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Sample records for single protein molecule

  1. Optical probing of single fluorescent molecules and proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia Parajo, M.F.; Veerman, J.A.; Bouwhuis, R.; Bouwhuis, Rudo; van Hulst, N.F.; Vallée, R.A.L.

    2001-01-01

    Single-molecule detection and analysis of organic fluorescent molecules and proteins are presented, with emphasis o­n the underlying principles methodology and the application of single-molecule analysis at room temperature. This Minireview is mainly focused o­n the application of confocal and

  2. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Fluorescent Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blum, Christian; Subramaniam, Vinod

    2009-01-01

    The discovery and use of fluorescent proteins has revolutionized cellular biology. Despite the widespread use of visible fluorescent proteins as reporters and sensors in cellular environments the versatile photophysics of fluorescent proteins is still subject to intense research. Understanding the

  3. Semisynthetic protein nanoreactor for single-molecule chemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Joongoo; Bayley, Hagan

    2015-01-01

    The modulation of ionic current flowing through an individual protein pore provides information at the single-molecule level about chemical reactions occurring within the pore. However, chemistry investigated in this way has been largely confined to the reactions of thiolates, presented by the side chains of cysteine residues. The introduction of unnatural amino acids would provide a large variety of reactive side chains with which additional single-molecule chemistry could be investigated. H...

  4. Statistical inference in single molecule measurements of protein adsorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Megan J.; Tsitkov, Stanislav; Hess, Henry

    2018-02-01

    Significant effort has been invested into understanding the dynamics of protein adsorption on surfaces, in particular to predict protein behavior at the specialized surfaces of biomedical technologies like hydrogels, nanoparticles, and biosensors. Recently, the application of fluorescent single molecule imaging to this field has permitted the tracking of individual proteins and their stochastic contribution to the aggregate dynamics of adsorption. However, the interpretation of these results is complicated by (1) the finite time available to observe effectively infinite adsorption timescales and (2) the contribution of photobleaching kinetics to adsorption kinetics. Here, we perform a protein adsorption simulation to introduce specific survival analysis methods that overcome the first complication. Additionally, we collect single molecule residence time data from the adsorption of fibrinogen to glass and use survival analysis to distinguish photobleaching kinetics from protein adsorption kinetics.

  5. Surface Passivation for Single-molecule Protein Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Single Molecule Spectroscopy on Photosynthetic Pigment-Protein Complexes

    CERN Document Server

    Jelezko, F; Schuler, S; Thews, E; Tietz, C; Wechsler, A; Wrachtrup, J

    2001-01-01

    Single molecule spectroscopy was applied to unravel the energy transfer pathway in photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes. Detailed analysis of excitation and fluorescence emission spectra has been made for peripheral plant antenna LHC II and Photosystem I from cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus. Optical transitions of individual pigments were resolved under nonselective excitation of antenna chlorophylls. High-resolution fluorescence spectroscopy of individual plant antenna LHC II indicates that at low temperatures, the excitation energy is localized on the red-most Chl a pool absorbing at 680 nm. More than one pigment molecule is responsible for the fluorescence emission of the LHC II trimer. The spectral lines of single Chl a molecules absorbing at 675 nm are broadened because of the Foerster energy transfer towards the red-most pigments. Low-temperature spectroscopy on single PS I trimers indicates that two subgroups of pigments, which are present in the red antenna pool, differ by the strength of t...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; Van Ginkel, Jetty; Joo, Chirlmin; De Ridder, Dick

    2015-01-01

    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. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek S. Jadhav

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Click strategies for single-molecule protein fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Sigrid; Tyagi, Swati; Banterle, Niccolò; Koehler, Christine; VanDelinder, Virginia; Plass, Tilman; Neal, Adrian P; Lemke, Edward A

    2012-03-21

    Single-molecule methods have matured into central tools for studies in biology. Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques, in particular, have been widely applied to study biomolecular structure and dynamics. The major bottleneck for a facile and general application of these studies arises from the need to label biological samples site-specifically with suitable fluorescent dyes. In this work, we present an optimized strategy combining click chemistry and the genetic encoding of unnatural amino acids (UAAs) to overcome this limitation for proteins. We performed a systematic study with a variety of clickable UAAs and explored their potential for high-resolution single-molecule FRET (smFRET). We determined all parameters that are essential for successful single-molecule studies, such as accessibility of the probes, expression yield of proteins, and quantitative labeling. Our multiparameter fluorescence analysis allowed us to gain new insights into the effects and photophysical properties of fluorescent dyes linked to various UAAs for smFRET measurements. This led us to determine that, from the extended tool set that we now present, genetically encoding propargyllysine has major advantages for state-of-the-art measurements compared to other UAAs. Using this optimized system, we present a biocompatible one-step dual-labeling strategy of the regulatory protein RanBP3 with full labeling position freedom. Our technique allowed us then to determine that the region encompassing two FxFG repeat sequences adopts a disordered but collapsed state. RanBP3 serves here as a prototypical protein that, due to its multiple cysteines, size, and partially disordered structure, is not readily accessible to any of the typical structure determination techniques such as smFRET, NMR, and X-ray crystallography.

  12. Towards single-molecule observation of protein synthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dulin, David; Le Gall, Antoine; Bouyer, Philippe; Perronet, Karen; Westbrook, Nathalie; Soler, Nicolas; Fourmy, Dominique; Yoshizawa, Satoko

    2009-01-01

    The ribosome is the molecular motor responsible for the protein synthesis within all cells. Ribosome motions along the messenger RNA (mRNA) to read the genetic code are asynchronous and occur along multiple kinetic paths. Consequently, a study at the single macromolecule level is desirable to unravel the complex dynamics involved. In this communication, we present the development of an advanced surface chemistry to attach an active ribosome to the microscope coverslip and follow the amino-acid incorporation by fluorescence microscopy. The ribosome is labeled with a quantum dot (QD) in order to localize it on the surface while a specific amino acid (lysine) is marked with Bodipy-FL. This fluorescent dye is small enough to enter the ribosomal channel thus leaving intact ribosomal activity. It should then be possible to observe the protein synthesis in real time as the labeled amino acids are incorporated into the polypeptide chain. (Author)

  13. Probing Enzyme-Surface Interactions via Protein Engineering and Single-Molecule Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-26

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The overall objective of this research was to exploit protein engineering and fluorescence single-molecule methods to...enhance our understanding of the interaction of proteins and surfaces. Given this objective, the specific aims of this research were to: 1) exploit the...incorporation of unnatural amino acids in proteins to introduce single-molecule probes (i.e., fluorophores for fluorescence resonance energy transfer

  14. Protein folding and translocation : single-molecule investigations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, Rudolphus Gerardus Henricus van

    2006-01-01

    This thesis describes experiments, in which we used an optical-tweezers setup to study a number of biological systems. We studied the interaction between the E. coli molecular chaperone SecB and a protein that was being unfolded and refolded using our optical tweezers setup. Our measurements clearly

  15. Single-Molecule Studies of Bacterial Protein Translocation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kedrov, Alexej; Kusters, Ilja; Driessen, Arnold J. M.

    2013-01-01

    In prokaryotes, a large share of the proteins are secreted from the cell through a process that requires their translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane. This process is mediated by the universally conserved Sec system with homologues in the endoplasmic reticulum and thylakoid membranes of

  16. See me, feel me: methods to concurrently visualize and manipulate single DNA molecules and associated proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Mameren, J.; Peterman, E.J.G.; Wuite, G.J.L.

    2008-01-01

    Direct visualization of DNA and proteins allows researchers to investigate DNA-protein interactions with great detail. Much progress has been made in this area as a result of increasingly sensitive single-molecule fluorescence techniques. At the same time, methods that control the conformation of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-27

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

  18. Single molecules and nanotechnology

    CERN Document Server

    Vogel, Horst

    2007-01-01

    This book focuses on recent advances in the rapidly evolving field of single molecule research. These advances are of importance for the investigation of biopolymers and cellular biochemical reactions, and are essential to the development of quantitative biology. Written by leading experts in the field, the articles cover a broad range of topics, including: quantum photonics of organic dyes and inorganic nanoparticles their use in detecting properties of single molecules the monitoring of single molecule (enzymatic) reactions single protein (un)folding in nanometer-sized confined volumes the dynamics of molecular interactions in biological cells The book is written for advanced students and scientists who wish to survey the concepts, techniques and results of single molecule research and assess them for their own scientific activities.

  19. Single Molecule Effects of Osteogenesis Imperfecta Mutations in Tropocollagen Protein Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-02

    Single molecule effects of osteogenesis imperfecta mutations in tropocollagen protein domains Alfonso Gautieri,1,2 Simone Vesentini,2 Alberto...2008 proteinscience.org Abstract: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disease characterized by fragile bones, skeletal deformities and, in severe...diagnosis and treatment, an effort referred to as materiomics. Keywords: steered molecular dynamics; osteogenesis imperfecta ; Young’s modulus; collagen

  20. Shedding Light on Protein Folding, Structural and Functional Dynamics by Single Molecule Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krutika Bavishi

    2014-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bavishi, Krutika; Hatzakis, Nikos

    2014-01-01

    property of a population, single molecule measurements offer observation and quantification of the abundance, lifetime and function of multiple protein states. They also permit the direct observation of the transient and rarely populated intermediates in the energy landscape that are typically averaged out...

  2. Evidence of G-protein-coupled receptor and substrate transporter heteromerization at a single molecule level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Jana; Kleinau, Gunnar; Rutz, Claudia; Zwanziger, Denise; Khajavi, Noushafarin; Müller, Anne; Rehders, Maren; Brix, Klaudia; Worth, Catherine L; Führer, Dagmar; Krude, Heiko; Wiesner, Burkhard; Schülein, Ralf; Biebermann, Heike

    2018-06-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can constitute complexes with non-GPCR integral membrane proteins, while such interaction has not been demonstrated at a single molecule level so far. We here investigated the potential interaction between the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) and the monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8), a member of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS), using fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS). Both the proteins are expressed endogenously on the basolateral plasma membrane of the thyrocytes and are involved in stimulation of thyroid hormone production and release. Indeed, we demonstrate strong interaction between both the proteins which causes a suppressed activation of G q/11 by TSH-stimulated TSHR. Thus, we provide not only evidence for a novel interaction between the TSHR and MCT8, but could also prove this interaction on a single molecule level. Moreover, this interaction forces biased signaling at the TSHR. These results are of general interest for both the GPCR and the MFS research fields.

  3. Two states or not two states: Single-molecule folding studies of protein L

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aviram, Haim Yuval; Pirchi, Menahem; Barak, Yoav; Riven, Inbal; Haran, Gilad

    2018-03-01

    Experimental tools of increasing sophistication have been employed in recent years to study protein folding and misfolding. Folding is considered a complex process, and one way to address it is by studying small proteins, which seemingly possess a simple energy landscape with essentially only two stable states, either folded or unfolded. The B1-IgG binding domain of protein L (PL) is considered a model two-state folder, based on measurements using a wide range of experimental techniques. We applied single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy in conjunction with a hidden Markov model analysis to fully characterize the energy landscape of PL and to extract the kinetic properties of individual molecules of the protein. Surprisingly, our studies revealed the existence of a third state, hidden under the two-state behavior of PL due to its small population, ˜7%. We propose that this minority intermediate involves partial unfolding of the two C-terminal β strands of PL. Our work demonstrates that single-molecule FRET spectroscopy can be a powerful tool for a comprehensive description of the folding dynamics of proteins, capable of detecting and characterizing relatively rare metastable states that are difficult to observe in ensemble studies.

  4. Biophysics of DNA-Protein Interactions From Single Molecules to Biological Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Williams, Mark C

    2011-01-01

    This book presents a concise overview of current research on the biophysics of DNA-protein interactions. A wide range of new and classical methods are presented by authors investigating physical mechanisms by which proteins interact with DNA. For example, several chapters address the mechanisms by which proteins search for and recognize specific binding sites on DNA, a process critical for cellular function. Single molecule methods such as force spectroscopy as well as fluorescence imaging and tracking are described in these chapters as well as other parts of the book that address the dynamics of protein-DNA interactions. Other important topics include the mechanisms by which proteins engage DNA sequences and/or alter DNA structure. These simple but important model interactions are then placed in the broader biological context with discussion of larger protein-DNA complexes . Topics include replication forks, recombination complexes, DNA repair interactions, and ultimately, methods to understand the chromatin...

  5. Utilizing Biotinylated Proteins Expressed in Yeast to Visualize DNA–Protein Interactions at the Single-Molecule Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijun Xue

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Much of our knowledge in conventional biochemistry has derived from bulk assays. However, many stochastic processes and transient intermediates are hidden when averaged over the ensemble. The powerful technique of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy has made great contributions to the understanding of life processes that are inaccessible when using traditional approaches. In single-molecule studies, quantum dots (Qdots have several unique advantages over other fluorescent probes, such as high brightness, extremely high photostability, and large Stokes shift, thus allowing long-time observation and improved signal-to-noise ratios. So far, however, there is no convenient way to label proteins purified from budding yeast with Qdots. Based on BirA–Avi and biotin–streptavidin systems, we have established a simple method to acquire a Qdot-labeled protein and visualize its interaction with DNA using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. For proof-of-concept, we chose replication protein A (RPA and origin recognition complex (ORC as the proteins of interest. Proteins were purified from budding yeast with high biotinylation efficiency and rapidly labeled with streptavidin-coated Qdots. Interactions between proteins and DNA were observed successfully at the single-molecule level.

  6. Highly sensitive immunoassay of protein molecules based on single nanoparticle fluorescence detection in a nanowell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jin-Hee; Kim, Hee-Joo; Lakshmana, Sudheendra; Gee, Shirley J.; Hammock, Bruce D.; Kennedy, Ian M.

    2011-03-01

    A nanoarray based-single molecule detection system was developed for detecting proteins with extremely high sensitivity. The nanoarray was able to effectively trap nanoparticles conjugated with biological sample into nanowells by integrating with an electrophoretic particle entrapment system (EPES). The nanoarray/EPES is superior to other biosensor using immunoassays in terms of saving the amounts of biological solution and enhancing kinetics of antibody binding due to reduced steric hindrance from the neighboring biological molecules. The nanoarray patterned onto a layer of PMMA and LOL on conductive and transparent indium tin oxide (ITO)-glass slide by using e-beam lithography. The suspension of 500 nm-fluorescent (green emission)-carboxylated polystyrene (PS) particles coated with protein-A followed by BDE 47 polyclonal antibody was added to the chip that was connected to the positive voltage. The droplet was covered by another ITO-coated-glass slide and connected to a ground terminal. After trapping the particles into the nanowells, the solution of different concentrations of anti-rabbit- IgG labeled with Alexa 532 was added for an immunoassay. A single molecule detection system could quantify the anti-rabbit IgG down to atto-mole level by counting photons emitted from the fluorescent dye bound to a single nanoparticle in a nanowell.

