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Sample records for mechanical single molecule

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-08

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanical control of spin states in single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Qian, X-M; Nie, S M

    2008-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Decoherence mechanisms in Mn3 single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Blum, Suzanne A.

    2016-05-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, Alexandre

    2006-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loparo, Joseph

    2011-03-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hybertsen, Mark S.

    2017-03-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Hybertsen, Mark S.

    2017-03-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Single Molecule Mechanochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-10

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Single-Molecule Bioelectronics

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Single molecules: Thermodynamic limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Single molecule diffraction.

    PubMed

    Spence, J C H; Doak, R B

    2004-05-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Mechanical Response of Single Filamin A (ABP-280) Molecules and Its Role in the Actin/Filamin A Gel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sano, Ryoko; Furuike, Shou; Ito, Tadanao; Ohashi, Kazuyo; Yamazaki, Masahito

    2004-04-01

    Actin/filamin A gel plays important roles in mechanical response of cells. We found a force (50 to 220 pN)-induced unfolding of single filamin A molecules using AFM, and have proposed a hypothesis on the role of single filamin A in the novel property of viscoelasticity of actin/filamin A gel. We also investigated structure and its dynamics of actin/filamin A gel formed in a giant liposome using fluorescence microscopy.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hybertsen M. S.

    2013-07-08

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-12-14

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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fei; Ou-Yang, Zhong-Can

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Shixin; Chistol, Gheorghe; Bustamante, Carlos

    2014-05-06

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-29

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

  6. Methods and applications in single molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hihath, Joshua

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adib, Artur B.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-21

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Extracting Models in Single Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presse, Steve

    2013-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E. Brooks

    1988-01-01

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

  18. Nanodevices for Single Molecule Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Single molecule junction conductance and binding geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamenetska, Maria

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

  2. Laser-Assisted Single Molecule Refolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-13

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

  4. A single-molecule diode

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. A single-molecule diode.

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-21

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

  6. Strongly enhanced field-dependent single-molecule electroluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghunathan, Krishnan

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

  9. A single-molecule diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

    We have designed and synthesized a molecular rod that consists of two weakly coupled electronic π -systems with mutually shifted energy levels. The asymmetry thus implied manifests itself in a current-voltage characteristic with pronounced dependence on the sign of the bias voltage, which makes the molecule a prototype for a molecular diode. The individual molecules were immobilized by sulfur-gold bonds between both electrodes of a mechanically controlled break junction, and their electronic transport properties have been investigated. The results indeed show diode-like current-voltage characteristics. In contrast to that, control experiments with symmetric molecular rods consisting of two identical π -systems did not show significant asymmetries in the transport properties. To investigate the underlying transport mechanism, phenomenological arguments are combined with calculations based on density functional theory. The theoretical analysis suggests that the bias dependence of the polarizability of the molecule feeds back into the current leading to an asymmetric shape of the current-voltage characteristics, similar to the phenomena in a semiconductor diode. Author contributions: F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. designed research; M.E., R.O., M.K., M.F., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. performed research; M.E., R.O., M.K., M.F., C.v.H., F.W., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; M.E., R.O., M.K., C.v.H., F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. analyzed data; and F.E., H.B.W., and M.M. wrote the paper.This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.Abbreviations: A, acceptor; D, donor; MCB, mechanically controlled break junction.Data deposition: The atomic coordinates have been deposited in the Cambridge Structural Database, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Cambridge CB2 1EZ, United Kingdom (CSD reference no. 241632).

  10. Single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equations.

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-20

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

  11. Modeling of Single Molecule Cytoplasmic Dynein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Clare

    2010-03-01

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

  12. Single molecule thermodynamics in biological motors.

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  13. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-06

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

  14. Single molecule force spectroscopy of asphaltene aggregates.

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-22

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Transport mirages in single-molecule devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging Over the Decades

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. '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'.

  6. '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

  7. Near-field single molecule spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-02-01

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

  8. Nanoscience: Single-molecule instant replay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camillone, Nicholas

    2016-11-01

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

  9. SINGLE MOLECULE ENZYMOLOGY FINDS ITS STRIDE.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Fast temporal fluctuations in single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Superresolution Imaging using Single-Molecule Localization

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Single molecule fluorescence and force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schütz, G J; Hinterdorfer, P

    2002-12-01

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

  17. Quantitative Aspects of Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Single molecule study of silicon quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Unfolding Dynamics of Single Collapsed DNA Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. Single-Molecule Electronics: Chemical and Analytical Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, Richard J.; Higgins, Simon J.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nichols, Richard J; Higgins, Simon J

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  6. Enhancing single-molecule fluorescence with nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mabuchi, Hideo; Herschlag, Daniel

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Single-molecule detection with active transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, David Allan

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

  9. Single-Molecule Imaging of Nuclear Transport

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-21

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

  14. Single-molecule techniques for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Gary M; Visscher, Koen

    2004-08-01

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

  15. Graphene-porphyrin single-molecule transistors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-21

    We demonstrate a robust graphene-molecule-graphene transistor architecture. We observe remarkably reproducible single electron charging, which we attribute to insensitivity of the molecular junction to the atomic configuration of the graphene electrodes. The stability of the graphene electrodes allow for high-bias transport spectroscopy and the observation of multiple redox states at room-temperature.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics.

    PubMed

    Latinwo, Folarin; Schroeder, Charles M

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Illuminating single molecules in condensed matter.

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E; Orrit, M

    1999-03-12

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

  4. 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.

  5. Controlling quantum transport through a single molecule.

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. A plutonium-based single-molecule magnet.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-04

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

  8. Toward Single-Molecule Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roukes, Michael

    2009-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Double point contact single molecule absorption spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, John Brooks

    Our primary objective with the presentation of this thesis is to utilize superconducting transport through microscopic objects to both excite and analyze the vibrational degrees of freedom of various molecules of a biological nature. The technique stems from a Josephson junction's ability to generate radiation that falls in the terahertz gap (≈ 10 THz) and consequently can be used to excite vibrational modes of simple and complex molecules. Analysis of the change in IV characteristics coupled with the differential conductance dIdV allows determination of both the absorption spectra and the vibrational modes of biological molecules. Presented here are both the theoretical foundations of superconductivity relevant to our experimental technique and the fabrication process of our samples. Comparisons between our technique and that of other absorption spectroscopy techniques are included as a means of providing a reference upon which to judge the merits of our novel procedure. This technique is meant to improve not only our understanding of the vibrational degrees of freedom of useful biological molecules, but also these molecule's structural, electronic and mechanical properties.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-07

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

  16. Manipulating Kondo temperature via single molecule switching.

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Single-molecule optomechanics in "picocavities".

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-11

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

  20. Increased throughput single molecule detection of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alessandrini, Andrea; Facci, Paolo

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hines, Thomas

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Grafting single molecule magnets on gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Streets, Aaron M; Huang, Yanyi

    2014-02-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Somin Eunice; Chen, Qian; Bhat, Ramray; ...

    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.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-25

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Geometric Phases in Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenochio, Brian Canchola

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ralph, Daniel C.

    2005-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyabe, Shoichi; Muneyuki, Eiro

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Single-molecule microscopy using tunable nanoscale confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Single-molecule spectroscopy and dynamics at room temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, X.S.

    1996-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Development of Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing Platform Based on Single-Molecule Electrical Conductance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-25

    indicate that they are nearly harmless to cultured cells (17-20). The bio-distribution of injected GNPs has shown a size-dependent accumulation in liver ...Animals” of National Chiao Tung University. Four-week-old male BALB/C mice were housed at 22±2 C with a 12-h light/dark cycle and fed standard...Conference, Protein Folding Dynamics, 5-10 Jan, 2014, Hotel Galvez in Galveston TX, United States Guewha Steven Huang , Single-Molecule Kinetics of

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Liang, Heng; Cheng, Xiaoliang; Ma, Yinfa

    2009-03-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Pondugula, Santhi; Kladde, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rapenne, Gwénaël

    2005-04-07

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

  2. 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.

  3. DNA-psoralen interaction: A single molecule experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Single-molecule analysis of the full transcription cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strick, Terence

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-18

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

  11. Single molecule magnets from magnetic building blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Investigating single molecule adhesion by atomic force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-27

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

  15. Investigating Single Molecule Adhesion by Atomic Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Electrical Measurement of Single Molecule Catalysis using Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Backer, Adam S; Moerner, W E

    2014-07-17

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

  18. Extending Single-Molecule Microscopy Using Optical Fourier Processing

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Single-molecule emulsion PCR in microfluidic droplets.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkow, Robert

    2006-03-01

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

  2. Intermittent Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-08-04

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

  3. 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

  4. Single molecule conformational analysis of DNA G-quadruplexes

    PubMed Central

    Shirude, Pravin S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Belyy, Vladislav; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Uncovering hierarchical data structure in single molecule transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-22

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The statistics of single molecule detection: An overview

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Elting, Mary Williard; Spudich, James A

    2012-12-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Optical microscopy using a single-molecule light source

    PubMed

    Michaelis; Hettich; Mlynek; Sandoghdar

    2000-05-18

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

  19. Tracking single molecules at work in living cells.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Single-Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Cell Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H PETER.

    2004-08-22

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

  2. Massively Parallel Single-Molecule Manipulation Using Centrifugal Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wesley; Halvorsen, Ken

    2011-03-01

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

  3. Sizing up single-molecule enzymatic conformational dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lu, H Peter

    2014-02-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-04-01

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

  5. Single molecule RNA folding studied with optical trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieregg, Jeffrey Robert

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Uphoff, Stephan; Kapanidis, Achillefs N.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Some problems in spectroscopy of a single impurity molecule

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Imaging of photoinduced tautomerism in single porphyrin molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  15. Methods of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-08-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Duzdevich, Daniel; Greene, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-08-10

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-21

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

  3. 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.

  4. High throughput single molecule detection for monitoring biochemical reactions

    PubMed Central

    Okagbare, Paul I.; Soper, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, Thorben; Blum, Suzanne A.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cordes, Thorben; Blum, Suzanne A

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-31

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

  12. 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.

  13. Single molecule thermodynamics and nanopore-based thermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Srabanti

    2014-09-04

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-20

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-07

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

  8. A Simplified Quantum Mechanical Model of Diatomic Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nielsen, Lars Drud

    1978-01-01

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

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Cai, Haogang; Wind, Shalom J

    2016-10-04

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

  11. Towards Single-Molecule Optical Mapping of the Epigenome

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Probing Nanoparticle Reactivity at the Single-Molecule Level

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-15

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-10

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-25

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2014-06-10

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Photoemission of Mn6Cr single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-22

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-09

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

  10. The optics inside an automated single molecule array analyzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Visualizing helicases unwinding DNA at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    Fili, Natali; Mashanov, Gregory I; Toseland, Christopher P; Batters, Christopher; Wallace, Mark I; Yeeles, Joseph T P; Dillingham, Mark S; Webb, Martin R; Molloy, Justin E

    2010-07-01

    DNA helicases are motor proteins that catalyze the unwinding of double-stranded DNA into single-stranded DNA using the free energy from ATP hydrolysis. Single molecule approaches enable us to address detailed mechanistic questions about how such enzymes move processively along DNA. Here, an optical method has been developed to follow the unwinding of multiple DNA molecules simultaneously in real time. This was achieved by measuring the accumulation of fluorescent single-stranded DNA-binding protein on the single-stranded DNA product of the helicase, using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. By immobilizing either the DNA or helicase, localized increase in fluorescence provides information about the rate of unwinding and the processivity of individual enzymes. In addition, it reveals details of the unwinding process, such as pauses and bursts of activity. The generic and versatile nature of the assay makes it applicable to a variety of DNA helicases and DNA templates. The method is an important addition to the single-molecule toolbox available for studying DNA processing enzymes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Single Molecule Study of DNA Organization and Recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Botao

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

  17. 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

  18. The information content in single-molecule Raman nanoscopy

    SciTech Connect

    El-Khoury, Patrick Z.; Abellan, Patricia; Chantry, Ruth L.; Gong, Yu; Joly, Alan G.; Novikova, Irina V.; Evans, James E.; Aprà, Edoardo; Hu, Dehong; Ramasse, Quentin M.; Hess, Wayne P.

    2016-01-02

    Nowadays, it is possible to establish the chemical identity of a substance at the ultimate detection limit of a single molecule, i.e. the sensitivity required to probe 1.66 yoctomoles (1/NA), using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). It is also possible to image within an individual molecule, all while retaining chemical selectivity, using tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). The potential applications of ultrasensitive SERS and TERS in chemical and biological detection and imaging are evident, and have attracted significant attention over the past decade. Rather than focusing on conventional single/few-molecule SERS and TERS experiments, where the objective is ultrasensitive spectroscopy and nanoscale chemical imaging, we consider the reverse problem herein. Namely, we review recent efforts ultimately aimed at probing different aspects of a molecule’s local environment through a detailed analysis of its SERS and TERS signatures. Particular attention is devoted to local electric field imaging using TERS; we describe how the vector components and absolute magnitude of a local electric field may be inferred from molecular Raman spectra and images. We also propose experiments that can potentially be used to cross-check the insights gained from the described SERS and TERS measurements. The ultimate goal of this review is to demonstrate that there is much more to single molecule Raman scattering than mere ultrasensitive chemical nanoscopy.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. 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

    2011-09-04

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Advances in magnetic tweezers for single molecule and cell biophysics.

    PubMed

    Kilinc, Devrim; Lee, Gil U

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic tweezers (MTW) enable highly accurate forces to be transduced to molecules to study mechanotransduction at the molecular or cellular level. We review recent MTW studies in single molecule and cell biophysics that demonstrate the flexibility of this technique. We also discuss technical advances in the method on several fronts, i.e., from novel approaches for the measurement of torque to multiplexed biophysical assays. Finally, we describe multi-component nanorods with enhanced optical and magnetic properties and discuss their potential as future MTW probes.

