molecule tends to stretch out in the electric field while the other end remains quiescent for some time before it snaps forward and the stretch-recoil cycle repeats. These features are neither predicted by prevailing theories of electrophoresis mechanism nor detectable by conventional whole-chain labeling methods, which demonstrate pragmatically the usefulness of modular stitching to reveal internal chain dynamics of single molecules.

  12. 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.

  13. Three-pulse photon echo of finite numbers of molecules: single-molecule traces.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hui; Fleming, Graham R

    2013-09-26

    In conventional bulk nonlinear spectroscopy, the contribution from molecules with different environmental conditions sometimes conceals the properties of interest and prevents the assessment of the heterogeneity of complex systems. This is especially true when exploring mechanisms of coherence loss in multicomponent systems [Ishizaki and Fleming, J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115, 6227]. To avoid this drawback of ensemble measurements and evaluate single-molecule behavior, a quantum theory is proposed to study the three-pulse photon echo signal of a two-level system in a bath and reveal the fluctuations inherent to single molecules. The current method takes advantage of the coherent state representation to understand the photon echo experiment in a wave function formalism rather than the reduced density matrix. Information regarding the environmental degrees of freedom (DoF) is explicitly encoded in the initial state of the system plus bath. The thermal fluctuations of the initial states induce variation of the photon echo signal, which is clearly different from the ensemble average echo signal. We use our formalism to demonstrate the recovery of the conventional ensemble response signal from the single-molecule signal.

  14. Visualizing Cellular Machines with Colocalization Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Joshua D.; Rodgers, Margaret L.

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Single-molecule electronics: from chemical design to functional devices.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lanlan; Diaz-Fernandez, Yuri A; Gschneidtner, Tina A; Westerlund, Fredrik; Lara-Avila, Samuel; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2014-11-01

    The use of single molecules in electronics represents the next limit of miniaturisation of electronic devices, which would enable us to continue the trend of aggressive downscaling of silicon-based electronic devices. More significantly, the fabrication, understanding and control of fully functional circuits at the single-molecule level could also open up the possibility of using molecules as devices with novel, not-foreseen functionalities beyond complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology (CMOS). This review aims at highlighting the chemical design and synthesis of single molecule devices as well as their electrical and structural characterization, including a historical overview and the developments during the last 5 years. We discuss experimental techniques for fabrication of single-molecule junctions, the potential application of single-molecule junctions as molecular switches, and general physical phenomena in single-molecule electronic devices.

  16. Single-molecule studies of kinesin family motor proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fordyce, Polly

    Kinesin family motor proteins drive many essential cellular processes, including cargo transport and mitotic spindle assembly and regulation. They accomplish these tasks by converting the chemical energy released from the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) directly into mechanical motion along microtubules in cells. Optical traps allow us to track and apply force to individual motor proteins, and have already revealed many details of the movement of conventional kinesin, although the precise mechanism by which chemical energy is converted into mechanical motion is unclear. Other kinesin family members remain largely uncharacterized. This dissertation details the use of a novel optical-trapping assay to study Eg5, a Kinesin-5 family member involved in both spindle assembly and pole separation during mitosis. We demonstrate that individual Eg5 dimers are relatively slow and force-insensitive motors that take about 8 steps, on average, before detaching from the microtubule. Key differences in processivity and force-response between Eg5 and conventional kinesin suggest ways in which the two motors might have evolved to perform very different tasks in cells. This dissertation also details efforts to unravel how chemical energy is converted into mechanical motion by simultaneously measuring mechanical transitions (with an optical trap) and nucleotide binding and release (with single-molecule fluorescence) for individual conventional kinesin motors. We constructed a combined instrument, demonstrated its capabilities by unzipping fluorescently-labeled DNA duplexes, and used this instrument to record the motion of individual conventional kinesin motors powered by the hydrolysis of fluorescent nucleotides. Preliminary data reveal the challenges inherent in such measurements and guide proposals for future experimental approaches. Finally, this dissertation includes several chapters intended to serve as practical guides to understanding, constructing, and maintaining

  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. PMID:21336269

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Single Molecule and Collective Dynamics of Motor Protein Coupled with Mechano-Sensitive Chemical Reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaki, Mitsuhiro; Marcucci, Lorenzo; Togashi, Yuichi; Yanagida, Toshio

    2013-12-01

    Motor proteins such as myosin and kinesin hydrolyze ATP into ADP and Pi to convert chemical energy into mechanical work. This resultsin various motile processes like muscle contraction, vesicle transport and cell division. Recent single molecule experiments have revealed that external load applied to these motor proteins perturb not only the mechanical motion, but the ATP hydrolysis cycle as well, making these molecules mechano-enzymes. Here, we describe our single molecule detection techniques to reveal the mechano-enzymatic properties of myosin and introduce recent progress from both experimental and theoretical approaches at the single- and multiple-molecule level.

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

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-09-12

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

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

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-09-12

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

  5. 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.

  6. Simultaneous Patch-Clamp Recording and Single-Molecule Imaging Study of Single-Molecule Ion Channel Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Greg; Orr, Galya; Thrall, Brian; Montal, Mauricio; Colson, Steve; Lu, H. Peter

    2002-03-01

    By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel current measurements in membranes of lipid bilayers or in living cells, we are now able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously correlated with single ion-channel current trajectories, providing an understanding at the molecular-level of the dynamics and mechanisms of ion-channel proteins. This technical innovation has been used to gain an understanding of how ion-channel activities are regulated by conformational change dynamics and assembly mechanisms of the dye-labeled gramicidin channels, which has revealed that the gramicidin channel activity is regulated by complex gramicidin dimer conformational changes. A new multiple-state model for gramicidin ion-channel dynamics, more complex than the classic two-state diffusion model, has been postulated based on our experimental results. The single-channel activity of recombinant NMDA receptors transiently expressed in a mammalian cell-line has been recorded when tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cysteine (TMR-cysteine) and glycine were introduced into the patch-pipette in cell-attached or inside-out patches. Correlated images of a single TMR-cysteine and single NMDA channel recordings have been investigated in real-time, which begins to shed light on the molecular-level understanding of the ligand-receptor interaction dynamics in NMDA receptors in living cells.

  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. Single dish gradient screening of small molecule localization.

    PubMed

    Beuzer, Paolo; Axelrod, Joshua; Trzoss, Lynnie; Fenical, Willam; Dasari, Ramesh; Evidente, Antonio; Kornienko, Alexander; Cang, Hu; La Clair, James J

    2016-09-21

    Understanding trafficking in cells and tissues is one of the most critical steps in exploring the mechanisms and modes of action (MOAs) of a small molecule. Typically, deciphering the role of concentration presents one of the most difficult challenges associated with this task. Herein, we present a practical solution to this problem by developing concentration gradients within single dishes of cells. We demonstrate the method by evaluating fluorescently-labelled probes developed from two classes of natural products that have been identified as potential anti-cancer leads by STORM super-resolution microscopy. PMID:27530345

  9. 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.

  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. Probing Electronic and Thermoelectric Properties of Single Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widawsky, Jonathan R.

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

  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. Ultra-Stable Organic Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Research

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Single-molecule surface- and tip-enhanced raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettinger, Bruno

    2010-08-01

    A review is given on single-molecule surface- and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS and TERS). It sketches the historical development along different routes toward huge near-field enhancements, the basis of single-molecule enhanced Raman spectroscopy; from SNOM to apertureless SNOM to tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and microscopy; from SERS to single-molecule SERS to single-molecule TERS. The claim of extremely high enhancement factors of 1014 in single-molecule SERS is critically discussed, in particular in the view of recent experimental and theoretical results that limits the electromagnetic enhancement to ⩽ 1011. In the field of TERS only very few reports on single-molecule TERS exist: single-molecule TERS on dyes and on a protein (cytochrome c). In the latter case, TERS 'sees' even subunits of this protein, either amino-acids or the heme, depending on the orientation of the protein relative to the tip. The former case concerns the dye brilliant cresyl blue adsorbed either on a Au surface under ambient conditions or on a Au(111) surface in ultra high vacuum. These results indicate that significant progress is to be expected for TERS in general and for single-molecule TERS in particular.

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

    PubMed

    Ashok, Amit; Piestun, Rafael; Stallinga, Sjoerd

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Observing single-molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emory, Steven R.; Ambrose, W. Patrick; Goodwin, Peter M.; Keller, Richard A.

    2001-06-01

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

  20. Observing single molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-01-01

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

  1. 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. PMID:20867002

  2. Imaging and tracking of single GFP molecules in solution.

    PubMed Central

    Kubitscheck, U; Kückmann, O; Kues, T; Peters, R

    2000-01-01

    Visualization and tracking of single fluorescent molecules is a recent development in optical microscopy holding great promise for the study of cell biological processes. However, all experimental strategies realized so far confined the observation to extremely thin interfacial layers. The detection and characterization of single molecules in three-dimensionally extended systems such as living cells has yet to be accomplished. We show, here, for the first time that single protein molecules can be visualized and tracked in three-dimensional (3D) samples at room temperature. Using a wide-field fluorescence microscope equipped with an Ar(+)-laser and a low-light-level CCD camera, single molecules of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) were detected in gels and viscous solutions at depths of up to approximately 10 microm from the interface. A time resolution of 5 ms was achieved by a high-speed framing mode. The two-dimensional localization accuracy was determined to be approximately 30 nm. The number of photons emitted by single GFP molecules before photodestruction was found to be < or = 4 * 10(5). Freely diffusing GFP molecules could be tracked over up to nine images acquired at a frame rate of approximately 80 Hz. From the trajectories, the diffusion coefficients of single GFP molecules were derived and found to agree well with expectation and microphotolysis measurements. Our results imply that the visualization and tracking of single molecules in living cells is possible. PMID:10733995

  3. 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.

  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. The importance of surfaces in single-molecule bioscience

    PubMed Central

    Visnapuu, Mari-Liis; Duzdevich, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The last ten years have witnessed an explosion of new techniques that can be used to probe the dynamic behavior of individual biological molecules, leading to discoveries that would not have been possible with more traditional biochemical methods. A common feature among these single-molecule approaches is the need for the biological molecules to be anchored to a solid support surface. This must be done under conditions that minimize nonspecific adsorption without compromising the biological integrity of the sample. In this review we highlight why surface attachments are a critical aspect of many single-molecule studies and we discuss current methods for anchoring biomolecules. Finally, we provide a detailed description of a new method developed by our laboratory for anchoring and organizing hundreds of individual DNA molecules on a surface, allowing “high-throughput” studies of protein–DNA interactions at the single-molecule level. PMID:18414737

  6. 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

  7. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  8. Single molecules as whispering galleries for electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Variation in the Single-Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capozzi, Brian; Dell, Emma; Dubay, Kateri; Moreno, Jose; Berkelbach, Timothy; Reichman, David; Campos, Luis; Venkataraman, Latha

    2013-03-01

    Thiophenes are ubiquitous in organic electronic and photovoltaic applications; yet, they have received minimal attention in single molecule transport studies. Here, we carry out single molecule conductance measurements on a family of methyl sulfide-terminated oligothiophenes using the scanning tunneling microscope based break-junction technique. We find a non-exponential decay in conductance with the number of thiophene units (2 through 6) in the chain, which cannot be explained by a simple tunneling or hopping mechanism. We also find that the oligothiophenes exhibit a rather broad conductance distribution when compared to oligophenyls. Using a combination of experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, we show that this increased breadth is most likely due to different thiophene confomers sampled in the experiments, which do not necessarily maintain conjugation along the backbone. These measurements therefore reinforce the importance of conformation and conjugation effects in thiophene-based organic electronic devices where highly conducting molecular components are required. The experimental work was funded by NSF-DMR-1206202 and the theory was funded by the EFRC program of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award No. DESC0001085.

  19. 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

  20. Atomic Force Microscope Conductivity Measurements on Single Ferritin Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Degao; Watt, Gerald D.; Harb, John N.; Davis, Robert C.

    2003-10-01

    We will present electrical measurement on the conductivity of ferritin molecules by conductive AFM. The high stability of ferritin relative to other proteins makes them attractive for nanotechnology applications such as nanoscale batteries. Ferritins are very stable, biological molecules found widely distributed in nature that are responsible for metabolic control of iron in living systems. Ferritins consist of 24 protein subunits that are arrayed to form spherical molecules 12 nm in external diameter with a hollow interior about 8 nm in diameter. The hollow ferritin interior can be filled with up to 4500 iron atoms as Fe(OH)3. Ferritin molecules were self assembled on gold surfaces to form a single ferritin monolayer. AFM was used to study this assembly on atomically flat gold surfaces. Conductivity of the ferritin protein shell of single ferritin molecule was investigated by conductive AFM and compared to conductivity measurements on films of ferritin molecules.

  1. 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.

  2. Single-molecule junctions with epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Konrad; Coto, Pedro B; Leitherer, Susanne; Molina-Ontoria, Agustín; Martín, Nazario; Thoss, Michael; Weber, Heiko B

    2015-05-13

    On the way to ultraflat single-molecule junctions with transparent electrodes, we present a fabrication scheme based on epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes. As a suitable molecule, we identified a molecular wire with fullerene anchor groups. With these two components, stable electrical characteristics could be recorded. Electrical measurements show that single-molecule junctions with graphene and with gold electrodes display a striking agreement. This motivated a hypothesis that the differential conductance spectra are rather insensitive to the electrode material. It is further corroborated by the assignment of asymmetries and spectral features to internal molecular degrees of freedom. The demonstrated open-access graphene electrodes and the electrode-insensitive molecules provide a model system that will allow for a thorough investigation of an individual single-molecule contact with additional probes.

  3. Single-molecule junctions with epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Konrad; Coto, Pedro B; Leitherer, Susanne; Molina-Ontoria, Agustín; Martín, Nazario; Thoss, Michael; Weber, Heiko B

    2015-05-13

    On the way to ultraflat single-molecule junctions with transparent electrodes, we present a fabrication scheme based on epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes. As a suitable molecule, we identified a molecular wire with fullerene anchor groups. With these two components, stable electrical characteristics could be recorded. Electrical measurements show that single-molecule junctions with graphene and with gold electrodes display a striking agreement. This motivated a hypothesis that the differential conductance spectra are rather insensitive to the electrode material. It is further corroborated by the assignment of asymmetries and spectral features to internal molecular degrees of freedom. The demonstrated open-access graphene electrodes and the electrode-insensitive molecules provide a model system that will allow for a thorough investigation of an individual single-molecule contact with additional probes. PMID:25923590

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adak, Olgun; Venkataraman, Latha

    2014-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Approaching the single molecule. Interview by Kristie Nybo.

    PubMed

    Soloway, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Paul Soloway's development of single molecule approaches to study epigenetics caught our attention. Curious to know more, BioTechniques contacted him to find out about the ambition, character, and motivation that led to his success.