  7. Probing Protein Multidimensional Conformational Fluctuations by Single-Molecule Multiparameter Photon Stamping Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Conformational motions of proteins are highly dynamic and intrinsically complex. To capture the temporal and spatial complexity of conformational motions and further to understand their roles in protein functions, an attempt is made to probe multidimensional conformational dynamics of proteins besides the typical one-dimensional FRET coordinate or the projected conformational motions on the one-dimensional FRET coordinate. T4 lysozyme hinge-bending motions between two domains along α-helix have been probed by single-molecule FRET. Nevertheless, the domain motions of T4 lysozyme are rather complex involving multiple coupled nuclear coordinates and most likely contain motions besides hinge-bending. It is highly likely that the multiple dimensional protein conformational motions beyond the typical enzymatic hinged-bending motions have profound impact on overall enzymatic functions. In this report, we have developed a single-molecule multiparameter photon stamping spectroscopy integrating fluorescence anisotropy, FRET, and fluorescence lifetime. This spectroscopic approach enables simultaneous observations of both FRET-related site-to-site conformational dynamics and molecular rotational (or orientational) motions of individual Cy3-Cy5 labeled T4 lysozyme molecules. We have further observed wide-distributed rotational flexibility along orientation coordinates by recording fluorescence anisotropy and simultaneously identified multiple intermediate conformational states along FRET coordinate by monitoring time-dependent donor lifetime, presenting a whole picture of multidimensional conformational dynamics in the process of T4 lysozyme open-close hinge-bending enzymatic turnover motions under enzymatic reaction conditions. By analyzing the autocorrelation functions of both lifetime and anisotropy trajectories, we have also observed the dynamic and static inhomogeneity of T4 lysozyme multidimensional conformational fluctuation dynamics, providing a fundamental

  8. Measuring the force of single protein molecule detachment from surfaces with AFM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsapikouni, Theodora S; Missirlis, Yannis F

    2010-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure the non-specific detachment force of single fibrinogen molecules from glass surfaces. The identification of single unbinding events was based on the characteristics of the parabolic curves, recorded during the stretching of protein molecules. Fibrinogen molecules were covalently bound to Si(3)N(4) AFM tips, previously modified with 3-aminopropyl-dimethyl-ethoxysilane, through a homobifunctional poly(ethylene glycol) linker bearing two hydroxysulfosuccinimide esters. The most probable detachment force was found to be 210 pN, when the tip was retracting with a velocity of 1400 nm/s, while the distribution of the detachment distances indicated that the fibrinogen chain can be elongated beyond the length of the physical conformation before detachment. The dependence of the most probable detachment force on the loading rate was examined and the dynamics of fibrinogen binding to the surface were found amenable to the simple expression of the Bell-Evans theory. The theory's expansion, however, by incorporating the concept of the rupture of parallel residue-surface bonds could only describe the detachment of fibrinogen for a small number of such bonds. Finally, the mathematical expression of the Worm-Like Chain model was used to fit the stretching curves before rupture and two interpretations are suggested for the description of the AFM curves with multiple detachment events.

  9. Single Molecule Science for Personalized Nanomedicine: Atomic Force Microscopy of Biopolymer-Protein Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsueh, Carlin

    Nanotechnology has a unique and relatively untapped utility in the fields of medicine and dentistry at the level of single-biopolymer and -molecule diagnostics. In recent years atomic force microscopy (AFM) has garnered much interest due to its ability to obtain atomic-resolution of molecular structures and probe biophysical behaviors of biopolymers and proteins in a variety of biologically significant environments. The work presented in this thesis focuses on the nanoscale manipulation and observation of biopolymers to develop an innovative technology for personalized medicine while understanding complex biological systems. These studies described here primarily use AFM to observe biopolymer interactions with proteins and its surroundings with unprecedented resolution, providing a better understanding of these systems and interactions at the nanoscale. Transcriptional profiling, the measure of messenger RNA (mRNA) abundance in a single cell, is a powerful technique that detects "behavior" or "symptoms" at the tissue and cellular level. We have sought to develop an alternative approach, using our expertise in AFM and single molecule nanotechnology, to achieve a cost-effective high throughput method for sensitive detection and profiling of subtle changes in transcript abundance. The technique does not require amplification of the mRNA sample because the AFM provides three-dimensional views of molecules with unprecedented resolution, requires minimal sample preparation, and utilizes a simple tagging chemistry on cDNA molecules. AFM images showed collagen polymers in teeth and of Drebrin-A remodeling of filamentous actin structure and mechanics. AFM was used to image collagen on exposed dentine tubules and confirmed tubule occlusion with a desensitizing prophylaxis paste by Colgate-Palmolive. The AFM also superseded other microscopy tools in resolving F-actin helix remodeling and possible cooperative binding by a neuronal actin binding protein---Drebrin-A, an

  10. Packaging of single DNA molecules by the yeast mitochondrial protein Abf2p: reinterpretation of recent single molecule experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigter, Dirk

    2004-07-01

    Brewer et al. (Biophys. J. 85 (2003) 2519-2524) have studied the compaction of dsDNA in a double flow cell by observing the extension of stained DNA tethered in buffer solutions with or without Abf2p. They use a Langmuir adsorption model in which one Abf2p molecule adsorbs on one site on the DNA, and the binding constant, K, is given as the ratio of the experimental rates of adsorption and desorption. This paper presents an improved interpretation. Instead of Langmuir adsorption we use the more appropriate McGhee-von Hippel (J. Mol. Biol. 86 (1974) 469-489) theory for the adsorption of large ligands to a one-dimensional lattice. We assume that each adsorbed molecule shortens the effective contour length of DNA by the foot print of Abf2p of 27 base pairs. When Abf2p adsorbs to DNA stretched in the flowing buffer solution, we account for a tension effect that decreases the adsorption rate and the binding constant by a factor of 2 to 4. The data suggest that the accessibility to Abf2p decreases significantly with increasing compaction of DNA, resulting in a lower adsorption rate and a lower binding constant. The kinetics reported by Brewer et al. (Biophys. J. 85 (2003) 2519-2524) lead to a binding constant K=3.6 x 10(6) M(-1) at the beginning, and to K=5 x 10(5) M(-1) near the end of a compaction run, more than an order of magnitude lower than the value K=2.57 x 10(7) M(-1) calculated by Brewer et al. (Biophys. J. 85 (2003) 2519-2524).

  11. Packaging of single DNA molecules by the yeast mitochondrial protein Abf2p.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Laurence R; Friddle, Raymond; Noy, Aleksandr; Baldwin, Enoch; Martin, Shelley S; Corzett, Michele; Balhorn, Rod; Baskin, Ronald J

    2003-10-01

    Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA are packaged by proteins in a very different manner. Although protein-DNA complexes called "nucleoids" have been identified as the genetic units of mitochondrial inheritance in yeast and man, little is known about their physical structure. The yeast mitochondrial protein Abf2p was shown to be sufficient to compact linear dsDNA, without the benefit of supercoiling, using optical and atomic force microscopy single molecule techniques. The packaging of DNA by Abf2p was observed to be very weak as evidenced by a fast Abf2p off-rate (k(off) = 0.014 +/- 0.001 s(-1)) and the extremely small forces (<0.6 pN) stabilizing the condensed protein-DNA complex. Atomic force microscopy images of individual complexes showed the 190-nm structures are loosely packaged relative to nuclear chromatin. This organization may leave mtDNA accessible for transcription and replication, while making it more vulnerable to damage.

  12. High-throughput single-molecule force spectroscopy for membrane proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosshart, Patrick D.; Casagrande, Fabio; Frederix, Patrick L. T. M.; Ratera, Merce; Bippes, Christian A.; Müller, Daniel J.; Palacin, Manuel; Engel, Andreas; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2008-09-01

    Atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful tool for studying the mechanical properties, intermolecular and intramolecular interactions, unfolding pathways, and energy landscapes of membrane proteins. One limiting factor for the large-scale applicability of SMFS on membrane proteins is its low efficiency in data acquisition. We have developed a semi-automated high-throughput SMFS (HT-SMFS) procedure for efficient data acquisition. In addition, we present a coarse filter to efficiently extract protein unfolding events from large data sets. The HT-SMFS procedure and the coarse filter were validated using the proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) from Halobacterium salinarum and the L-arginine/agmatine antiporter AdiC from the bacterium Escherichia coli. To screen for molecular interactions between AdiC and its substrates, we recorded data sets in the absence and in the presence of L-arginine, D-arginine, and agmatine. Altogether ~400 000 force-distance curves were recorded. Application of coarse filtering to this wealth of data yielded six data sets with ~200 (AdiC) and ~400 (BR) force-distance spectra in each. Importantly, the raw data for most of these data sets were acquired in one to two days, opening new perspectives for HT-SMFS applications.

  13. High-throughput single-molecule force spectroscopy for membrane proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bosshart, Patrick D; Casagrande, Fabio; Frederix, Patrick L T M; Engel, Andreas; Fotiadis, Dimitrios; Ratera, Merce; Palacin, Manuel; Bippes, Christian A; Mueller, Daniel J

    2008-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful tool for studying the mechanical properties, intermolecular and intramolecular interactions, unfolding pathways, and energy landscapes of membrane proteins. One limiting factor for the large-scale applicability of SMFS on membrane proteins is its low efficiency in data acquisition. We have developed a semi-automated high-throughput SMFS (HT-SMFS) procedure for efficient data acquisition. In addition, we present a coarse filter to efficiently extract protein unfolding events from large data sets. The HT-SMFS procedure and the coarse filter were validated using the proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) from Halobacterium salinarum and the L-arginine/agmatine antiporter AdiC from the bacterium Escherichia coli. To screen for molecular interactions between AdiC and its substrates, we recorded data sets in the absence and in the presence of L-arginine, D-arginine, and agmatine. Altogether ∼400 000 force-distance curves were recorded. Application of coarse filtering to this wealth of data yielded six data sets with ∼200 (AdiC) and ∼400 (BR) force-distance spectra in each. Importantly, the raw data for most of these data sets were acquired in one to two days, opening new perspectives for HT-SMFS applications

  14. High-throughput single-molecule force spectroscopy for membrane proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bosshart, Patrick D; Casagrande, Fabio; Frederix, Patrick L T M; Engel, Andreas; Fotiadis, Dimitrios [M E Mueller Institute for Structural Biology, Biozentrum of the University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel (Switzerland); Ratera, Merce; Palacin, Manuel [Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona Science Park, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona and Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red de Enfermedades Raras, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Bippes, Christian A; Mueller, Daniel J [BioTechnology Center, Technical University, Tatzberg 47, D-01307 Dresden (Germany)], E-mail: andreas.engel@unibas.ch, E-mail: dimitrios.fotiadis@mci.unibe.ch

    2008-09-24

    Atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful tool for studying the mechanical properties, intermolecular and intramolecular interactions, unfolding pathways, and energy landscapes of membrane proteins. One limiting factor for the large-scale applicability of SMFS on membrane proteins is its low efficiency in data acquisition. We have developed a semi-automated high-throughput SMFS (HT-SMFS) procedure for efficient data acquisition. In addition, we present a coarse filter to efficiently extract protein unfolding events from large data sets. The HT-SMFS procedure and the coarse filter were validated using the proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) from Halobacterium salinarum and the L-arginine/agmatine antiporter AdiC from the bacterium Escherichia coli. To screen for molecular interactions between AdiC and its substrates, we recorded data sets in the absence and in the presence of L-arginine, D-arginine, and agmatine. Altogether {approx}400 000 force-distance curves were recorded. Application of coarse filtering to this wealth of data yielded six data sets with {approx}200 (AdiC) and {approx}400 (BR) force-distance spectra in each. Importantly, the raw data for most of these data sets were acquired in one to two days, opening new perspectives for HT-SMFS applications.

  15. An in vitro tag-and-modify protein sample generation method for single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamadani, Kambiz M; Howe, Jesse; Jensen, Madeleine K; Wu, Peng; Cate, Jamie H D; Marqusee, Susan

    2017-09-22

    Biomolecular systems exhibit many dynamic and biologically relevant properties, such as conformational fluctuations, multistep catalysis, transient interactions, folding, and allosteric structural transitions. These properties are challenging to detect and engineer using standard ensemble-based techniques. To address this drawback, single-molecule methods offer a way to access conformational distributions, transient states, and asynchronous dynamics inaccessible to these standard techniques. Fluorescence-based single-molecule approaches are parallelizable and compatible with multiplexed detection; to date, however, they have remained limited to serial screens of small protein libraries. This stems from the current absence of methods for generating either individual dual-labeled protein samples at high throughputs or protein libraries compatible with multiplexed screening platforms. Here, we demonstrate that by combining purified and reconstituted in vitro translation, quantitative unnatural amino acid incorporation via AUG codon reassignment, and copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition, we can overcome these challenges for target proteins that are, or can be, methionine-depleted. We present an in vitro parallelizable approach that does not require laborious target-specific purification to generate dual-labeled proteins and ribosome-nascent chain libraries suitable for single-molecule FRET-based conformational phenotyping. We demonstrate the power of this approach by tracking the effects of mutations, C-terminal extensions, and ribosomal tethering on the structure and stability of three protein model systems: barnase, spectrin, and T4 lysozyme. Importantly, dual-labeled ribosome-nascent chain libraries enable single-molecule co-localization of genotypes with phenotypes, are well suited for multiplexed single-molecule screening of protein libraries, and should enable the in vitro directed evolution of proteins with designer single-molecule conformational

  16. Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy Trajectories of a Single Protein and Its Polyproteins Are Equivalent: A Direct Experimental Validation Based on A Small Protein NuG2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Hai; He, Chengzhi; Hu, Chunguang; Li, Jinliang; Hu, Xiaodong; Hu, Xiaotang; Li, Hongbin