  6. Supramolecular 3d-4f single-molecule magnet architectures.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Sebastian; van Leusen, Jan; Izarova, Natalya V; Lan, Yanhua; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Kögerler, Paul; Monakhov, Kirill Yu

    2016-10-18

    The nanosized self-assemblies {[{Ln(III)}{H2O⊂CrLn}]2(H2O)} (Ln = Dy, 1 and Tb, 2) based on new 3d-4f mixed-metal coordination topologies are formed via extensive intramolecular hydrogen bonding that is directed by enclosed water molecules. Compounds 1 and 2 show single-molecule magnet characteristics manifested by hysteresis loops up to 1.6 K (Ueff = 8.3 cm(-1)) and 1 K (Ueff = 3.4 cm(-1)), respectively.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  9. Single-Cell and Single-Molecule Analysis of Gene Expression Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Vera, Maria; Biswas, Jeetayu; Senecal, Adrien

    2016-01-01

    Recent advancements in single-cell and single-molecule imaging technologies have resolved biological processes in time and space that are fundamental to understanding the regulation of gene expression. Observations of single-molecule events in their cellular context have revealed highly dynamic aspects of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control in eukaryotic cells. This approach can relate transcription with mRNA abundance and lifetimes. Another key aspect of single-cell analysis is the cell-to-cell variability among populations of cells. Definition of heterogeneity has revealed stochastic processes, determined characteristics of under-represented cell types or transitional states, and integrated cellular behaviors in the context of multicellular organisms. In this review, we discuss novel aspects of gene expression of eukaryotic cells and multicellular organisms revealed by the latest advances in single-cell and single-molecule imaging technology. PMID:27893965

  10. Single-Molecule Reaction Chemistry in Patterned Nanowells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Single-Molecule Investigations of Morphology and Mass Transport Dynamics in Nanostructured Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Daniel A.; Park, Seok Chan; Tran-Ba, Khanh-Hoa; Ito, Takashi

    2015-07-01

    Nanostructured materials such as mesoporous metal oxides and phase-separated block copolymers form the basis for new monolith, membrane, and thin film technologies having applications in energy storage, chemical catalysis, and separations. Mass transport plays an integral role in governing the application-specific performance characteristics of many such materials. The majority of methods employed in their characterization provide only ensemble data, often masking the nanoscale, molecular-level details of materials morphology and mass transport. Single-molecule fluorescence methods offer direct routes to probing these characteristics on a single-molecule/single-nanostructure basis. This article provides a review of single-molecule studies focused on measurements of anisotropic diffusion, adsorption, partitioning, and confinement in nanostructured materials. Experimental methods covered include confocal and wide-field fluorescence microscopy. The results obtained promise to deepen our understanding of mass transport mechanisms in nanostructures, thus aiding in the realization of advanced materials systems.

  13. Single-Molecule Investigations of Morphology and Mass Transport Dynamics in Nanostructured Materials.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Daniel A; Park, Seok Chan; Tran-Ba, Khanh-Hoa; Ito, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Nanostructured materials such as mesoporous metal oxides and phase-separated block copolymers form the basis for new monolith, membrane, and thin film technologies having applications in energy storage, chemical catalysis, and separations. Mass transport plays an integral role in governing the application-specific performance characteristics of many such materials. The majority of methods employed in their characterization provide only ensemble data, often masking the nanoscale, molecular-level details of materials morphology and mass transport. Single-molecule fluorescence methods offer direct routes to probing these characteristics on a single-molecule/single-nanostructure basis. This article provides a review of single-molecule studies focused on measurements of anisotropic diffusion, adsorption, partitioning, and confinement in nanostructured materials. Experimental methods covered include confocal and wide-field fluorescence microscopy. The results obtained promise to deepen our understanding of mass transport mechanisms in nanostructures, thus aiding in the realization of advanced materials systems.

  14. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-21

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

  16. Spectroscopic STM studies of single gold(III) porphyrin molecules.

    PubMed

    Müllegger, Stefan; Schöfberger, Wolfgang; Rashidi, Mohammad; Reith, Lorenz M; Koch, Reinhold

    2009-12-16

    Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, a well-established technique for single-molecule investigations in an ultrahigh vacuum environment, has been used to study the electronic properties of Au(III) 5,10,15,20-tetraphenylporphyrin (AuTPP) molecules on Au(111) at the submolecular scale. AuTPP serves as a model system for chemotherapeutically relevant Au(III) porphyrins. For the first time, real-space images and local scanning tunneling spectroscopy data of the frontier molecular orbitals of AuTPP are presented. A comparison with results from density functional theory reveals significant deviations from gas-phase behavior due to a non-negligible molecule/substrate interaction. We identify the oxidation state of the central metal ion in the adsorbed AuTPP as Au(3+).

  17. 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

  18. Statistics of single molecule rotation driven by electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sykes, Charles

    2013-03-01

    In stark contrast to nature, current manmade devices, with the exception of liquid crystals, make no use of nanoscale molecular motion. In order for molecules to be used as components in molecular machines, methods are required to couple individual molecules to external energy sources and to selectively excite motion in a given direction. Recently a new, stable and robust system of molecular rotors consisting of thioether molecules bound to metal surfaces has offered a method with which to study the rotation of individual molecules as a function of temperature, molecular chemistry, proximity of neighboring molecules, and surface structure. Arrhenius plots for the rotation of dibutyl sulfide yielded a rotational barrier of 1.2 kJ per mol. While these results reveal that small amounts of thermal energy are capable of inducing rotation, thermodynamics dictates that thermal energy alone cannot be used to perform useful work in the absence of a temperature gradient. Electrical excitation of individual thioether molecular rotors is performed using with electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip. Experimental data for the electrically excited motion of asymmetric thioether molecules is presented and the statistics of and mechanism for directed motion is discussed.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Supramolecular Systems and Chemical Reactions in Single-Molecule Break Junctions.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaohui; Hu, Duan; Tan, Zhibing; Bai, Jie; Xiao, Zongyuan; Yang, Yang; Shi, Jia; Hong, Wenjing

    2017-04-01

    The major challenges of molecular electronics are the understanding and manipulation of the electron transport through the single-molecule junction. With the single-molecule break junction techniques, including scanning tunneling microscope break junction technique and mechanically controllable break junction technique, the charge transport through various single-molecule and supramolecular junctions has been studied during the dynamic fabrication and continuous characterization of molecular junctions. This review starts from the charge transport characterization of supramolecular junctions through a variety of noncovalent interactions, such as hydrogen bond, π-π interaction, and electrostatic force. We further review the recent progress in constructing highly conductive molecular junctions via chemical reactions, the response of molecular junctions to external stimuli, as well as the application of break junction techniques in controlling and monitoring chemical reactions in situ. We suggest that beyond the measurement of single molecular conductance, the single-molecule break junction techniques provide a promising access to study molecular assembly and chemical reactions at the single-molecule scale.

  5. Optimized free energies from bidirectional single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Minh, David D L; Adib, Artur B

    2008-05-09

    An optimized method for estimating path-ensemble averages using data from processes driven in opposite directions is presented. Based on this estimator, bidirectional expressions for reconstructing free energies and potentials of mean force from single-molecule force spectroscopy-valid for biasing potentials of arbitrary stiffness-are developed. Numerical simulations on a model potential indicate that these methods perform better than unidirectional strategies.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-10-20

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

  7. 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.

  8. Quantum Chemical Characterization of Single Molecule Magnets Based on Uranium.

    PubMed

    Spivak, Mariano; Vogiatzis, Konstantinos D; Cramer, Christopher J; Graaf, Coen de; Gagliardi, Laura

    2017-03-02

    Multiconfigurational electronic structure theory calculations including spin-orbit coupling effects were performed on four uranium-based single-molecule-magnets. Several quartet and doublet states were computed and the energy gaps between spin-orbit states were then used to determine magnetic susceptibility curves. Trends in experimental magnetic susceptibility curves were well reproduced by the calculations, and key factors affecting performance were identified.

  9. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Hybrid Nanoparticle-Single-Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zerah-Harush, Elinor; Dubi, Yonatan

    2015-06-01

    It was recently suggested that molecular junctions would be excellent elements for efficient and high-power thermoelectric energy-conversion devices. However, experimental measurements of thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions indicate rather poor efficiency, raising the question of whether it is indeed possible to design a setup for molecular junctions that will exhibit enhanced thermoelectric performance. Here we suggest that hybrid single-molecule-nanoparticle junctions can serve as efficient thermoelectric converters. The introduction of a semiconducting nanoparticle introduces new tuning capabilities, which are absent in conventional metal-molecule-metal junctions. Using a generic model for the molecule and nanoparticle with realistic parameters, we demonstrate that the thermopower can be of the order of hundreds of microvolts per degree kelvin and that the thermoelectric figure of merit can reach values close to 1, an improvement of 4 orders of magnitude over existing measurements. This favorable performance persists over a wide range of experimentally relevant parameters and is robust against disorder (in the form of surface-attached molecules) and against electron decoherence at the nanoparticle-molecule interface.

  10. 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

  11. Spin coherence in a Mn3 single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-07

    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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Eid, John; Fehr, Adrian; Gray, Jeremy; Luong, Khai; Lyle, John; Otto, Geoff; Peluso, Paul; Rank, David; Baybayan, Primo; Bettman, Brad; Bibillo, Arkadiusz; Bjornson, Keith; Chaudhuri, Bidhan; Christians, Frederick; Cicero, Ronald; Clark, Sonya; Dalal, Ravindra; Dewinter, Alex; Dixon, John; Foquet, Mathieu; Gaertner, Alfred; Hardenbol, Paul; Heiner, Cheryl; Hester, Kevin; Holden, David; Kearns, Gregory; Kong, Xiangxu; Kuse, Ronald; Lacroix, Yves; Lin, Steven; Lundquist, Paul; Ma, Congcong; Marks, Patrick; Maxham, Mark; Murphy, Devon; Park, Insil; Pham, Thang; Phillips, Michael; Roy, Joy; Sebra, Robert; Shen, Gene; Sorenson, Jon; Tomaney, Austin; Travers, Kevin; Trulson, Mark; Vieceli, John; Wegener, Jeffrey; Wu, Dawn; Yang, Alicia; Zaccarin, Denis; Zhao, Peter; Zhong, Frank; Korlach, Jonas; Turner, Stephen

    2009-01-02

    We present single-molecule, real-time sequencing data obtained from a DNA polymerase performing uninterrupted template-directed synthesis using four distinguishable fluorescently labeled deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). We detected the temporal order of their enzymatic incorporation into a growing DNA strand with zero-mode waveguide nanostructure arrays, which provide optical observation volume confinement and enable parallel, simultaneous detection of thousands of single-molecule sequencing reactions. Conjugation of fluorophores to the terminal phosphate moiety of the dNTPs allows continuous observation of DNA synthesis over thousands of bases without steric hindrance. The data report directly on polymerase dynamics, revealing distinct polymerization states and pause sites corresponding to DNA secondary structure. Sequence data were aligned with the known reference sequence to assay biophysical parameters of polymerization for each template position. Consensus sequences were generated from the single-molecule reads at 15-fold coverage, showing a median accuracy of 99.3%, with no systematic error beyond fluorophore-dependent error rates.

  15. Decoding Single Molecule Time Traces with Dynamic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Wonseok; Lee, Il-Buem; Hong, Seok-Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule time trajectories of biomolecules provide glimpses into complex folding landscapes that are difficult to visualize using conventional ensemble measurements. Recent experiments and theoretical analyses have highlighted dynamic disorder in certain classes of biomolecules, whose dynamic pattern of conformational transitions is affected by slower transition dynamics of internal state hidden in a low dimensional projection. A systematic means to analyze such data is, however, currently not well developed. Here we report a new algorithm—Variational Bayes-double chain Markov model (VB-DCMM)—to analyze single molecule time trajectories that display dynamic disorder. The proposed analysis employing VB-DCMM allows us to detect the presence of dynamic disorder, if any, in each trajectory, identify the number of internal states, and estimate transition rates between the internal states as well as the rates of conformational transition within each internal state. Applying VB-DCMM algorithm to single molecule FRET data of H-DNA in 100 mM-Na+ solution, followed by data clustering, we show that at least 6 kinetic paths linking 4 distinct internal states are required to correctly interpret the duplex-triplex transitions of H-DNA. PMID:28027304

  16. Nonequilibrium single molecule protein folding in a coaxial mixer.

    PubMed

    Hamadani, Kambiz M; Weiss, Shimon

    2008-07-01

    We have developed a continuous-flow mixing device suitable for monitoring bioconformational reactions at the single-molecule level with a response time of approximately 10 ms under single-molecule flow conditions. Its coaxial geometry allows three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing of sample fluids to diffraction-limited dimensions where diffusional mixing is rapid and efficient. The capillary-based design enables rapid in-lab construction of mixers without the need for expensive lithography-based microfabrication facilities. In-line filtering of sample fluids using granulated silica particles virtually eliminates clogging and extends the lifetime of each device to many months. In this article, to determine both the distance-to-time transfer function and the instrument response function of the device we characterize its fluid flow and mixing properties using both fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy velocimetry and finite element fluid dynamics simulations. We then apply the mixer to single molecule FRET protein folding studies of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor protein 2. By transiently populating the unfolded state of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor Protein 2 (CI2) under nonequilibrium in vitro refolding conditions, we spatially and temporally resolve the denaturant-dependent nonspecific collapse of the unfolded state from the barrier-limited folding transition of CI2. Our results are consistent with previous CI2 mixing results that found evidence for a heterogeneous unfolded state consisting of cis- and trans-proline conformers.