  8. Light Sheet Microscopy for Single Molecule Tracking in Living Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Ritter, Jörg Gerhard; Veith, Roman; Veenendaal, Andreas; Siebrasse, Jan Peter; Kubitscheck, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Single molecule observation in cells and tissue allows the analysis of physiological processes with molecular detail, but it still represents a major methodological challenge. Here we introduce a microscopic technique that combines light sheet optical sectioning microscopy and ultra sensitive high-speed imaging. By this approach it is possible to observe single fluorescent biomolecules in solution, living cells and even tissue with an unprecedented speed and signal-to-noise ratio deep within the sample. Thereby we could directly observe and track small and large tracer molecules in aqueous solution. Furthermore, we demonstrated the feasibility to visualize the dynamics of single tracer molecules and native messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) in salivary gland cell nuclei of Chironomus tentans larvae up to 200 µm within the specimen with an excellent signal quality. Thus single molecule light sheet based fluorescence microscopy allows analyzing molecular diffusion and interactions in complex biological systems. PMID:20668517

  9. Fluorescent Biosensors Based on Single-Molecule Counting.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fei; Li, Ying; Tang, Bo; Zhang, Chun-Yang

    2016-09-20

    Biosensors for highly sensitive, selective, and rapid quantification of specific biomolecules make great contributions to biomedical research, especially molecular diagnostics. However, conventional methods for biomolecular assays often suffer from insufficient sensitivity and poor specificity. In some case (e.g., early disease diagnostics), the concentration of target biomolecules is too low to be detected by these routine approaches, and cumbersome procedures are needed to improve the detection sensitivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need for rapid and ultrasensitive analytical tools. In this respect, single-molecule fluorescence approaches may well satisfy the requirement and hold promising potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensors. Encouragingly, owing to the advances in single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy over past decades, the detection of single fluorescent molecule comes true, greatly boosting the development of highly sensitive biosensors. By in vitro/in vivo labeling of target biomolecules with proper fluorescent tags, the quantification of certain biomolecule at the single-molecule level is achieved. In comparison with conventional ensemble measurements, single-molecule detection-based analytical methods possess the advantages of ultrahigh sensitivity, good selectivity, rapid analysis time, and low sample consumption. Consequently, single-molecule detection may be potentially employed as an ideal analytical approach to quantify low-abundant biomolecules with rapidity and simplicity. In this Account, we will summarize our efforts for developing a series of ultrasensitive biosensors based on single-molecule counting. Single-molecule counting is a member of single-molecule detection technologies and may be used as a very simple and ultrasensitive method to quantify target molecules by simply counting the individual fluorescent bursts. In the fluorescent sensors, the signals of target biomolecules may be translated to the

  10. Fluorescent Biosensors Based on Single-Molecule Counting.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fei; Li, Ying; Tang, Bo; Zhang, Chun-Yang

    2016-09-20

    Biosensors for highly sensitive, selective, and rapid quantification of specific biomolecules make great contributions to biomedical research, especially molecular diagnostics. However, conventional methods for biomolecular assays often suffer from insufficient sensitivity and poor specificity. In some case (e.g., early disease diagnostics), the concentration of target biomolecules is too low to be detected by these routine approaches, and cumbersome procedures are needed to improve the detection sensitivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need for rapid and ultrasensitive analytical tools. In this respect, single-molecule fluorescence approaches may well satisfy the requirement and hold promising potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensors. Encouragingly, owing to the advances in single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy over past decades, the detection of single fluorescent molecule comes true, greatly boosting the development of highly sensitive biosensors. By in vitro/in vivo labeling of target biomolecules with proper fluorescent tags, the quantification of certain biomolecule at the single-molecule level is achieved. In comparison with conventional ensemble measurements, single-molecule detection-based analytical methods possess the advantages of ultrahigh sensitivity, good selectivity, rapid analysis time, and low sample consumption. Consequently, single-molecule detection may be potentially employed as an ideal analytical approach to quantify low-abundant biomolecules with rapidity and simplicity. In this Account, we will summarize our efforts for developing a series of ultrasensitive biosensors based on single-molecule counting. Single-molecule counting is a member of single-molecule detection technologies and may be used as a very simple and ultrasensitive method to quantify target molecules by simply counting the individual fluorescent bursts. In the fluorescent sensors, the signals of target biomolecules may be translated to the

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Skewed Brownian Fluctuations in Single-Molecule Magnetic Tweezers

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. Lucky imaging: improved localization accuracy for single molecule imaging.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Bríd; de Wet, Ben; Wallace, Mark I

    2009-04-01

    We apply the astronomical data-analysis technique, Lucky imaging, to improve resolution in single molecule fluorescence microscopy. We show that by selectively discarding data points from individual single-molecule trajectories, imaging resolution can be improved by a factor of 1.6 for individual fluorophores and up to 5.6 for more complex images. The method is illustrated using images of fluorescent dye molecules and quantum dots, and the in vivo imaging of fluorescently labeled linker for activation of T cells.

  19. 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. PMID:26707199

  20. Application of Recognition Tunneling in Single Molecule Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yanan

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

  1. 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.

  2. Reliable Digital Single Molecule Electrochemistry for Ultrasensitive Alkaline Phosphatase Detection.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhen; Zhou, Chuan-Hua; Pan, Liang-Jun; Zeng, Tao; Zhu, Lian; Pang, Dai-Wen; Zhang, Zhi-Ling

    2016-09-20

    Single molecule electrochemistry (SME) has gained much progress in fundamental studies, but it is difficult to use in practice due to its less reliability. We have solved the reliability of single molecule electrochemical detection by integration of digital analysis with efficient signal amplification of enzyme-induced metallization (EIM) together with high-throughput parallelism of microelectrode array (MA), establishing a digital single molecule electrochemical detection method (dSMED). Our dSMED has been successfully used for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) detection in the complex sample of liver cancer cells. Compared to direct measurement of the oxidation current of enzyme products, EIM can enhance signals by about 100 times, achieving signal-to-background ratio high enough for single molecule detection. The integration of digital analysis with SME can further decrease the detection limit of ALP to 1 aM relative to original 50 aM, enabling dSMED to be sensitively, specifically and reliably applied in liver cancer cells. The presented dSMED is enormously promising in exploring physical and chemical properties of single molecules, single biomolecular detection, or single-cell analysis.

  3. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hybertsen M. S.

    2013-04-11

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

  5. Real-time DNA sequencing from single polymerase molecules.

    PubMed

    Korlach, Jonas; Bjornson, Keith P; Chaudhuri, Bidhan P; Cicero, Ronald L; Flusberg, Benjamin A; Gray, Jeremy J; Holden, David; Saxena, Ravi; Wegener, Jeffrey; Turner, Stephen W

    2010-01-01

    Pacific Biosciences has developed a method for real-time sequencing of single DNA molecules (Eid et al., 2009), with intrinsic sequencing rates of several bases per second and read lengths into the kilobase range. Conceptually, this sequencing approach is based on eavesdropping on the activity of DNA polymerase carrying out template-directed DNA polymerization. Performed in a highly parallel operational mode, sequential base additions catalyzed by each polymerase are detected with terminal phosphate-linked, fluorescence-labeled nucleotides. This chapter will first outline the principle of this single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing method, followed by descriptions of its underlying components and typical sequencing run conditions. Two examples are provided which illustrate that, in addition to the DNA sequence, the dynamics of DNA polymerization from each enzyme molecules is directly accessible: the determination of base-specific kinetic parameters from single-molecule sequencing reads, and the characterization of DNA synthesis rate heterogeneities. PMID:20580975

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Observing single enzyme molecules interconvert between activity states upon heating.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-27

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

  5. Engineering nanostructures by binding single molecules to single-walled carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Sharkey, J Joseph; Stranks, Samuel D; Huang, Jian; Alexander-Webber, Jack A; Nicholas, Robin J

    2014-12-23

    Organic and hybrid organic-inorganic systems are promising candidates for low cost photovoltaics. Recently, perovskite-based systems have been attracting a large amount of research attention, where the highest performing devices employ a small molecule (2,2',7,7'-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)-9,9'-spirobifluorene) (Spiro-OMeTAD) hole transporter. Here, we demonstrate the production of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)/single molecule nanostructures using a simple solution processing technique for effective and strong binding of Spiro-OMeTAD to individual polymer-wrapped SWNTs. These small molecules bind very strongly, which causes both large mechanical strain of the nanotubes and also improves the separation of individual SWNTs, thus improving the nanotube photoluminescence quantum efficiency by 1 order of magnitude compared to simple polymer-nanotube nanohybrids. Using absorption and photoluminescence measurements, we show that there is a dramatic variation in the electronic properties of the polymer-NT nanocomposites due to the band alignment formed with Spiro-OMeTAD. These self-assembled nanocomposites offer the potential for integration into high performance optoelectronic such as photovoltaic cells and light emission devices.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. Polarization anisotropic luminescence of tunable single lateral quantum dot molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermannstädter, C.; Witzany, M.; Heldmaier, M.; Hafenbrak, R.; Jöns, K. D.; Beirne, G. J.; Michler, P.

    2012-03-01

    We investigate the photoluminescence polarization anisotropy of self-assembled individual lateral InGaAs/GaAs quantum dot molecules. In contrast to similarly grown single quantum dots, the dot molecules exhibit a remarkable degree of linear polarization, which remains almost unchanged when a lateral electric field is applied to tune the exciton wave function and, thus, the luminescence spectral properties. We discuss the nature of this polarization anisotropy and suggest possible causes based on the system's symmetry and heterostructure alloy composition.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Sub-diffraction limit differentiation of single fluorophores using Single Molecule Image Deconvolution (SMID)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decenzo, Shawn H.; Desantis, Michael C.; Wang, Y. M.

    2009-03-01

    In order to better understand biological systems, researchers demand new techniques and improvements in single molecule differentiation. We present a unique approach utilizing an analysis of the standard deviation of the Gaussian point spread function of single immobile fluorescent molecules. This technique, Single Molecule Image Deconvolution (SMID), is applicable to standard TIRF instrumentation and standard fluorophores. We demonstrate the method by measuring the separation of two Cy3 molecules attached to the ends of short double-stranded DNA immobilized on a surface without photobleaching. Preliminary results and further applications will be presented.

  12. 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

  13. Single-molecule decoding of combinatorially modified nucleosomes.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-18

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

  16. Real-time single-molecule imaging of quantum interference.

    PubMed

    Juffmann, Thomas; Milic, Adriana; Müllneritsch, Michael; Asenbaum, Peter; Tsukernik, Alexander; Tüxen, Jens; Mayor, Marcel; Cheshnovsky, Ori; Arndt, Markus

    2012-03-25

    The observation of interference patterns in double-slit experiments with massive particles is generally regarded as the ultimate demonstration of the quantum nature of these objects. Such matter-wave interference has been observed for electrons, neutrons, atoms and molecules and, in contrast to classical physics, quantum interference can be observed when single particles arrive at the detector one by one. The build-up of such patterns in experiments with electrons has been described as the "most beautiful experiment in physics". Here, we show how a combination of nanofabrication and nano-imaging allows us to record the full two-dimensional build-up of quantum interference patterns in real time for phthalocyanine molecules and for derivatives of phthalocyanine molecules, which have masses of 514 AMU and 1,298 AMU respectively. A laser-controlled micro-evaporation source was used to produce a beam of molecules with the required intensity and coherence, and the gratings were machined in 10-nm-thick silicon nitride membranes to reduce the effect of van der Waals forces. Wide-field fluorescence microscopy detected the position of each molecule with an accuracy of 10 nm and revealed the build-up of a deterministic ensemble interference pattern from single molecules that arrived stochastically at the detector. In addition to providing this particularly clear demonstration of wave-particle duality, our approach could also be used to study larger molecules and explore the boundary between quantum and classical physics.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Srabanti

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Imaging of single uncoated DNA molecules by scanning tunneling microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, D.; Bustamante, C.; Keller, R.W. )

    1989-07-01

    Scanning tunneling microscope images of DNA molecules adsorbed onto highly oriented pyrolytic graphite have been obtained. Three methods of deposition and sample preparation have been utilized. In the first method, a highly concentrated solution of DNA is sonicated, and a drop is deposited on freshly cleaved graphite. Under these conditions, the molecules tend to align in a parallel fashion, forming liquid-crystalline phases. In the second method, a solution of DNA is deposited directly on the graphite surface without sonication. In this case, ammonium acetate, a volatile salt, is used to decrease the amount of the residual salt crystals left after drying. In the third method, a solution containing lysed phage particles and DNA is adsorbed onto a graphite surface. The molecules are seen either isolated or in small bundles. The values of height, periodicity, and thickness observed and the handedness of the molecules are consistent with those expected for DNA. In all cases, the molecules were identified by their characteristic periodic structure and because, at higher magnification, no graphite-like structure was detectable on the surface of the molecules. Often the DNA molecules appear to adsorb in areas of the graphite that have many steps and defects. A mechanism that explains the magnitude of the tunneling currents measured in DNA is proposed. This mechanism, in turn, suggests a general method by which large insulating molecules can be rendered conductive.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollmer, Frank

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-21

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

  4. 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.

  5. DNA heterogeneity and phosphorylation unveiled by single-molecule electrophoresis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hui; Dunning, James E.; Huang, Albert P.-H.; Nyamwanda, Jacqueline A.; Branton, Daniel

    2004-09-01

    Broad-spectrum analysis of DNA and RNA samples is of increasing importance in the growing field of biotechnology. We show that nanopore measurements may be used to assess the purity, phosphorylation state, and chemical integrity of nucleic acid preparations. In contrast with gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, an unprecedented dynamic range of DNA sizes and concentrations can be evaluated in a single data acquisition process that spans minutes. Because the molecule information is quantized and digitally recorded with single-molecule resolution, the sensitivity of the system can be adjusted in real time to detect trace amounts of a particular DNA species.

  6. Multiphoton cascade absorption in single molecule fluorescence saturation spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Winckler, Pascale; Jaffiol, Rodolphe

    2013-05-01

    Saturation spectroscopy is a relevant method to investigate photophysical parameters of single fluorescent molecules. Nevertheless, the impact of a gradual increase, over a broad range, of the laser excitation on the intramolecular dynamics is not completely understood, particularly concerning their fluorescence emission (the so-called brightness). Thus, we propose a comprehensive theoretical and experimental study to interpret the unexpected evolution of the brightness with the laser power taking into account the cascade absorption of two and three photons. Furthermore, we highlight the key role played by the confocal observation volume in fluorescence saturation spectroscopy of single molecules in solution.