    2017-05-22

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) has become a powerful tool in investigating the mechanical unfolding/folding of proteins at the single-molecule level. Polyproteins made of tandem identical repeats have been widely used in atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based SMFS studies, where polyproteins not only serve as fingerprints to identify single-molecule stretching events, but may also improve statistics of data collection. However, the inherent assumption of such experiments is that all the domains in the polyprotein are equivalent and one SMFS trajectory of stretching a polyprotein made of n domains is equivalent to n trajectories of stretching a single domain. Such an assumption has not been validated experimentally. Using a small protein NuG2 and its polyprotein (NuG2) 4 as model systems, here we use optical trapping (OT) to directly validate this assumption. Our results show that OT experiments on NuG2 and (NuG2) 4 lead to identical parameters describing the unfolding and folding kinetics of NuG2, demonstrating that indeed stretching a polyprotein of NuG2 is equivalent to stretching single NuG2 in force spectroscopy experiments and thus validating the use of polyproteins in SMFS experiments. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Quantification of protein based on single-molecule counting by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy with adsorption equilibrium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Lei; Xu Guang; Shi Zhikun; Jiang Wei; Jin Wenrui

    2007-01-01

    We developed a sensitive single-molecule imaging method for quantification of protein by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy with adsorption equilibrium. In this method, the adsorption equilibrium of protein was achieved between solution and glass substrate. Then, fluorescence images of protein molecules in a evanescent wave field were taken by a highly sensitive electron multiplying charge coupled device. Finally, the number of fluorescent spots corresponding to the protein molecules in the images was counted. Alexa Fluor 488-labeled goat anti-rat IgG(H + L) was chosen as the model protein. The spot number showed an excellent linear relationship with protein concentration. The concentration linear range was 5.4 x 10 -11 to 8.1 x 10 -10 mol L -1

  19. Using Three-color Single-molecule FRET to Study the Correlation of Protein Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götz, Markus; Wortmann, Philipp; Schmid, Sonja; Hugel, Thorsten

    2018-01-30

    Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has become a widely used biophysical technique to study the dynamics of biomolecules. For many molecular machines in a cell proteins have to act together with interaction partners in a functional cycle to fulfill their task. The extension of two-color to multi-color smFRET makes it possible to simultaneously probe more than one interaction or conformational change. This not only adds a new dimension to smFRET experiments but it also offers the unique possibility to directly study the sequence of events and to detect correlated interactions when using an immobilized sample and a total internal reflection fluorescence microscope (TIRFM). Therefore, multi-color smFRET is a versatile tool for studying biomolecular complexes in a quantitative manner and in a previously unachievable detail. Here, we demonstrate how to overcome the special challenges of multi-color smFRET experiments on proteins. We present detailed protocols for obtaining the data and for extracting kinetic information. This includes trace selection criteria, state separation, and the recovery of state trajectories from the noisy data using a 3D ensemble Hidden Markov Model (HMM). Compared to other methods, the kinetic information is not recovered from dwell time histograms but directly from the HMM. The maximum likelihood framework allows us to critically evaluate the kinetic model and to provide meaningful uncertainties for the rates. By applying our method to the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), we are able to disentangle the nucleotide binding and the global conformational changes of the protein. This allows us to directly observe the cooperativity between the two nucleotide binding pockets of the Hsp90 dimer.

  20. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 2. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy: Every Molecule is Different! Kankan Bhattacharyya. General Article Volume 20 Issue 2 February 2015 pp 151-164. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  1. The dynamics of single protein molecules is non-equilibrium and self-similar over thirteen decades in time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaohu; Hong, Liang; Dean Smith, Micholas; Neusius, Thomas; Cheng, Xiaolin; Smith, Jeremy C.

    2016-02-01

    Internal motions of proteins are essential to their function. The time dependence of protein structural fluctuations is highly complex, manifesting subdiffusive, non-exponential behaviour with effective relaxation times existing over many decades in time, from ps up to ~102 s (refs ,,,). Here, using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that, on timescales from 10-12 to 10-5 s, motions in single proteins are self-similar, non-equilibrium and exhibit ageing. The characteristic relaxation time for a distance fluctuation, such as inter-domain motion, is observation-time-dependent, increasing in a simple, power-law fashion, arising from the fractal nature of the topology and geometry of the energy landscape explored. Diffusion over the energy landscape follows a non-ergodic continuous time random walk. Comparison with single-molecule experiments suggests that the non-equilibrium self-similar dynamical behaviour persists up to timescales approaching the in vivo lifespan of individual protein molecules.

  2. Electronic transport in single-helical protein molecules: Effects of multiple charge conduction pathways and helical symmetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kundu, Sourav, E-mail: sourav.kunduphy@gmail.com; Karmakar, S.N.

    2016-07-15

    We propose a tight-binding model to investigate electronic transport properties of single helical protein molecules incorporating both the helical symmetry and the possibility of multiple charge transfer pathways. Our study reveals that due to existence of both the multiple charge transfer pathways and helical symmetry, the transport properties are quite rigid under influence of environmental fluctuations which indicates that these biomolecules can serve as better alternatives in nanoelectronic devices than its other biological counterparts e.g., single-stranded DNA.

  3. Mechanism of SOS PR-domain autoinhibition revealed by single-molecule assays on native protein from lysate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young Kwang; Low-Nam, Shalini T; Chung, Jean K; Hansen, Scott D; Lam, Hiu Yue Monatrice; Alvarez, Steven; Groves, Jay T

    2017-04-28

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Son of Sevenless (SOS) plays a critical role in signal transduction by activating Ras. Here we introduce a single-molecule assay in which individual SOS molecules are captured from raw cell lysate using Ras-functionalized supported membrane microarrays. This enables characterization of the full-length SOS protein, which has not previously been studied in reconstitution due to difficulties in purification. Our measurements on the full-length protein reveal a distinct role of the C-terminal proline-rich (PR) domain to obstruct the engagement of allosteric Ras independently of the well-known N-terminal domain autoinhibition. This inhibitory role of the PR domain limits Grb2-independent recruitment of SOS to the membrane through binding of Ras·GTP in the SOS allosteric binding site. More generally, this assay strategy enables characterization of the functional behaviour of GEFs with single-molecule precision but without the need for purification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-05

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

  5. Single molecule detection, thermal fluctuation and life

    Science.gov (United States)

    YANAGIDA, Toshio; ISHII, Yoshiharu

    2017-01-01

    Single molecule detection has contributed to our understanding of the unique mechanisms of life. Unlike artificial man-made machines, biological molecular machines integrate thermal noises rather than avoid them. For example, single molecule detection has demonstrated that myosin motors undergo biased Brownian motion for stepwise movement and that single protein molecules spontaneously change their conformation, for switching to interactions with other proteins, in response to thermal fluctuation. Thus, molecular machines have flexibility and efficiency not seen in artificial machines. PMID:28190869

  6. Single molecule force spectroscopy data and BD- and MD simulations on the blood protein von Willebrand factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Posch

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available We here give information for a deeper understanding of single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS data through the example of the blood protein von Willebrand factor (VWF. It is also shown, how fitting of rupture forces versus loading rate profiles in the molecular dynamics (MD loading-rate range can be used to demonstrate the qualitative agreement between SMFS and MD simulations. The recently developed model by Bullerjahn, Sturm, and Kroy (BSK was used for this demonstration. Further, Brownian dynamics (BD simulations, which can be utilized to estimate the lifetimes of intramolecular VWF interactions under physiological shear, are described. For interpretation and discussion of the methods and data presented here, we would like to directly point the reader to the related research paper, “Mutual A domain interactions in the force sensing protein von Willebrand Factor” (Posch et al., 2016 [1]. Keywords: Atomic force microscopy, Single molecule force spectroscopy, Molecular dynamics simulation, Brownian dynamics simulation, von Willebrand factor

  7. Single-Molecule Nanomagnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Jonathan R.; Sarachik, Myriam P.

    2010-04-01

    Single-molecule magnets straddle the classical and quantum mechanical worlds, displaying many fascinating phenomena. They may have important technological applications in information storage and quantum computation. We review the physical properties of two prototypical molecular nanomagnets, Mn12-acetate and Fe8: Each behaves as a rigid, spin-10 object and exhibits tunneling between up and down directions. As temperature is lowered, the spin-reversal process evolves from thermal activation to pure quantum tunneling. At low temperatures, magnetic avalanches occur in which the magnetization of an entire sample rapidly reverses. We discuss the important role that symmetry-breaking fields play in driving tunneling and in producing Berry-phase interference. Recent experimental advances indicate that quantum coherence can be maintained on timescales sufficient to allow a meaningful number of quantum computing operations to be performed. Efforts are under way to create monolayers and to address and manipulate individual molecules.

  8. Digitally encoded DNA nanostructures for multiplexed, single-molecule protein sensing with nanopores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Nicholas A. W.; Keyser, Ulrich F.

    2016-07-01

    The simultaneous detection of a large number of different analytes is important in bionanotechnology research and in diagnostic applications. Nanopore sensing is an attractive method in this regard as the approach can be integrated into small, portable device architectures, and there is significant potential for detecting multiple sub-populations in a sample. Here, we show that highly multiplexed sensing of single molecules can be achieved with solid-state nanopores by using digitally encoded DNA nanostructures. Based on the principles of DNA origami, we designed a library of DNA nanostructures in which each member contains a unique barcode; each bit in the barcode is signalled by the presence or absence of multiple DNA dumbbell hairpins. We show that a 3-bit barcode can be assigned with 94% accuracy by electrophoretically driving the DNA structures through a solid-state nanopore. Select members of the library were then functionalized to detect a single, specific antibody through antigen presentation at designed positions on the DNA. This allows us to simultaneously detect four different antibodies of the same isotype at nanomolar concentration levels.

  9. Lanthanide single molecule magnets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tang, Jinkui; Zhang, Peng [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun (China). Changchun Inst. of Applied Chemistry

    2015-10-01

    This book begins by providing basic information on single-molecule magnets (SMMs), covering the magnetism of lanthanide, the characterization and relaxation dynamics of SMMs and advanced means of studying lanthanide SMMs. It then systematically introduces lanthanide SMMs ranging from mononuclear and dinuclear to polynuclear complexes, classifying them and highlighting those SMMs with high barrier and blocking temperatures - an approach that provides some very valuable indicators for the structural features needed to optimize the contribution of an Ising type spin to a molecular magnet. The final chapter presents some of the newest developments in the lanthanide SMM field, such as the design of multifunctional and stimuli-responsive magnetic materials as well as the anchoring and organization of the SMMs on surfaces. In addition, the crystal structure and magnetic data are clearly presented with a wealth of illustrations in each chapter, helping newcomers and experts alike to better grasp ongoing trends and explore new directions.

  10. Lanthanide single molecule magnets

    CERN Document Server

    Tang, Jinkui

    2015-01-01

    This book begins by providing basic information on single-molecule magnets (SMMs), covering the magnetism of lanthanide, the characterization and relaxation dynamics of SMMs, and advanced means of studying lanthanide SMMs. It then systematically introduces lanthanide SMMs ranging from mononuclear and dinuclear to polynuclear complexes, classifying them and highlighting those SMMs with high barrier and blocking temperatures – an approach that provides some very valuable indicators for the structural features needed to optimize the contribution of an Ising type spin to a molecular magnet. The final chapter presents some of the newest developments in the lanthanide SMM field, such as the design of multifunctional and stimuli-responsive magnetic materials as well as the anchoring and organization of the SMMs on surfaces. In addition, the crystal structure and magnetic data are clearly presented with a wealth of illustrations in each chapter, helping newcomers and experts alike to better grasp ongoing trends and...

  11. Single-molecule resolution of protein dynamics on polymeric membrane surfaces: the roles of spatial and population heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langdon, Blake B; Mirhossaini, Roya B; Mabry, Joshua N; Sriram, Indira; Lajmi, Ajay; Zhang, Yanxia; Rojas, Orlando J; Schwartz, Daniel K

    2015-02-18

    Although polymeric membranes are widely used in the purification of protein pharmaceuticals, interactions between biomolecules and membrane surfaces can lead to reduced membrane performance and damage to the product. In this study, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy provided direct observation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and human monoclonal antibody (IgG) dynamics at the interface between aqueous buffer and polymeric membrane materials including regenerated cellulose and unmodified poly(ether sulfone) (PES) blended with either polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), polyvinyl acetate-co-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVAc-PVP), or polyethylene glycol methacrylate (PEGM) before casting. These polymer surfaces were compared with model surfaces composed of hydrophilic bare fused silica and hydrophobic trimethylsilane-coated fused silica. At extremely dilute protein concentrations (10(-3)-10(-7) mg/mL), protein surface exchange was highly dynamic with protein monomers desorbing from the surface within ∼1 s after adsorption. Protein oligomers (e.g., nonspecific dimers, trimers, or larger aggregates), although less common, remained on the surface for 5 times longer than monomers. Using newly developed super-resolution methods, we could localize adsorption sites with ∼50 nm resolution and quantify the spatial heterogeneity of the various surfaces. On a small anomalous subset of the adsorption sites, proteins adsorbed preferentially and tended to reside for significantly longer times (i.e., on "strong" sites). Proteins resided for shorter times overall on surfaces that were more homogeneous and exhibited fewer strong sites (e.g., PVAc-PVP/PES). We propose that strong surface sites may nucleate protein aggregation, initiated preferentially by protein oligomers, and accelerate ultrafiltration membrane fouling. At high protein concentrations (0.3-1.0 mg/mL), fewer strong adsorption sites were observed, and surface residence times were reduced. This suggests that at high concentrations

  12. Localizing internal friction along the reaction coordinate of protein folding by combining ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgia, Alessandro; Wensley, Beth G.; Soranno, Andrea; Nettels, Daniel; Borgia, Madeleine B.; Hoffmann, Armin; Pfeil, Shawn H.; Lipman, Everett A.; Clarke, Jane; Schuler, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    Theory, simulations and experimental results have suggested an important role of internal friction in the kinetics of protein folding. Recent experiments on spectrin domains provided the first evidence for a pronounced contribution of internal friction in proteins that fold on the millisecond timescale. However, it has remained unclear how this contribution is distributed along the reaction and what influence it has on the folding dynamics. Here we use a combination of single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer, nanosecond fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, microfluidic mixing and denaturant- and viscosity-dependent protein-folding kinetics to probe internal friction in the unfolded state and at the early and late transition states of slow- and fast-folding spectrin domains. We find that the internal friction affecting the folding rates of spectrin domains is highly localized to the early transition state, suggesting an important role of rather specific interactions in the rate-limiting conformational changes. PMID:23149740

  13. Fast electron transfer through a single molecule natively structured redox protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Della Pia, Eduardo Antonio; Chi, Qijin; Macdonald, J. Emyr

    2012-01-01

    The electron transfer properties of proteins are normally measured as molecularly averaged ensembles. Through these and related measurements, proteins are widely regarded as macroscopically insulating materials. Using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), we present new measurements of the conduc...