  17. Systems nanobiology: from quantitative single molecule biophysics to microfluidic-based single cell analysis.

    PubMed

    Martini, Joerg; Hellmich, Wibke; Greif, Dominik; Becker, Anke; Merkle, Thomas; Ros, Robert; Ros, Alexandra; Toensing, Katja; Anselmetti, Dario

    2007-01-01

    Detailed and quantitative information about structure-function relation, concentrations and interaction kinetics of biological molecules and subcellular components is a key prerequisite to understand and model cellular organisation and temporal dynamics. In systems nanobi-ology, cellular processes are quantitatively investigated at the sensitivity level of single molecules and cells. This approach provides direct access to biomolecular information without being statistically ensemble-averaged, their associated distribution functions, and possible subpopulations. Moreover at the single cell level, the interplay of regulated genomic information and proteomic variabilities can be investigated and attributed to functional peculiarities. These requirements necessitate the development of novel and ultrasensitive methods and instruments for single molecule detection, microscopy and spectroscopy for analysis without the need of amplification and preconcentration. In this chapter, we present three methodological applications that demonstrate how quantitative informations can be accessed that are representative for cellular processes or single cell analysis like gene expression regulation, intracellular protein translocation dynamics, and single cell protein fingerprinting. First, the interaction kinetics of transcriptionally regulated DNA-protein interaction can be quantitatively investigated with single molecule force spectroscopy allowing a molecular affinity ranking. Second, intracellular protein dynamics for a transcription regulator migrating form the nucleus to the cytoplasm can be quantitatively monitored by photoactivable GFP and two-photon laser scanning microscopy. And third, a microfluidic-based method for label-free single cell proteomics and fingerprinting and first label-free single cell electropherograms are presented which include the manipulation and steering of single cells in a microfluidic device.

  18. How surface interactions freeze polymer molecules at room temperature: a single molecule approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo, F. L.; Valente, G. T.; Faria, R. M.; Guimarães, F. E. G.

    2015-11-01

    The planar conformation assumed by polyfluorenes is used as a model system to investigate how solid surfaces interact with an individual polymer chain as well as to access the effects of substrates and interchain interactions on the polymer conformation. We demonstrate that confocal fluorescence microscopy is very sensitive to characterize photophysical processes associated to conformation assumed by a single conjugated unit of poly (9,9 dioctylfluorene) or PFO. Emissions from interacting molecules have been resolved for the first time between the energies of the planar (β phase) and the non-planar (amorphous) phase that were associated to perturbations of the primary chain conformation. But we have found the planar conformation is assumed by single PFO molecules due to strong interactions with the hydrophilic quartz surfaces. This PFO conformation persists frozen even at room temperature, although emission lines are significantly broadened due to interactions with vibrating substrate atoms.

  19. 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.

  20. Fluorescence Quenching by TEMPO: A Sub-30 Å Single-Molecule Ruler

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Peizhi; Clamme, Jean-Pierre; Deniz, Ashok A.

    2005-01-01

    A series of DNA molecules labeled with 5-carboxytetramethylrhodamine (5-TAMRA) and the small nitroxide radical TEMPO were synthesized and tested to investigate whether the intramolecular quenching efficiency can be used to measure short intramolecular distances in small ensemble and single-molecule experiments. In combination with distance calculations using molecular mechanics modeling, the experimental results from steady-state ensemble fluorescence and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy measurements both show an exponential decrease in the quenching rate constant with the dye-quencher distance in the 10–30 Å range. The results demonstrate that TEMPO-5-TAMRA fluorescence quenching is a promising method to measure short distance changes within single biomolecules. PMID:16199509

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Single Molecule Manipulation and Spectroscopy of Chlorophyll-a from Spinach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, Jessica-Jones

    2005-03-01

    Chlorophyll-a, a molecule produced from `Spinach', adsorbed on a Au(111) surface has been investigated by using an ultra-high-vacuum low-temperature scanning-tunneling-microscope (UHV-LT-STM) at liquid helium temperatures. Studies are carried out both on isolated single molecules and on self-assembled molecular layers. The tunneling I-V and dI-dV spectroscopy of chlorophyll-a elucidate electronic properties of single molecule, such as the HOMO-LOMO gap and molecular orbital states. Mechanical stability of the chlorophyll-a is examined by using STM lateral manipulation (1,2). Here, the STM tip is placed just a few angstrom separation from the molecule to increase the tip-molecule interaction. Then the tip is laterally scanned across the surface resulting in pulling of the molecule. The detailed molecule movement is directly monitored through the corresponding STM-tip height signals. Our results reveal that the spinach molecule is a promising candidate for environmental friendly nano-device applications. (1). S.-W. Hla, K.-H. Rieder, Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem. 54 (2003) 307-330. (2). S.-W. Hla, et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 93 (2004), 208302. This work is financially supported by the US-DOE grant DE-FG02-02ER46012.

  4. 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.

  5. Model-independent counting of molecules in single-molecule localization microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hummer, Gerhard; Fricke, Franziska; Heilemann, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Most biomolecular processes rely on tightly controlled stoichiometries, from the formation of molecular assemblies to cellular signaling. Single-molecule localization micro­scopy studies of fluorophore blinking offer a promising route to probe oligomeric states. Here we show that the distribution of the number of blinking events assumes a universal functional form, independent of photophysics, under relatively mild assumptions. The number of photophysical states, the kinetics of interconversion, and the fraction of active fluorophores enter as two or three constants. This essentially model-independent formulation allows us to determine molecule counts from fluorophore blinking statistics. The formulas hold even if the fluorophores have many different yet unresolved dark states, as long as there is only a single fluorescent state, or if there are different yet unresolvable fluorescent states, as long as there is only a single dark state. We demonstrate the practical applicability of this approach by quantifying the oligomerization states of membrane proteins tagged with the mEos2 fluorescent protein. We find that the model parameters, obtained by likelihood maximization, are transferable. With the counting statistics being independent of the detailed photophysics and its parameters being transferable, the method should be robust and broadly applicable to counting colocalized molecules in vivo and in vitro. PMID:27466316

  6. Single-Molecule Microscopy and Force Spectroscopy of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Andreas; Janovjak, Harald; Fotiadis, Dimtrios; Kedrov, Alexej; Cisneros, David; Müller, Daniel J.

    Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides novel ways to characterize the structure-function relationship of native membrane proteins. High-resolution AFM topographs allow observing the structure of single proteins at sub-nanometer resolution as well as their conformational changes, oligomeric state, molecular dynamics and assembly. We will review these feasibilities illustrating examples of membrane proteins in native and reconstituted membranes. Classification of individual topographs of single proteins allows understanding the principles of motions of their extrinsic domains, to learn about their local structural flexibilities and to find the entropy minima of certain conformations. Combined with the visualization of functionally related conformational changes these insights allow understanding why certain flexibilities are required for the protein to function and how structurally flexible regions allow certain conformational changes. Complementary to AFM imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) experiments detect molecular interactions established within and between membrane proteins. The sensitivity of this method makes it possible to measure interactions that stabilize secondary structures such as transmembrane α-helices, polypeptide loops and segments within. Changes in temperature or protein-protein assembly do not change the locations of stable structural segments, but influence their stability established by collective molecular interactions. Such changes alter the probability of proteins to choose a certain unfolding pathway. Recent examples have elucidated unfolding and refolding pathways of membrane proteins as well as their energy landscapes.

  7. Single-molecule analysis of DNA replication in Xenopus egg extracts.

    PubMed

    Yardimci, Hasan; Loveland, Anna B; van Oijen, Antoine M; Walter, Johannes C

    2012-06-01

    The recent advent in single-molecule imaging and manipulation methods has made a significant impact on the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying many essential cellular processes. Single-molecule techniques such as electron microscopy and DNA fiber assays have been employed to study the duplication of genome in eukaryotes. Here, we describe a single-molecule assay that allows replication of DNA attached to the functionalized surface of a microfluidic flow cell in a soluble Xenopus leavis egg extract replication system and subsequent visualization of replication products via fluorescence microscopy. We also explain a method for detection of replication proteins, through fluorescently labeled antibodies, on partially replicated DNA immobilized at both ends to the surface.

  8. Single-molecule analysis of fluorescent carbon dots towards localization-based super-resolution microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Navneet C.; Khan, Syamantak; Nandi, Chayan K.

    2016-12-01

    The advancement of high-resolution bioimaging has always been dependent on the discovery of bright and easily available fluorescent probes. Fluorescent carbon nanodots, an interesting class of relatively new nanomaterials, have emerged as a versatile alternative due to their superior optical properties, non-toxicity, cell penetrability and easy routes to synthesis. Although a plethora of reports is available on bioimaging using carbon dots, single-molecule-based super-resolution imaging is rare in the literature. In this study, we have systematically characterized the single-molecule fluorescence of three carbon dots and compared them with a standard fluorescent probe. Each of these carbon dots showed a long-lived dark state in the presence of an electron acceptor. The electron transfer mechanism was investigated in single-molecule as well as in ensemble experiments. The average on-off rate between the fluorescent bright and dark states, which is one of the important parameters for single-molecule localization-based super-resolution microscopy, was measured by changing the laser power. We report that the photon budget and on-off rate of these carbon dots were good enough to achieve single-molecule localization with a precision of ~35 nm.

  9. Single-molecule analysis of fluorescent carbon dots towards localization-based super-resolution microscopy.

    PubMed

    Verma, Navneet C; Khan, Syamantak; Nandi, Chayan K

    2016-10-11

    The advancement of high-resolution bioimaging has always been dependent on the discovery of bright and easily available fluorescent probes. Fluorescent carbon nanodots, an interesting class of relatively new nanomaterials, have emerged as a versatile alternative due to their superior optical properties, non-toxicity, cell penetrability and easy routes to synthesis. Although a plethora of reports is available on bioimaging using carbon dots, single-molecule-based super-resolution imaging is rare in the literature. In this study, we have systematically characterized the single-molecule fluorescence of three carbon dots and compared them with a standard fluorescent probe. Each of these carbon dots showed a long-lived dark state in the presence of an electron acceptor. The electron transfer mechanism was investigated in single-molecule as well as in ensemble experiments. The average on-off rate between the fluorescent bright and dark states, which is one of the important parameters for single-molecule localization-based super-resolution microscopy, was measured by changing the laser power. We report that the photon budget and on-off rate of these carbon dots were good enough to achieve single-molecule localization with a precision of ~35 nm.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devi, Murali

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

  11. Single-Molecule mRNA Detection in Live Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lenstra, Tineke L.

    2016-01-01

    Visualization of single RNA molecules in living cells has enabled the study of synthesis, movement, and localization of mRNAs and has provided insight into gene regulation with sub-second temporal resolution and nanometer spatial resolution. Following transcription in single cells indicates that gene activity is heterogeneous between cells and also exhibits random variability over time even within single cells. Studies of mRNAs in yeast can take advantage of the powerful genetics available in this model organism and allow mechanistic questions to be addressed. In this chapter, we describe an approach for visualizing mRNA and transcription in live yeast cells. The method is based on binding of fluorescently labeled MS2 and PP7 coat proteins to stem loops sequences that are introduced into the gene of interest. We give detailed protocols for the construction of the necessary yeast strains, for image acquisition, and for validation. PMID:27110320

  12. 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.

  13. Unfolding single RNA molecules: bridging the gap between equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Carlos

    2005-11-01

    During the last 15 years, scientists have developed methods that permit the direct mechanical manipulation of individual molecules. Using this approach, they have begun to investigate the effect of force and torque in chemical and biochemical reactions. These studies span from the study of the mechanical properties of macromolecules, to the characterization of molecular motors, to the mechanical unfolding of individual proteins and RNA. Here I present a review of some of our most recent results using mechanical force to unfold individual molecules of RNA. These studies make it possible to follow in real time the trajectory of each molecule as it unfolds and characterize the various intermediates of the reaction. Moreover, if the process takes place reversibly it is possible to extract both kinetic and thermodynamic information from these experiments at the same time that we characterize the forces that maintain the three-dimensional structure of the molecule in solution. These studies bring us closer to the biological unfolding processes in the cell as they simulate in vitro, the mechanical unfolding of RNAs carried out in the cell by helicases. If the unfolding process occurs irreversibly, I show here that single-molecule experiments can still provide equilibrium, thermodynamic information from non-equilibrium data by using recently discovered fluctuation theorems. Such theorems represent a bridge between equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. In fact, first derived in 1997, the first experimental demonstration of the validity of fluctuation theorems was obtained by unfolding mechanically a single molecule of RNA. It is perhaps a sign of the times that important physical results are these days used to extract information about biological systems and that biological systems are being used to test and confirm fundamental new laws in physics.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Low-temperature phonoemissive tunneling rates in single molecule magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yun; Garg, Anupam

    2016-03-15

    Tunneling between the two lowest energy levels of single molecule magnets with Ising type anisotropy, accompanied by the emission or absorption of phonons, is considered. Quantitatively accurate calculations of the rates for such tunneling are performed for a model Hamiltonian especially relevant to the best studied example, Fe{sub 8}. Two different methods are used: high-order perturbation theory in the spin–phonon interaction and the non-Ising-symmetric parts of the spin Hamiltonian, and a novel semiclassical approach based on spin-coherent-state-path-integral instantons. The methods are found to be in good quantitative agreement with other, and consistent with previous approaches to the problem. The implications of these results for magnetization of molecular solids of these molecules are discussed briefly.

  17. 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.

  18. Single molecule epigenetic analysis in a nanofluidic channel.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-15

    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 multicolor 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.

  19. Controlling Protein Conformations to Explore Unprecedented Material Properties by Single-Molecule Surgery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-08-17

    Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Enzymatic Reactions,” Single-Molecule Biophysics Meeting, Aspen , CO, Jan. 4-10, 2009. H. P. Lu, “Single...Donor-Acceptor: Cy3-Cy5) pair labeled HPPK molecule tethered between a glass cover-slip surface and a handle (biotin group plus streptavidin), and a...5, 2008. H. P. Lu, “Probing Single-Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Enzymatic Reactions,” Single-Molecule Biophysics Meeting, Aspen

  20. 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.

  1. Mechanism of single-bubble sonoluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Yu

    2006-08-01

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

  2. Mechanism of single-bubble sonoluminescence.

    PubMed

    An, Yu

    2006-08-01

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

  3. Single-molecule imaging in live cell using gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Cécile; Si, Satyabrata; Gautier, Jérémie J; Gao, Zhenghong; Shibu, Edakkattuparambil S; Gautreau, Alexis; Giannone, Grégory; Cognet, Laurent; Lounis, Brahim

    2015-01-01

    Optimal single particle tracking experiments in live cells requires small and photostable probes, which do not modify the behavior of the molecule of interest. Current fluorescence-based microscopy of single molecules and nanoparticles is often limited by bleaching and blinking or by the probe size. As an alternative, we present in this chapter the synthesis of a small and highly specific gold nanoprobe whose detection is based on its absorption properties. We first present a protocol to synthesize 5-nm-diameter gold nanoparticles and functionalize them with a nanobody, a single-domain antibody from camelid, targeting the widespread green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged proteins with a high affinity. Then we describe how to detect and track these individual gold nanoparticles in live cell using photothermal imaging microscopy. The combination of a probe with small size, perfect photostability, high specificity, and versatility through the vast existing library of GFP-proteins, with a highly sensitive detection technique enables long-term tracking of proteins with minimal hindrance in confined and crowded environments such as intracellular space.