  7. Analysis of single nucleic acid molecules with protein nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Maglia, Giovanni; Heron, Andrew J.; Stoddart, David; Japrung, Deanpen; Bayley, Hagan

    2011-01-01

    We describe the methods used in our laboratory for the analysis of single nucleic acid molecules with protein nanopores. The technical section is preceded by a review of the variety of experiments that can be done with protein nanopores. The end goal of much of this work is single-molecule DNA sequencing, although sequencing is not discussed explicitly here. The technical section covers the equipment required for nucleic acid analysis, the preparation and storage of the necessary materials, and aspects of signal processing and data analysis. PMID:20627172

  8. 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.

  9. Single-electron transport through a Mn12 (2-thiophenecarboxylate) single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, Christopher M.; Del Barco, Enrique; Mucciolo, Eduardo; Haque, Firoze; Khondaker, Saiful; Leuenberger, Michael; Mishra, Abhudaya; Christou, George

    2006-03-01

    We report single-electron transport measurements on Mn12 based single-molecule magnet, which has been functionalized with 2-thiophenecarboxylate ligands that bind to gold. The self-assembly of these molecules was confirmed by scanning probe microscopy and XPS measurements. Because it is well known that the molecule's environment within the crystal can have a profound influence on the quantum properties of the system, it is important to study the quantum spin dynamics in individual isolated molecules. Single electron transistor devices have been prepared for this purpose by electron beam lithography and electromigration. The transport properties of a single, isolated Mn12(2-thiophenecarboxylate) molecule were measured down to mK temperatures in a 3-D superconducting vector magnet with arbitrary field direction. The data are characteristic of a molecular single-electron transistor device where the SMM bridges the gap between two gold nanoelectrodes. Magnetic field and temperature dependence as well as theoretical aspects will be discussed.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27653486

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Amo, Carlos A; Garcia, Ricardo

    2016-07-26

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Single molecule switches and molecular self-assembly: Low temperature STM investigations and manipulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iancu, Violeta

    This dissertation is devoted to single molecule investigations and manipulations of two porphyrin-based molecules, chlorophyll-a and Co-porphyrin. The molecules are adsorbed 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 detailed underlying switching mechanisms are uncovered from the statistical analyses conducted over 1200 switching events together with the support of geometrically relaxed parametric calculations. The second switch, a spintronic switch, uses Co-porphyrin conformational changes to tune the spin-electron interaction between the Co atom and Cu(111) electrons. A change in the molecular conformation, from saddle to planar, leads to enhanced spin-electron coupling strength, and consequently, elevated Kondo temperatures. Self-assembly process is exploited for both the molecules and the analyses reveal important information regarding the layer growth and the electronic differences that appear due to the modified molecule-substrate environment.

  1. Progress towards DNA sequencing at the single molecule level

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

  2. New assay for multiple single molecule enzyme kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Alan I.; Brody, James P.

    2005-03-01

    A population of identical proteins has the same amino acid sequence, but there may be subtle differences in local folding that lead to variations in activity. Single molecule studies allow us to understand these subtle differences. Single molecule experiments are usually time consuming and difficult because only a few molecules are observed in one experiment. To address this problem, we have developed an assay where we can simultaneously measure the activity of multiple individual molecules of a protease, α-chymotrypsin. The assay utilizes a synthetic chymotrypsin substrate that is non-fluorescent before cleavage by chymotrypsin, but is intensely fluorescent after. To study the activity of individual enzymes, the enzyme and substrate are encapsulated in micron-sized droplets of water surrounded by silicone oil. On average, each micro-droplet contains less than one enzyme. The fluorescence of these droplets is recorded over time using a microscope and a CCD camera system. Software tracks individual droplets over time and records fluorescence. The kinetics of individual chymotrypsin molecules is calculated through the increase of fluorescence intensity of the same individual droplet over time. The activity profiles of the individual enzymes and the bulk sample of the enzyme are very similar. This validates the assay and demonstrates that the average of a few individual molecules can be representative of the behavior of the bulk population.

  3. 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

  4. Single molecule imaging of NGF axonal transport in microfluidic devices

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Osakada, Yasuko; Vrljic, Marija; Chen, Liang; Mudrakola, Harsha V.

    2010-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) signaling begins at the nerve terminal, where it binds and activates membrane receptors and subsequently carries the cell-survival signal to the cell body through the axon. A recent study revealed that the majority of endosomes contain a single NGF molecule, which makes single molecule imaging an essential tool for NGF studies. Despite being an increasingly popular technique, single molecule imaging in live cells is often limited by background fluorescence. Here, we employed a microfluidic culture platform to achieve background reduction for single molecule imaging in live neurons. Microfluidic devices guide the growth of neurons and allow separately-controlled microenvironment for cell bodies or axon termini. Designs of microfluidic devices were optimized and a three-compartment device successfully achieved direct observation of axonal transport of single NGF when quantum dot labeled NGF (Qdot-NGF) was applied only to the distal-axon compartment while imaging was carried out exclusively in the cell-body compartment. Qdot-NGF was shown to move exclusively toward the cell body with a characteristic stop-and-go pattern of movements. Measurements at various temperatures show that the rate of NGF retrograde transport decreased exponentially over the range of 36–14°C. A 10°C decrease in temperature resulted in a threefold decrease in the rate of NGF retrograde transport. Our successful measurements of NGF transport suggest that the microfluidic device can serve as a unique platform for single molecule imaging of molecular processes in neurons. PMID:20623041

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of fixed pattern noise on single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Long, F; Zeng, S Q; Huang, Z L

    2014-10-21

    The newly developed scientific complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) cameras are capable of realizing fast single molecule localization microscopy without sacrificing field-of-view, benefiting from their readout speed which is significantly higher than that of conventional charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras. However, the poor image uniformity (suffered from fixed pattern noise, FPN) is a major obstruction for widespread use of sCMOS cameras in single molecule localization microscopy. Here we present a quantitative investigation on the effects of FPN on single molecule localization microscopy via localization precision and localization bias. We found that FPN leads to almost no effect on localization precision, but introduces a certain amount of localization bias. However, for a commercial Hamamatsu Flash 4.0 sCMOS camera, such localization bias is usually <2 nm and thus can be neglected for most localization microscopy experiments. This study addresses the FPN concern which worries researchers, and thus will promote the application of sCMOS cameras in single molecule localization microscopy.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Leake, M C

    2014-07-01

    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. Single-molecule studies on individual peptides and peptide assemblies on surfaces.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yanlian; Wang, Chen

    2013-10-13

    This review is intended to reflect the recent progress in single-molecule studies of individual peptides and peptide assemblies on surfaces. The structures and the mechanism of peptide assembly are discussed in detail. The contents include the following topics: structural analysis of single peptide molecules, adsorption and assembly of peptides on surfaces, folding structures of the amyloid peptides, interaction between amyloid peptides and dye or drug molecules, and modulation of peptide assemblies by small molecules. The explorations of peptide adsorption and assembly will benefit the understanding of the mechanisms for protein-protein interactions, protein-drug interactions and the pathogenesis of amyloidoses. The investigations on peptide assembly and its modulations could also provide a potential approach towards the treatment of the amyloidoses.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-06-04

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

  20. Magnetic cooling at a single molecule level: a spectroscopic investigation of isolated molecules on a surface.

    PubMed

    Corradini, Valdis; Ghirri, Alberto; Candini, Andrea; Biagi, Roberto; del Pennino, Umberto; Dotti, Gianluca; Otero, Edwige; Choueikani, Fadi; Blagg, Robin J; McInnes, Eric J L; Affronte, Marco

    2013-05-28

    A sub-monolayer distribution of isolated molecular Fe14 (bta)6 nanomagnets is deposited intact on a Au(111) surface and investigated by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy. The entropy variation with respect to the applied magnetic field is extracted from the magnetization curves and evidences high magnetocaloric values at the single molecule level.

  1. Semisynthetic Nanoreactor for Reversible Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joongoo; Boersma, Arnold J; Boudreau, Marc A; Cheley, Stephen; Daltrop, Oliver; Li, Jianwei; Tamagaki, Hiroko; Bayley, Hagan

    2016-09-27

    Protein engineering has been used to remodel pores for applications in biotechnology. For example, the heptameric α-hemolysin pore (αHL) has been engineered to form a nanoreactor to study covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level. Previous work has been confined largely to the chemistry of cysteine side chains or, in one instance, to an irreversible reaction of an unnatural amino acid side chain bearing a terminal alkyne. Here, we present four different αHL pores obtained by coupling either two or three fragments by native chemical ligation (NCL). The synthetic αHL monomers were folded and incorporated into heptameric pores. The functionality of the pores was validated by hemolysis assays and by single-channel current recording. By using NCL to introduce a ketone amino acid, the nanoreactor approach was extended to an investigation of reversible covalent chemistry on an unnatural side chain at the single-molecule level. PMID:27537396

  2. Semisynthetic Nanoreactor for Reversible Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Protein engineering has been used to remodel pores for applications in biotechnology. For example, the heptameric α-hemolysin pore (αHL) has been engineered to form a nanoreactor to study covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level. Previous work has been confined largely to the chemistry of cysteine side chains or, in one instance, to an irreversible reaction of an unnatural amino acid side chain bearing a terminal alkyne. Here, we present four different αHL pores obtained by coupling either two or three fragments by native chemical ligation (NCL). The synthetic αHL monomers were folded and incorporated into heptameric pores. The functionality of the pores was validated by hemolysis assays and by single-channel current recording. By using NCL to introduce a ketone amino acid, the nanoreactor approach was extended to an investigation of reversible covalent chemistry on an unnatural side chain at the single-molecule level. PMID:27537396

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Single-Molecule Observation of Prokaryotic DNA Replication

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. DCDHF Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Imaging in Cells**

    PubMed Central

    Lord, Samuel J.; Conley, Nicholas R.; Lee, Hsiao-lu D.; Nishimura, Stefanie Y.; Pomerantz, Andrea K.; Willets, Katherine A.; Lu, Zhikuan; Wang, Hui; Liu, Na; Samuel, Reichel; Weber, Ryan; Semyonov, Alexander; He, Meng; Twieg, Robert J.; Moerner, W. E.

    2009-01-01

    There is a persistent need for small-molecule fluorescent labels optimized for single-molecule imaging in the cellular environment. Application of these labels comes with a set of strict requirements: strong absorption, efficient and stable emission, water solubility and membrane permeability, low background emission, and red-shifted absorption to avoid cell autofluorescence. We have designed and characterized several fluorophores, termed “DCDHF” fluorophores, for use in live-cell imaging based on the push–pull design: an amine donor group and a 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran (DCDHF) acceptor group, separated by a π-rich conjugated network. In general, the DCDHF fluorophores are comparatively photostable, sensitive to local environment, and their chemistries and photophysics are tunable to optimize absorption wavelength, membrane affinity, and solubility. Especially valuable are fluorophores with sophisticated photophysics for applications requiring additional facets of control, such as photoactivation. For example, we have reengineered a red-emitting DCDHF fluorophore so that it is dark until photoactivated with a short burst of low-intensity violet light. This molecule and its relatives provide a new class of bright photoactivatable small-molecule fluorophores, which are needed for super-resolution imaging schemes that require active control (here turning-on) of single-molecule emission. PMID:19025732

  6. DCDHF fluorophores for single-molecule imaging in cells.

    PubMed

    Lord, Samuel J; Conley, Nicholas R; Lee, Hsiao-Lu D; Nishimura, Stefanie Y; Pomerantz, Andrea K; Willets, Katherine A; Lu, Zhikuan; Wang, Hui; Liu, Na; Samuel, Reichel; Weber, Ryan; Semyonov, Alexander; He, Meng; Twieg, Robert J; Moerner, W E

    2009-01-12

    There is a persistent need for small-molecule fluorescent labels optimized for single-molecule imaging in the cellular environment. Application of these labels comes with a set of strict requirements: strong absorption, efficient and stable emission, water solubility and membrane permeability, low background emission, and red-shifted absorption to avoid cell autofluorescence. We have designed and characterized several fluorophores, termed "DCDHF" fluorophores, for use in live-cell imaging based on the push-pull design: an amine donor group and a 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran (DCDHF) acceptor group, separated by a pi-rich conjugated network. In general, the DCDHF fluorophores are comparatively photostable, sensitive to local environment, and their chemistries and photophysics are tunable to optimize absorption wavelength, membrane affinity, and solubility. Especially valuable are fluorophores with sophisticated photophysics for applications requiring additional facets of control, such as photoactivation. For example, we have reengineered a red-emitting DCDHF fluorophore so that it is dark until photoactivated with a short burst of low-intensity violet light. This molecule and its relatives provide a new class of bright photoactivatable small-molecule fluorophores, which are needed for super-resolution imaging schemes that require active control (here turning-on) of single-molecule emission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  12. Designer Plasmonics Nanostructures Approaching Single Molecule Raman Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Reuven; Min, Qiao; Andrade, Gustavo F. S.; Brolo, Alexandre G.

    2010-03-01

    Since the early reports of single molecule Raman scattering detection using randomly roughened metal substrates [Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1667 - 1670 (1997), Science 21, 275(5303), 1102 - 1106 (1997)], there has been considerable interest in achieving single molecule Raman spectroscopy from fabricated nanostructures that are not random. Such designer plasmonic nanostructures have the advantages of improved control over the near-field enhancement magnitude, deterministic placement of the local-field hot-spots, optimized collection efficiency and greater reproducibility. Previously, we have created a metal nanostructures with measured 20 molecule Raman signal limit of detection [J. Phys. Chem. C 112 (39), 15098-15101, (2008)]. To achieve the desired near-field electric field enhancements, those nanostructures contained familiar elements to the plasmonic community: concentric focusing rings and subwavelength focusing tapers. Here, we will describe improved designs that have enabled us to improve those results by a factor of 6. We will also show polarization dependent studies that clearly demonstrate the plasmonic nature of the subwavelength focusing structures, including experimental polarization-resolved Raman spectroscopy maps. We are beginning statistical analysis experiments to determine if single molecule Raman is present in these nanostructures.