  14. Single molecule conductance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, R.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis represents an excursion into the world of molecular electronics, i.e. the field of research trying to use individual (organic) molecules as electronic components; in this work various experimental methods have been explored to connect individual molecules to metallic contacts and

  15. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    overall absorption spectrum of a molecule is a superposition of many such sharp lines .... dilute solution of the enzyme and the substrate over few drops of silicone oil placed ..... Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM): Development.

  16. Single-molecule dynamics in nanofabricated traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Adam

    2009-03-01

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

  17. Extracting Models in Single Molecule Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. What precision-protein-tuning and nano-resolved single molecule sciences can do for each other.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Sigrid; Lemke, Edward A

    2013-01-01

    While innovations in modern microscopy, spectroscopy, and nanoscopy techniques have made single molecule observation a standard in many laboratories, the actual design of meaningful fluorescence reporter systems now hinders major scientific breakthroughs. Even though the field of chemical biology is supercharging the fluorescence toolbox, surprisingly few strategies exist that make the transition from model systems to biologically relevant applications. At the same time, the number of microscopy techniques is growing dramatically. We explain our view on how the impact of modern technologies is influenced not only by further hard- and software developments, but also by the availability and suitability of protein-engineering tools. We identify how the largely independent research fields of chemical biology and fluorescence nanoscopy can influence each other to synergistically drive future technology that can visualize the localization, structure, and dynamics of molecular function without constraints. Copyright © 2013 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Fluorescence single-molecule counting assays for protein quantification using epi-fluorescence microscopy with quantum dots labeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Dafeng; Liu Chunxia; Wang Lei; Jiang Wei

    2010-01-01

    A single-molecule counting approach for quantifying the antibody affixed to a surface using quantum dots and epi-fluorescence microscopy is presented. Modifying the glass substrates with carboxyl groups provides a hydrophilic surface that reacts with amine groups of an antibody to allow covalent immobilization of the antibody. Nonspecific adsorption of single molecules on the modified surfaces was first investigated. Then, quantum dots were employed to form complexes with surface-immobilized antibody molecules and used as fluorescent probes for single-molecule imaging. Epi-fluorescence microscopy was chosen as the tool for single-molecule fluorescence detection here. The generated fluorescence signals were taken by an electron multiplying charge-coupled device and were found to be proportional to the sample concentrations. Under optimal conditions, a linear response range of 5.0 x 10 -14 -3.0 x 10 -12 mol L -1 was obtained between the number of single molecules and sample concentration via a single-molecule counting approach.

  20. Theoretical Investigations Regarding Single Molecules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kim Georg Lind

    Neoclassical Valence Bond Theory, Quantum Transport, Quantum Interference, Kondo Effect, and Electron Pumping. Trap a single organic molecule between two electrodes and apply a bias voltage across this "molecular junction". When electrons pass through the molecule, the different electron paths can...... interfere destructively or constructively. Destructive interference effects in electron transport could potentially improve thermo-electrics, organic logic circuits and energy harvesting. We have investigated destructive interference in off-resonant transport through organic molecules, and have found a set...

  1. Single-molecule spectroscopy of LHCSR1 protein dynamics identifies two distinct states responsible for multi-timescale photosynthetic photoprotection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Toru; Pinnola, Alberta; Chen, Wei Jia; Dall'Osto, Luca; Bassi, Roberto; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.

    2017-08-01

    In oxygenic photosynthesis, light harvesting is regulated to safely dissipate excess energy and prevent the formation of harmful photoproducts. Regulation is known to be necessary for fitness, but the molecular mechanisms are not understood. One challenge has been that ensemble experiments average over active and dissipative behaviours, preventing identification of distinct states. Here, we use single-molecule spectroscopy to uncover the photoprotective states and dynamics of the light-harvesting complex stress-related 1 (LHCSR1) protein, which is responsible for dissipation in green algae and moss. We discover the existence of two dissipative states. We find that one of these states is activated by pH and the other by carotenoid composition, and that distinct protein dynamics regulate these states. Together, these two states enable the organism to respond to two types of intermittency in solar intensity—step changes (clouds and shadows) and ramp changes (sunrise), respectively. Our findings reveal key control mechanisms underlying photoprotective dissipation, with implications for increasing biomass yields and developing robust solar energy devices.

  2. Atomic force microscopy imaging and single molecule recognition force spectroscopy of coat proteins on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jilin; Krajcikova, Daniela; Zhu, Rong; Ebner, Andreas; Cutting, Simon; Gruber, Hermann J; Barak, Imrich; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Coat assembly in Bacillus subtilis serves as a tractable model for the study of the self-assembly process of biological structures and has a significant potential for use in nano-biotechnological applications. In the present study, the morphology of B. subtilis spores was investigated by magnetically driven dynamic force microscopy (MAC mode atomic force microscopy) under physiological conditions. B. subtilis spores appeared as prolate structures, with a length of 0.6-3 microm and a width of about 0.5-2 microm. The spore surface was mainly covered with bump-like structures with diameters ranging from 8 to 70 nm. Besides topographical explorations, single molecule recognition force spectroscopy (SMRFS) was used to characterize the spore coat protein CotA. This protein was specifically recognized by a polyclonal antibody directed against CotA (anti-CotA), the antibody being covalently tethered to the AFM tip via a polyethylene glycol linker. The unbinding force between CotA and anti-CotA was determined as 55 +/- 2 pN. From the high-binding probability of more than 20% in force-distance cycles it is concluded that CotA locates in the outer surface of B. subtilis spores. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Single Molecule Electronics and Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Single molecule tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Subunits of highly Fluorescent Protein R-Phycoerythrin as Probes for Cell Imaging and Single-Molecule Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isailovic, Dragan [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2005-01-01

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To characterize subunits of highly fluorescent protein R-Phycoerythrin (R-PE) and check their suitability for single-molecule detection (SMD) and cell imaging, (2) To extend the use of R-PE subunits through design of similar proteins that will be used as probes for microscopy and spectral imaging in a single cell, and (3) To demonstrate a high-throughput spectral imaging method that will rival spectral flow cytometry in the analysis of individual cells. We first demonstrated that R-PE subunits have spectroscopic and structural characteristics that make them suitable for SMD. Subunits were isolated from R-PE by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and detected as single molecules by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). In addition, R-PE subunits and their enzymatic digests were characterized by several separation and detection methods including HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrilamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and HPLC-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Favorable absorption and fluorescence of the R-PE subunits and digest peptides originate from phycoerythrobilin (PEB) and phycourobilin (PUB) chromophores that are covalently attached to cysteine residues. High absorption coefficients and strong fluorescence (even under denaturing conditions), broad excitation and emission fluorescence spectra in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum, and relatively low molecular weights make these molecules suitable for use as fluorescence labels of biomolecules and cells. We further designed fluorescent proteins both in vitro and in vivo (in Escherichia coli) based on the highly specific attachment of PEB chromophore to genetically expressed apo-subunits of R-PE. In one example, apo-alpha and apo-beta R-PE subunits were cloned from red algae Polisiphonia boldii (P. boldii), and expressed in E. coli. Although expressed apo-subunits formed inclusion

  6. Extracting rate coefficients from single-molecule photon trajectories and FRET efficiency histograms for a fast-folding protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Hoi Sung; Gopich, Irina V; McHale, Kevin; Cellmer, Troy; Louis, John M; Eaton, William A

    2011-04-28

    Recently developed statistical methods by Gopich and Szabo were used to extract folding and unfolding rate coefficients from single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) data for proteins with kinetics too fast to measure waiting time distributions. Two types of experiments and two different analyses were performed. In one experiment bursts of photons were collected from donor and acceptor fluorophores attached to a 73-residue protein, α(3)D, freely diffusing through the illuminated volume of a confocal microscope system. In the second, the protein was immobilized by linkage to a surface, and photons were collected until one of the fluorophores bleached. Folding and unfolding rate coefficients and mean FRET efficiencies for the folded and unfolded subpopulations were obtained from a photon by photon analysis of the trajectories using a maximum likelihood method. The ability of the method to describe the data in terms of a two-state model was checked by recoloring the photon trajectories with the extracted parameters and comparing the calculated FRET efficiency histograms with the measured histograms. The sum of the rate coefficients for the two-state model agreed to within 30% with the relaxation rate obtained from the decay of the donor-acceptor cross-correlation function, confirming the high accuracy of the method. Interestingly, apparently reliable rate coefficients could be extracted using the maximum likelihood method, even at low (rate coefficients and mean FRET efficiencies were also obtained in an approximate procedure by simply fitting the FRET efficiency histograms, calculated by binning the donor and acceptor photons, with a sum of three-Gaussian functions. The kinetics are exposed in these histograms by the growth of a FRET efficiency peak at values intermediate between the folded and unfolded peaks as the bin size increases, a phenomenon with similarities to NMR exchange broadening. When comparable populations of folded and unfolded

  7. Dynamics of water around the complex structures formed between the KH domains of far upstream element binding protein and single-stranded DNA molecules

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chakraborty, Kaushik; Bandyopadhyay, Sanjoy, E-mail: sanjoy@chem.iitkgp.ernet.in [Molecular Modeling Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India)

    2015-07-28

    Single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) binding proteins specifically bind to the single-stranded regions of the DNA and protect it from premature annealing, thereby stabilizing the DNA structure. We have carried out atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the aqueous solutions of two DNA binding K homology (KH) domains (KH3 and KH4) of the far upstream element binding protein complexed with two short ss-DNA segments. Attempts have been made to explore the influence of the formation of such complex structures on the microscopic dynamics and hydrogen bond properties of the interfacial water molecules. It is found that the water molecules involved in bridging the ss-DNA segments and the protein domains form a highly constrained thin layer with extremely retarded mobility. These water molecules play important roles in freezing the conformational oscillations of the ss-DNA oligomers and thereby forming rigid complex structures. Further, it is demonstrated that the effect of complexation on the slow long-time relaxations of hydrogen bonds at the interface is correlated with hindered motions of the surrounding water molecules. Importantly, it is observed that the highly restricted motions of the water molecules bridging the protein and the DNA components in the complexed forms originate from more frequent hydrogen bond reformations.

  8. Single Molecule Nano-Metronome

    OpenAIRE

    Buranachai, Chittanon; McKinney, Sean A.; Ha, Taekjip

    2006-01-01

    We constructed a DNA-based nano-mechanical device called the nano-metronome. Our device is made by introducing complementary single stranded overhangs at the two arms of the DNA four-way junction. The ticking rates of this stochastic metronome depend on ion concentrations and can be changed by a set of DNA-based switches to deactivate/reactivate the sticky end. Since the device displays clearly distinguishable responses even with a single basepair difference, it may lead to a single molecule ...

  9. Single Molecule Nano-Metronome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buranachai, Chittanon; McKinney, Sean A.; Ha, Taekjip

    2008-01-01

    We constructed a DNA-based nano-mechanical device called the nano-metronome. Our device is made by introducing complementary single stranded overhangs at the two arms of the DNA four-way junction. The ticking rates of this stochastic metronome depend on ion concentrations and can be changed by a set of DNA-based switches to deactivate/reactivate the sticky end. Since the device displays clearly distinguishable responses even with a single basepair difference, it may lead to a single molecule sensor of minute sequence differences of a target DNA. PMID:16522050

  10. Sensing single electrons with single molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plakhotnik, Taras

    2007-01-01

    We propose a new methodology for probing transport of just one electron, a process of great importance both in nature and in artificial devices. Our idea for locating a single electron is analogues to the conventional GPS where signals from several satellites are used to locate a macro object. Using fluorescent molecules as tiny sensors, it is possible to determine 3D displacement vector of an electron

  11. Probing DNA interactions with proteins using a single-molecule toolbox: inside the cell, in a test tube and in a computer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollman, Adam J M; Miller, Helen; Zhou, Zhaokun; Leake, Mark C

    2015-04-01

    DNA-interacting proteins have roles in multiple processes, many operating as molecular machines which undergo dynamic meta-stable transitions to bring about their biological function. To fully understand this molecular heterogeneity, DNA and the proteins that bind to it must ideally be interrogated at a single molecule level in their native in vivo environments, in a time-resolved manner, fast enough to sample the molecular transitions across the free-energy landscape. Progress has been made over the past decade in utilizing cutting-edge tools of the physical sciences to address challenging biological questions concerning the function and modes of action of several different proteins which bind to DNA. These physiologically relevant assays are technically challenging but can be complemented by powerful and often more tractable in vitro experiments which confer advantages of the chemical environment with enhanced detection signal-to-noise of molecular signatures and transition events. In the present paper, we discuss a range of techniques we have developed to monitor DNA-protein interactions in vivo, in vitro and in silico. These include bespoke single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques to elucidate the architecture and dynamics of the bacterial replisome and the structural maintenance of bacterial chromosomes, as well as new computational tools to extract single-molecule molecular signatures from live cells to monitor stoichiometry, spatial localization and mobility in living cells. We also discuss recent developments from our laboratory made in vitro, complementing these in vivo studies, which combine optical and magnetic tweezers to manipulate and image single molecules of DNA, with and without bound protein, in a new super-resolution fluorescence microscope.

  12. A Method for Extracting the Free Energy Surface and Conformational Dynamics of Fast-Folding Proteins from Single Molecule Photon Trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy holds the promise of providing direct measurements of protein folding free energy landscapes and conformational motions. However, fulfilling this promise has been prevented by technical limitations, most notably, the difficulty in analyzing the small packets of photons per millisecond that are typically recorded from individual biomolecules. Such limitation impairs the ability to accurately determine conformational distributions and resolve sub-millisecond processes. Here we develop an analytical procedure for extracting the conformational distribution and dynamics of fast-folding proteins directly from time-stamped photon arrival trajectories produced by single molecule FRET experiments. Our procedure combines the maximum likelihood analysis originally developed by Gopich and Szabo with a statistical mechanical model that describes protein folding as diffusion on a one-dimensional free energy surface. Using stochastic kinetic simulations, we thoroughly tested the performance of the method in identifying diverse fast-folding scenarios, ranging from two-state to one-state downhill folding, as a function of relevant experimental variables such as photon count rate, amount of input data, and background noise. The tests demonstrate that the analysis can accurately retrieve the original one-dimensional free energy surface and microsecond folding dynamics in spite of the sub-megahertz photon count rates and significant background noise levels of current single molecule fluorescence experiments. Therefore, our approach provides a powerful tool for the quantitative analysis of single molecule FRET experiments of fast protein folding that is also potentially extensible to the analysis of any other biomolecular process governed by sub-millisecond conformational dynamics. PMID:25988351

  13. Handbook of Single-Molecule Biophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2009-01-01

    The last decade has seen the development of a number of novel biophysical methods that allow the manipulation and study of individual biomolecules. The ability to monitor biological processes at this fundamental level of sensitivity has given rise to an improved understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Through the removal of ensemble averaging, distributions and fluctuations of molecular properties can be characterized, transient intermediates identified, and catalytic mechanisms elucidated. By applying forces on biomolecules while monitoring their activity, important information can be obtained on how proteins couple function to structure. The Handbook of Single-Molecule Biophysics provides an introduction to these techniques and presents an extensive discussion of the new biological insights obtained from them. Coverage includes: Experimental techniques to monitor and manipulate individual biomolecules The use of single-molecule techniques in super-resolution and functional imaging Single-molec...