  4. 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.

  5. Directly measuring single-molecule heterogeneity using force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hinczewski, Michael; Thirumalai, D.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Single-molecule magnet Mn12 on graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiang-Guo; Fry, James N.; Cheng, Hai-Ping

    2014-09-01

    We study energetics, electronic and magnetic structures, and magnetic anisotropy barriers of a monolayer of single-molecule magnets (SMMs), [Mn12O12(COOR)16](H2O)4 (abbreviated as Mn12, with R=H, CH3, C6H5, and CHCl2), on a graphene surface using spin-polarized density-functional theory with generalized gradient corrections and the inclusion of van der Waals interactions. We find that Mn12 molecules with ligands -H, -CH3, and -C6H5 are physically adsorbed on graphene through weak van der Waals interactions, and a much stronger ionic interaction occurs using a -CHCl2 ligand. The strength of bonding is closely related to the charge transfer between the molecule and the graphene sheet and can be manipulated by strain in the graphene; specifically, tension enhances n doping of graphene, and compression encourages p doping. The magnetic anisotropy barrier is computed by including the spin-orbit interaction within density-functional theory. The barriers for the Mn12 molecules with ligands -H, -CH3 and -C6H5 on graphene surfaces remain unchanged (within 1K) from those of isolated molecules because of their weak interaction, and a much larger reduction (10K) is observed when using the -CHCl2 ligand on graphene due to a substantial structural deformation as a consequence of the much stronger interaction. Neither strain in graphene nor charge transfer affects the magnetic anisotropy barrier significantly. Finally, we discuss the effect of strong correlation in the high-spin state of a Mn12 SMM and the consequence of SMM-surface adsorption.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-10-01

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

  10. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Molecule RNA-Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Fuhrmann, Alexander; Schoening, Jan C.; Anselmetti, Dario; Staiger, Dorothee; Ros, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Abstract RNA-binding proteins impact gene expression at the posttranscriptional level by interacting with cognate cis elements within the transcripts. Here, we apply dynamic single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the interaction of the Arabidopsis glycine-rich RNA-binding protein AtGRP8 with its RNA target. A dwell-time-dependent analysis of the single-molecule data in combination with competition assays and site-directed mutagenesis of both the RNA target and the RNA-binding domain of the protein allowed us to distinguish and quantify two different binding modes. For dwell times <0.21 s an unspecific complex with a lifetime of 0.56 s is observed, whereas dwell times >0.33 s result in a specific interaction with a lifetime of 208 s. The corresponding reaction lengths are 0.28 nm for the unspecific and 0.55 nm for the specific AtGRP8-RNA interactions, indicating formation of a tighter complex with increasing dwell time. These two binding modes cannot be dissected in ensemble experiments. Quantitative titration in RNA bandshift experiments yields an ensemble-averaged equilibrium constant of dissociation of KD = 2 × 10−7 M. Assuming comparable on-rates for the specific and nonspecific binding modes allows us to estimate their free energies as ΔG0 = −42 kJ/mol and ΔG0 = −28 kJ/mol for the specific and nonspecific binding modes, respectively. Thus, we show that single-molecule force spectroscopy with a refined statistical analysis is a potent tool for the analysis of protein-RNA interactions without the drawback of ensemble averaging. This makes it possible to discriminate between different binding modes or sites and to analyze them quantitatively. We propose that this method could be applied to complex interactions of biomolecules in general, and be of particular interest for the investigation of multivalent binding reactions. PMID:19527663

  11. A single synthetic small molecule that generates force against a load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lussis, Perrine; Svaldo-Lanero, Tiziana; Bertocco, Andrea; Fustin, Charles-André; Leigh, David A.; Duwez, Anne-Sophie

    2011-09-01

    Some biomolecules are able to generate directional forces by rectifying random thermal motions. This allows these molecular machines to perform mechanical tasks such as intracellular cargo transport or muscle contraction in plants and animals. Although some artificial molecular machines have been synthesized and used collectively to perform mechanical tasks, so far there have been no direct measurements of mechanical processes at the single-molecule level. Here we report measurements of the mechanical work performed by a synthetic molecule less than 5 nm long. We show that biased Brownian motion of the sub-molecular components in a hydrogen-bonded [2]rotaxane--a molecular ring threaded onto a molecular axle--can be harnessed to generate significant directional forces. We used the cantilever of an atomic force microscope to apply a mechanical load to the ring during single-molecule pulling-relaxing cycles. The ring was pulled along the axle, away from the thermodynamically favoured binding site, and was then found to travel back to this site against an external load of 30 pN. Using fluctuation theorems, we were able to relate measurements of the work done at the level of individual rotaxane molecules to the free-energy change as previously determined from ensemble measurements. The results show that individual rotaxanes can generate directional forces of similar magnitude to those generated by natural molecular machines.

  12. Single-molecule electrical biosensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuefeng

    2013-07-05

    Interactions between biological molecules are fundamental to biology. Probing the complex behaviors of biological systems at the molecular level provides new opportunities to uncover the wealth of molecular information that is usually hidden in conventional ensemble experiments and address the "unanswerable" questions in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. Nanometer-scale materials are particularly well matched with biomolecular interactions due to their biocompatibility, size comparability, and remarkable electrical properties, thus setting the basis for biological sensing with ultrahigh sensitivity. This brief review aims to highlight the recent progress of the burgeoning field of single-molecule electrical biosensors based on nanomaterials, with a particular focus on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), for better understanding of the molecular structure, interacting dynamics, and molecular functions. The perspectives and key issues that will be critical to the success of next-generation single-molecule biosensors toward practical applications are also discussed, such as the device reproducibility, system integration, and theoretical simulation.

  13. Nanomechanical DNA origami 'single-molecule beacons' directly imaged by atomic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kuzuya, Akinori; Sakai, Yusuke; Yamazaki, Takahiro; Xu, Yan; Komiyama, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    DNA origami involves the folding of long single-stranded DNA into designed structures with the aid of short staple strands; such structures may enable the development of useful nanomechanical DNA devices. Here we develop versatile sensing systems for a variety of chemical and biological targets at molecular resolution. We have designed functional nanomechanical DNA origami devices that can be used as 'single-molecule beacons', and function as pinching devices. Using 'DNA origami pliers' and 'DNA origami forceps', which consist of two levers ~170 nm long connected at a fulcrum, various single-molecule inorganic and organic targets ranging from metal ions to proteins can be visually detected using atomic force microscopy by a shape transition of the origami devices. Any detection mechanism suitable for the target of interest, pinching, zipping or unzipping, can be chosen and used orthogonally with differently shaped origami devices in the same mixture using a single platform. PMID:21863016

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. Turbo FISH: A Method for Rapid Single Molecule RNA FISH

    PubMed Central

    Shaffer, Sydney M.; Wu, Min-Tzu; Levesque, Marshall J.; Raj, Arjun

    2013-01-01

    Advances in RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA FISH) have allowed practitioners to detect individual RNA molecules in single cells via fluorescence microscopy, enabling highly accurate and sensitive quantification of gene expression. However, current methods typically employ hybridization times on the order of 2–16 hours, limiting its potential in applications like rapid diagnostics. We present here a set of conditions for RNA FISH (dubbed Turbo RNA FISH) that allow us to make accurate measurements with no more than 5 minutes of hybridization time and 3 minutes of washing, and show that hybridization times can go as low as 30 seconds while still producing quantifiable images. We further show that rapid hybridization is compatible with our recently developed iceFISH and SNP FISH variants of RNA FISH that enable chromosome and single base discrimination, respectively. Our method is simple and cost effective, and has the potential to dramatically increase the throughput and realm of applicability of RNA FISH. PMID:24066168

  18. Single-molecule optomechanics in “picocavities”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    Trapping light with noble metal nanostructures overcomes the diffraction limit and can confine light to volumes typically on the order of 30 cubic nanometers. We found that individual atomic features inside the gap of a plasmonic nanoassembly can localize light to volumes well below 1 cubic nanometer (“picocavities”), enabling optical experiments on the atomic scale. These atomic features are dynamically formed and disassembled by laser irradiation. Although unstable at room temperature, picocavities can be stabilized at cryogenic temperatures, allowing single atomic cavities to be probed for many minutes. Unlike traditional optomechanical resonators, such extreme optical confinement yields a factor of 106 enhancement of optomechanical coupling between the picocavity field and vibrations of individual molecular bonds. This work sets the basis for developing nanoscale nonlinear quantum optics on the single-molecule level.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Profiling of Short RNAs Using Helicos Single-Molecule Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Kapranov, Philipp; Ozsolak, Fatih; Milos, Patrice M.

    2012-01-01

    The importance of short (<200 nt) RNAs in cell biogenesis has been well documented. These short RNAs include crucial classes of molecules such as transfer RNAs, small nuclear RNA, microRNAs, and many others (reviewed in Storz et al., Annu Rev Biochem 74:199–217, 2005; Ghildiyal and Zamore, Nat Rev Genet 10:94–108, 2009). Furthermore, the realm of functional RNAs that fall within this size range is growing to include less well-characterized RNAs such as short RNAs found at the promoters and 3′ termini of genes (Affymetrix ENCODE Transcriptome Project et al., Nature 457:1028–1032, 2009; Davis and Ares, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:3262–3267, 2006; Kapranov et al., Science 316:1484–1488, 2007; Taft et al., Nat Genet 41:572–578, 2009; Kapranov et al., Nature 466:642–646, 2010), short RNAs involved in paramutation (Rassoulzadegan et al., Nature 441:469–474, 2006), and others (reviewed in Kawaji and Hayashizaki, PLoS Genet 4:e22, 2008). Discovery and accurate quantification of these RNA molecules, less than 200 bases in size, is thus an important and also challenging aspect of understanding the full repertoire of cellular and extracellular RNAs. Here, we describe the strategies and procedures we developed to profile short RNA species using single-molecule sequencing (SMS) and the advantages SMS offers. PMID:22144202

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Photosynthetic Systems.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Toru; Chen, Wei Jia; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S

    2017-01-25

    Photosynthesis begins when a network of pigment-protein complexes captures solar energy and transports it to the reaction center, where charge separation occurs. When necessary (under low light conditions), photosynthetic organisms perform this energy transport and charge separation with near unity quantum efficiency. Remarkably, this high efficiency is maintained under physiological conditions, which include thermal fluctuations of the pigment-protein complexes and changing local environments. These conditions introduce multiple types of heterogeneity in the pigment-protein complexes, including structural heterogeneity, energetic heterogeneity, and functional heterogeneity. Understanding how photosynthetic light-harvesting functions in the face of these fluctuations requires understanding this heterogeneity, which, in turn, requires characterization of individual pigment-protein complexes. Single-molecule spectroscopy has the power to probe individual complexes. In this review, we present an overview of the common techniques for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy applied to photosynthetic systems and describe selected experiments on these systems. We discuss how these experiments provide a new understanding of the impact of heterogeneity on light harvesting and thus how these systems are optimized to capture sunlight under physiological conditions.

  7. Single molecule studies of the neuronal SNARE fusion machinery

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Marciel, Amanda; Schroeder, Charles

    2014-03-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Molecular recognition is often driven by transient processes beyond the reach of detection. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy methods are uniquely suited for detecting such non-accumulating intermediates, yet achieving the time resolution and statistics to realize this potential has proven challenging. Here, we present a single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) imaging and analysis platform leveraging advances in scientific complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) detectors that enable the imaging of more than 10,000 individual molecules simultaneously at millisecond rates. The utility of this advance is demonstrated through quantitative measurements of previously obscured processes relevant to the fidelity mechanism in protein synthesis. PMID:26878382

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-07

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-09-30

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

  15. Cell responses to single pheromone molecules may reflect the activation kinetics of olfactory receptor molecules.

    PubMed

    Minor, A V; Kaissling, K-E

    2003-03-01

    Olfactory receptor cells of the silkmoth Bombyx mori respond to single pheromone molecules with "elementary" electrical events that appear as discrete "bumps" a few milliseconds in duration, or bursts of bumps. As revealed by simulation, one bump may result from a series of random openings of one or several ion channels, producing an average inward membrane current of 1.5 pA. The distributions of durations of bumps and of gaps between bumps in a burst can be fitted by single exponentials with time constants of 10.2 ms and 40.5 ms, respectively. The distribution of burst durations is a sum of two exponentials; the number of bumps per burst obeyed a geometric distribution (mean 3.2 bumps per burst). Accordingly the elementary events could reflect transitions among three states of the pheromone receptor molecule: the vacant receptor (state 1), the pheromone-receptor complex (state 2), and the activated complex (state 3). The calculated rate constants of the transitions between states are k(21)=7.7 s(-1), k(23)=16.8 s(-1), and k(32)=98 s(-1).

  16. Numerical modeling of single-molecule detection and trapping in a nanochannel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, William; Sikorski, Zbigniew; Davis, Lloyd M.

    2007-11-01

    Confocal fluorescence microscopy with single-photon counting enables detection of individual fluorescent molecules as they randomly diffuse through a tightly focused laser beam. However, for many biophysical studies, there is a need to observe the same molecule for an extended duration, without immobilizing it to a surface. The problem of trapping a single fluorescent molecule in solution is examined here via numerical simulation. Optical trapping provides insufficient force for trapping small biomolecules. Instead, a means for sensing the molecule's position and applying real-time feedback of motion to compensate diffusional displacement is used for trapping. The use of a nanochannel to confine the molecule reduces the problem to one dimension. The position of the molecule along the nanochannel is measured from its fluorescence induced by a pulse-interleaved two-beam laser-irradiance pattern. The time-gated photons are analyzed via maximum-likelihood methods and an electrophoretic motion provides the trapping mechanism. Flexible parameters allow a multi-variable analysis of the trapping efficiency and effectiveness. The reaction of the flow is set to the time-delayed response of a realistic field-programmable gate array (FPGA) controller. Trapping algorithms developed in the simulation are to be experimentally implemented in the FPGA.