  13. Watching Individual Proteins Acting on Single Molecules of DNA

    PubMed Central

    Amitani, Ichiro; Liu, Bian; Dombrowski, Christopher C.; Baskin, Ronald J.; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    In traditional biochemical experiments, the behavior of individual proteins is obscured by ensemble averaging. To better understand the behavior of proteins that bind to and/or translocate on DNA, we have developed instrumentation that uses optical trapping, microfluidic solution delivery, and fluorescent microscopy to visualize either individual proteins or assemblies of proteins acting on single molecules of DNA. The general experimental design involves attaching a single DNA molecule to a polystyrene microsphere that is then used as a microscopic handle to manipulate individual DNA molecules with a laser trap. Visualization is achieved by fluorescently labeling either the DNA or the protein of interest, followed by direct imaging using high-sensitivity fluorescence microscopy. We describe the sample preparation and instrumentation used to visualize the interaction of individual proteins with single molecules of DNA. As examples, we describe the application of these methods to the study of proteins involved in recombination-mediated DNA repair, a process essential for the maintenance of genomic integrity. PMID:20580968

  14. Carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems as magnetometers for single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, Marc; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Ruben, Mario; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2013-07-23

    Due to outstanding mechanical and electronic properties, carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) were recently proposed as ultrasensitive magnetometers for single-molecule magnets (SMM). In this article, we describe a noninvasive grafting of a SMM on a carbon nanotube NEMS, which conserves both the mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube NEMS and the magnetic properties of the SMM. We will demonstrate that the nonlinearity of a carbon nanotube's mechanical motion can be used to probe the reversal of a molecular spin, associated with a bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium(III) single-molecule magnet, providing an experimental evidence for the detection of a single spin by a mechanical degree of freedom on a molecular level.

  15. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Heather L; Murphy, Colin J; Jewell, April D; Baber, Ashleigh E; Iski, Erin V; Khodaverdian, Harout Y; McGuire, Allister F; Klebanov, Nikolai; Sykes, E Charles H

    2011-10-01

    For molecules to be used as components in molecular machines, methods that couple individual molecules to external energy sources and that selectively excite motion in a given direction are required. Significant progress has been made in the construction of molecular motors powered by light and by chemical reactions, but electrically driven motors have not yet been built, despite several theoretical proposals for such motors. Here we report that a butyl methyl sulphide molecule adsorbed on a copper surface can be operated as a single-molecule electric motor. Electrons from a scanning tunnelling microscope are used to drive the directional motion of the molecule in a two-terminal setup. Moreover, the temperature and electron flux can be adjusted to allow each rotational event to be monitored at the molecular scale in real time. The direction and rate of the rotation are related to the chiralities of both the molecule and the tip of the microscope (which serves as the electrode), illustrating the importance of the symmetry of the metal contacts in atomic-scale electrical devices. PMID:21892165

  16. Single Molecule Visualization of DNA in Pure Shear Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Connie; Duggal, Rajat; Pasquali, Matteo

    2003-03-01

    Polymers are ever-present in society from plastic bottles to DNA. The study of single molecule dynamics will provide the opportunity for advances in fields from synthetic polymer coatings to gene therapy. Many applications involve flow of dilute polymer solutions in viscous solvents. These long, flexible polymer chains (DNA) are coiled at rest in solution. The configuration of the molecules is altered by the applied flow which, in turn, affects the dynamics of the flow. Control of flow allows for manipulation of the DNA molecules. Our apparatus consists of a rectangular channel that has been plasma etched into a silicon wafer with pressure driven flow (pulse-free syringe pump). The dynamics of the DNA molecules in flow are monitored using fluorescence microscopy and digital imaging. The flow channel was designed to allow for visualization of the molecules in the plane defined by velocity and velocity gradient instead of the plane identified by the velocity and the vorticity (previously studied by Smith et al (1999) and LeDuc et al (1999)). Moreover, we can visualize the DNA in a flow where the velocity gradient is not uniform. The individual and average conformations (size and orientation) of the flowing DNA molecules are being studied as a function of the Weissenberg number (product of strain rate and DNA relaxation time) and distance from the channel walls.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Automated multidimensional single molecule fluorescence microscopy feature detection and tracking.

    PubMed

    Rolfe, Daniel J; McLachlan, Charles I; Hirsch, Michael; Needham, Sarah R; Tynan, Christopher J; Webb, Stephen E D; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L; Hobson, Michael P

    2011-10-01

    Characterisation of multi-protein interactions in cellular networks can be achieved by optical microscopy using multidimensional single molecule fluorescence imaging. Proteins of different species, individually labelled with a single fluorophore, can be imaged as isolated spots (features) of different colour light in different channels, and their diffusive behaviour in cells directly measured through time. Challenges in data analysis have, however, thus far hindered its application in biology. A set of methods for the automated analysis of multidimensional single molecule microscopy data from cells is presented, incorporating Bayesian segmentation-based feature detection, image registration and particle tracking. Single molecules of different colours can be simultaneously detected in noisy, high background data with an arbitrary number of channels, acquired simultaneously or time-multiplexed, and then tracked through time. The resulting traces can be further analysed, for example to detect intensity steps, count discrete intensity levels, measure fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) or changes in polarisation. Examples are shown illustrating the use of the algorithms in investigations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling network, a key target for cancer therapeutics, and with simulated data.

  20. Tracking single mRNA molecules in live cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  1. Conductance and Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering of Single Molecules Utilizing Dimers of Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadosh, Tali

    conductance at certain voltage values. The position of peaks in the spectrum was affected by the electrostatic environment, resulting in random gating. In view of the above developments, my thesis focuses on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurement of single molecules. Single-molecule spectroscopy is an emerging field that provides detailed information on molecular response, which is unavailable in measurements performed on an assembly of molecules. The obvious problem, however, in implementing most spectroscopic techniques, such as Raman scattering, is the very weak signal obtained from a single molecule. Interestingly, the Raman signal from a molecule has been shown to increase dramatically when the molecule is adsorbed to metal particles of certain types having sub-wavelength dimensions [1, 2]. This enhancement technique, known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering, can increase the Raman signal by as much as 14--15 orders of magnitude, which has been shown to be sufficient for performing single-molecule spectroscopy successfully. Dimer structures are not only attractive for conductance measurements on single-molecule devices; they could also serve as an efficient antenna system that greatly enhances the electromagnetic field at the center of the dimer, where the molecule resides. Dimers provide a basic experimental model for studying the fundamentals of the SERS enhancement, which are not well understood. Dimers have the advantage of possessing a small gap (on the order of a nanometer) that is beyond the limit of today's sophisticated lithography techniques. By utilizing the dimer structures that contain a Rhodamine 123 molecule, we were able to resolve some fundamental questions regarding the SERS enhancement mechanism. The issue of how the nanoparticles' surface plasmon properties affects the SERS enhancement was addressed both experimentally and by calculations. Moreover, it was predicted by our calculations that when the dimers consist of large

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Electronic Single Molecule Measurements with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, Jong One

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollmer, Frank

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J; Hess, S T

    2014-04-01

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

  10. Monitoring Single-Molecule Protein Dynamics with a Carbon Nanotube Transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Philip G.

    2014-03-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. Single-walled carbon nanotubes press this concept further by not just detecting molecules but also monitoring their dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. With all three enzymes, single molecules tethered to nanotube transistors were electronically monitored for 10 or more minutes, allowing us to directly observe a range of activity including rare transitions to chemically inactive and hyperactive conformations. The high bandwidth of the nanotube transistors further allow every individual chemical event to be clearly resolved, providing excellent statistics from tens of thousands of turnovers by a single enzyme. Initial success with three different enzymes indicates the generality and attractiveness of the nanotube devices as a new tool to complement other single-molecule techniques. Research on transduction mechanisms provides the design rules necessary to further generalize this architecture and apply it to other proteins. The purposeful incorporation of just one amino acid is sufficient to fabricate effective, single molecule sensors from a wide range of enzymes or proteins.

  11. Surface passivation for single-molecule protein studies.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Woodside, Michael T.; Block, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Reconstructing folding energy landscapes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Woodside, Michael T; Block, Steven M

    2014-01-01

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

  17. High-throughput multispot single-molecule spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Single molecule study of ClpP enzymatic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazouchi, Amir; Yu, Angela; Houry, Walid; Gradinaru, Claudiu

    2009-03-01

    Elementary processes that form the basis of biological activities pass through a number of short-lived intermediate states while progressing from initial state to final state. Single-molecule techniques, unlike ensemble averaging measurements, are often able to resolve these transient states. ClpP, a known target of antibacterial drugs like acydepsipeptides (ADEPs), is a classical representative of serine proteases, enzymes that cleave peptide bonds in proteins. We performed single-molecule fluorescence measurements including burst spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to address unknown aspects of this degradation process. Our study reveals important molecular details of protein degradation, such as the enzyme-substrate binding rate, the lifetime distribution of the conjugated state and the probability of substrate cleavage upon conjugation.

  19. Single Molecule Detection in Solution: Methods and Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zander, Christoph; Enderlein, Jorg; Keller, Richard A.

    2002-07-01

    The detection of single molecules opens up new horizons in analytical chemistry, biology and medicine. This discipline, which belongs to the expanding field of nanoscience, has been rapidly emerging over the last ten years. This handbook provides a thorough overview of the field. It begins with basics of single molecule detection in solution, describes methods and devices (fluorescense correlation spectroscopy, surface enhanced Raman scattering, sensors, especially dyes, screening techniques, especially confocal laser scanning microscopy). In the second part, various applications in life sciences and medicine provide the latest research results. This modern handbook is a highly accessible reference for a broad community from advanced researchers, specialists and company professionals in physics, spectroscopy, biotechnology, analytical chemistry, and medicine. Written by leading authorities in the field, it is timely and fills a gap - up to now there exists no handbook concerning this theme.

  20. Gap size dependent transition from direct tunneling to field emission in single molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dong; Zhang, Yi; Pyatkov, Feliks; Offenhäusser, Andreas; Mayer, Dirk

    2011-04-28

    I/V characteristics recorded in mechanically controllable break junctions revealed that field emission transport is enhanced in single molecule junctions as the gap size between two nanoelectrodes is reduced. This observation indicates that Fowler-Nordheim tunneling occurs not only for intermolecular but also for intramolecular electron transport driven by a reduced energy barrier at short tunneling distances.

  1. Quantitative structural information from single-molecule FRET.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kieron Burke

    2012-04-30

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

  3. Single molecule conductance: Role of electrode morphology at the nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, Divakar; Karthika, C. P.; Sen, Arijit

    2013-02-01

    We investigate the effect of nanoelectrode morphology on the charge transport in σ-saturated molecular junctions. Single-molecule conductance through coaxial gold nanowires turns out to be about three times higher than that through hollow gold nanotubes with similar chirality. However, the device conductance remains the same for molecular junctions with electrodes comprising planar and tubular gold nanowires, respectively. Manipulation of nanoelectrodes could thus open up new possibilities for more flexible yet stable nanoelectronic devices.

  4. An integrated optics microfluidic device for detecting single DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Krogmeier, Jeffrey R; Schaefer, Ian; Seward, George; Yantz, Gregory R; Larson, Jonathan W

    2007-12-01

    A fluorescence-based integrated optics microfluidic device is presented, capable of detecting single DNA molecules in a high throughput and reproducible manner. The device integrates microfluidics for DNA stretching with two optical elements for single molecule detection (SMD): a plano-aspheric refractive lens for fluorescence excitation (illuminator) and a solid parabolic reflective mirror for fluorescence collection (collector). Although miniaturized in size, both optical components were produced and assembled onto the microfluidic device by readily manufacturable fabrication techniques. The optical resolution of the device is determined by the small and relatively low numerical aperture (NA) illuminator lens (0.10 effective NA, 4.0 mm diameter) that delivers excitation light to a diffraction limited 2.0 microm diameter spot at full width half maximum within the microfluidic channel. The collector (0.82 annular NA, 15 mm diameter) reflects the fluorescence over a large collection angle, representing 71% of a hemisphere, toward a single photon counting module in an infinity-corrected scheme. As a proof-of-principle experiment for this simple integrated device, individual intercalated lambda-phage DNA molecules (48.5 kb) were stretched in a mixed elongational-shear microflow, detected, and sized with a fluorescence signal to noise ratio of 9.9 +/-1.0. We have demonstrated that SMD does not require traditional high numerical aperture objective lenses and sub-micron positioning systems conventionally used in many applications. Rather, standard manufacturing processes can be combined in a novel way that promises greater accessibility and affordability for microfluidic-based single molecule applications.

  5. Hybrid photodetector for single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Probing Protein Channel Dynamics At The Single Molecule Level.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, M. Ann; Dunn, Robert C.

    1997-03-01

    It would be difficult to overstate the importance played by protein ion channels in cellular function. These macromolecular pores allow the passage of ions across the cellular membrane and play indispensable roles in all aspects of neurophysiology. While the patch-clamp technique continues to provide elegant descriptions of the kinetic processes involved in ion channel gating, the associated conformational changes remain a mystery. We are using the spectroscopic capabilities and single molecule fluorescence sensitivity of near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) to probe these dynamics at the single channel level. Using a newly developed cantilevered NSOM probe capable of probing soft biological samples with single molecule fluorescence sensitivity, we have begun mapping the location of single NMDA receptors in intact rat cortical neurons with <100 nm spatial resolution. We will also present recent results exploring the conformational changes accompanying activation of nuclear pore channels located in the nuclear membrane of Xenopus oocytes. Our recent NSOM and AFM measurements on single nuclear pore complexes reveal large conformational changes taking place upon activation, providing rich, new molecular level details of channel function.

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

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

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

  9. Single-molecule sensing electrode embedded in-plane nanopore

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Rahong, Sakon; Iizumi, Yoko; Okazaki, Toshiya; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2011-01-01

    Electrode-embedded nanopore is considered as a promising device structure for label-free single-molecule sequencing, the principle of which is based on nucleotide identification via transverse electron tunnelling current flowing through a DNA translocating through the pore. Yet, fabrication of a molecular-scale electrode-nanopore detector has been a formidable task that requires atomic-level alignment of a few nanometer sized pore and an electrode gap. Here, we report single-molecule detection using a nucleotide-sized sensing electrode embedded in-plane nanopore. We developed a self-alignment technique to form a nanopore-nanoelectrode solid-state device consisting of a sub-nanometer scale electrode gap in a 15 nm-sized SiO2 pore. We demonstrate single-molecule counting of nucleotide-sized metal-encapsulated fullerenes in a liquid using the electrode-integrated nanopore sensor. We also performed electrical identification of nucleobases in a DNA oligomer, thereby suggesting the potential use of this synthetic electrode-in-nanopore as a platform for electrical DNA sequencing. PMID:22355565

  10. Viruses and Tetraspanins: Lessons from Single Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Dahmane, Selma; Rubinstein, Eric; Milhiet, Pierre-Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Tetraspanins are four-span membrane proteins that are widely distributed in multi-cellular organisms and involved in several infectious diseases. They have the unique property to form a network of protein-protein interaction within the plasma membrane, due to the lateral associations with one another and with other membrane proteins. Tracking tetraspanins at the single molecule level using fluorescence microscopy has revealed the membrane behavior of the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 in epithelial cell lines, providing a first dynamic view of this network. Single molecule tracking highlighted that these 2 proteins can freely diffuse within the plasma membrane but can also be trapped, permanently or transiently, in tetraspanin-enriched areas. More recently, a similar strategy has been used to investigate tetraspanin membrane behavior in the context of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this review we summarize the main results emphasizing the relationship in terms of membrane partitioning between tetraspanins, some of their partners such as Claudin-1 and EWI-2, and viral proteins during infection. These results will be analyzed in the context of other membrane microdomains, stressing the difference between raft and tetraspanin-enriched microdomains, but also in comparison with virus diffusion at the cell surface. New advanced single molecule techniques that could help to further explore tetraspanin assemblies will be also discussed. PMID:24800676

  11. Semisynthetic protein nanoreactor for single-molecule chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Joongoo; Bayley, Hagan

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Nanogap Electrodes towards Solid State Single-Molecule Transistors.