  14. Interactions of Histone Acetyltransferase p300 with the Nuclear Proteins Histone and HMGB1, As Revealed by Single Molecule Atomic Force Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, S; Rakshit, T; Sett, S; Mukhopadhyay, R

    2015-10-22

    One of the important properties of the transcriptional coactivator p300 is histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity that enables p300 to influence chromatin action via histone modulation. p300 can exert its HAT action upon the other nuclear proteins too--one notable example being the transcription-factor-like protein HMGB1, which functions also as a cytokine, and whose accumulation in the cytoplasm, as a response to tissue damage, is triggered by its acetylation. Hitherto, no information on the structure and stability of the complexes between full-length p300 (p300FL) (300 kDa) and the histone/HMGB1 proteins are available, probably due to the presence of unstructured regions within p300FL that makes it difficult to be crystallized. Herein, we have adopted the high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) approach, which allows molecularly resolved three-dimensional contour mapping of a protein molecule of any size and structure. From the off-rate and activation barrier values, obtained using single molecule dynamic force spectroscopy, the biochemical proposition of preferential binding of p300FL to histone H3, compared to the octameric histone, can be validated. Importantly, from the energy landscape of the dissociation events, a model for the p300-histone and the p300-HMGB1 dynamic complexes that HAT forms, can be proposed. The lower unbinding forces of the complexes observed in acetylating conditions, compared to those observed in non-acetylating conditions, indicate that upon acetylation, p300 tends to weakly associate, probably as an outcome of charge alterations on the histone/HMGB1 surface and/or acetylation-induced conformational changes. To our knowledge, for the first time, a single molecule level treatment of the interactions of HAT, where the full-length protein is considered, is being reported.

  15. Automated imaging system for single molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-18

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

  16. Millisecond single-molecule localization microscopy combined with convolution analysis and automated image segmentation to determine protein concentrations in complexly structured, functional cells, one cell at a time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollman, Adam J M; Leake, Mark C

    2015-01-01

    We present a single-molecule tool called the CoPro (concentration of proteins) method that uses millisecond imaging with convolution analysis, automated image segmentation and super-resolution localization microscopy to generate robust estimates for protein concentration in different compartments of single living cells, validated using realistic simulations of complex multiple compartment cell types. We demonstrate its utility experimentally on model Escherichia coli bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae budding yeast cells, and use it to address the biological question of how signals are transduced in cells. Cells in all domains of life dynamically sense their environment through signal transduction mechanisms, many involving gene regulation. The glucose sensing mechanism of S. cerevisiae is a model system for studying gene regulatory signal transduction. It uses the multi-copy expression inhibitor of the GAL gene family, Mig1, to repress unwanted genes in the presence of elevated extracellular glucose concentrations. We fluorescently labelled Mig1 molecules with green fluorescent protein (GFP) via chromosomal integration at physiological expression levels in living S. cerevisiae cells, in addition to the RNA polymerase protein Nrd1 with the fluorescent protein reporter mCherry. Using CoPro we make quantitative estimates of Mig1 and Nrd1 protein concentrations in the cytoplasm and nucleus compartments on a cell-by-cell basis under physiological conditions. These estimates indicate a ∼4-fold shift towards higher values in the concentration of diffusive Mig1 in the nucleus if the external glucose concentration is raised, whereas equivalent levels in the cytoplasm shift to smaller values with a relative change an order of magnitude smaller. This compares with Nrd1 which is not involved directly in glucose sensing, and which is almost exclusively localized in the nucleus under high and low external glucose levels. CoPro facilitates time-resolved quantification of

  17. Single-Molecule Stochastic Resonance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Hayashi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Stochastic resonance (SR is a well-known phenomenon in dynamical systems. It consists of the amplification and optimization of the response of a system assisted by stochastic (random or probabilistic noise. Here we carry out the first experimental study of SR in single DNA hairpins which exhibit cooperatively transitions from folded to unfolded configurations under the action of an oscillating mechanical force applied with optical tweezers. By varying the frequency of the force oscillation, we investigate the folding and unfolding kinetics of DNA hairpins in a periodically driven bistable free-energy potential. We measure several SR quantifiers under varied conditions of the experimental setup such as trap stiffness and length of the molecular handles used for single-molecule manipulation. We find that a good quantifier of the SR is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR of the spectral density of measured fluctuations in molecular extension of the DNA hairpins. The frequency dependence of the SNR exhibits a peak at a frequency value given by the resonance-matching condition. Finally, we carry out experiments on short hairpins that show how SR might be useful for enhancing the detection of conformational molecular transitions of low SNR.

  18. Single particle tracking and single molecule energy transfer

    CERN Document Server

    Bräuchle, Christoph; Michaelis, Jens

    2009-01-01

    Closing a gap in the literature, this handbook gathers all the information on single particle tracking and single molecule energy transfer. It covers all aspects of this hot and modern topic, from detecting virus entry to membrane diffusion, and from protein folding using spFRET to coupled dye systems, as well recent achievements in the field. Throughout, the first-class editors and top international authors present content of the highest quality, making this a must-have for physical chemists, spectroscopists, molecular physicists and biochemists.

  19. Memory effects in single-molecule spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, Daniel T.; Schulz, Michael; Reineker, Peter

    2007-01-01

    From the time series of LH2 optical single-molecule fluorescence excitation spectra of Rhodospirillum molischianum the memory function of the Mori-Zwanzig equation for the optical intensity is derived numerically. We show that the time dependence of the excited states is determined by at least three different non-Markovian stochastic processes with decay constants for the Mori-Zwanzig kernel on the order of 1-5min -1 . We suggest that this decay stems from the conformational motion of the protein scaffold of LH2

  20. Long-range protein electron transfer observed at the single-molecule level: In situ mapping of redox-gated tunneling resonance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chi, Qijin; Farver, O; Ulstrup, Jens

    2005-01-01

    on the redox potential. Maximum resonance appears around the equilibrium redox potential of azurin with an on/off current ratio of approximate to 9. Simulation analyses, based on a two-step interfacial ET model for the scanning tunneling microscopy redox process, were performed and provide quantitative......A biomimetic long-range electron transfer (ET) system consisting of the blue copper protein azurin, a tunneling barrier bridge, and a gold single-crystal electrode was designed on the basis of molecular wiring self-assembly principles. This system is sufficiently stable and sensitive in a quasi...... constants display tunneling features with distance-decay factors of 0.83 and 0.91 angstrom(-1) in H2O and D2O, respectively. Redox-gated tunneling resonance is observed in situ at the single-molecule level by using electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy, exhibiting an asymmetric dependence...

  1. [Dynamics of Irreversible Evaporation of a Water-Protein Droplet and a Problem of Structural and Dynamical Experiments with Single Molecules].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaitan, K V; Armeev, G A; Shaytan, A K

    2016-01-01

    We discuss the effect of isothermal and adiabatic evaporation of water on the state of a water-protein droplet. The discussed problem is of current importance due to development of techniques to perform single molecule experiments using free electron lasers. In such structure-dynamic experiments the delivery of a sample into the X-ray beam is performed using the microdroplet injector. The time between the injection and delivery is in the order of microseconds. In this paper we developed a specialized variant of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations for the study of irreversible isothermal evaporation of the droplet. Using in silico experiments we determined the parameters of isothermal evaporation of the water-protein droplet with the sodium and chloride ions in the concentration range of 0.3 M at different temperatures. The energy of irreversible evaporation determined from in silico experiments at the initial stages of evaporation virtually coincides with the specific heat of evaporation for water. For the kinetics of irreversible adiabatic evaporation an exact analytical solution was obtained in the limit of high thermal conductivity of the droplet (or up to the droplet size of -100 Å). This analytical solution incorporates parameters that are determined using in silico. experiments on isothermal droplet evaporation. We show that the kinetics of adiabatic evaporation and cooling of the droplet scales with the droplet size. Our estimates of the water-protemi droplet. freezing rate in the adiabatic regime in a vacuum chamber show that additional techniques for stabilizing the temperature inside the droplet should be used in order to study the conformational transitions of the protein in single molecules. Isothermal and quasi-isothermal conditions are most suitable for studying the conformational transitions upon object functioning. However, in this case it is necessary to take into account the effects of dehydration and rapid increase of ionic strength in an

  2. A single molecule approach for measuring the transport properties and energetics of membrane proteins in heterogeneous planar bio-mimetic assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poudel, Kumud Raj

    The significance of transmembrane protein research is well documented. Numerous studies have clearly established the biological, biophysical and pharmaceutical importance that these membrane components serve. Communications through receptors regulate countless body functions and they also provide structural support to the cell. However, a lack of high-resolution structure data has limited our understanding of these proteins that make it necessary to study them in in-vitro platforms or 'bio-mimetic' assemblies. Albeit that an assortment of platforms have been suggested for in-vitro studies, the issues, however, remain the same. The lack of mobility of the proteins in artificial environments, the question of functionality that arises with mobility and the search in general for the best assembly, is still a work in progress. In this work, we have taken some of the most accepted platforms in the field and characterized them through the lens of single molecule spectroscopy. We have addressed the question of mobility by reducing it down to a single molecule and comparing it with the bulk. By utilizing the Serotonin Receptor 5HT3A we have shown that techniques such as passivation of the substrates in the assemblies by Bovine Serum Albumin has a significant effect at the molecular level. The larger size of the intracellular domain for the 5HT3A served as a great probe to understand and evaluate the interaction of a surface passivator with the integrated membrane protein. We have also taken this a step further by developing a novel, single cushion 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) assembly and added another degree of complexity- through a phase transition. We have utilized phase transition to get an insight into the local protein environment, activation energies, heterogeneity and diffusion characteristics by using Annexin V as our probe. The work presented here studies two completely different biological platforms using two entirely different transmembrane

  3. Spectrally resolved single-molecule electrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggeri, F.; Krishnan, M.

    2018-03-01

    Escape-time electrometry is a recently developed experimental technique that offers the ability to measure the effective electrical charge of a single biomolecule in solution with sub-elementary charge precision. The approach relies on measuring the average escape-time of a single charged macromolecule or molecular species transiently confined in an electrostatic fluidic trap. Comparing the experiments with the predictions of a mean-field model of molecular electrostatics, we have found that the measured effective charge even reports on molecular conformation, e.g., folded or disordered state, and non-uniform charge distribution in disordered proteins or polyelectrolytes. Here we demonstrate the ability to use the spectral dimension to distinguish minute differences in electrical charge between individual molecules or molecular species in a single simultaneous measurement, under identical experimental conditions. Using one spectral channel for referenced measurement, this kind of photophysical distinguishability essentially eliminates the need for accurate knowledge of key experimental parameters, otherwise obtained through intensive characterization of the experimental setup. As examples, we demonstrate the ability to detect small differences (˜5%) in the length of double-stranded DNA fragments as well as single amino acid exchange in an intrinsically disordered protein, prothymosin α.

  4. Proposal for a scheme to generate 10 TW-Level femtosecond X-ray pulses for imaging single protein molecules at the European XFEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serkez, Svitozar; Kocharyan, Vitali; Saldin, Evgeni; Zagorodnov, Igor [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany); Geloni, Gianluca [European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg (Germany); Yefanov, Oleksander [Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, Hamburg (Germany)

    2013-06-15

    Single biomolecular imaging using XFEL radiation is an emerging method for protein structure determination using the ''diffraction before destruction'' method at near atomic resolution. Crucial parameters for such bio-imaging experiments are photon energy range, peak power, pulse duration, and transverse coherence. The largest diffraction signals are achieved at the longest wavelength that supports a given resolution, which should be better than 0.3 nm. We propose a configuration which combines self-seeding and undulator tapering techniques with the emittance-spoiler method in order to increase the XFEL output peak power and to shorten the pulse duration up to a level sufficient for performing bio-imaging of single protein molecules at the optimal photon energy range, i.e. around 4 keV. Experiments at the LCLS confirmed the feasibility of these three new techniques. Based on start-to-end simulations we demonstrate that self-seeding, combined with undulator tapering, allows one to achieve up to a 100-fold increase in peak-power. A slotted foil in the last bunch compressor is added for X-ray pulse duration control. Simulations indicate that one can achieve diffraction to the desired resolution with 50 mJ (corresponding to 10{sup 14} photons) per 10 fs pulse at 3.5 keV photon energy in a 100 nm focus. This result is exemplified using the photosystem I membrane protein as a case study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry and Owner Societies 2012

  6. Nano-manipulation of single DNA molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Jun; Shanghai Jiaotong Univ., Shanghai; Lv Junhong; Wang Guohua; Wang Ying; Li Minqian; Zhang Yi; Li Bin; Li Haikuo; An Hongjie

    2004-01-01

    Nano-manipulation of single atoms and molecules is a critical technique in nanoscience and nanotechnology. This review paper will focus on the recent development of the manipulation of single DNA molecules based on atomic force microscopy (AFM). Precise manipulation has been realized including varied manipulating modes such as 'cutting', 'pushing', 'folding', 'kneading', 'picking up', 'dipping', etc. The cutting accuracy is dominated by the size of the AFM tip, which is usually 10 nm or less. Single DNA fragments can be cut and picked up and then amplified by single molecule PCR. Thus positioning isolation and sequencing can be performed. (authors)

  7. A single-molecule diode

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatzakis, Nikos

    2014-01-01

    . To describe the molecular basis of this behavior, two main mechanisms have been advanced: 'induced fit' and 'conformational selection'. Our understanding of these models relies primarily on NMR, computational studies and kinetic measurements. These techniques report the average behavior of a large ensemble...... of unsynchronized molecules, often masking intrinsic dynamic behavior of proteins and biologically significant transient intermediates. Single molecule measurements are emerging as a powerful tool for characterizing protein function. They offer the direct observation and quantification of the activity, abundance...