  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. Electronic states of pyrene single crystal and of its single molecule inserted in a molecular vessel of cyclodextrin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Nobuaki; Gombojav, Bold; Yoshinari, Takehisa; Nagasaka, Shin-ichiro; Takahashi, Yoshio; Yamamoto, Aishi; Goto, Takenari; Kasuya, Atsuo

    2004-10-01

    Highly purified single crystals of pyrene were made by a gas phase crystal growth method from 180 times of zone-refined pyrene. The absorption spectra of the single crystal have been transformed from the reflection spectra between 2.5 and 6.5 eV at 2, 77 K and room temperature. The dry powder of β-cyclodextrin including pyrene single molecule were prepared in vacuum to investigate the electronic states of the isolated molecule. The absorption spectra of the single molecule show similar spectra to those of the single crystal. The pyrene molecule keeps its electronic character even in the single crystal.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huimin

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Single-molecule studies of high-mobility group B architectural DNA bending proteins.

    PubMed

    Murugesapillai, Divakaran; McCauley, Micah J; Maher, L James; Williams, Mark C

    2017-02-01

    Protein-DNA interactions can be characterized and quantified using single molecule methods such as optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence imaging. In this review, we discuss studies that characterize the binding of high-mobility group B (HMGB) architectural proteins to single DNA molecules. We show how these studies are able to extract quantitative information regarding equilibrium binding as well as non-equilibrium binding kinetics. HMGB proteins play critical but poorly understood roles in cellular function. These roles vary from the maintenance of chromatin structure and facilitation of ribosomal RNA transcription (yeast high-mobility group 1 protein) to regulatory and packaging roles (human mitochondrial transcription factor A). We describe how these HMGB proteins bind, bend, bridge, loop and compact DNA to perform these functions. We also describe how single molecule experiments observe multiple rates for dissociation of HMGB proteins from DNA, while only one rate is observed in bulk experiments. The measured single-molecule kinetics reveals a local, microscopic mechanism by which HMGB proteins alter DNA flexibility, along with a second, much slower macroscopic rate that describes the complete dissociation of the protein from DNA.

  2. Single-molecule pulling and the folding of donor-acceptor oligorotaxanes: Phenomenology and interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Ignacio; Schatz, George C.; Ratner, Mark A.

    2009-09-01

    The thermodynamic driving force in the folding of a class of oligorotaxanes is elucidated by means of molecular dynamics simulations of equilibrium isometric single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy experiments. The oligorotaxanes consist of cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) rings threaded onto an oligomer of 1,5-dioxynaphthalenes linked by polyethers. The simulations are performed in a high dielectric medium using MM3 as the force field. The resulting force versus extension isotherms show a mechanically unstable region in which the molecule unfolds and, for selected extensions, blinks in the force measurements between a high-force and a low-force regime. From the force versus extension data the molecular potential of mean force is reconstructed using the weighted histogram analysis method and decomposed into energetic and entropic contributions. The simulations indicate that the folding of the oligorotaxanes is energetically favored but entropically penalized, with the energetic contributions overcoming the entropy penalty and effectively driving the folding. In addition, an analogy between the single-molecule folding/unfolding events driven by the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip and the thermodynamic theory of first-order phase transitions is discussed. General conditions (on the molecule and the AFM cantilever) for the emergence of mechanical instabilities and blinks in the force measurements in equilibrium isometric pulling experiments are also presented. In particular, it is shown that the mechanical stability properties observed during the extension are intimately related to the fluctuations in the force measurements.

  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. Nanofluidics and Single Molecule Detection for DNA analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  5. Nucleosomal arrangement affects single-molecule transcription dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Fitz, Veronika; Shin, Jaeoh; Ehrlich, Christoph; Farnung, Lucas; Cramer, Patrick; Zaburdaev, Vasily; Grill, Stephan W.

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, gene expression depends on chromatin organization. However, how chromatin affects the transcription dynamics of individual RNA polymerases has remained elusive. Here, we use dual trap optical tweezers to study single yeast RNA polymerase II (Pol II) molecules transcribing along a DNA template with two nucleosomes. The slowdown and the changes in pausing behavior within the nucleosomal region allow us to determine a drift coefficient, χ, which characterizes the ability of the enzyme to recover from a nucleosomal backtrack. Notably, χ can be used to predict the probability to pass the first nucleosome. Importantly, the presence of a second nucleosome changes χ in a manner that depends on the spacing between the two nucleosomes, as well as on their rotational arrangement on the helical DNA molecule. Our results indicate that the ability of Pol II to pass the first nucleosome is increased when the next nucleosome is turned away from the first one to face the opposite side of the DNA template. These findings help to rationalize how chromatin arrangement affects Pol II transcription dynamics. PMID:27791062

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taekyeong

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Quantum coherence in Mn-based single molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeywardana, C.; Cho, F. H.; Mowson, A.; Christou, G.; Takahashi, S.

    2015-03-01

    As spin systems in solids, single-molecule magnets (SMMs) form a unique class of materials that have a high-spin, and their spin state and interaction can be easily tuned by changing peripheral organic ligands and solvate molecules. In addition, it has been shown that an individual or a small ensemble of SMMs can be transferred to surface with retention of their magnetic behavior. SMM is therefore a promising system for fundamental quantum science and for applications to dense and efficient quantum memory, computing, and molecular spintronics devices. In spite of diverse interests on quantum properties in SMMs, decoherence properties that ultimately limit such behaviors have not been understood yet. Until now, coherent manipulation of spin states in SMMs has been experimentally demonstrated only in a few SMMs. In this presentation, we investigate quantum coherence in Mn-based SMMs using a high-frequency pulsed EPR technique, which has a significant advantage to quench the spin decoherence due to electron spins.

  8. 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

  9. Eight years of single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Klein, Teresa; Proppert, Sven; Sauer, Markus

    2014-06-01

    Super-resolution imaging by single-molecule localization (localization microscopy) provides the ability to unravel the structural organization of cells and the composition of biomolecular assemblies at a spatial resolution that is well below the diffraction limit approaching virtually molecular resolution. Constant improvements in fluorescent probes, efficient and specific labeling techniques as well as refined data analysis and interpretation strategies further improved localization microscopy. Today, it allows us to interrogate how the distribution and stoichiometry of interacting proteins in subcellular compartments and molecular machines accomplishes complex interconnected cellular processes. Thus, it exhibits potential to address fundamental questions of cell and developmental biology. Here, we briefly introduce the history, basic principles, and different localization microscopy methods with special focus on direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) and summarize key developments and examples of two- and three-dimensional localization microscopy of the last 8 years.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A; Shera, E.B.

    1996-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Directed single molecule diffusion triggered by surface energy gradients.

    PubMed

    Burgos, Pierre; Zhang, Zhenyu; Golestanian, Ramin; Leggett, Graham J; Geoghegan, Mark

    2009-10-27

    We demonstrate the diffusion of single poly(ethylene glycol) molecules on surfaces which change from hydrophilic to hydrophobic over a few micrometers. These gradients in surface energy are shown to drive the molecular diffusion in the direction of the hydrophilic component. The polymer diffusion coefficients on these surfaces are measured by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and are shown to be elevated by more than an order of magnitude compared to surfaces without the surface energy gradient. Along the gradient, the diffusion is asymmetric, with diffusion coefficients approximately 100 times greater in the direction of the gradient than orthogonal to it. This diffusion can be explained by a Stokes-Einstein treatment of the surface-adsorbed polymer.

  14. Tracking tagged molecules in single neurons in intact zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Armisen, Ricardo; Gleason, Michelle R; Fetcho, Joseph R; Mandel, Gail

    2007-08-01

    INTRODUCTIONThis protocol describes an approach for monitoring the movement of tagged molecules in single neurons in intact embryonic and larval zebrafish. The intact preparation provides a meaningful context for the physiological event being studied. Other advantages offered by the young zebrafish include direct in vivo imaging, the ability to produce large numbers of labeled embryos easily using microinjection, and the existence of identified sensory circuits that can be exploited to activate a particular cell type. One limitation of this system is the fragility of 2- to 3-d-old embryos, which demands delicate physical manipulation of the fish during all stages preceding and during the experiment. In contrast to brain slices or isolated cells, nearly all original neural connections and sensory components are maintained in the intact preparation, so the occurrence of a downstream event may be precluded (or its manifestation enhanced) by some complex interplay of biological processes that are not fully understood.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Tunneling spectroscopy of organic monolayers and single molecules.

    PubMed

    Hipps, K W

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Single molecule atomic force microscopy and force spectroscopy of chitosan.

    PubMed

    Kocun, Marta; Grandbois, Michel; Cuccia, Louis A

    2011-02-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM-based force spectroscopy was used to study the desorption of individual chitosan polymer chains from substrates with varying chemical composition. AFM images of chitosan adsorbed onto a flat mica substrate show elongated single strands or aggregated bundles. The aggregated state of the polymer is consistent with the high level of flexibility and mobility expected for a highly positively charged polymer strand. Conversely, the visualization of elongated strands indicated the presence of stabilizing interactions with the substrate. Surfaces with varying chemical composition (glass, self-assembled monolayer of mercaptoundecanoic acid/decanethiol and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)) were probed with chitosan modified AFM tips and the corresponding desorption energies, calculated from plateau-like features, were attributed to the desorption of individual polymer strands. Desorption energies of 2.0±0.3×10(-20)J, 1.8±0.3×10(-20)J and 3.5±0.3×10(-20)J were obtained for glass, SAM of mercaptoundecanoic/dodecanethiol and PTFE, respectively. These single molecule level results can be used as a basis for investigating chitosan and chitosan-based materials for biomaterial applications.

  19. Ferromagnetic manganese "cubes": from PSII to single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Inglis, Ross; Stoumpos, Constantinos C; Prescimone, Alessandro; Siczek, Milosz; Lis, Tadeusz; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Brechin, Euan K; Milios, Constantinos J

    2010-05-28

    The reaction of Mn(O₂CMe)₂·2H₂O with Me-saoH₂ (Me-saoH₂ = 2-hydroxyphenylethanone oxime) in MeCN forms the complex [Mn(III)₄(Me-sao)₄(Me-saoH)₄] (1) in good yields. Replacing Me-saoH₂ with Naphth-saoH₂ (Naphth-saoH₂ = 2-hydroxy-1-napthaldoxime) in the presence of CH₃ONa forms the complex [Mn(III)₄(Naphth-sao)₄(Naphth-saoH)₄] (2) in low yields, while the reaction between Mn(ClO₄)₂·6H₂O, Et-saoH₂ (Et-saoH₂= 2-hydroxypropiophenone oxime) and NBu₄OH in MeCN gives the complex [Mn(III)₄(Et-sao)₄(Et-saoH)₄] (3) in moderate yields. All three tetrametallic cages exclusively contain Mn(III) centres arranged in a "cube"-like topology, in which the metal centres are connected by -N-O(oximate) groups. The magnetic properties of 1-3 are near identical, revealing the presence of only ferromagnetic interactions between the metal ions leading to high-spin ground states of S = 8. The complexes display frequency dependent out-of-phase signals in ac susceptibility studies and, in the case of 1 single-molecule magnetism has been observed by means of single-crystal hysteresis loop measurements.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gulinatti, Angelo; Rech, Ivan; Maccagnani, Piera; Ghioni, Massimo

    2013-02-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Molding single DNA molecules in metals and sample preparation for electronic sequencing.

    PubMed

    Lund, John A; Parviz, Babak A

    2009-01-01

    We demonstrate the molding of single DNA molecules in 8 nm thin platinum molds. The molded structures have an apparent depth of 1 nm under STM imaging, and closely follow the contours of the DNA molecules. We have confirmed the presence of the embedded molecules and have verified the ability of this technique to scale down to single molecules. Additionally, we have utilized this method to perform electron tunneling analysis on embedded DNA molecules.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-15

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

  7. Kinetic mechanism for DNA unwinding by multiple molecules of Dda helicase aligned on DNA.

    PubMed

    Eoff, Robert L; Raney, Kevin D

    2010-06-01

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

  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. Tunnel-Current based Single-Molecule Detection Method of Biopolymer Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Taniguchi, Masateru; Bionanotechnology Team

    2015-03-01

    We have been proposed a tunneling-current based identification as a single-molecule biopolymer sequencing. This methodology is based on sequentially reading the tunneling-current across individual single-biopolymer in the sequence, resulting in a high-speed electrical discrimination of the individual nucleotides. In this study, we report on a read of nucleotide sequence by the transverse electron transport through nanogap-electrode. We measured the extent of the electron-tunneling by using nanofabricated, mechanically controllable break junction, and determined the conductance values for deoxyribo/ribo- nucleoside monophosphates. When the molecules passed between the nanoelectrodes separated by a sub-nanometer gap, the tunneling-current through the molecules was increased, relative to that in the absence of molecules. The current intensity is found to be closely related to the individual molecular energy level. We also applied this method to base-typing in oligonucleotides. Based on the electrical conductivity for single-nucleotides, we read the fragment of sample nucleotide passing through the sensing electrode. On the basis of a reconstruction of the read fragment sequences, we successfully determined a sample nucleotide sequence.

  10. Combining single-molecule manipulation and imaging for the study of protein-DNA interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Charge manipulation in molecules encapsulated inside single-wall carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-22

    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.

  14. Single-molecule manipulation measurements of polymer/solution interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittmore, Andrew N.