    PubMed

    Cui, Ajuan; Dong, Huanli; Hu, Wenping

    2015-12-01

    With the establishment of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-based integrated circuit technology, it has become more difficult to follow Moore's law to further downscale the size of electronic components. Devices based on various nanostructures were constructed to continue the trend in the minimization of electronics, and molecular devices are among the most promising candidates. Compared with other candidates, molecular devices show unique superiorities, and intensive studies on molecular devices have been carried out both experimentally and theoretically at the present time. Compared to two-terminal molecular devices, three-terminal devices, namely single-molecule transistors, show unique advantages both in fundamental research and application and are considered to be an essential part of integrated circuits based on molecular devices. However, it is very difficult to construct them using the traditional microfabrication techniques directly, thus new fabrication strategies are developed. This review aims to provide an exclusive way of manufacturing solid state gated nanogap electrodes, the foundation of constructing transistors of single or a few molecules. Such single-molecule transistors have the potential to be used to build integrated circuits.

  13. Variable-temperature study of the transport through a single octanethiol molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heimbuch, René; Wu, Hairong; Kumar, Avijit; Poelsema, Bene; Schön, Peter; Vancso, G. Julius; Zandvliet, Harold J. W.

    2012-08-01

    Working on a true molecular level is essential for advances in the field of molecular electronics. Techniques have to be perfected and new approaches have to be developed in order to characterize the properties of a single molecule. In this work we report temperature-dependent transport studies of a single octanethiol molecule trapped between the apex of a scanning tunneling microscope tip and a substrate. At each temperature the molecule is brought into contact by decreasing the gap between tip and substrate in a controlled way. At a positive sample bias the molecule jumps into contact upon approaching the substrate by 0.16±0.01 nm with respect to a fixed reference point defined by a sample bias of +1.5 V and a tunneling current of 0.5 nA. The conductance of octanethiol is temperature independent, demonstrating that either tunneling or ballistic transport is the main transport mechanism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Damin

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Single-molecule studies of DNA dynamics and intermolecular forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Rae Marie

    DNA molecules were used as a model system to investigate fundamental problems in polymer physics; namely, how molecular length, topology and concentration influence the dynamical properties of polymers. A set of DNA molecules suitable for polymer studies was prepared using molecular biology techniques. Video fluorescence microscopy and single-molecule tracking were used to determine self-diffusion coefficients of DNA molecules. Optical tweezers were used to measure the intermolecular forces confining entangled DNA molecules. Scaling of diffusion with molecular length was in agreement with the Zimm model for dilute solutions of linear and circular DNA, indicating that excluded volume effects are appreciable for both topologies. Scaling of diffusion with concentration was also determined for the four possible topological combinations of linear and circular molecules: linear DNA diffusing in a solution of linear DNA, linear DNA in circular DNA, circular in circular, and circular in linear. For lower concentrations molecular topology had little effect and scaling was in agreement with that of the Rouse model. As concentration was increased topology played a much larger role and scaling crossed over to that of the reptation model, predicted to describe the dynamics of entangled polymers. The notable exception was the strongly hindered diffusion observed for a circular molecule diffusing in an entangled linear solution, suggesting the importance of constraint release. Using a new experimental approach with optical tweezers, a tube-like field confining a single entangled molecule was measured, in accord with the key assumption of the reptation model. A time-dependent harmonic potential opposed displacement transverse to the molecular contour, and the force relaxations following displacement were composed of three distinct modes. A characteristic tube radius of the entangled solution was also determined, close to the classically predicted value. The dependence of the above

  16. Modified atomic force microscope applied to the measurement of elastic modulus for a single peptide molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ptak, Arkadiusz; Takeda, Seiji; Nakamura, Chikashi; Miyake, Jun; Kageshima, Masami; Jarvis, Suzanne P.; Tokumoto, Hiroshi

    2001-09-01

    A modified atomic force microscopy (AFM) system, based on a force modulation technique, has been used to find an approximate value for the elastic modulus of a single peptide molecule directly from a mechanical test. For this purpose a self-assembled monolayer built from two kinds of peptides, reactive (able to anchor to the AFM tip) and nonreactive, was synthesized. In a typical experiment a single C3K30C (C=cysteine, K=lysine) peptide molecule was stretched between a Au(111) substrate and the gold-coated tip of an AFM cantilever to which it was attached via gold-sulfur bonds. The amplitude of the cantilever oscillations, due to an external force applied via a magnetic particle to the cantilever, was recorded by a lock-in amplifier and recalculated into stiffness of the stretched molecule. A longitudinal Young's modulus for the α-helix of a single peptide molecule and for the elongated state of this molecule has been estimated. The obtained values; 1.2±0.3 and 50±15 GPa, for the peptide α-helix and elongated peptide backbone, respectively, seem to be reasonable comparing them to the Young's modulus of protein crystals and linear organic polymers. We believe this research opens up a means by which scientists can perform quantitative studies of the elastic properties of single molecule, especially of biologically important polymers like peptides or DNA.

  17. Single Molecule Screening of Disease DNA Without Amplification

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ji-Young

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Single-molecule studies of unconventional motor protein myosin VI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, HyeongJun

    Myosin VI is one of the myosin superfamily members that are actin-based molecular motors. It has received special attention due to its distinct features as compared to other myosins, such as its opposite directionality and a much larger step size than expected given the length of its "leg". This dissertation presents the author.s graduate work of several single-molecule studies on myosin VI. Special attention was paid to some of myosin VI.s tail domains that consist of proximal tail (PT), medial tail (MT), distal tail (DT) domains and cargo-binding domain (CBD). The functional form of myosin VI in cells is still under debate. Although full length myosin VI proteins in cytosolic extracts of cells were monomers from earlier studies, there are several reasons why it is now believed that myosin VI could exist as a dimer. If this is true and dimerization occurs, the next logical question would be which parts of myosin VI are dimerization regions? One model claimed that the CBD is the sole dimerization region. A competing model claimed that there must be another region that could be involved in dimerization, based on their observation that a construct without the CBD could still dimerize. Our single-molecule experiment with progressively truncated myosin VI constructs showed that the MT domain is a dimerization region, supporting the latter model. Additional single-molecule experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation done with our collaborators suggest that electrostatic salt bridges formed between positive and negative amino acid residues are mainly responsible for the MT domain dimerization. After resolving this, we are left with another important question which is how myosin VI can take such a large step. Recent crystal structure showed that one of the tail domains preceding the MT domain, called the PT domain, is a three-helix bundle. The most easily conceivable way might be an unfolding of the three-helix bundle upon dimerization, allowing the protein to

  19. Single-molecule designs for electric switches and rectifiers.

    PubMed

    Kornilovitch, Pavel; Bratkovsky, Alexander; Williams, Stanley

    2003-12-01

    A design for molecular rectifiers is proposed. Current rectification is based on the spatial asymmetry of a molecule and requires only one resonant conducting molecular orbital. Rectification is caused by asymmetric coupling of the orbital to the electrodes, which results in asymmetric movement of the two Fermi levels with respect to the orbital under external bias. Results from numerical studies of the family of suggested molecular rectifiers, HS-(CH(2))(n)-C(6)H(4)(CH(2))(m)SH, are presented. Current rectification ratios in excess of 100 are achievable for n = 2 and m > 6. A class of bistable stator-rotor molecules is proposed. The stationary part connects the two electrodes and facilitates electron transport between them. The rotary part, which has a large dipole moment, is attached to an atom of the stator via a single sigma bond. Electrostatic bonds formed between the oxygen atom of the rotor and hydrogen atoms of the stator make the symmetric orientation of the dipole unstable. The rotor has two potential minima with equal energy for rotation about the sigma bond. The dipole can be flipped between the two states by an external electric field. Both rotor-orientation states have asymmetric current-voltage characteristics that are the reverse of each other, so they are distinguishable electrically. Theoretical results on conformation, energy barriers, retention times, switching voltages, and current-voltage characteristics are presented for a particular stator-rotor molecule. Such molecules could be the base for single-molecule switches, reversible diodes, and other molecular electronic devices.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devi, Murali

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

  2. Single molecule photobleaching (SMPB) technology for counting of RNA, DNA, protein and other molecules in nanoparticles and biological complexes by TIRF instrumentation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Guo, Peixuan

    2014-05-15

    Direct counting of biomolecules within biological complexes or nanomachines is demanding. Single molecule counting using optical microscopy is challenging due to the diffraction limit. The single molecule photobleaching (SMPB) technology for direct counting developed by our team (Shu et al., 2007 [18]; Zhang et al., 2007 [19]) offers a simple and straightforward method to determine the stoichiometry of molecules or subunits within biocomplexes or nanomachines at nanometer scales. Stoichiometry is determined by real-time observation of the number of descending steps resulted from the photobleaching of individual fluorophore. This technology has now been used extensively for single molecule counting of protein, RNA, and other macromolecules in a variety of complexes or nanostructures. Here, we elucidate the SMPB technology, using the counting of RNA molecules within a bacteriophage phi29 DNA-packaging biomotor as an example. The method described here can be applied to the single molecule counting of other molecules in other systems. The construction of a concise, simple and economical single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope combining prism-type and objective-type TIRF is described. The imaging system contains a deep-cooled sensitive EMCCD camera with single fluorophore detection sensitivity, a laser combiner for simultaneous dual-color excitation, and a Dual-View™ imager to split the multiple outcome signals to different detector channels based on their wavelengths. Methodology of the single molecule photobleaching assay used to elucidate the stoichiometry of RNA on phi29 DNA packaging motor and the mechanism of protein/RNA interaction are described. Different methods for single fluorophore labeling of RNA molecules are reviewed. The process of statistical modeling to reveal the true copy number of the biomolecules based on binomial distribution is also described.

  3. Plasmonic band structure controls single-molecule fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Langguth, Lutz; Punj, Deep; Wenger, Jérôme; Koenderink, A Femius

    2013-10-22

    Plasmonics and photonic crystals are two complementary approaches to tailor single-emitter fluorescence, using strong local field enhancements near metals on one hand and spatially extended photonic band structure effects on the other hand. Here, we explore the emergence of spontaneous emission control by finite-sized hexagonal arrays of nanoapertures milled in gold film. We demonstrate that already small lattices enable highly directional and enhanced emission from single fluorescent molecules in the central aperture. Even for clusters just four unit cells across, the directionality is set by the plasmonic crystal band structure, as confirmed by full-wave numerical simulations. This realization of plasmonic phase array antennas driven by single quantum emitters opens a flexible toolbox to engineer fluorescence and its detection.

  4. Single molecule detection of direct, homologous, DNA/DNA pairing

    PubMed Central

    Danilowicz, C.; Lee, C. H.; Kim, K.; Hatch, K.; Coljee, V. W.; Kleckner, N.; Prentiss, M.

    2009-01-01

    Using a parallel single molecule magnetic tweezers assay we demonstrate homologous pairing of two double-stranded (ds) DNA molecules in the absence of proteins, divalent metal ions, crowding agents, or free DNA ends. Pairing is accurate and rapid under physiological conditions of temperature and monovalent salt, even at DNA molecule concentrations orders of magnitude below those found in vivo, and in the presence of a large excess of nonspecific competitor DNA. Crowding agents further increase the reaction rate. Pairing is readily detected between regions of homology of 5 kb or more. Detected pairs are stable against thermal forces and shear forces up to 10 pN. These results strongly suggest that direct recognition of homology between chemically intact B-DNA molecules should be possible in vivo. The robustness of the observed signal raises the possibility that pairing might even be the “default” option, limited to desired situations by specific features. Protein-independent homologous pairing of intact dsDNA has been predicted theoretically, but further studies are needed to determine whether existing theories fit sequence length, temperature, and salt dependencies described here. PMID:19903884

  5. Common fluorescent proteins for single-molecule localization microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Megan L.; Dougan, Lorna

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, Megan L; Dougan, Lorna

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Tracking electrons in biological macromolecules: from ensemble to single molecule.

    PubMed

    Tabares, Leandro C; Gupta, Ankur; Aartsma, Thijs J; Canters, Gerard W

    2014-08-06

    Nature utilizes oxido-reductases to cater to the energy demands of most biochemical processes in respiratory species. Oxido-reductases are capable of meeting this challenge by utilizing redox active sites, often containing transition metal ions, which facilitate movement and relocation of electrons/protons to create a potential gradient that is used to energize redox reactions. There has been a consistent struggle by researchers to estimate the electron transfer rate constants in physiologically relevant processes. This review provides a brief background on the measurements of electron transfer rates in biological molecules, in particular Cu-containing enzymes, and highlights the recent advances in monitoring these electron transfer events at the single molecule level or better to say, at the individual event level.

  9. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yunqing; Hendriks, Johnny; Gensch, Thomas; Dai, Luru; Li, Junbai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is on its way to become a mainstream imaging technique in the life sciences. However, analysis of SMLM data is biased by user provided subjective parameters required by the analysis software. To remove this human bias we introduce here the Auto-Bayes method that executes the analysis of SMLM data automatically. We demonstrate the success of the method using the photoelectron count of an emitter as selection characteristic. Moreover, the principle can be used for any characteristic that is bimodally distributed with respect to false and true emitters. The method also allows generation of an emitter reliability map for estimating quality of SMLM-based structures. The potential of the Auto-Bayes method is shown by the fact that our first basic implementation was able to outperform all software packages that were compared in the ISBI online challenge in 2015, with respect to molecule detection (Jaccard index). PMID:27641933

  10. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yunqing; Hendriks, Johnny; Gensch, Thomas; Dai, Luru; Li, Junbai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is on its way to become a mainstream imaging technique in the life sciences. However, analysis of SMLM data is biased by user provided subjective parameters required by the analysis software. To remove this human bias we introduce here the Auto-Bayes method that executes the analysis of SMLM data automatically. We demonstrate the success of the method using the photoelectron count of an emitter as selection characteristic. Moreover, the principle can be used for any characteristic that is bimodally distributed with respect to false and true emitters. The method also allows generation of an emitter reliability map for estimating quality of SMLM-based structures. The potential of the Auto-Bayes method is shown by the fact that our first basic implementation was able to outperform all software packages that were compared in the ISBI online challenge in 2015, with respect to molecule detection (Jaccard index). PMID:27641933

  11. Single rotating molecule-machines: nanovehicles and molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Rapenne, Gwénaël; Joachim, Christian

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade many molecular machines with controlled molecular motions have been synthesized. In the present review chapter we will present and discuss our contribution to the field, in particular through some examples of rotating molecular machines that have been designed, synthesized, and studied in our group. After starting by explaining why it is so important to study such machines as single molecules, we will focus on two families of molecular machines, nanovehicles and molecular motors. The first members of the nanovehicle family are molecules with two triptycenes as wheels: the axle and the wheelbarrow. Then come the four-wheel nanocars. Since triptycene wheels are not very mobile on metallic surfaces, alternative wheels with a bowl-shape structure have also been synthesized and studied on surfaces. The molecular motors are built around ruthenium organometallic centers and have a piano-stool geometry with peripheric ferrocenyl groups.