  9. A single-molecule diode

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Spectroscopy of Electron Transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Single Molecule Biophysics Experiments and Theory

    CERN Document Server

    Komatsuzaki, Tamiki; Takahashi, Satoshi; Yang, Haw; Silbey, Robert J; Rice, Stuart A; Dinner, Aaron R

    2011-01-01

    Discover the experimental and theoretical developments in optical single-molecule spectroscopy that are changing the ways we think about molecules and atoms The Advances in Chemical Physics series provides the chemical physics field with a forum for critical, authoritative evaluations of advances in every area of the discipline. This latest volume explores the advent of optical single-molecule spectroscopy, and how atomic force microscopy has empowered novel experiments on individual biomolecules, opening up new frontiers in molecular and cell biology and leading to new theoretical approaches

  12. A Brief Introduction to Single-Molecule Fluorescence Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    One of the more popular single-molecule approaches in biological science is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which will be 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 will be addressed, we will 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 will review fluorescent probes in more detail and the equipment required to visualize them on the single-molecule level. We will end with a description of parameters measurable with such approaches, ranging from protein counting and tracking, single-molecule localization super-resolution microscopy, to distance measurements with Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and orientation measurements with fluorescence polarization.

  13. On theory of single-molecule transistor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tran Tien Phuc

    2009-01-01

    The results of the study on single-molecule transistor are mainly investigated in this paper. The structure of constructed single-molecule transistor is similar to a conventional MOSFET. The conductive channel of the transistors is a single-molecule of halogenated benzene derivatives. The chemical simulation software CAChe was used to design and implement for the essential parameter of the molecules utilized as the conductive channel. The GUI of Matlab has been built to design its graphical interface, calculate and plot the output I-V characteristic curves for the transistor. The influence of temperature, length and width of the conductive channel, and gate voltage is considered. As a result, the simulated curves are similar to the traditional MOSFET's. The operating temperature range of the transistors is wider compared with silicon semiconductors. The supply voltage for transistors is only about 1 V. The size of transistors in this research is several nanometers.

  14. Probing Intranuclear Environments at the Single-Molecule Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünwald, David; Martin, Robert M.; Buschmann, Volker; Bazett-Jones, David P.; Leonhardt, Heinrich; Kubitscheck, Ulrich; Cardoso, M. Cristina

    2008-01-01

    Genome activity and nuclear metabolism clearly depend on accessibility, but it is not known whether and to what extent nuclear structures limit the mobility and access of individual molecules. We used fluorescently labeled streptavidin with a nuclear localization signal as an average-sized, inert protein to probe the nuclear environment. The protein was injected into the cytoplasm of mouse cells, and single molecules were tracked in the nucleus with high-speed fluorescence microscopy. We analyzed and compared the mobility of single streptavidin molecules in structurally and functionally distinct nuclear compartments of living cells. Our results indicated that all nuclear subcompartments were easily and similarly accessible for such an average-sized protein, and even condensed heterochromatin neither excluded single molecules nor impeded their passage. The only significant difference was a higher frequency of transient trappings in heterochromatin, which lasted only tens of milliseconds. The streptavidin molecules, however, did not accumulate in heterochromatin, suggesting comparatively less free volume. Interestingly, the nucleolus seemed to exclude streptavidin, as it did many other nuclear proteins, when visualized by conventional fluorescence microscopy. The tracking of single molecules, nonetheless, showed no evidence for repulsion at the border but relatively unimpeded passage through the nucleolus. These results clearly show that single-molecule tracking can provide novel insights into mobility of proteins in the nucleus that cannot be obtained by conventional fluorescence microscopy. Our results suggest that nuclear processes may not be regulated at the level of physical accessibility but rather by local concentration of reactants and availability of binding sites. PMID:18065482

  15. Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, H. Peter [Bowling Green State Univ., Bowling Green, OH (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Center for Photochemical Sciences

    2017-11-28

    This project is focused on the use of single-molecule high spatial and temporal resolved techniques to study molecular dynamics in condensed phase and at interfaces, especially, the complex reaction dynamics associated with electron and energy transfer rate processes. The complexity and inhomogeneity of the interfacial ET dynamics often present a major challenge for a molecular level comprehension of the intrinsically complex systems, which calls for both higher spatial and temporal resolutions at ultimate single-molecule and single-particle sensitivities. Combined single-molecule spectroscopy and electrochemical atomic force microscopy approaches are unique for heterogeneous and complex interfacial electron transfer systems because the static and dynamic inhomogeneities can be identified and characterized by studying one molecule at a specific nanoscale surface site at a time. The goal of our project is to integrate and apply these spectroscopic imaging and topographic scanning techniques to measure the energy flow and electron flow between molecules and substrate surfaces as a function of surface site geometry and molecular structure. We have been primarily focusing on studying interfacial electron transfer under ambient condition and electrolyte solution involving both single crystal and colloidal TiO2 and related substrates. The resulting molecular level understanding of the fundamental interfacial electron transfer processes will be important for developing efficient light harvesting systems and broadly applicable to problems in fundamental chemistry and physics. We have made significant advancement on deciphering the underlying mechanism of the complex and inhomogeneous interfacial electron transfer dynamics in dyesensitized TiO2 nanoparticle systems that strongly involves with and regulated by molecule-surface interactions. We have studied interfacial electron transfer on TiO2 nanoparticle surfaces by using ultrafast single-molecule

  16. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Single-photon sources based on single molecules in solids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moerner, W E

    2004-01-01

    Single molecules in suitable host crystals have been demonstrated to be useful single-photon emitters both at liquid-helium temperatures and at room temperature. The low-temperature source achieved controllable emission of single photons from a single terrylene molecule in p-terphenyl by an adiabatic rapid passage technique. In contrast with almost all other single-molecule systems, terrylene single molecules show extremely high photostability under continuous, high-intensity irradiation. A room-temperature source utilizing this material has been demonstrated, in which fast pumping into vibrational sidebands of the electronically excited state achieved efficient inversion of the emissive level. This source yielded a single-photon emission probability p(1) of 0.86 at a detected count rate near 300 000 photons s -1 , with very small probability of emission of more than one photon. Thus, single molecules in solids can be considered as contenders for applications of single-photon sources such as quantum key distribution

  18. Torque Measurement at the Single Molecule Level

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Single molecule transcription profiling with AFM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reed, Jason; Mishra, Bud; Pittenger, Bede; Magonov, Sergei; Troke, Joshua; Teitell, Michael A; Gimzewski, James K

    2007-01-01

    Established techniques for global gene expression profiling, such as microarrays, face fundamental sensitivity constraints. Due to greatly increasing interest in examining minute samples from micro-dissected tissues, including single cells, unorthodox approaches, including molecular nanotechnologies, are being explored in this application. Here, we examine the use of single molecule, ordered restriction mapping, combined with AFM, to measure gene transcription levels from very low abundance samples. We frame the problem mathematically, using coding theory, and present an analysis of the critical error sources that may serve as a guide to designing future studies. We follow with experiments detailing the construction of high density, single molecule, ordered restriction maps from plasmids and from cDNA molecules, using two different enzymes, a result not previously reported. We discuss these results in the context of our calculations

  20. Combining Single-Molecule Optical Trapping and Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering Measurements to Compute the Persistence Length of a Protein ER/K alpha-Helix

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sivaramakrishnan, S.; Sung, J.; Ali, M.

    2009-01-01

    as a force transducer, rigid spacer, or flexible linker in proteins. In this study, we quantity this flexibility in terms of persistence length, namely the length scale over which it is rigid. We use single-molecule optical trapping and small-angle x-ray scattering, combined with Monte Carlo simulations...

  1. Single-Molecule Analysis for RISC Assembly and Target Cleavage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Hiroshi M; Tadakuma, Hisashi; Tomari, Yukihide

    2018-01-01

    RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) is a small RNA-protein complex that mediates silencing of complementary target RNAs. Biochemistry has been successfully used to characterize the molecular mechanism of RISC assembly and function for nearly two decades. However, further dissection of intermediate states during the reactions has been warranted to fill in the gaps in our understanding of RNA silencing mechanisms. Single-molecule analysis with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy is a powerful imaging-based approach to interrogate complex formation and dynamics at the individual molecule level with high sensitivity. Combining this technique with our recently established in vitro reconstitution system of fly Ago2-RISC, we have developed a single-molecule observation system for RISC assembly. In this chapter, we summarize the detailed protocol for single-molecule analysis of chaperone-assisted assembly of fly Ago2-RISC as well as its target cleavage reaction.

  2. Regulation of membrane protein function by lipid bilayer elasticity—a single molecule technology to measure the bilayer properties experienced by an embedded protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundbæk, Jens August

    2008-01-01

    , regulate a number of structurally unrelated proteins in an apparently non-specific manner. It is well known that changes in the physical properties of a lipid bilayer (e.g., thickness or monolayer spontaneous curvature) can affect the function of an embedded protein. However, the role of such changes......-dependent sodium channels, N-type calcium channels and GABAA receptors, it has been shown that membrane protein function in living cells can be regulated by amphiphile induced changes in bilayer elasticity. Using the gramicidin channel as a molecular force transducer, a nanotechnology to measure the elastic...... properties experienced by an embedded protein has been developed. A theoretical and technological framework, to study the regulation of membrane protein function by lipid bilayer elasticity, has been established....

  3. Regulation of membrane protein function by lipid bilayer elasticity-a single molecule technology to measure the bilayer properties experienced by an embedded protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lundbaek, Jens August

    2006-01-01

    Membrane protein function is generally regulated by the molecular composition of the host lipid bilayer. The underlying mechanisms have long remained enigmatic. Some cases involve specific molecular interactions, but very often lipids and other amphiphiles, which are adsorbed to lipid bilayers, regulate a number of structurally unrelated proteins in an apparently non-specific manner. It is well known that changes in the physical properties of a lipid bilayer (e.g., thickness or monolayer spontaneous curvature) can affect the function of an embedded protein. However, the role of such changes, in the general regulation of membrane protein function, is unclear. This is to a large extent due to lack of a generally accepted framework in which to understand the many observations. The present review summarizes studies which have demonstrated that the hydrophobic interactions between a membrane protein and the host lipid bilayer provide an energetic coupling, whereby protein function can be regulated by the bilayer elasticity. The feasibility of this 'hydrophobic coupling mechanism' has been demonstrated using the gramicidin channel, a model membrane protein, in planar lipid bilayers. Using voltage-dependent sodium channels, N-type calcium channels and GABA A receptors, it has been shown that membrane protein function in living cells can be regulated by amphiphile induced changes in bilayer elasticity. Using the gramicidin channel as a molecular force transducer, a nanotechnology to measure the elastic properties experienced by an embedded protein has been developed. A theoretical and technological framework, to study the regulation of membrane protein function by lipid bilayer elasticity, has been established

  4. Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool (SMART: an integrated approach for analyzing single molecule data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Greenfeld

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Visualizing Single-molecule DNA Replication with Fluorescence Microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanner, Nathan A.; Loparo, Joseph J.; Oijen, Antoine M. van

    2009-01-01

    We describe a simple fluorescence microscopy-based real-time method for observing DNA replication at the single-molecule level. A circular, forked DNA template is attached to a functionalized glass coverslip and replicated extensively after introduction of replication proteins and nucleotides. The

  6. Cortical actin nodes: Their dynamics and recruitment of podosomal proteins as revealed by super-resolution and single-molecule microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirai, Yuki M.; Tsunoyama, Taka A.; Hiramoto-Yamaki, Nao; Hirosawa, Koichiro M.; Shibata, Akihiro C. E.; Kondo, Kenichi; Tsurumune, Atsushi; Ishidate, Fumiyoshi; Kusumi, Akihiro

    2017-01-01

    Electron tomography of the plasma membrane (PM) identified several layers of cortical actin meshwork running parallel to the PM cytoplasmic surface throughout the PM. Here, cortical actin structures and dynamics were examined in living cells, using super-resolution microscopy, with (x,y)- and z-resolutions of ~140 and ~400 nm, respectively, and single-molecule imaging. The super-resolution microscopy identified sub-micron-sized actin clusters that appeared identical by both phalloidin post-fixation staining and Lifeact-mGFP expression followed by fixation, and therefore, these actin clusters were named “actin-pl-clusters”. In live cells, the actin-pl-clusters visualized by Lifeact-mGFP linked two or more actin filaments in the fine actin meshwork, acting as a node of the meshwork, and dynamically moved on/along the meshwork in a myosin II-dependent manner. Their formation depended on the Arp2/3 activities, suggesting that the movements could involve both the myosin motor activity and actin polymerization-depolymerization. The actin-pl-clusters differ from the actin nodes/asters found previously after latrunculin treatments, since myosin II and filamin A were not colocalized with the actin-pl-clusters, and the actin-pl-clusters were much smaller than the previously reported nodes/asters. The Lifeact linked to a fluorescently-labeled transmembrane peptide from syntaxin4 (Lifeact-TM) expressed in the PM exhibited temporary immobilization in the PM regions on which actin-pl-clusters and stress fibers were projected, showing that ≥66% of actin-pl-clusters and 89% of stress fibers were located in close proximity (within 3.5 nm) to the PM cytoplasmic surface. Podosome-associated cytoplasmic proteins, Tks4, Tks5, cortactin, and N-WASP, were transiently recruited to actin-pl-clusters, and thus, we propose that actin-pl-clusters also represent “actin podosome-like clusters”. PMID:29190677

  7. Single-Molecule Titration in a Protein Nanoreactor Reveals the Protonation/Deprotonation Mechanism of a C:C Mismatch in DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hang; Cheyne, Cameron G; Fleming, Aaron M; Burrows, Cynthia J; White, Henry S

    2018-04-18

    Measurement of single-molecule reactions can elucidate microscopic mechanisms that are often hidden from ensemble analysis. Herein, we report the acid-base titration of a single DNA duplex confined within the wild-type α-hemolysin (α-HL) nanopore for up to 3 h, while monitoring the ionic current through the nanopore. Modulation between two states in the current-time trace for duplexes containing the C:C mismatch in proximity to the latch constriction of α-HL is attributed to the base flipping of the C:C mismatch. As the pH is lowered, the rate for the C:C mismatch to flip from the intra-helical state to the extra-helical state ( k intra-extra ) decreases, while the rate for base flipping from the extra-helical state to the intra-helical state ( k extra-intra ) remains unchanged. Both k intra-extra and k extra-intra are on the order of 1 × 10 -2 s -1 to 1 × 10 -1 s -1 and remain stable over the time scale of the measurement (several hours). Analysis of the pH-dependent kinetics of base flipping using a hidden Markov kinetic model demonstrates that protonation/deprotonation occurs while the base pair is in the intra-helical state. We also demonstrate that the rate of protonation is limited by transport of H + into the α-HL nanopore. Single-molecule kinetic isotope experiments exhibit a large kinetic isotope effect (KIE) for k intra-extra ( k H / k D ≈ 5) but a limited KIE for k extra-intra ( k H / k D ≈ 1.3), supporting our model. Our experiments correspond to the longest single-molecule measurements performed using a nanopore, and demonstrate its application in interrogating mechanisms of single-molecule reactions in confined geometries.