    Because the properties of soft materials emerge from the physics of the constituent polymers, we are motivated to characterize chain molecules at a fundamental level. We build upon the magnetic tweezers single-molecule manipulation technique, which involves measuring the distance between the ends of a polymer in real time and with nanometer precision while applying stable magnetic stretching forces in the piconewton range. Here we demonstrate new applications of this technique, specifically by measuring the interactions between a polymer and the surrounding solvent. First, through low-force elastic measurements, we determine a range of fundamental parameters that quantify solvent quality and chain structure. We present a force-solvent phase diagram to summarize these parameters and our experimental data, and discuss where PEG, DNA, RNA, and proteins fit into the diagram. The unstructured and structured states of a biomolecule reside at opposite ends of the diagram, indicating that folding is accompanied by a change in the character of the solvent. We therefore chose to investigate the local solvent change that occurs when a charged biomolecule folds. We present a thermodynamic framework for measuring the uptake of counterions that accompanies nucleic acid folding. Our measurements of a simple DNA hairpin identify potential shortcomings in thermodynamic parameters of MFOLD, the most widely used predictive software for nucleic acids. Finally, we present a variety of polymer immobilization schemes, achieve low-noise measurements with a strong magnet design, identify new assays, and provide technical guidance that may be useful to those interested in pursuing future magnetic tweezers experiments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20385833

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-31

    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 predicted dual binding modes across multiple bacterial species, our approach opens up new possibilities for understanding assembly and catalytic properties of a broad range of multi-enzyme complexes.

  18. Manipulation and Motion of Organelles and Single Molecules in Living Cells.

    PubMed

    Norregaard, Kamilla; Metzler, Ralf; Ritter, Christine M; Berg-Sørensen, Kirstine; Oddershede, Lene B

    2017-03-08

    The biomolecule is among the most important building blocks of biological systems, and a full understanding of its function forms the scaffold for describing the mechanisms of higher order structures as organelles and cells. Force is a fundamental regulatory mechanism of biomolecular interactions driving many cellular processes. The forces on a molecular scale are exactly in the range that can be manipulated and probed with single molecule force spectroscopy. The natural environment of a biomolecule is inside a living cell, hence, this is the most relevant environment for probing their function. In vivo studies are, however, challenged by the complexity of the cell. In this review, we start with presenting relevant theoretical tools for analyzing single molecule data obtained in intracellular environments followed by a description of state-of-the art visualization techniques. The most commonly used force spectroscopy techniques, namely optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers, and atomic force microscopy, are described in detail, and their strength and limitations related to in vivo experiments are discussed. Finally, recent exciting discoveries within the field of in vivo manipulation and dynamics of single molecule and organelles are reviewed.

  19. Conductance and Geometry of Pyridine-Linked Single Molecule Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Kamenetska, M.; Hybertsen, M.; Quek, S.Y.; Whalley, A.C.; Steigerwald, M.L.; Choi, H.J.; Louie, S.G.; Nuckolls, C.; Neaton, J.B.; Venkataraman, L.

    2010-05-19

    We have measured the conductance and characterized molecule-electrode binding geometries of four pyridine-terminated molecules by elongating and then compressing gold point contacts in a solution of molecules. We have found that all pyridine-terminated molecules exhibit bistable conductance signatures, signifying that the nature of the pyridine-gold bond allows two distinct conductance states that are accessed as the gold-molecule-gold junction is elongated. We have identified the low-conductance state as corresponding to a molecule fully stretched out between the gold electrodes, where the distance between contacts correlates with the length of the molecule; the high-conductance state is due to a molecule bound at an angle. For all molecules, we have found that the distribution of junction elongations in the low-conductance state is the same, while in the high-conductance state, the most likely elongation length increases linearly with molecule length. The results of first-principles conductance calculations for the four molecules in the low-conductance geometry agree well with the experimental results and show that the dominant conducting channel in the conjugated pyridine-linked molecules is through the {pi}* orbital.

  20. A Stochastic Single-Molecule Event Triggers Phenotype Switching of a Bacterial Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Sunney; Choi, Paul; Cai, Long

    2009-03-01

    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.

  1. Rectifications in organic single-molecule diodes alkanethiolate-terminated heterocyclics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Yipeng; Zhang, Mengjun; Wang, Tianxing; Wang, Guangtao; Fu, Zhaoming

    2016-02-01

    Based on the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism combined with the ab initio density functional theory, we investigate the rectifying behaviors of the organic single-molecule S(CH2)11-terminated with a variety of heterocyclics (i.e., BIPY, PHE, PHEPY, and PYR) coupled with two semi-infinite Au electrodes. Our quantum transport calculation results show that the BIPY and PHE nanojunctions show the high-efficiency rectifying effects. While, differently, the current-voltage (I-V) curves of PHEPY and PYR nanojunctions display the insulating and linear characters, respectively. The corresponding electronic transport mechanisms are analyzed in detail. Our calculation results demonstrate that these investigated organic single-molecule nanojunctions have the potential applications in rectifiers and molecular wires.

  2. Inelastic transport and low-bias rectification in a single-molecule diode.

    PubMed

    Hihath, Joshua; Bruot, Christopher; Nakamura, Hisao; Asai, Yoshihiro; Díez-Pérez, Ismael; Lee, Youngu; Yu, Luping; Tao, Nongjian

    2011-10-25

    Designing, controlling, and understanding rectification behavior in molecular-scale devices has been a goal of the molecular electronics community for many years. Here we study the transport behavior of a single molecule diode, and its nonrectifying, symmetric counterpart at low temperatures, and at both low and high biases to help elucidate the electron-phonon interactions and transport mechanisms in the rectifying system. We find that the onset of current rectification occurs at low biases, indicating a significant change in the elastic transport pathway. However, the peaks in the inelastic electron tunneling (IET) spectrum are antisymmetric about zero bias and show no significant changes in energy or intensity in the forward or reverse bias directions, indicating that despite the change in the elastic transmission probability there is little impact on the inelastic pathway. These results agree with first principles calculations performed to evaluate the IETS, which also allow us to identify which modes are active in the single molecule junction.

  3. Study of Large Multimeric Biomolecules by Single-Molecule Manipulation and Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, Kai; Wijeratne, Sitara S.; Martinez, Jerahme; Yeh, Hui-Chun; Moake, Joel; Dong, Jing-Fei; Farach-Carson, Mary C.; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2012-02-01

    Single-molecule manipulation enables us to study the properties of long chain, multimeric biomolecules. Perlecan, a giant secreted heparin sulfate proteoglycan, is a major component of basement membrane, bone stroma and blood vessels. It is involved in processes such as cell adhesion, migration and modulation of apoptosis. The changes in its synthesis and function are closely associated with many diseases, including cancer. Von Willebrand factor is a large multimeric protein circulating in blood, and is crucial for initiation of blood coagulation. We use atomic force microscope to obtain force curves and images of these proteins. We characterized the mechanical property of perlecan as well as the domain conformational changes of von Willebrand factor. The results demonstrate that single-molecule manipulation can probe directly the dynamics of large biomolecules that are usually not accessible with other methods.

  4. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals how calmodulin activates NO synthase by controlling its conformational fluctuation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    He, Yufan; Haque, Mohammad Mahfuzul; Stuehr, Dennis J.; Lu, H. Peter

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms that regulate the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS) are of interest in biology and medicine. Although NOS catalysis relies on domain motions, and is activated by calmodulin binding, the relationships are unclear. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy to elucidate the conformational states distribution and associated conformational fluctuation dynamics of the two electron transfer domains in a FRET dye-labeled neuronal NOS reductase domain, and to understand how calmodulin affects the dynamics to regulate catalysis. We found that calmodulin alters NOS conformational behaviors in several ways: It changes the distance distribution between the NOS domains, shortens the lifetimes of the individual conformational states, and instills conformational discipline by greatly narrowing the distributions of the conformational states and fluctuation rates. This information was specifically obtainable only by single-molecule spectroscopic measurements, and reveals how calmodulin promotes catalysis by shaping the physical and temporal conformational behaviors of NOS. PMID:26311846

  5. Single-molecule kinetics under force: probing protein folding and enzymatic activity with optical tweezers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wesley

    2010-03-01

    Weak non-covalent bonds between and within single molecules govern many aspects of biological structure and function (e.g. DNA base-paring, receptor-ligand binding, protein folding, etc.) In living systems, these interactions are often subject to mechanical forces, which can greatly alter their kinetics and activity. My group develops and applies novel single-molecule manipulation techniques to explore and quantify these force-dependent kinetics. Using optical tweezers, we have quantified the force-dependent unfolding and refolding kinetics of different proteins, including the cytoskeletal protein spectrin in collaboration with E. Evans's group [1], and the A2 domain of the von Willebrand factor blood clotting protein in collaboration with T. Springer's group [2]. Furthermore, we have studied the kinetics of the ADAMTS13 enzyme acting on a single A2 domain, and have shown that physiolgical forces in the circulation can act as a cofactor for enzymatic cleavage, regulating hemostatic activity [2]. References: 1. E. Evans, K. Halvorsen, K. Kinoshita, and W.P. Wong, Handbook of Single Molecule Biophysics, P. Hinterdorfer, ed., Springer (2009). 2. X. Zhang, K. Halvorsen, C.-Z. Zhang, W.P. Wong, and T.A. Springer, Science 324 (5932), 1330-1334 (2009).

  6. The Citrate Carrier CitS Probed by Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kästner, Christopher N.; Prummer, Michael; Sick, Beate; Renn, Alois; Wild, Urs P.; Dimroth, Peter

    2003-01-01

    A prominent region of the Na+-dependent citrate carrier (CitS) from Klebsiella pneumoniae is the highly conserved loop X-XI, which contains a putative citrate binding site. To monitor potential conformational changes within this region by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, the target cysteines C398 and C414 of the single-Cys mutants (CitS-sC398, CitS-sC414) were selectively labeled with the thiol-reactive fluorophores AlexaFluor 546/568 C5 maleimide (AF546, AF568). While both single-cysteine mutants were catalytically active citrate carriers, labeling with the fluorophore was only tolerated at C398. Upon citrate addition to the functional protein fluorophore conjugate CitS-sC398-AF546, complete fluorescence quenching of the majority of molecules was observed, indicating a citrate-induced conformational change of the fluorophore-containing domain of CitS. This quenching was specific for the physiological substrate citrate and therefore most likely reflecting a conformational change in the citrate transport mechanism. Single-molecule studies with dual-labeled CitS-sC398-AF546/568 and dual-color detection provided strong evidence for a homodimeric association of CitS. PMID:12609868

  7. Single-molecule analysis of DNA uncoiling by a type II topoisomerase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strick, Terence R.; Croquette, Vincent; Bensimon, David

    2000-04-01

    Type II DNA topoisomerases are ubiquitous ATP-dependent enzymes capable of transporting a DNA through a transient double-strand break in a second DNA segment. This enables them to untangle DNA and relax the interwound supercoils (plectonemes) that arise in twisted DNA. In vivo, they are responsible for untangling replicated chromosomes and their absence at mitosis or meiosis ultimately causes cell death. Here we describe a micromanipulation experiment in which we follow in real time a single Drosophila melanogaster topoisomerase II acting on a linear DNA molecule which is mechanically stretched and supercoiled. By monitoring the DNA's extension in the presence of ATP, we directly observe the relaxation of two supercoils during a single catalytic turnover. By controlling the force pulling on the molecule, we determine the variation of the reaction rate with the applied stress. Finally, in the absence of ATP, we observe the clamping of a DNA crossover by a single topoisomerase on at least two different timescales (configurations). These results show that single molecule experiments are a powerful new tool for the study of topoisomerases.

  8. High-density single-molecule analysis of cell surface dynamics in C. elegans embryos

    PubMed Central

    Robin, Francois B.; McFadden, William M.; Yao, Baixue; Munro, Edwin M.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a general, versatile and non-invasive method to image single molecules near the cell surface that can be applied to any GFP-tagged protein in C. elegans embryos. We exploit tunable expression via RNAi and a dynamically exchanging monomer pool to achieve fast continuous single-molecule imaging at optimal densities with signal-to-noise ratios adequate for robust single particle tracking (SPT) analysis. We also introduce and validate a new method called smPReSS that infers exchange rates from quantitative analysis of single molecule photobleaching kinetics, without using SPT. Combining SPT and smPReSS allows spatially and temporally resolved measurements of protein mobility and exchange kinetics. We use these methods (a) to resolve distinct mobility states and spatial variation in exchange rates of the polarity protein Par-6 and (b) to measure spatiotemporal modulation of actin filament assembly and disassembly. The introduction of these methods in a powerful model system offers a promising new avenue to investigate dynamic mechanisms that pattern the embryonic cell surface. PMID:24727651

  9. Force-activated reactivity switch in a bimolecular chemical reaction at the single molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szoszkiewicz, Robert; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Liang, Jian; Kuo, Tzu-Ling; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2010-03-01

    Mechanical force can deform the reacting molecules along a well-defined direction of the reaction coordinate. However, the effect of mechanical force on the free-energy surface that governs a chemical reaction is still largely unknown. The combination of protein engineering with single-molecule AFM force-clamp spectroscopy allows us to study the influence of mechanical force on the rate at which a protein disulfide bond is reduced by some reducing agents in a bimolecular substitution reaction (so-called SN2). We found that cleavage of a protein disulfide bond by hydroxide anions exhibits an abrupt reactivity ``switch'' at 500 pN, after which the accelerating effect of force on the rate of an SN2 chemical reaction greatly diminishes. We propose that an abrupt force-induced conformational change of the protein disulfide bond shifts its ground state, drastically changing its reactivity in SN2 chemical reactions. Our experiments directly demonstrate the action of a force-activated switch in the chemical reactivity of a single molecule. References: Sergi Garcia-Manyes, Jian Liang, Robert Szoszkiewicz, Tzu-Ling Kuo and Julio M. Fernandez, Nature Chemistry, 1, 236-242, 2009.

  10. Force-activated reactivity switch in a bimolecular chemical reaction at the single molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szoszkiewicz, Robert; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Liang, Jian; Kuo, Tzu-Ling; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2009-10-01

    Mechanical force is a distinct and usually less explored way to activate chemical reaction because it can deform the reacting molecules along a well-defined direction of the reaction coordinate. However, the effect of mechanical force on the free- energy surface that governs a chemical reaction is still largely unknown. The combination of protein engineering with single-molecule force-clamp spectroscopy allows us to study the influence of mechanical force on the rate at which a protein disulfide bond is reduced by some reducing agents in a bimolecular substitution reaction (so-called SN2). We found that cleavage of a protein disulfide bond by hydroxide anions exhibits an abrupt reactivity ``switch'' at 500 pN, after which the accelerating effect of force on the rate of an SN2 chemical reaction greatly diminishes. We propose that an abrupt force- induced conformational change of the protein disulfide bond shifts its ground state, drastically changing its reactivity in SN2 chemical reactions. Our experiments directly demonstrate the action of a force-activated switch in the chemical reactivity of a single molecule. References: S. Garcia-Manyes, J. Liang, R. Szoszkiewicz, T-L. Kuo and J. M. Fernandez, Nature Chemistry, 1, 236-242, 2009.