  12. Single rotating molecule-machines: nanovehicles and molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Rapenne, Gwénaël; Joachim, Christian

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade many molecular machines with controlled molecular motions have been synthesized. In the present review chapter we will present and discuss our contribution to the field, in particular through some examples of rotating molecular machines that have been designed, synthesized, and studied in our group. After starting by explaining why it is so important to study such machines as single molecules, we will focus on two families of molecular machines, nanovehicles and molecular motors. The first members of the nanovehicle family are molecules with two triptycenes as wheels: the axle and the wheelbarrow. Then come the four-wheel nanocars. Since triptycene wheels are not very mobile on metallic surfaces, alternative wheels with a bowl-shape structure have also been synthesized and studied on surfaces. The molecular motors are built around ruthenium organometallic centers and have a piano-stool geometry with peripheric ferrocenyl groups. PMID:24563010

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohram, Maryam; Shi, Xiaojun; Smith, Adam

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-06-01

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

  16. Optical microcavity: sensing down to single molecules and atoms.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-05

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

  18. From single molecules to life: microscopy at the nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Turkowyd, Bartosz; Virant, David; Endesfelder, Ulrike

    2016-10-01

    Super-resolution microscopy is the term commonly given to fluorescence microscopy techniques with resolutions that are not limited by the diffraction of light. Since their conception a little over a decade ago, these techniques have quickly become the method of choice for many biologists studying structures and processes of single cells at the nanoscale. In this review, we present the three main approaches used to tackle the diffraction barrier of ∼200 nm: stimulated-emission depletion (STED) microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). We first present a theoretical overview of the techniques and underlying physics, followed by a practical guide to all of the facets involved in designing a super-resolution experiment, including an approachable explanation of the photochemistry involved, labeling methods available, and sample preparation procedures. Finally, we highlight some of the most exciting recent applications of and developments in these techniques, and discuss the outlook for this field. Graphical Abstract Super-resolution microscopy techniques. Working principles of the common approaches stimulated-emission depletion (STED) microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). PMID:27613013

  19. High contrast single molecule tracking in the pericellular coat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Single-molecule correlated chemical probing of RNA.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Inflammation: maladies, models, mechanisms and molecules.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A G; Beart, P M

    2016-02-01

    The continued focus of attention on the diversity of mechanisms underpinning inflammation has improved our understanding of the potential to target specific pathways in the inflammatory network to achieve meaningful therapeutic gains. In this themed issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology our scope was deliberately broad, ranging across both acute and chronic disease in various organs. Pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms receive attention as does the phenotype of macrophages. Whilst the manifestations of neuro-inflammation are less obvious than those in peripheral tissues, central innate and adaptive immunity in brain and the M1/M2 phenotypes of microglia are topics of special interest. The contributions to the inflammatory milieu of cytokines, chemokines and associated signalling cascades are considered. Overall, the coverage herein advances the basic science underpinning our understanding of inflammation and emphasizes its importance in different pathologies.

  3. Single Molecule Spectroscopy Illuminating the Molecular Dynamics of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Watt W.

    This chapter summarizes a series of new single-molecule spectroscopy investigations in the life sciences at Cornell University that began with our invention of Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) about 1970. Our invention of FCS became my first focus on the "Molecular Dynamics of Life." It motivated my transition from research on quantum fluctuations and transport in condensed matter physics including superconductivity and in the molecular dynamics of coherent fluctuations and nano-transport in inanimate physical and chemical systems subject to the nonlinear dynamics of continuous phase transitions. These interdisciplinary transitions exemplify the productivity of such interdisciplinary interactions in science.

  4. Single molecule study of DNA conductivity in aqueous environment.

    PubMed

    Legrand, O; Côte, D; Bockelmann, U

    2006-03-01

    The dc electrical conductivity of double stranded DNA is investigated experimentally. Single DNA molecules are manipulated with subpiconewton force and deposited on gold nanoelectrodes by optical traps. The DNA is modified at its ends for specific bead attachments and along the chain to favor charge transfer between the DNA base pair stack and the electrodes. For an electrode separation of 70 nm we find, in aqueous environment, electrical resistances above 100 G Omega indicating that even for weak stretching the double helix is almost insulating at this length scale.

  5. Single molecule study of DNA conductivity in aqueous environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legrand, O.; Côte, D.; Bockelmann, U.

    2006-03-01

    The dc electrical conductivity of double stranded DNA is investigated experimentally. Single DNA molecules are manipulated with subpiconewton force and deposited on gold nanoelectrodes by optical traps. The DNA is modified at its ends for specific bead attachments and along the chain to favor charge transfer between the DNA base pair stack and the electrodes. For an electrode separation of 70nm we find, in aqueous environment, electrical resistances above 100GΩ indicating that even for weak stretching the double helix is almost insulating at this length scale.

  6. Single-molecule diffusion in freely suspended smectic films.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Benjamin; Mazza, Marco G; Bahr, Christian

    2014-10-01

    We present a study of the molecular diffusion in freely suspended smectic-A liquid crystal films with thicknesses ranging from 20 down to only two molecular layers. The molecular mobility is directly probed by determining the trajectories of single, fluorescent tracer molecules. We demonstrate, using several different smectic compounds, that a monotonic increase of the diffusion coefficient with decreasing film thickness is a general phenomenon. In two-layer films, the diffusion is enhanced by a factor of 3 to 5 compared to the corresponding bulk smectic phase. Molecular dynamics simulations of freely suspended smectic films are presented which support the experimental results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jin; Pearson, John E.

    2012-06-01

    Binary fluorescence time series obtained from single-molecule imaging experiments can be used to infer protein binding kinetics, in particular, association and dissociation rate constants from waiting time statistics of fluorescence intensity changes. In many cases, rate constants inferred from fluorescence time series exhibit nonintuitive dependence on ligand concentration. Here, we examine several possible mechanistic and technical origins that may induce ligand dependence of rate constants. Using aggregated Markov models, we show under the condition of detailed balance that non-fluorescent bindings and missed events due to transient interactions, instead of conformation fluctuations, may underly the dependence of waiting times and thus apparent rate constants on ligand concentrations. In general, waiting times are rational functions of ligand concentration. The shape of concentration dependence is qualitatively affected by the number of binding sites in the single molecule and is quantitatively tuned by model parameters. We also show that ligand dependence can be caused by non-equilibrium conditions which result in violations of detailed balance and require an energy source. As to a different but significant mechanism, we examine the effect of ambient buffers that can substantially reduce the effective concentration of ligands that interact with the single molecules. To demonstrate the effects by these mechanisms, we applied our results to analyze the concentration dependence in a single-molecule experiment EGFR binding to fluorophore-labeled adaptor protein Grb2 by Morimatsu et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 18013 (2007)], 10.1073/pnas.0701330104.

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

    PubMed

    Oka, Yuma; Sato, Thomas N

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Combined single channel and single molecule detection identifies subunit composition of STIM1-activated transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels.

    PubMed

    Asanov, Alexander; Sampieri, Alicia; Moreno, Claudia; Pacheco, Jonathan; Salgado, Alfonso; Sherry, Ryan; Vaca, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Depletion of intracellular calcium ion stores initiates a rapid cascade of events culminating with the activation of the so-called Store-Operated Channels (SOC) at the plasma membrane. Calcium influx via SOC is essential in the initiation of calcium-dependent intracellular signaling and for the refilling of internal calcium stores, ensuring the regeneration of the signaling cascade. In spite of the significance of this evolutionary conserved mechanism, the molecular identity of SOC has been the center of a heated controversy spanning over the last 20 years. Initial studies positioned some members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channel superfamily of channels (with the more robust evidence pointing to TRPC1) as a putative SOC. Recent evidence indicates that Stromal Interacting Molecule 1 (STIM1) activates some members from the TRPC family of channels. However, the exact subunit composition of TRPC channels remains undetermined to this date. To identify the subunit composition of STIM1-activated TRPC channels, we developed novel method, which combines single channel electrophysiological measurements based on the patch clamp technique with single molecule fluorescence imaging. We termed this method Single ion Channel Single Molecule Detection technique (SC-SMD). Using SC-SMD method, we have obtained direct evidence of the subunit composition of TRPC channels activated by STIM1. Furthermore, our electrophysiological-imaging SC-SMD method provides evidence at the molecular level of the mechanism by which STIM1 and calmodulin antagonize to modulate TRPC channel activity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Eukaryotic transcriptional dynamics: from single molecules to cell populations

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, Antoine; Chow, Carson C.; Singer, Robert H.; Larson, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is achieved through combinatorial interactions between regulatory elements in the human genome and a vast range of factors that modulate the recruitment and activity of RNA polymerase. Experimental approaches for studying transcription in vivo now extend from single-molecule techniques to genome-wide measurements. Parallel to these developments is the need for testable quantitative and predictive models for understanding gene regulation. These conceptual models must also provide insight into the dynamics of transcription and the variability that is observed at the single-cell level. In this Review, we discuss recent results on transcriptional regulation and also the models those results engender. We show how a non-equilibrium description informs our view of transcription by explicitly considering time-and energy-dependence at the molecular level. PMID:23835438

  12. Enhancing Single Molecule Imaging in Optofluidics and Microfluidics

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Enhancing single molecule imaging in optofluidics and microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Vasdekis, Andreas E; Laporte, Gregoire P J

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  1. Accessing 4f-states in single-molecule spintronics.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic molecules are potential functional units for molecular and supramolecular spintronic devices. However, their magnetic and electronic properties depend critically on their interaction with metallic electrodes. Charge transfer and hybridization modify the electronic structure and thereby influence or even quench the molecular magnetic moment. Yet, detection and manipulation of the molecular spin state by means of charge transport, that is, spintronic functionality, mandates a certain level of hybridization of the magnetic orbitals with electrode states. Here we show how a judicious choice of the molecular spin centres determines these critical molecule-electrode contact characteristics. In contrast to late lanthanide analogues, the 4f-orbitals of single bis(phthalocyaninato)-neodymium(III) molecules adsorbed on Cu(100) can be directly accessed by scanning tunnelling microscopy. Hence, they contribute to charge transport, whereas their magnetic moment is sustained as evident from comparing spectroscopic data with ab initio calculations. Our results showcase how tailoring molecular orbitals can yield all-electrically controlled spintronic device concepts.

  2. Temperature-cycle microscopy reveals single-molecule conformational heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Haifeng; Gaiduk, Alexander; Siekierzycka, Joanna R; Fujiyoshi, Satoru; Matsushita, Michio; Nettels, Daniel; Schuler, Benjamin; Seidel, Claus A M; Orrit, Michel

    2015-03-01

    Our previous temperature-cycle study reported FRET transitions between different states on FRET-labeled polyprolines [Yuan et al., PCCP, 2011, 13, 1762]. The conformational origin of such transitions, however, was left open. In this work, we apply temperature-cycle microscopy of single FRET-labeled polyproline and dsDNA molecules and compare their responses to resolve the conformational origin of different FRET states. We observe different steady-state FRET distributions and different temperature-cycle responses in the two samples. Our temperature-cycle results on single molecules resemble the results in steady-state measurements but reveal a dark state which could not be observed otherwise. By comparing the timescales and probabilities of different FRET states in temperature-cycle traces, we assign the conformational heterogeneity reflected by different FRET states to linker dynamics, dye-chain and dye-dye interactions. The dark state and low-FRET state are likely due to dye-dye interactions at short separations.

  3. Information Bounds and Optimal Analysis of Dynamic Single Molecule Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Lucas P.; Yang, Haw

    2004-01-01

    Time-resolved single molecule fluorescence measurements may be used to probe the conformational dynamics of biological macromolecules. The best time resolution in such techniques will only be achieved by measuring the arrival times of individual photons at the detector. A general approach to the estimation of molecular parameters based on individual photon arrival times is presented. The amount of information present in a data set is quantified by the Fisher information, thereby providing a guide to deriving the basic equations relating measurement uncertainties and time resolution. Based on these information-theoretical considerations, a data analysis algorithm is presented that details the optimal analysis of single-molecule data. This method natively accounts and corrects for background photons and cross talk, and can scale to an arbitrary number of channels. By construction, and with corroboration from computer simulations, we show that this algorithm reaches the theoretical limit, extracting the maximal information out of the data. The bias inherent in the algorithm is considered and its implications for experimental design are discussed. The ideas underlying this approach are general and are expected to be applicable to any information-limited measurement. PMID:15189897

  4. Motility of single one-headed kinesin molecules along microtubules.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Y; Iwane, A H; Miyai, T; Muto, E; Yanagida, T

    2001-11-01

    The motility of single one-headed kinesin molecules (K351 and K340), which were truncated fragments of Drosophila two-headed kinesin, has been tested using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. One-headed kinesin fragments moved continuously along the microtubules. The maximum distance traveled until the fragments dissociated from the microtubules for both K351 and K340 was approximately 600 nm. This value is considerably larger than the space resolution of the measurement system (SD approximately 30 nm). Although the movements of the fragments fluctuated in forward and backward directions, statistical analysis showed that the average movements for both K340 and K351 were toward the plus end of the microtubules, i.e., forward direction. When BDTC (a 1.3-S subunit of Propionibacterium shermanii transcarboxylase, which binds weakly to a microtubule), was fused to the tail (C-terminus) of K351, its movement was enhanced, smooth, and unidirectional, similar to that of the two-headed kinesin fragment, K411. However, the travel distance and velocity of K351BDTC molecules were approximately 3-fold smaller than that of K411. These observations suggest that a single kinesin head has basal motility, but coordination between the two heads is necessary for stabilizing the basal motility for the normal level of kinesin processivity.

  5. Rapid sequencing of DNA based on single-molecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soper, Steven A.; Davis, Lloyd M.; Fairfield, Frederick R.; Hammond, Mark L.; Harger, Carol A.; Jett, James H.; Keller, Richard A.; Marrone, Babetta L.; Martin, John C.; Nutter, Harvey L.; Shera, E. Brooks; Simpson, Daniel J.