  8. Fluorescent Biosensors Based on Single-Molecule Counting.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-20

    fluorescence signals by specific in vitro/in vivo fluorescent labeling, and consequently, the fluorescent molecules indicate the presence of target molecules. The resultant fluorescence signals may be simply counted by either microfluidic device-integrated confocal microscopy or total internal reflection fluorescence-based single-molecule imaging. We have developed a series of single-molecule counting-based biosensors which can be classified as separation-free and separation-assisted assays. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate the applications of single-molecule counting-based biosensors for sensitive detection of various target biomolecules such as DNAs, miRNAs, proteins, enzymes, and intact cells, which may function as the disease-related biomarkers. Moreover, we give a summary of future directions to expand the usability of single-molecule counting-based biosensors including (1) the development of more user-friendly and automated instruments, (2) the discovery of new fluorescent labels and labeling strategies, and (3) the introduction of new concepts for the design of novel biosensors. Due to their high sensitivity, good selectivity, rapidity, and simplicity, we believe that the single-molecule counting-based fluorescent biosensors will indubitably find wide applications in biological research, clinical diagnostics, and drug discovery.

  9. Single Molecule Nanoelectrochemistry in Electrical Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Richard J; Higgins, Simon J

    2016-11-15

    It is now possible to reliably measure single molecule conductance in a wide variety of environments including organic liquids, ultrahigh vacuum, water, ionic liquids, and electrolytes. The most commonly used methods deploy scanning probe microscopes, mechanically formed break junctions, or lithographically formed nanogap contacts. Molecules are generally captured between a pair of facing electrodes, and the junction current response is measured as a function of bias voltage. Gating electrodes can also be added so that the electrostatic potential at the molecular bridge can be independently controlled by this third noncontacting electrode. This can also be achieved in an electrolytic environment using a four-electrode bipotentiostatic configuration, which allows independent electrode potential control of the two contacting electrodes. This is commonly realized using an electrochemical STM and enables single molecule electrical characterization as a function of electrode potential and redox state of the molecular bridge. This has emerged as a powerful tool in modern interfacial electrochemistry and nanoelectrochemistry for studying charge transport across single molecules as a function of electrode potential and the electrolytic environments. Such measurements are possible in electrolytes ranging from aqueous buffers to nonaqueous ionic liquids. In this Account, we illustrate a number of examples of single molecule electrical measurements under electrode potential control use a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and demonstrate how these can help in the understanding of charge transport in single molecule junctions. Examples showing charge transport following phase coherent tunneling to incoherent charge hopping across redox active molecular bridges are shown. In the case of bipyridinium (or viologen) molecular wires, it is shown how electrochemical reduction leads to an increase of the single molecule conductance, which is controlled by the liquid electrochemical

  10. Viruses and Tetraspanins: Lessons from Single Molecule Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. A general approach to break the concentration barrier in single-molecule imaging

    KAUST Repository

    Loveland, Anna B.; Habuchi, Satoshi; Walter, Johannes C.; van Oijen, Antoine M.

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is often incompatible with physiological protein concentrations, as fluorescence background overwhelms an individual molecule's signal. We solve this problem with a new imaging approach called PhADE (Photo

  12. Molecular spintronics using single-molecule magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogani, Lapo; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2008-03-01

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

  13. Single molecules and single nanoparticles as windows to the nanoscale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarola, Martín; Orrit, Michel

    2018-05-01

    Since the first optical detection of single molecules, they have been used as nanometersized optical sensors to explore the physical properties of materials and light-matter interaction at the nanoscale. Understanding nanoscale properties of materials is fundamental for the development of new technology that requires precise control of atoms and molecules when the quantum nature of matter cannot be ignored. In the following lines, we illustrate this journey into nanoscience with some experiments from our group.

  14. Preface: Special Topic on Single-Molecule Biophysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarov, Dmitrii E; Schuler, Benjamin

    2018-03-28

    Single-molecule measurements are now almost routinely used to study biological systems and processes. The scope of this special topic emphasizes the physics side of single-molecule observations, with the goal of highlighting new developments in physical techniques as well as conceptual insights that single-molecule measurements bring to biophysics. This issue also comprises recent advances in theoretical physical models of single-molecule phenomena, interpretation of single-molecule signals, and fundamental areas of statistical mechanics that are related to single-molecule observations. A particular goal is to illustrate the increasing synergy between theory, simulation, and experiment in single-molecule biophysics.

  15. Single molecule SERS: Perspectives of analytical applications

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vlčková, B.; Pavel, I.; Sládková, M.; Šišková, K.; Šlouf, Miroslav

    834-836, - (2007), s. 42-47 ISSN 0022-2860. [European Congress on Molecular Spectroscopy /28./. Istanbul, 03.09.2006-08.09.2006] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/04/0688 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) * surface-enhanced resonance Raman (SERRS) * single molecule SERS Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 1.486, year: 2007

  16. Graphical models for inferring single molecule dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalez Ruben L

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Single Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophene Derivatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Single Molecule Applications of Quantum Dots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Thomas Elmelund; Jauffred, Liselotte; Brewer, Jonathan R.

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescent nanocrystals composed of semiconductor materials were first introduced for biological applications in the late 1990s. The focus of this review is to give a brief survey of biological applications of quantum dots (QDs) at the single QD sensitivity level. These are described as follows: 1......) QD blinking and bleaching statistics, 2) the use of QDs in high speed single particle tracking with a special focus on how to design the biofunctional coatings of QDs which enable specific targeting to single proteins or lipids of interest, 3) a hybrid lipid-DNA analogue binding QDs which allows...... for tracking single lipids in lipid bilayers, 4) two-photon fluorescence correlation spectroscopy of QDs and 5) optical trapping and excitation of single QDs. In all of these applications, the focus is on the single particle sensitivity level of QDs. The high applicability of QDs in live cell imaging...

  19. Synthesis of single-molecule nanocars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vives, Guillaume; Tour, James M

    2009-03-17

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

  20. Hierarchical organization in aggregates of protein molecules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Henrik; Kyhle, Anders; Sørensen, Alexis Hammer

    1997-01-01

    of the solution and the density of protein are varied shows the existence of specific growth processes resulting in different branch-like structures. The resulting structures are strongly influenced by the shape of each protein molecule. Lysozyme and ribonuclease are found to form spherical structures...

  1. Protein Scaffolding for Small Molecule Catalysts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baker, David [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2014-09-14

    We aim to design hybrid catalysts for energy production and storage that combine the high specificity, affinity, and tunability of proteins with the potent chemical reactivities of small organometallic molecules. The widely used Rosetta and RosettaDesign methodologies will be extended to model novel protein / small molecule catalysts in which one or many small molecule active centers are supported and coordinated by protein scaffolding. The promise of such hybrid molecular systems will be demonstrated with the nickel-phosphine hydrogenase of DuBois et. al.We will enhance the hydrogenase activity of the catalyst by designing protein scaffolds that incorporate proton relays and systematically modulate the local environment of the catalyticcenter. In collaboration with DuBois and Shaw, the designs will be experimentally synthesized and characterized.

  2. Future Directions for Transuranic Single Molecule Magnets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Magnani

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs based on transition metals and rare earths have been the object of considerable attention for the past 25 years. These systems exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization, arising from a sizeable anisotropy barrier, and magnetic hysteresis of purely molecular origin below a given blocking temperature. Despite initial predictions that SMMs based on 5f-block elements could outperform most others, the results obtained so far have not met expectations. Exploiting the versatile chemistry of actinides and their favorable intrinsic magnetic properties proved, indeed, to be more difficult than assumed. However, the large majority of studies reported so far have been dedicated to uranium molecules, thus leaving the largest part of the 5f-block practically unexplored. Here, we present a short review of the progress achieved up to now and discuss some options for a possible way forward.

  3. Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ho, Wilson [Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)

    2018-02-03

    Interfacial electron transfer (ET) plays an important role in many chemical and biological processes. Specifically, interfacial ET in TiO2-based systems is important to solar energy technology, catalysis, and environmental remediation technology. However, the microscopic mechanism of interfacial ET is not well understood with regard to atomic surface structure, molecular structure, bonding, orientation, and motion. In this project, we used two complementary methodologies; single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, and scanning-tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS) to address this scientific need. The goal of this project was to integrate these techniques and measure the molecular dependence of ET between adsorbed molecules and TiO2 semiconductor surfaces and the ET induced reactions such as the splitting of water. The scanning probe techniques, STM and STS, are capable of providing the highest spatial resolution but not easily time-resolved data. Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is capable of good time resolution but requires further development to match the spatial resolution of the STM. The integrated approach involving Peter Lu at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and Wilson Ho at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) produced methods for time and spatially resolved chemical imaging of interfacial electron transfer dynamics and photocatalytic reactions. An integral aspect of the joint research was a significant exchange of graduate students to work at the two institutions. This project bridged complementary approaches to investigate a set of common problems by working with the same molecules on a variety of solid surfaces, but using appropriate techniques to probe under ambient (BGSU) and ultrahigh vacuum (UCI) conditions. The molecular level understanding of the fundamental interfacial electron transfer processes obtained in this joint project will be important for developing efficient light harvesting

  4. Transport mirages in single-molecule devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Deep learning for single-molecule science

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  6. Biological Nanopores: Confined Spaces for Electrochemical Single-Molecule Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Chan; Long, Yi-Tao

    2018-02-20

    Nanopore sensing is developing into a powerful single-molecule approach to investigate the features of biomolecules that are not accessible by studying ensemble systems. When a target molecule is transported through a nanopore, the ions occupying the pore are excluded, resulting in an electrical signal from the intermittent ionic blockade event. By statistical analysis of the amplitudes, duration, frequencies, and shapes of the blockade events, many properties of the target molecule can be obtained in real time at the single-molecule level, including its size, conformation, structure, charge, geometry, and interactions with other molecules. With the development of the use of α-hemolysin to characterize individual polynucleotides, nanopore technology has attracted a wide range of research interest in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry, and nanoscience. As a powerful single-molecule analytical method, nanopore technology has been applied for the detection of various biomolecules, including oligonucleotides, peptides, oligosaccharides, organic molecules, and disease-related proteins. In this Account, we highlight recent developments of biological nanopores in DNA-based sensing and in studying the conformational structures of DNA and RNA. Furthermore, we introduce the application of biological nanopores to investigate the conformations of peptides affected by charge, length, and dipole moment and to study disease-related proteins' structures and aggregation transitions influenced by an inhibitor, a promoter, or an applied voltage. To improve the sensing ability of biological nanopores and further extend their application to a wider range of molecular sensing, we focus on exploring novel biological nanopores, such as aerolysin and Stable Protein 1. Aerolysin exhibits an especially high sensitivity for the detection of single oligonucleotides both in current separation and duration. Finally, to facilitate the use of nanopore measurements and statistical analysis

  7. Cell biochemistry studied by single-molecule imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashanov, G I; Nenasheva, T A; Peckham, M; Molloy, J E

    2006-11-01

    Over the last decade, there have been remarkable developments in live-cell imaging. We can now readily observe individual protein molecules within living cells and this should contribute to a systems level understanding of biological pathways. Direct observation of single fluorophores enables several types of molecular information to be gathered. Temporal and spatial trajectories enable diffusion constants and binding kinetics to be deduced, while analyses of fluorescence lifetime, intensity, polarization or spectra give chemical and conformational information about molecules in their cellular context. By recording the spatial trajectories of pairs of interacting molecules, formation of larger molecular complexes can be studied. In the future, multicolour and multiparameter imaging of single molecules in live cells will be a powerful analytical tool for systems biology. Here, we discuss measurements of single-molecule mobility and residency at the plasma membrane of live cells. Analysis of diffusional paths at the plasma membrane gives information about its physical properties and measurement of temporal trajectories enables rates of binding and dissociation to be derived. Meanwhile, close scrutiny of individual fluorophore trajectories enables ideas about molecular dimerization and oligomerization related to function to be tested directly.

  8. Conducting single-molecule magnet materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosquer, Goulven; Shen, Yongbing; Almeida, Manuel; Yamashita, Masahiro

    2018-05-11

    Multifunctional molecular materials exhibiting electrical conductivity and single-molecule magnet (SMM) behaviour are particularly attractive for electronic devices and related applications owing to the interaction between electronic conduction and magnetization of unimolecular units. The preparation of such materials remains a challenge that has been pursued by a bi-component approach of combination of SMM cationic (or anionic) units with conducting networks made of partially oxidized (or reduced) donor (or acceptor) molecules. The present status of the research concerning the preparation of molecular materials exhibiting SMM behaviour and electrical conductivity is reviewed, describing the few molecular compounds where both SMM properties and electrical conductivity have been observed. The evolution of this research field through the years is discussed. The first reported compounds are semiconductors in spite being able to present relatively high electrical conductivity, and the SMM behaviour is observed at low temperatures where the electrical conductivity of the materials is similar to that of an insulator. During the recent years, a breakthrough has been achieved with the coexistence of high electrical conductivity and SMM behaviour in a molecular compound at the same temperature range, but so far without evidence of a synergy between these properties. The combination of high electrical conductivity with SMM behaviour requires not only SMM units but also the regular and as far as possible uniform packing of partially oxidized molecules, which are able to provide a conducting network.

  9. Entangled photons from single atoms and molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordén, Bengt

    2018-05-01

    The first two-photon entanglement experiment performed 50 years ago by Kocher and Commins (KC) provided isolated pairs of entangled photons from an atomic three-state fluorescence cascade. In view of questioning of Bell's theorem, data from these experiments are re-analyzed and shown sufficiently precise to confirm quantum mechanical and dismiss semi-classical theory without need for Bell's inequalities. Polarization photon correlation anisotropy (A) is useful: A is near unity as predicted quantum mechanically and well above the semi-classic range, 0 ⩽ A ⩽ 1 / 2 . Although yet to be found, one may envisage a three-state molecule emitting entangled photon pairs, in analogy with the KC atomic system. Antibunching in fluorescence from single molecules in matrix and entangled photons from quantum dots promise it be possible. Molecules can have advantages to parametric down-conversion as the latter photon distribution is Poissonian and unsuitable for producing isolated pairs of entangled photons. Analytical molecular applications of entangled light are also envisaged.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Molecular electronics: the single molecule switch and transistor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sotthewes, Kai; Geskin, Victor; Heimbuch, Rene; Kumar, Avijit; Zandvliet, Henricus J.W.