  11. Single-molecule interfacial electron transfer dynamics manipulated by an external electric current.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guofeng; Xiao, Liantuan; Chen, Ruiyun; Gao, Yan; Wang, Xiaobo; Jia, Suotang

    2011-08-14

    Interfacial electron transfer (IET) dynamics in a 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindodicarbocyanine (DiD) dye molecule/indium tin oxide (ITO) film system have been probed at the ensemble and single-molecule levels. By comparing the difference in the external electric current (EEC) dependence of the fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of the ensembles and single molecules, it is shown that the single-molecule probe can effectively demonstrate IET dynamics. The backward electron transfer and electron transfer from the ground state induce single-molecule fluorescence quenching when an EEC is applied to the DiD/ITO film system.

  12. Monitoring Conformational Dynamics with Single-Molecule Fluorescence Energy Transfer: Applications in Nucleosome Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Deindl, Sebastian; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2016-01-01

    Due to its ability to track distance changes within individual molecules or molecular complexes on the nanometer scale and in real time, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (single-molecule FRET) is a powerful tool to tackle a wide range of important biological questions. Using our recently developed single-molecule FRET assay to monitor nucleosome translocation as an illustrative example, we describe here in detail how to set up, carry out, and analyze single-molecule FRET experiments that provide time-dependent information on biomolecular processes. PMID:22929765

  13. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C.; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A.; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L.; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5′ extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated. PMID:25690894

  14. A single molecule study of cellulase hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu-San; Luo, Yonghua; Baker, John O.; Zeng, Yining; Himmel, Michael E.; Smith, Steve; Ding, Shi-You

    2010-02-01

    Cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I), a processive exoglucanase secreted by Trichoderma reesei, is one of the key enzyme components in a commercial cellulase mixture currently used for processing biomass to biofuels. CBH I contains a family 7 glycoside hydrolase catalytic module, a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM), and a highlyglycosylated linker peptide. It has been proposed that the CBH I cellulase initiates the hydrolysis from the reducing end of one cellulose chain and successively cleaves alternate β-1,4-glycosidic bonds to release cellobiose as its principal end product. The role each module of CBH I plays in the processive hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose has yet to be convincingly elucidated. In this report, we use a single-molecule approach that combines optical (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence microscopy, or TIRF-M) and non-optical (Atomic Force Microscopy, or AFM) imaging techniques to analyze the molecular motion of CBM tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP), and to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBM and CBH I. The preliminary results have revealed a confined nanometer-scale movement of the TrCBM1-GFP bound to cellulose, and decreases in cellulose crystal size as well as increases in surface roughness during CBH I hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose.

  15. Cellular encoding of Cy dyes for single-molecule imaging

    PubMed Central

    Leisle, Lilia; Chadda, Rahul; Lueck, John D; Infield, Daniel T; Galpin, Jason D; Krishnamani, Venkatramanan; Robertson, Janice L; Ahern, Christopher A

    2016-01-01

    A general method is described for the site-specific genetic encoding of cyanine dyes as non-canonical amino acids (Cy-ncAAs) into proteins. The approach relies on an improved technique for nonsense suppression with in vitro misacylated orthogonal tRNA. The data show that Cy-ncAAs (based on Cy3 and Cy5) are tolerated by the eukaryotic ribosome in cell-free and whole-cell environments and can be incorporated into soluble and membrane proteins. In the context of the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system, this technique yields ion channels with encoded Cy-ncAAs that are trafficked to the plasma membrane where they display robust function and distinct fluorescent signals as detected by TIRF microscopy. This is the first demonstration of an encoded cyanine dye as a ncAA in a eukaryotic expression system and opens the door for the analysis of proteins with single-molecule resolution in a cellular environment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19088.001 PMID:27938668

  16. Single-target molecule detection with nonbleaching multicolor optical immunolabels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Sheldon; Smith, David R.; Mock, Jack J.; Schultz, David A.

    2000-02-01

    We introduce and demonstrate the use of colloidal silver plasmon-resonant particles (PRPs) as optical reporters in typical biological assays. PRPs are ultrabright, nanosized optical scatterers, which scatter light elastically and can be prepared with a scattering peak at any color in the visible spectrum. PRPs are readily observed individually with a microscope configured for dark-field microscopy, with white-light illumination of typical power. Here we illustrate the use of PRPs, surface coated with standard ligands, as target-specific labels in an in situ hybridization and an immunocytology assay. We propose that PRPs can replace or complement established labels, such as those based on radioactivity, fluorescence, chemiluminescence, or enzymatic/colorimetric detection that are used routinely in biochemistry, cell biology, and medical diagnostic applications. Moreover, because PRP labels are nonbleaching and bright enough to be rapidly identified and counted, an ultrasensitive assay format based on single-target molecule detection is now practical. We also present the results of a model sandwich immunoassay for goat anti-biotin antibody, in which the number of PRP labels counted in an image constitutes the measured signal.

  17. Mapping DNA polymerase errors by single-molecule sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, David F.; Lu, Jenny; Chang, Seungwoo; Loparo, Joseph J.; Xie, Xiaoliang S.

    2016-01-01

    Genomic integrity is compromised by DNA polymerase replication errors, which occur in a sequence-dependent manner across the genome. Accurate and complete quantification of a DNA polymerase's error spectrum is challenging because errors are rare and difficult to detect. We report a high-throughput sequencing assay to map in vitro DNA replication errors at the single-molecule level. Unlike previous methods, our assay is able to rapidly detect a large number of polymerase errors at base resolution over any template substrate without quantification bias. To overcome the high error rate of high-throughput sequencing, our assay uses a barcoding strategy in which each replication product is tagged with a unique nucleotide sequence before amplification. This allows multiple sequencing reads of the same product to be compared so that sequencing errors can be found and removed. We demonstrate the ability of our assay to characterize the average error rate, error hotspots and lesion bypass fidelity of several DNA polymerases. PMID:27185891

  18. Single-Molecule Sequencing of the Drosophila serrata Genome

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Scott L.; Delaney, Emily K.; Kopp, Artyom; Chenoweth, Stephen F.

    2017-01-01

    Long-read sequencing technology promises to greatly enhance de novo assembly of genomes for nonmodel species. Although the error rates of long reads have been a stumbling block, sequencing at high coverage permits the self-correction of many errors. Here, we sequence and de novo assemble the genome of Drosophila serrata, a species from the montium subgroup that has been well-studied for latitudinal clines, sexual selection, and gene expression, but which lacks a reference genome. Using 11 PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT cells), we generated 12 Gbp of raw sequence data comprising ∼65 × whole-genome coverage. Read lengths averaged 8940 bp (NRead50 12,200) with the longest read at 53 kbp. We self-corrected reads using the PBDagCon algorithm and assembled the genome using the MHAP algorithm within the PBcR assembler. Total genome length was 198 Mbp with an N50 just under 1 Mbp. Contigs displayed a high degree of chromosome arm-level conservation with the D. melanogaster genome and many could be sensibly placed on the D. serrata physical map. We also provide an initial annotation for this genome using in silico gene predictions that were supported by RNA-seq data. PMID:28143951

  19. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics.

    PubMed

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-03-11

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5' extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated.

  20. Design and Synthesis of Single Nanoparticle Optical Biosensors for Imaging and Characterization of Single Receptor Molecules on Single Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Tao; Nallathamby, Prakash D.; Gillet, Daniel; Nancy Xu, Xiao-Hong

    2008-01-01

    At the cellular level, a small number of protein molecules (receptors) can induce significant cellular responses, emphasizing the importance of molecular detection of trace amounts of protein on single living cells. In this study, we designed and synthesized silver (Ag) nanoparticle biosensors (AgMMUA-IgG) by functionalizing (11.6 ± 3.5) nm Ag nanoparticles with a mixed monolayer of 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) and 6-mercapto-1-hexanol (MCH) (1:3 mole ratio), and covalently conjugating IgG with MUA on the nanoparticle surface. We found that the nanoparticle biosensors preserve their biological activity and photostability and can be utilized to quantitatively detect individual receptor molecules (T-ZZ), map the distribution of receptors (0.21–0.37 molecule/µm2), and measure their binding affinity and kinetics at concentrations below their dissociation constant, on single living cells in real time over hrs. The dynamic range of detection is 0–50 molecules per cell. We also found that the binding rate (2–27 molecules/min) is highly dependent upon the coverage of receptors on living cells and their ligand concentration. The binding association and dissociation rate constants and affinity constant are k1 = (9.0 ± 2.6) × 103 M−1s−1, k−1 = (3.0 ± 0.4) × 10−4 s−1, and KB = (4.3 ± 1.1) × 107 M−1, respectively. PMID:17867652

  1. Fluorescence molecule counting for single-molecule studies in crowded environment of living cells without and with broken ergodicity.

    PubMed

    Földes-Papp, Zeno; Baumann, Gerd

    2011-05-01

    We present a new approach to distinguish between non-ergodic and ergodic behavior. Performing ensemble averaging in a subpopulation of individual molecules leads to a mean value that can be similar to the mean value obtained in an ergodic system. The averaging is carried out by minimizing the variation between the sum of the temporal averaged mean square deviation of the simulated data with respect to the logarithmic scaling behavior of the subpopulation. For this reason, we first introduce a kind of Continuous Time Random Walks (CTRW), which we call Limited Continuous Time Random Walks (LCTRW) on fractal support. The random waiting time distributions are sampled at points which fulfill the condition N <1, where N is the Poisson probability of finding a single molecule in the femtoliter-sized observation volume ΔV at the single-molecule level. Given a subpopulation of different single molecules of the same kind, the ratio T/ T(m) between the measurement time T and the meaningful time T(m), which is the time for observing just one and the same single molecule, is the experimentally accessible quantity that allows to compare different molecule numbers in the subpopulation. In addition, the mean square displacement traveled by the molecule during the time t is determined by an upper limit of the geometric dimension of the living cell or its nucleus.

  2. Single molecule studies of DNA packaging by bacteriophages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuller, Derek Nathan

    The DNA packaging dynamics of bacteriophages φ29, gamma, and T4 were studied at the single molecule level using a dual trap optical tweezers. Also, a method for producing long DNA molecules by PCR for optical tweezers studies of protein DNA interactions is presented and thoroughly characterized. This DNA preparation technique provided DNA samples for the φ29 and T4 studies. In the studies of φ29, the role of charge was investigated by varying the ionic conditions of the packaging buffer. Ionic conditions in which the DNA charge was highly screened due to divalent and trivalent cations showed the lowest resistance to packaging of the DNA to high density. This confirmed the importance of counterions in shielding the DNA interstrand repulsion when packaged to high density. While the ionic nature of the packaging buffer had a strong effect on packaging velocities, there was no clear trend between the counterion-screened charge of the DNA and the maximum packaging velocity. The packaging studies of lambda and T4 served as systems for comparative studies with φ29. Each system showed similarities to the φ29 system and unique differences. Both the lambda and T4 packaging motors were capable of generating forces in excess of 50 pN and showed remarkably high processivity, similar to φ29. However, dynamic structural transitions were observed with lambda that are not observed with φ29. The packaging of the lambda genome showed capsid expansion at approximately 30 percent of the genome packaged and capsid rupture at 90 percent of the genome packaged in the absence of capsid stabilizing protein gpD. Unique to the T4 packaging motor, packaging dynamics showed a remarkable amount of variability in velocities. This variability was seen both within individual packaging phages and from one phage to the next. This is possibly due to different conformational states of the packaging machinery. Additionally, lambda and T4 had average packaging velocities under minimal load of 600

  3. Single-Molecule Measurements of Synthesis by DNA Polymerase with Base-Pair Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian, Thomas; Romano, Louis; Rueda, David

    2010-03-01

    The catalytic mechanism of DNA polymerases involves multiple steps that precede and follow the transfer of a nucleotide to the 3'-hydroxyl of the growing DNA chain. Here we report a single-molecule approach to monitor the movement of E. coli DNA polymerase I (Klenow fragment) on a DNA template during DNA synthesis with single base-pair resolution. As each nucleotide is incorporated, the single-molecule F"orster resonance energy transfer intensity drops in discrete steps to values consistent with single nucleotide incorporations. Purines and pyrimidines are incorporated with comparable rates. A mismatched primer-template junction exhibits dynamics consistent with the primer moving into the exonuclease domain, which was used to determine the fraction of primer-termini bound to the exonuclease and polymerase sites. Most interestingly, we observe a structural change following the incorporation of a correctly paired nucleotide, consistent with transient movement of the polymerase past the pre-insertion site or a conformational change in the polymerase. This may represent a previously unobserved step in the mechanism of DNA synthesis that could be part of the proofreading process.

  4. Single vesicle biochips for ultra-miniaturized nanoscale fluidics and single molecule bioscience.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Andreas L; Lohr, Christina; Christensen, Sune M; Stamou, Dimitrios

    2013-09-21

    One of the major bottlenecks in the development of biochips is maintaining the structure and function of biomolecules when interfacing them with hard matter (glass, plastics, metals, etc.), a challenge that is exacerbated during miniaturization that inevitably increases the interface to volume ratio of these devices. Biochips based on immobilized vesicles circumvent this problem by encapsulating biomolecules in the protective environment of a lipid bilayer, thus minimizing interactions with hard surfaces. Here we review the development of biochips based on arrays of single nanoscale vesicles, their fabrication via controlled self-assembly, and their characterization using fluorescence microscopy. We also highlight their applications in selected fields such as nanofluidics and single molecule bioscience. Despite their great potential for improved biocompatibility, extreme miniaturization and high throughput, single vesicle biochips are still a niche technology that has yet to establish its commercial relevance.