    1991-07-01

    Sequencing the human genome is a major undertaking considering the large number of nucleotides present in the genome and the slow methods currently available to perform the task. The authors have recently reported on a scheme to sequence DNA rapidly using a non-gel based technique. The concept is based upon the incorporation of fluorescently labeled nucleotides into a strand of DNA, isolation and manipulation of a labeled DNA fragment and the detection of single nucleotides using ultra-sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection following their cleavage from the fragment. Detection of individual fluorophores in the liquid phase was accomplished with time-gated detection following pulsed-laser excitation. The photon bursts from individual rhodamine 6G (R6G) molecules travelling through a laser beam have been observed, as have bursts from single fluorescently modified nucleotides. Using two different biotinylated nucleotides as a model system for fluorescently labeled nucleotides, the authors have observed synthesis of the complementary copy of M13 bacteriophage. Work with fluorescently labeled nucleotides is underway. Individual molecules of DNA attached to a microbead have been observed and manipulated with an epifluorescence microscope.

  6. Rapid sequencing of DNA based on single molecule detection

    SciTech Connect

    Soper, S.A.; Davis, L.M.; Fairfield, F.R.; Hammond, M.L.; Harger, C.A.; Jett, J.H.; Keller, R.A.; Marrone, B.L.; Martin, J.C.; Nutter, H.L.; Shera, E.B.; Simpson, D.J.

    1991-01-01

    Sequencing the human genome is a major undertaking considering the large number of nucleotides present in the genome and the slow methods currently available to perform the task. We have recently reported on a scheme to sequence DNA rapidly using a non-gel based technique. The concept is based upon the incorporation of fluorescently labeled nucleotides into a strand of DNA, isolation and manipulation of a labeled DNA fragment and the detection of single nucleotides using ultra-sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection following their cleavage from the fragment. Detection of individual fluorophores in the liquid phase was accomplished with time-gated detection following pulsed-laser excitation. The photon bursts from individual rhodamine 6G (R6G) molecules travelling through a laser beam have been observed as have bursts from single fluorescently modified nucleotides. Using two different biotinylated nucleotides as a model system for fluorescently labeled nucleotides, we have observed synthesis of the complementary copy of M13 bacteriophage. Work with fluorescently labeled nucleotides is underway. We have observed and manipulated individual molecules of DNA attached to a microbead with an epifluorescence microscope. 16 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landes, Christy

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Single-Molecule Nanocatalysis Reveals Catalytic Activation Energy of Single Nanocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tao; Zhang, Yuwei; Xu, Weilin

    2016-09-28

    By monitoring the temperature-dependent catalytic activity of single Au nanocatalysts for a fluorogenic reaction, we derive the activation energies via multiple methods for two sequential catalytic steps (product formation and dissociation) on single nanocatalysts. The wide distributions of activation energies across multiple individual nanocatalysts indicate a huge static heterogeneity among the individual nanocatalysts. The compensation effect and isokinetic relationship of catalytic reactions are observed at the single particle level. This study exemplifies another function of single-molecule nanocatalysis and improves our understanding of heterogeneous catalysis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  10. Single-molecule fluorescence probes dynamics of barrier crossing.

    PubMed

    Chung, Hoi Sung; Eaton, William A

    2013-10-31

    Kramers developed the theory on how chemical reaction rates are influenced by the viscosity of the medium. At the viscosity of water, the kinetics of unimolecular reactions are described by diffusion of a Brownian particle over a free-energy barrier separating reactants and products. For reactions in solution this famous theory extended Eyring's transition state theory, and is widely applied in physics, chemistry and biology, including to reactions as complex as protein folding. Because the diffusion coefficient of Kramers' theory is determined by the dynamics in the sparsely populated region of the barrier top, its properties have not been directly measured for any molecular system. Here we show that the Kramers diffusion coefficient and free-energy barrier can be characterized by measuring the temperature- and viscosity-dependence of the transition path time for protein folding. The transition path is the small fraction of an equilibrium trajectory for a single molecule when the free-energy barrier separating two states is actually crossed. Its duration, the transition path time, can now be determined from photon trajectories for single protein molecules undergoing folding/unfolding transitions. Our finding of a long transition path time with an unusually small solvent viscosity dependence suggests that internal friction as well as solvent friction determine the Kramers diffusion coefficient for α-helical proteins, as opposed to a breakdown of his theory, which occurs for many small-molecule reactions. It is noteworthy that the new and fundamental information concerning Kramers' theory and the dynamics of barrier crossings obtained here come from experiments on a protein rather than a much simpler chemical or physical system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    We developed an energetic model by integrating the generalized Langevin equation with the Cahn-Hilliard equation to simulate the diffusive behaviors of receptor proteins in the plasma membrane of a living cell. Simulation results are presented to elaborate the confinement effects from actin corrals and protein-induced lipid domains. Single-molecule tracking data of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) acquired on live HeLa cells agree with the simulation results and the mechanism that controls the diffusion of single-molecule receptors is clarified. We discovered that after ligand binding, EGFR molecules move into lipid nanodomains. The transition rates between different diffusion states of liganded EGFR molecules are regulated by the lipid domains. Our method successfully captures dynamic interactions of receptors at the single-molecule level and provides insight into the functional architecture of both the diffusing EGFR molecules and their local cellular environment. PMID:25481171

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-25

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

  14. Direct visualization of single-molecule translocations through synthetic nanopores comparable in size to a molecule.

    PubMed

    Kurz, Volker; Nelson, Edward M; Shim, Jiwook; Timp, Gregory

    2013-05-28

    A nanopore is the ultimate analytical tool. It can be used to detect DNA, RNA, oligonucleotides, and proteins with submolecular sensitivity. This extreme sensitivity is derived from the electric signal associated with the occlusion that develops during the translocation of the analyte across a membrane through a pore immersed in electrolyte. A larger occluded volume results in an improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio, and so the pore geometry should be made comparable to the size of the target molecule. However, the pore geometry also affects the electric field, the charge density, the electro-osmotic flow, the capture volume, and the response time. Seeking an optimal pore geometry, we tracked the molecular motion in three dimensions with high resolution, visualizing with confocal microscopy the fluorescence associated with DNA translocating through nanopores with diameters comparable to the double helix, while simultaneously measuring the pore current. Measurements reveal single molecules translocating across the membrane through the pore commensurate with the observation of a current blockade. To explain the motion of the molecule near the pore, finite-element simulations were employed that account for diffusion, electrophoresis, and the electro-osmotic flow. According to this analysis, detection using a nanopore comparable in diameter to the double helix represents a compromise between sensitivity, capture volume, the minimum detectable concentration, and response time. PMID:23607372

  15. Quantitative detection of single DNA molecules on DNA tetrahedron decorated substrates.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenguang; Xue, Qingwang; Tian, Wenzhi; Wang, Lei; Jiang, Wei

    2012-10-01

    A single DNA molecule detection method on DNA tetrahedron decorated substrates has been developed. DNA tetrahedra were introduced onto substrates for both preventing nonspecific adsorption and sensitive recognition of single DNA molecules.

  16. Synthesis of fluorescent dye-tagged nanomachines for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Vives, Guillaume; Guerrero, Jason M; Godoy, Jazmin; Khatua, Saumyakanti; Wang, Yu-Pu; Kiappes, J L; Link, Stephan; Tour, James M

    2010-10-01

    In an effort to elucidate the mechanism of movement of nanovehicles on nonconducting surfaces, the synthesis and optical properties of five fluorescently tagged nanocars are reported. The nanocars were specifically designed for studies by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and bear a tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate fluorescent tag for excitation at 532 nm. The molecules were designed such that the arrangement of their molecular axles and p-carborane wheels relative to the chassis would be conducive to the control of directionality in the motion of these nanovehicles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda, David

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Huimin; Larson, Daniel R

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Bavishi, Krutika; Hatzakis, Nikos S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Alexander

    2013-03-01

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

  4. Novel Polymer Linkers for Single Molecule AFM Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Single Molecule Epigenetic Analysis in a Nanofluidic Channel

    PubMed Central

    Cipriany, Benjamin R.; Zhao, Ruqian; Murphy, Patrick J.; Levy, Stephen L.; Tan, Christine P.; Craighead, Harold G.; Soloway, Paul D.

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic states are governed by DNA methylation and a host of modifications to histones bound with DNA. These states are essential for proper developmentally regulated gene expression and are perturbed in many diseases. There is great interest in identifying epigenetic mark placement genome-wide and understanding how these marks vary among cell types, with changes in environment or according to health and disease status. Current epigenomic analyses employ bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation, but query only one type of epigenetic mark at a time, DNA methylation or histone modifications, and often require substantial input material. To overcome these limitations, we established a method using nanofluidics and multi-color fluorescence microscopy to detect DNA and histones in individual chromatin fragments at about 10 Mbp/min. We demonstrated its utility for epigenetic analysis by identifying DNA methylation on individual molecules. This technique will provide the unprecedented opportunity for genome-wide, simultaneous analysis of multiple epigenetic states on single molecules using femtogram quantities of material. PMID:20184350

  6. Single-Molecule Spectroscopic Investigations of RNA Structural Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiore, Julie L.; Nesbitt, David J.

    2007-03-01

    To function properly, catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) fold into specific three-dimensional shapes stabilized by multiple tertiary interactions. However, only limited information is available on the contributions of individual tertiary contacts to RNA conformational dynamics. The Tetrahymena ribozymes's P4--P6 domain forms a hinged, ``candy-cane'' structure with parallel helices clamped by two motifs, the GAAA tetraloop-tetraloop receptor and adenosine (A)-rich bulge--P4 helix interactions. Previously, we characterized RNA folding due to a tetraloop-receptor interaction. In this study, we employ time-resolved single-molecule FRET methods to probe A-rich bulge induced structural dynamics. Specifically, fluorescently labeled RNA constructs excited by a pulsed 532 nm laser are detected in the confocal region of an inverted microscope, with each photon sorted by arrival time, color and polarization. We resolve the kinetic dependence of A-rich bulge-P4 helix docking/undocking on cationic environment (e.g. Na^+ and Mg^2+ concentration.) At saturating [Mg^2+], the docked structure appears only weakly stabilized, while only 50% of the molecules exhibit efficient folding.

  7. Active Microfluidic Devices for Single-Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hao; Meiners, Jens-Christian

    2003-03-01

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

  8. De novo DNA synthesis using single molecule PCR

    PubMed Central

    Yehezkel, Tuval Ben; Linshiz, Gregory; Buaron, Hen; Kaplan, Shai; Shabi, Uri; Shapiro, Ehud

    2008-01-01

    The throughput of DNA reading (sequencing) has dramatically increased recently due to the incorporation of in vitro clonal amplification. The throughput of DNA writing (synthesis) is trailing behind, with cloning and sequencing constituting the main bottleneck. To overcome this bottleneck, an in vitro alternative for in vivo DNA cloning must be integrated into DNA synthesis methods. Here we show how a new single molecule PCR (smPCR)-based procedure can be employed as a general substitute to in vivo cloning thereby allowing for the first time in vitro DNA synthesis. We integrated this rapid and high fidelity in vitro procedure into our earlier recursive DNA synthesis and error correction procedure and used it to efficiently construct and error-correct a 1.8-kb DNA molecule from synthetic unpurified oligos completely in vitro. Although we demonstrate incorporating smPCR in a particular method, the approach is general and can be used in principle in conjunction with other DNA synthesis methods as well. PMID:18667587

  9. Linear trinuclear cobalt(II) single molecule magnet.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan-Zhu; Brown, Andrew J; Meng, Yin-Shan; Sun, Hao-Ling; Gao, Song

    2015-02-14

    The introduction of NaBPh(4) into a methanolic solution of CoCl(2)·(6)H(2)O and 2-[(pyridine-2-ylimine)-methyl]phenol (Hpymp) afforded {[Co(II)(3)(pymp)(4)(MeOH)(2)][BPh(4)](2)}·(2)MeOH (1) with a centro-symmetrically linear trinuclear structure. Magnetic analysis of 1 exhibited significant intracluster ferromagnetic exchange (2.4 cm(-1)) and slow relaxation of magnetization in both zero and non-zero static fields below 5 K, giving the first [Co(II)(3)] single molecule magnet with an effective energy barrier of 17.2(3) cm(-1) under a 500 Oe dc field.

  10. New Insights into the Spliceosome by Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. A molecular tuning fork in single-molecule mechanochemical sensing.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Shankar; Koirala, Deepak; Selvam, Sangeetha; Ghimire, Chiran; Mao, Hanbin

    2015-06-22

    The separate arrangement of target recognition and signal transduction in conventional biosensors often compromises the real-time response and can introduce additional noise. To address these issues, we combined analyte recognition and signal reporting by mechanochemical coupling in a single-molecule DNA template. We incorporated a DNA hairpin as a mechanophore in the template, which, under a specific force, undergoes stochastic transitions between folded and unfolded hairpin structures (mechanoescence). Reminiscent of a tuning fork that vibrates at a fixed frequency, the device was classified as a molecular tuning fork (MTF). By monitoring the lifetime of the folded and unfolded hairpins with equal populations, we were able to differentiate between the mono- and bivalent binding modes during individual antibody-antigen binding events. We anticipate these mechanospectroscopic concepts and methods will be instrumental for the development of novel bioanalyses.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Folding and unfolding single RNA molecules under tension

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Information-theoretical analysis of time-correlated single-photon counting measurements of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Talaga, David S

    2009-04-30

    Time-correlated single photon counting allows luminescence lifetime information to be determined on a single molecule level. This paper develops a formalism to allow information theory analysis of the ability of luminescence lifetime measurements to resolve states in a single molecule. It analyzes the information content of the photon stream and the fraction of that information that is relevant to the state determination problem. Experimental losses of information due to instrument response, digitization, and different types of background are calculated and a procedure to determine the optimal value of experimental parameters is demonstrated. This paper shows how to use the information theoretical formalism to evaluate the number of photons required to distinguish dyes that differ only by lifetime. It extends this idea to include distinguishing molecular states that differ in the electron transfer quenching or resonant energy transfer and shows how the differences between the lifetime of signal and background can help distinguish the dye position in an excitation beam. PMID:19385684

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramanathan, Thayaparan

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

  18. Mechanisms of single bubble cleaning.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Fabian; Mettin, Robert

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Mechanisms of single bubble cleaning.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Fabian; Mettin, Robert

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Developing DNA nanotechnology using single-molecule fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Tsukanov, Roman; Tomov, Toma E; Liber, Miran; Berger, Yaron; Nir, Eyal

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: An important effort in the DNA nanotechnology field is focused on the rational design and manufacture of molecular structures and dynamic devices made of DNA. As is the case for other technologies that deal with manipulation of matter, rational development requires high quality and informative feedback on the building blocks and final products. For DNA nanotechnology such feedback is typically provided by gel electrophoresis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These analytical tools provide excellent structural information; however, usually they do not provide high-resolution dynamic information. For the development of DNA-made dynamic devices such as machines, motors, robots, and computers this constitutes a major problem. Bulk-fluorescence techniques are capable of providing dynamic information, but because only ensemble averaged information is obtained, the technique may not adequately describe the dynamics in the context of complex DNA devices. The single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) technique offers a unique combination of capabilities that make it an excellent tool for guiding the development of DNA-made devices. The technique has been increasingly used in DNA nanotechnology, especially for the analysis of structure, dynamics, integrity, and operation of DNA-made devices; however, its capabilities are not yet sufficiently familiar to the community. The purpose of this Account is to demonstrate how different SMF tools can be utilized for the development of DNA devices and for structural dynamic investigation of biomolecules in general and DNA molecules in particular. Single-molecule diffusion-based Förster resonance energy transfer and alternating laser excitation (sm-FRET/ALEX) and immobilization-based total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) techniques are briefly described and demonstrated. To illustrate the many applications of SMF to DNA nanotechnology, examples of SMF studies of DNA hairpins and

  1. Single molecule and single atom sensors for atomic resolution imaging of chemically complex surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kichin, Georgy; Weiss, Christian; Wagner, Christian; Tautz, F Stefan; Temirov, Ruslan

    2011-10-26

    Individual Xe atoms as well as single CO and CH(4) molecules adsorbed at the tip apex of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) function as microscopic force sensors that change the tunneling current in response to the forces acting from the surface. An STM equipped with any of these sensors is able to image the short-range Pauli repulsion and thus resolve the inner structure of large organic adsorbate molecules. Differences in the performance of the three studied sensors suggest that the sensor functionality can be tailored by tuning the interaction between the sensor particle and the STM tip.