  5. Quantitative analysis of somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations by single-cell single-molecule PCR.

    PubMed

    Kraytsberg, Yevgenya; Bodyak, Natalya; Myerow, Susan; Nicholas, Alexander; Ebralidze, Konstantin; Khrapko, Konstantin

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondrial genome integrity is an important issue in somatic mitochondrial genetics. Development of quantitative methods is indispensable to somatic mitochondrial genetics as quantitative studies are required to characterize heteroplasmy and mutation processes, as well as their effects on phenotypic developments. Quantitative studies include the identification and measurement of the load of pathogenic and non-pathogenic clonal mutations, screening mitochondrial genomes for mutations in order to determine the mutation spectra and characterize an ongoing mutation process. Single-molecule PCR (smPCR) has been shown to be an effective method that can be applied to all areas of quantitative studies. It has distinct advantages over conventional vector-based cloning techniques avoiding the well-known PCR-related artifacts such as the introduction of artificial mutations, preferential allelic amplifications, and "jumping" PCR. smPCR is a straightforward and robust method, which can be effectively used for molecule-by-molecule mutational analysis, even when mitochondrial whole genome (mtWG) analysis is involved. This chapter describes the key features of the smPCR method and provides three examples of its applications in single-cell analysis: di-plex smPCR for deletion quantification, smPCR cloning for clonal point mutation quantification, and smPCR cloning for whole genome sequencing (mtWGS).

  6. 2012 SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE (JULY 15-20, 2012 - MOUNT SNOW RESORT, WEST DOVER VT)

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, Julio

    2012-04-20

    Single molecule techniques are rapidly occupying a central role in biological research at all levels. This transition was made possible by the availability and dissemination of robust techniques that use fluorescence and force probes to track the conformation of molecules one at a time, in vitro as well as in live cells. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are studied. These novel techniques provide previously unobtainable data on fundamental biochemical processes that are essential for all forms of life. 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 the molecular systems that underpin the functioning of living cells. Hence, our conference seeks to disseminate the implementation and use of single molecule techniques in the pursuit of new biological knowledge. Topics covered include: Molecular Motors on the Move; Origin And Fate Of Proteins; Physical Principles Of Life; Molecules and Super-resolution Microscopy; Nanoswitches In Action; Active Motion Or Random Diffusion?; Building Blocks Of Living Cells; From Molecular Mechanics To Physiology; Tug-of-war: Force Spectroscopy Of Single Proteins.

  7. Studying DNA Looping by Single-Molecule FRET

    PubMed Central

    Le, Tung T.; Kim, Harold D.

    2014-01-01

    Bending of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is associated with many important biological processes such as DNA-protein recognition and DNA packaging into nucleosomes. Thermodynamics of dsDNA bending has been studied by a method called cyclization which relies on DNA ligase to covalently join short sticky ends of a dsDNA. However, ligation efficiency can be affected by many factors that are not related to dsDNA looping such as the DNA structure surrounding the joined sticky ends, and ligase can also affect the apparent looping rate through mechanisms such as nonspecific binding. Here, we show how to measure dsDNA looping kinetics without ligase by detecting transient DNA loop formation by FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer). dsDNA molecules are constructed using a simple PCR-based protocol with a FRET pair and a biotin linker. The looping probability density known as the J factor is extracted from the looping rate and the annealing rate between two disconnected sticky ends. By testing two dsDNAs with different intrinsic curvatures, we show that the J factor is sensitive to the intrinsic shape of the dsDNA. PMID:24998459

  8. Electrons, Photons, and Force: Quantitative Single-Molecule Measurements from Physics to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution. PMID:21338175

  9. Electrons, photons, and force: quantitative single-molecule measurements from physics to biology.

    PubMed

    Claridge, Shelley A; Schwartz, Jeffrey J; Weiss, Paul S

    2011-02-22

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution.

  10. Towards single-molecule NMR detection and spectroscopy using single spins in diamond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perunicic, V. S.; Hall, L. T.; Simpson, D. A.; Hill, C. D.; Hollenberg, L. C. L.

    2014-02-01

    Nanomagnetometry using the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond has attracted a great deal of interest due to its unique combination of room temperature operation, nanoscale resolution, and high sensitivity. One of the important goals for nanomagnetometry is to be able to detect nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in individual molecules. Our theoretical analysis details a method by which a single molecule on the surface of diamond, with characteristic NMR frequencies, can be detected using a proximate NV center on a time scale of an order of seconds with nanometer precision. We perform spatiotemporal resolution optimization and subsequently outline paths to greater sensitivity. Our method is suitable for application in low and relatively inhomogeneous background magnetic fields in contrast to both conventional liquid and solid state NMR spectroscopy.

  11. Peering into Cells One Molecule at a Time: Single-molecule and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence super-resolution imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biteen, Julie

    2013-03-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence brings the resolution of optical microscopy down to the nanometer scale, allowing us to unlock the mysteries of how biomolecules work together to achieve the complexity that is a cell. This high-resolution, non-destructive method for examining subcellular events has opened up an exciting new frontier: the study of macromolecular localization and dynamics in living cells. We have developed methods for single-molecule investigations of live bacterial cells, and have used these techniques to investigate thee important prokaryotic systems: membrane-bound transcription activation in Vibrio cholerae, carbohydrate catabolism in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, and DNA mismatch repair in Bacillus subtilis. Each system presents unique challenges, and we will discuss the important methods developed for each system. Furthermore, we use the plasmon modes of bio-compatible metal nanoparticles to enhance the emissivity of single-molecule fluorophores. The resolution of single-molecule imaging in cells is generally limited to 20-40 nm, far worse than the 1.5-nm localization accuracies which have been attained in vitro. We use plasmonics to improve the brightness and stability of single-molecule probes, and in particular fluorescent proteins, which are widely used for bio-imaging. We find that gold-coupled fluorophores demonstrate brighter, longer-lived emission, yielding an overall enhancement in total photons detected. Ultimately, this results in increased localization accuracy for single-molecule imaging. Furthermore, since fluorescence intensity is proportional to local electromagnetic field intensity, these changes in decay intensity and rate serve as a nm-scale read-out of the field intensity. Our work indicates that plasmonic substrates are uniquely advantageous for super-resolution imaging, and that plasmon-enhanced imaging is a promising technique for improving live cell single-molecule microscopy.

  12. Comparison between single-molecule and X-ray crystallography data on yeast F1-ATPase.

    PubMed

    Steel, Bradley C; Nord, Ashley L; Wang, Yamin; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M; Berry, Richard M

    2015-03-10

    Single molecule studies in recent decades have elucidated the full chemo-mechanical cycle of F1-ATPase, mostly based on F1 from thermophilic bacteria. In contrast, high-resolution crystal structures are only available for mitochondrial F1. Here we present high resolution single molecule rotational data on F1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, obtained using new high throughput detection and analysis tools. Rotational data are presented for the wild type mitochondrial enzyme, a "liver" isoform, and six mutant forms of yeast F1 that have previously been demonstrated to be less efficient or partially uncoupled. The wild-type and "liver" isoforms show the same qualitative features as F1 from Escherichia coli and thermophilic bacteria. The analysis of the mutant forms revealed a delay at the catalytic dwell and associated decrease in Vmax, with magnitudes consistent with the level of disruption seen in the crystal structures. At least one of the mutant forms shows a previously un-observed dwell at the ATP binding angle, potentially attributable to slowed release of ADP. We discuss the correlation between crystal structures and single molecule results.

  13. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B; Rufo, Joseph; Benkovic, Stephen J; Huang, Tony Jun

    2013-06-21

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices, such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes in the development of lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies.

  14. Reversible gating of smart plasmonic molecular traps using thermoresponsive polymers for single-molecule detection

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yuanhui; Soeriyadi, Alexander H.; Rosa, Lorenzo; Ng, Soon Hock; Bach, Udo; Justin Gooding, J.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has attracted increasing interest for chemical and biochemical sensing. Many conventional substrates have a broad distribution of SERS enhancements, which compromise reproducibility and result in slow response times for single-molecule detection. Here we report a smart plasmonic sensor that can reversibly trap a single molecule at hotspots for rapid single-molecule detection. The sensor was fabricated through electrostatic self-assembly of gold nanoparticles onto a gold/silica-coated silicon substrate, producing a high yield of uniformly distributed hotspots on the surface. The hotspots were isolated with a monolayer of a thermoresponsive polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)), which act as gates for molecular trapping at the hotspots. The sensor shows not only a good SERS reproducibility but also a capability to repetitively trap and release molecules for single-molecular sensing. The single-molecule sensitivity is experimentally verified using SERS spectral blinking and bianalyte methods. PMID:26549539

  15. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B.; Rufo, Joey; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Huang, Tony Jun

    2014-01-01

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize the unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes on developing lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies. PMID:23670195

  16. Single Molecule Detection in Living Biological Cells using Carbon Nanotube Optical Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strano, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Nanoscale sensing elements offer promise for single molecule analyte detection in physically or biologically constrained environments. Molecular adsorption can be amplified via modulation of sharp singularities in the electronic density of states that arise from 1D quantum confinement [1]. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), as single molecule optical sensors [2-3], offer unique advantages such as photostable near-infrared (n-IR) emission for prolonged detection through biological media, single-molecule sensitivity and, nearly orthogonal optical modes for signal transduction that can be used to identify distinct classes of analytes. Selective binding to the SWNT surface is difficult to engineer [4]. In this lecture, we will briefly review the immerging field of fluorescent diagnostics using band gap emission from SWNT. In recent work, we demonstrate that even a single pair of SWNT provides at least four optical modes that can be modulated to uniquely fingerprint chemical agents by the degree to which they alter either the emission band intensity or wavelength. We validate this identification method in vitro by demonstrating detection and identification of six genotoxic analytes, including chemotherapeutic drugs and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are spectroscopically differentiated into four distinct classes. We also demonstrate single-molecule sensitivity in detecting hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common genotoxins and an important cellular signal. Finally, we employ our sensing and fingerprinting method of these analytes in real time within live 3T3 cells, demonstrating the first multiplexed optical detection from a nanoscale biosensor and the first label-free tool to optically discriminate between genotoxins. We will also discuss our recent efforts to fabricate biomedical sensors for real time detection of glucose and other important physiologically relevant analytes in-vivo. The response of embedded SWNT in a swellable hydrogel construct to

  17. Conformational analysis of small molecules: NMR and quantum mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Tormena, Cláudio F

    2016-08-01

    This review deals with conformational analysis in small organic molecules, and describes the stereoelectronic interactions responsible for conformational stability. Conformational analysis is usually performed using NMR spectroscopy through measurement of coupling constants at room or low temperature in different solvents to determine the populations of conformers in solution. Quantum mechanical calculations are used to address the interactions responsible for conformer stability. The conformational analysis of a large number of small molecules is described, using coupling constant measurements in different solvents and at low temperature, as well as recent applications of through-space and through-hydrogen bond coupling constants JFH as tools for the conformational analysis of fluorinated molecules. Besides NMR parameters, stereoelectronic interactions such as conjugative, hyperconjugative, steric and intramolecular hydrogen bond interactions involved in conformational preferences are discussed.

  18. Single-molecule conductance measurements of biomolecule translocation across biomimetic nuclear pores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekker, Cees

    2012-02-01

    After a brief overview of our recent work on solid-state nanopores, I will present single-molecule transport data across biomimetic nanopores that contain the key regulating parts of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). The mechanism for the remarkable selectivity of NPCs has remained unclear in a large part due to difficulties in designing experiments that can probe the transport at the relevant length and time scales. Building and measuring on biomimetic NPCs provides new opportunities to address this long-standing problem. covalently tether the natively unfolded Phe-Gly rich domains (FG-domains) of human nuclear binding proteins to a solid-state nanopore (a 10-100 nm sized hole in a SiN membrane). Ionic current measurements provide a probe to monitor single molecules that traverse the pore. Translocation events are observed for transport receptors (Impβ), whereas transport of passive molecules (BSA) is found to be blocked. Interestingly, a single type of nuclear pore proteins appears already sufficient to form a selective barrier for transport. A translocation time of about 2.5 ms is measured for Impβ. This time is found to be similar for transport across Nup153 and Nup98 coated pores, although the observed ionic conductance differs between these two types of pores. We compare two simple models for the pore conductance and find, for both Nups, that the data fits best to a model with an open central channel and a condensed layer along the outer circumference of the pore. reproducing the key features of the NPC, our biomimetic approach opens the way to study a wide variety of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport processes at the single-molecule level in vitro.

  19. Evaluation of sCMOS cameras for detection and localization of single Cy5 molecules.

    PubMed

    Saurabh, Saumya; Maji, Suvrajit; Bruchez, Marcel P

    2012-03-26

    The ability to detect single molecules over the electronic noise requires high performance detector systems. Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device (EMCCD) cameras have been employed successfully to image single molecules. Recently, scientific Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (sCMOS) based cameras have been introduced with very low read noise at faster read out rates, smaller pixel sizes and a lower price compared to EMCCD cameras. In this study, we have compared the two technologies using two EMCCD and three sCMOS cameras to detect single Cy5 molecules. Our findings indicate that the sCMOS cameras perform similar to EMCCD cameras for detecting and localizing single Cy5 molecules.

  20. Directional Raman scattering from single molecules in the feed gaps of optical antennas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongxing; Zhu, Wenqi; Best, Michael D; Camden, Jon P; Crozier, Kenneth B

    2013-05-08

    Controlling light from single emitters is an overarching theme of nano-optics. Antennas are routinely used to modify the angular emission patterns of radio wave sources. "Optical antennas" translate these principles to visible and infrared wavelengths and have been recently used to modify fluorescence from single quantum dots and single molecules. Understanding the properties of single molecules, however, would be advanced were one able to observe their vibrational spectra through Raman scattering in a very reproducible manner but it is a hugely challenging task, as Raman scattering cross sections are very weak. Here we measure for the first time the highly directional emission patterns of Raman scattering from single molecules in the feed gaps of optical antennas fabricated on a chip. More than a thousand single molecule events are observed, revealing that an unprecedented near-unity fraction of optical antennas have single molecule sensitivity.