  2. Comparative single-molecule and ensemble myosin enzymology: sulfoindocyanine ATP and ADP derivatives.

    PubMed Central

    Oiwa, K; Eccleston, J F; Anson, M; Kikumoto, M; Davis, C T; Reid, G P; Ferenczi, M A; Corrie, J E; Yamada, A; Nakayama, H; Trentham, D R

    2000-01-01

    Single-molecule and macroscopic reactions of fluorescent nucleotides with myosin have been compared. The single-molecule studies serve as paradigms for enzyme-catalyzed reactions and ligand-receptor interactions analyzed as individual stochastic processes. Fluorescent nucleotides, called Cy3-EDA-ATP and Cy5-EDA-ATP, were derived by coupling the dyes Cy3.29.OH and Cy5.29.OH (compounds XI and XIV, respectively, in, Bioconjug. Chem. 4:105-111)) with 2'(3')-O-[N-(2-aminoethyl)carbamoyl]ATP (EDA-ATP). The ATP(ADP) analogs were separated into their respective 2'- and 3'-O-isomers, the interconversion rate of which was 30[OH(-)] s(-1) (0.016 h(-1) at pH 7.1) at 22 degrees C. Macroscopic studies showed that 2'(3')-O-substituted nucleotides had properties similar to those of ATP and ADP in their interactions with myosin, actomyosin, and muscle fibers, although the ATP analogs did not relax muscle as well as ATP did. Significant differences in the fluorescence intensity of Cy3-nucleotide 2'- and 3'-O-isomers in free solution and when they interacted with myosin were evident. Single-molecule studies using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy showed that reciprocal mean lifetimes of the nucleotide analogs interacting with myosin filaments were one- to severalfold greater than predicted from macroscopic data. Kinetic and equilibrium data of nucleotide-(acto)myosin interactions derived from single-molecule microscopy now have a biochemical and physiological framework. This is important for single-molecule mechanical studies of motor proteins. PMID:10827983

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-25

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

  5. Electron transfer behaviour of biological macromolecules towards the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Grubb, Mikala; Hansen, Allan G.; Kuznetsov, Alexander M.; Boisen, Anja; Wackerbarth, Hainer; Ulstrup, Jens

    2003-05-01

    Redox metalloproteins immobilized on metallic surfaces in contact with aqueous biological media are important in many areas of pure and applied sciences. Redox metalloprotein films are currently being addressed by new approaches where biotechnology including modified and synthetic proteins is combined with state-of-the-art physical electrochemistry with emphasis on single-crystal, atomically planar electrode surfaces, in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and other surface techniques. These approaches have brought bioelectrochemistry important steps forward towards the nanoscale and single-molecule levels. We discuss here these advances with reference to two specific redox metalloproteins, the blue single-copper protein Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin and the single-haem protein Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cytochrome c, and a short oligonucleotide. Both proteins can be immobilized on Au(111) by chemisorption via exposed sulfur-containing residues. Voltammetric, interfacial capacitance, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and microcantilever sensor data, together with in situ STM with single-molecule resolution, all point to a coherent view of monolayer organization with protein electron transfer (ET) function retained. In situ STM can also address the microscopic mechanisms for electron tunnelling through the biomolecules and offers novel notions such as coherent multi-ET between the substrate and tip via the molecular redox levels. This differs in important respects from electrochemical ET at a single metal/electrolyte interface. Similar data for a short oligonucleotide immobilized on Au(111) show that oligonucleotides can be characterized with comparable detail, with novel perspectives for addressing DNA electronic conduction mechanisms and for biological screening towards the single-molecule level.

  6. Physical manipulation of single-molecule DNA using microbead and its application to analysis of DNA-protein interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurita, Hirofumi; Yasuda, Hachiro; Takashima, Kazunori; Katsura, Shinji; Mizuno, Akira

    2009-04-01

    We carried out an individual DNA manipulation using an optical trapping for a microbead. This manipulation system is based on a fluorescent microscopy equipped with an IR laser. Both ends of linear DNA molecule were labeled with a biotin and a thiol group, respectively. Then the biotinylated end was attached to a microbead, and the other was immobilized on a thiol-linkable glass surface. We controlled the form of an individual DNA molecule by moving the focal point of IR laser, which trapped the microbead. In addition, we applied single-molecule approach to analyze DNA hydrolysis. We also used microchannel for single-molecule observation of DNA hydrolysis. The shortening of DNA in length caused by enzymatic hydrolysis was observed in real-time. The single-molecule DNA manipulation should contribute to elucidate detailed mechanisms of DNA-protein interactions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, Christopher Benjamin

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

  9. Charge Manipulation in Molecules Encapsulated Inside Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagi, Kazuhiro; Moriya, Rieko; Cuong, Nguyen Thanh; Otani, Minoru; Okada, Susumu

    2013-02-01

    We report clear experimental evidence for the charge manipulation of molecules encapsulated inside single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) using electrochemical doping techniques. We encapsulated β-carotene (Car) inside SWCNTs and clarified electrochemical doping characteristics of their Raman spectra. C=C streching modes of encapsulated Car and a G band of SWCNTs showed clearly different doping behaviors as the electrochemical potentials were shifted. Electron extraction from encapsulated Car was clearly achieved. However, electrochemical characteristics of Car inside SWCNTs and doping mechanisms elucidated by calculations based on density-functional theory indicate the difficulty of charge manipulation of molecules inside SWCNTs due to the presence of strong on-site Coulomb repulsion energy at the molecules.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Unidirectional Brownian motion observed in an in silico single molecule experiment of an actomyosin motor.

    PubMed

    Takano, Mitsunori; Terada, Tomoki P; Sasai, Masaki

    2010-04-27

    The actomyosin molecular motor, the motor composed of myosin II and actin filament, is responsible for muscle contraction, converting chemical energy into mechanical work. Although recent single molecule and structural studies have shed new light on the energy-converting mechanism, the physical basis of the molecular-level mechanism remains unclear because of the experimental limitations. To provide a clue to resolve the controversy between the lever-arm mechanism and the Brownian ratchet-like mechanism, we here report an in silico single molecule experiment of an actomyosin motor. When we placed myosin on an actin filament and allowed myosin to move along the filament, we found that myosin exhibits a unidirectional Brownian motion along the filament. This unidirectionality was found to arise from the combination of a nonequilibrium condition realized by coupling to the ATP hydrolysis and a ratchet-like energy landscape inherent in the actin-myosin interaction along the filament, indicating that a Brownian ratchet-like mechanism contributes substantially to the energy conversion of this molecular motor.

  13. Can Non-Kramers Tm(III) Mononuclear Molecules be Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs)?

    PubMed

    Meng, Yin-Shan; Qiao, Yu-Sen; Zhang, Yi-Quan; Jiang, Shang-Da; Meng, Zhao-Sha; Wang, Bing-Wu; Wang, Zhe-Ming; Gao, Song

    2016-03-24

    In recent years, plentiful lanthanide-based (Tb(III) , Dy(III) , and Er(III) ) single-molecule magnets (SMMs) were studied, while examples of other lanthanides, for example, Tm(III) are still unknown. Herein, for the first time, we show that by rationally manipulating the coordination sphere, two thulium compounds, 1[(Tp)Tm(COT)] and 2[(Tp*)Tm(COT)] (Tp=hydrotris(1-pyrazolyl)borate; COT=cyclooctatetraenide; Tp*=hydrotris(3,5-dimethyl-1-pyrazolyl)borate), can adopt the structure of non-Kramers SMMs and exhibit their behaviors. Dynamic magnetic studies indicated that both compounds showed slow magnetic relaxation under dc field and a relatively high effective energy barrier (111 K for 1, 46 K for 2). Magnetic diluted 1 a[(Tp)Tm0.05 Y0.95 (COT)] and 2 a[(Tp*)Tm0.05 Y0.95 (COT)] even exhibited magnetic relaxation under zero dc field. Relativistic ab initio calculations combined with single-crystal angular-resolved magnetometry measurements revealed the strong easy axis anisotropy and nearly degenerated ground doublet states. The comparison of 1 and 2 highlights the importance of local symmetry for obtaining Tm SMMs. PMID:26777067

  14. Can Non-Kramers Tm(III) Mononuclear Molecules be Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs)?

    PubMed

    Meng, Yin-Shan; Qiao, Yu-Sen; Zhang, Yi-Quan; Jiang, Shang-Da; Meng, Zhao-Sha; Wang, Bing-Wu; Wang, Zhe-Ming; Gao, Song

    2016-03-24

    In recent years, plentiful lanthanide-based (Tb(III) , Dy(III) , and Er(III) ) single-molecule magnets (SMMs) were studied, while examples of other lanthanides, for example, Tm(III) are still unknown. Herein, for the first time, we show that by rationally manipulating the coordination sphere, two thulium compounds, 1[(Tp)Tm(COT)] and 2[(Tp*)Tm(COT)] (Tp=hydrotris(1-pyrazolyl)borate; COT=cyclooctatetraenide; Tp*=hydrotris(3,5-dimethyl-1-pyrazolyl)borate), can adopt the structure of non-Kramers SMMs and exhibit their behaviors. Dynamic magnetic studies indicated that both compounds showed slow magnetic relaxation under dc field and a relatively high effective energy barrier (111 K for 1, 46 K for 2). Magnetic diluted 1 a[(Tp)Tm0.05 Y0.95 (COT)] and 2 a[(Tp*)Tm0.05 Y0.95 (COT)] even exhibited magnetic relaxation under zero dc field. Relativistic ab initio calculations combined with single-crystal angular-resolved magnetometry measurements revealed the strong easy axis anisotropy and nearly degenerated ground doublet states. The comparison of 1 and 2 highlights the importance of local symmetry for obtaining Tm SMMs.

  15. Room Temperature Single-Photon Source: Single-Dye Molecule Fluorescence in Liquid Crystal Host

    SciTech Connect

    Lukishova, S.G.; Schmid, A.W.; McNamara, A.J.; Boyd, R.W.; Stroud, C.R.Jr.

    2003-12-31

    OAK-(B204)We report on new approaches toward an implementation of an efficient, room temperature, deterministically polarized, single-photon source (SPS) on demand-a key hardware element for quantum information and quantum communication. Operation of a room temperature SPS is demonstrated via photon antibunching in the fluorescence from single terrylene-dye molecules embedded in a cholesteric liquid crystal host. Using oxygen-depleted liquid crystal hosts, dye-bleaching was avoided over the course of more than 1 h of continuous 532-nm excitation. Liquid crystal hosts (including liquid crystal oligomers/polymers) permit further increase of the efficiency of the source: (1) by aligning the dye molecules along a direction preferable for the maximum excitation efficiency; (2) by tuning a one-dimensional (1-D) photonic-band-gap microcavity of planar-aligned cholesteric (chiral nematic) liquid crystal layer to the dye fluorescence band.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Single-point single-molecule FRAP distinguishes inner and outer nuclear membrane protein distribution

    PubMed Central

    Mudumbi, Krishna C; Schirmer, Eric C; Yang, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    The normal distribution of nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins (NETs) is disrupted in several human diseases. NETs are synthesized on the endoplasmic reticulum and then transported from the outer nuclear membrane (ONM) to the inner nuclear membrane (INM). Quantitative determination of the distribution of NETs on the ONM and INM is limited in available approaches, which moreover provide no information about translocation rates in the two membranes. Here we demonstrate a single-point single-molecule FRAP microscopy technique that enables determination of distribution and translocation rates for NETs in vivo. PMID:27558844

  19. Single-point single-molecule FRAP distinguishes inner and outer nuclear membrane protein distribution.

    PubMed

    Mudumbi, Krishna C; Schirmer, Eric C; Yang, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    The normal distribution of nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins (NETs) is disrupted in several human diseases. NETs are synthesized on the endoplasmic reticulum and then transported from the outer nuclear membrane (ONM) to the inner nuclear membrane (INM). Quantitative determination of the distribution of NETs on the ONM and INM is limited in available approaches, which moreover provide no information about translocation rates in the two membranes. Here we demonstrate a single-point single-molecule FRAP microscopy technique that enables determination of distribution and translocation rates for NETs in vivo. PMID:27558844

  20. A stochastic single-molecule event triggers phenotype switching of a bacterial cell.

    PubMed

    Choi, Paul J; Cai, Long; Frieda, Kirsten; Xie, X Sunney

    2008-10-17

    By monitoring fluorescently labeled lactose permease with single-molecule sensitivity, we investigated the molecular mechanism of how an Escherichia coli cell with the lac operon switches from one phenotype to another. At intermediate inducer concentrations, a population of genetically identical cells exhibits two phenotypes: induced cells with highly fluorescent membranes and uninduced cells with a small number of membrane-bound permeases. We found that this basal-level expression results from partial dissociation of the tetrameric lactose repressor from one of its operators on looped DNA. In contrast, infrequent events of complete dissociation of the repressor from DNA result in large bursts of permease expression that trigger induction of the lac operon. Hence, a stochastic single-molecule event determines a cell's phenotype. PMID:18927393