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. A brief introduction to single-molecule fluorescence methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wildenberg, S.M.J.L.; Prevo, B.; Peterman, E.J.G.; Peterman, EJG; Wuite, GJL

    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

  14. A brief introduction to single-molecule fluorescence methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

    One of the more popular single-molecule approaches in biological science is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which will be 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

  15. Magnetization reversal in single molecule magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokacheva, Louisa

    2002-09-01

    I have studied the magnetization reversal in single molecule magnets (SMMs). SMMs are Van der Waals crystals, consisting of identical molecules containing transition metal ions, with high spin and large uniaxial magnetic anisotropy. They can be considered as ensembles of identical, iso-oriented nanomagnets. At high temperature, these materials behave as superparamagnets and their magnetization reversal occurs by thermal activation. At low temperature they become blocked, and their magnetic relaxation occurs via thermally assisted tunneling or pure quantum tunneling through the anisotropy barrier. We have conducted detailed experimental studies of the magnetization reversal in SMM material Mn12-acetate (Mn12) with S = 10. Low temperature measurements were conducted using micro-Hall effect magnetometry. We performed hysteresis and relaxation studies as a function of temperature, transverse field, and magnetization state of the sample. We identified magnetic sublevels that dominate the tunneling at a given field, temperature and magnetization. We observed a crossover between thermally assisted and pure quantum tunneling. The form of this crossover depends on the magnitude and direction of the applied field. This crossover is abrupt (first-order) and occurs in a narrow temperature interval (tunneling mechanisms in Mn12.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritort, F

    2006-01-01

    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. (topical review)

  18. Small molecule annotation for the Protein Data Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Sanchayita; Young, Jasmine; Berrisford, John M; Chen, Minyu; Conroy, Matthew J; Dutta, Shuchismita; Di Costanzo, Luigi; Gao, Guanghua; Ghosh, Sutapa; Hudson, Brian P; Igarashi, Reiko; Kengaku, Yumiko; Liang, Yuhe; Peisach, Ezra; Persikova, Irina; Mukhopadhyay, Abhik; Narayanan, Buvaneswari Coimbatore; Sahni, Gaurav; Sato, Junko; Sekharan, Monica; Shao, Chenghua; Tan, Lihua; Zhuravleva, Marina A

    2014-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the single global repository for three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes, and its more than 100,000 structures contain more than 20,000 distinct ligands or small molecules bound to proteins and nucleic acids. Information about these small molecules and their interactions with proteins and nucleic acids is crucial for our understanding of biochemical processes and vital for structure-based drug design. Small molecules present in a deposited structure may be attached to a polymer or may occur as a separate, non-covalently linked ligand. During curation of a newly deposited structure by wwPDB annotation staff, each molecule is cross-referenced to the PDB Chemical Component Dictionary (CCD). If the molecule is new to the PDB, a dictionary description is created for it. The information about all small molecule components found in the PDB is distributed via the ftp archive as an external reference file. Small molecule annotation in the PDB also includes information about ligand-binding sites and about covalent and other linkages between ligands and macromolecules. During the remediation of the peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors present in the PDB archive in 2011, it became clear that additional annotation was required for consistent representation of these molecules, which are quite often composed of several sequential subcomponents including modified amino acids and other chemical groups. The connectivity information of the modified amino acids is necessary for correct representation of these biologically interesting molecules. The combined information is made available via a new resource called the Biologically Interesting molecules Reference Dictionary, which is complementary to the CCD and is now routinely used for annotation of peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  19. Perspectives of imaging of single protein molecules with the present design of the European XFEL. Pt. 1. X-ray source, beamline optics and instrument simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serkez, Svitozar; Kocharyan, Vitali; Saldin, Evgeni; Zagorodnov, Igor; Geloni, Gianluca; Yefanov, Oleksandr

    2014-08-01

    The Single Particles, Clusters and Biomolecules (SPB) instrument at the European XFEL is located behind the SASE1 undulator, and aims to support imaging and structure determination of biological specimen between about 0.1 μm and 1 μm size. The instrument is designed to work at photon energies from 3 keV up to 16 keV. This wide operation range is a cause for challenges to the focusing optics. In particular, a long propagation distance of about 900 m between X-ray source and sample leads to a large lateral photon beam size at the optics. The beam divergence is the most important parameter for the optical system, and is largest for the lowest photon energies and for the shortest pulse duration (corresponding to the lowest charge). Due to the large divergence of nominal X-ray pulses with duration shorter than 10 fs, one suffers diffraction from mirror aperture, leading to a 100-fold decrease in fluence at photon energies around 4 keV, which are ideal for imaging of single biomolecules. The nominal SASE1 output power is about 50 GW. This is very far from the level required for single biomolecule imaging, even assuming perfect beamline and focusing efficiency. Here we demonstrate that the parameters of the accelerator complex and of the SASE1 undulator offer an opportunity to optimize the SPB beamline for single biomolecule imaging with minimal additional costs and time. Start to end simulations from the electron injector at the beginning of the accelerator complex up to the generation of diffraction data indicate that one can achieve diffraction without diffraction with about 0.5 photons per Shannon pixel at near-atomic resolution with 10 13 photons in a 4 fs pulse at 4 keV photon energy and in a 100 nm focus, corresponding to a fluence of 10 23 ph/cm 2 . This result is exemplified using the RNA Pol II molecule as a case study.

  20. Perspectives of imaging of single protein molecules with the present design of the European XFEL. Pt. 1. X-ray source, beamline optics and instrument simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serkez, Svitozar; Kocharyan, Vitali; Saldin, Evgeni; Zagorodnov, Igor [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany); Geloni, Gianluca [European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg (Germany); Yefanov, Oleksandr [Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, Hamburg (Germany)

    2014-08-15

    The Single Particles, Clusters and Biomolecules (SPB) instrument at the European XFEL is located behind the SASE1 undulator, and aims to support imaging and structure determination of biological specimen between about 0.1 μm and 1 μm size. The instrument is designed to work at photon energies from 3 keV up to 16 keV. This wide operation range is a cause for challenges to the focusing optics. In particular, a long propagation distance of about 900 m between X-ray source and sample leads to a large lateral photon beam size at the optics. The beam divergence is the most important parameter for the optical system, and is largest for the lowest photon energies and for the shortest pulse duration (corresponding to the lowest charge). Due to the large divergence of nominal X-ray pulses with duration shorter than 10 fs, one suffers diffraction from mirror aperture, leading to a 100-fold decrease in fluence at photon energies around 4 keV, which are ideal for imaging of single biomolecules. The nominal SASE1 output power is about 50 GW. This is very far from the level required for single biomolecule imaging, even assuming perfect beamline and focusing efficiency. Here we demonstrate that the parameters of the accelerator complex and of the SASE1 undulator offer an opportunity to optimize the SPB beamline for single biomolecule imaging with minimal additional costs and time. Start to end simulations from the electron injector at the beginning of the accelerator complex up to the generation of diffraction data indicate that one can achieve diffraction without diffraction with about 0.5 photons per Shannon pixel at near-atomic resolution with 10{sup 13} photons in a 4 fs pulse at 4 keV photon energy and in a 100 nm focus, corresponding to a fluence of 10{sup 23}ph/cm{sup 2}. This result is exemplified using the RNA Pol II molecule as a case study.

  1. Low-temperature protein dynamics of the B800 molecules in the LH2 light-harvesting complex: spectral hole burning study and comparison with single photosynthetic complex spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grozdanov, Daniel; Herascu, Nicoleta; Reinot, Tõnu; Jankowiak, Ryszard; Zazubovich, Valter

    2010-03-18

    Previously published and new spectral hole burning (SHB) data on the B800 band of LH2 light-harvesting antenna complex of Rps. acidophila are analyzed in light of recent single photosynthetic complex spectroscopy (SPCS) results (for a review, see Berlin et al. Phys. Life Rev. 2007, 4, 64.). It is demonstrated that, in general, SHB-related phenomena observed for the B800 band are in qualitative agreement with the SPCS data and the protein models involving multiwell multitier protein energy landscapes. Regarding the quantitative agreement, we argue that the single-molecule behavior associated with the fastest spectral diffusion (smallest barrier) tier of the protein energy landscape is inconsistent with the SHB data. The latter discrepancy can be attributed to SPCS probing not only the dynamics of of the protein complex per se, but also that of the surrounding amorphous host and/or of the host-protein interface. It is argued that SHB (once improved models are developed) should also be able to provide the average magnitudes and probability distributions of light-induced spectral shifts and could be used to determine whether SPCS probes a set of protein complexes that are both intact and statistically relevant. SHB results are consistent with the B800 --> B850 energy-transfer models including consideration of the whole B850 density of states.

  2. Central dogma at the single-molecule level in living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gene-Wei; Xie, X Sunney

    2011-07-20

    Gene expression originates from individual DNA molecules within living cells. Like many single-molecule processes, gene expression and regulation are stochastic, that is, sporadic in time. This leads to heterogeneity in the messenger-RNA and protein copy numbers in a population of cells with identical genomes. With advanced single-cell fluorescence microscopy, it is now possible to quantify transcriptomes and proteomes with single-molecule sensitivity. Dynamic processes such as transcription-factor binding, transcription and translation can be monitored in real time, providing quantitative descriptions of the central dogma of molecular biology and the demonstration that a stochastic single-molecule event can determine the phenotype of a cell.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moth-Poulsen, Kasper; Bjørnholm, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The ultimate aim of molecular electronics is to understand and master single-molecule devices. Based on the latest results on electron transport in single molecules in solid-state devices, we focus here on new insights into the influence of metal electrodes on the energy spectrum of the molecule...

  4. The role of the C-domain of bacteriophage T4 gene 32 protein in ssDNA binding and dsDNA helix-destabilization: Kinetic, single-molecule, and cross-linking studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pant, Kiran; Anderson, Brian; Perdana, Hendrik; Malinowski, Matthew A.; Win, Aye T.; Williams, Mark C.

    2018-01-01

    The model single-stranded DNA binding protein of bacteriophage T4, gene 32 protein (gp32) has well-established roles in DNA replication, recombination, and repair. gp32 is a single-chain polypeptide consisting of three domains. Based on thermodynamics and kinetics measurements, we have proposed that gp32 can undergo a conformational change where the acidic C-terminal domain binds internally to or near the single-stranded (ss) DNA binding surface in the core (central) domain, blocking ssDNA interaction. To test this model, we have employed a variety of experimental approaches and gp32 variants to characterize this conformational change. Utilizing stopped-flow methods, the association kinetics of wild type and truncated forms of gp32 with ssDNA were measured. When the C-domain is present, the log-log plot of k vs. [NaCl] shows a positive slope, whereas when it is absent (*I protein), there is little rate change with salt concentration, as expected for this model.A gp32 variant lacking residues 292–296 within the C-domain, ΔPR201, displays kinetic properties intermediate between gp32 and *I. The single molecule force-induced DNA helix-destabilizing activitiesas well as the single- and double-stranded DNA affinities of ΔPR201 and gp32 truncated at residue 295 also fall between full-length protein and *I. Finally, chemical cross-linking of recombinant C-domain and gp32 lacking both N- and C-terminal domains is inhibited by increasing concentrations of a short single-stranded oligonucleotide, and the salt dependence of cross-linking mirrors that expected for the model. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence in support of this model that have been obtained through structural probes. PMID:29634784

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  7. Giant magnetoresistance through a single molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Adam B; Zijlstra, Peter

    2017-08-25

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

  9. A single molecule switch based on two Pd nanocrystals linked

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Conducting molecule; nanocrystals; scanning tunneling microscopy; negative differential resistance. Abstract. Tunneling spectroscopy measurements have been carried out on a single molecule device formed by two Pd ... Current Issue : Vol.

  10. Single molecule force spectroscopy: methods and applications in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen Yi; Hu Jun

    2012-01-01

    Single molecule measurements have transformed our view of biomolecules. Owing to the ability of monitoring the activity of individual molecules, we now see them as uniquely structured, fluctuating molecules that stochastically transition between frequently many substrates, as two molecules do not follow precisely the same trajectory. Indeed, it is this discovery of critical yet short-lived substrates that were often missed in ensemble measurements that has perhaps contributed most to the better understanding of biomolecular functioning resulting from single molecule experiments. In this paper, we give a review on the three major techniques of single molecule force spectroscopy, and their applications especially in biology. The single molecular study of biotin-streptavidin interactions is introduced as a successful example. The problems and prospects of the single molecule force spectroscopy are discussed, too. (authors)

  11. Heterobifunctional crosslinkers for tethering single ligand molecules to scanning probes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riener, Christian K.; Kienberger, Ferry; Hahn, Christoph D.; Buchinger, Gerhard M.; Egwim, Innocent O.C.; Haselgruebler, Thomas; Ebner, Andreas; Romanin, Christoph; Klampfl, Christian; Lackner, Bernd; Prinz, Heino; Blaas, Dieter; Hinterdorfer, Peter; Gruber, Hermann J.

    2003-01-01

    Single molecule recognition force microscopy (SMRFM) is a versatile atomic force microscopy (AFM) method to probe specific interactions of cognitive molecules on the single molecule level. It allows insights to be gained into interaction potentials and kinetic barriers and is capable of mapping interaction sites with nm positional accuracy. These applications require a ligand to be attached to the AFM tip, preferably by a distensible poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain between the measuring tip and the ligand molecule. The PEG chain greatly facilitates specific binding of the ligand to immobile receptor sites on the sample surface. The present study contributes to tip-PEG-ligand tethering in three ways: (i) a convenient synthetic route was found to prepare NH 2 -PEG-COOH which is the key intermediate for long heterobifunctional crosslinkers; (ii) a variety of heterobifunctional PEG derivatives for tip-PEG-ligand linking were prepared from NH 2 -PEG-COOH; (iii) in particular, a new PEG crosslinker with one thiol-reactive end and one terminal nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) group was synthesized and successfully used to tether His 6 -tagged protein molecules to AFM tips via noncovalent NTA-Ni 2+ -His 6 bridges. The new crosslinker was applied to link a recombinant His 6 -tagged fragment of the very-low density lipoprotein receptor to the AFM tip whereupon specific docking to the capsid of human rhinovirus particles was observed by force microscopy. In a parallel study, the specific interaction of the small GTPase Ran with the nuclear import receptor importin β1 was studied in detail by SMRFM, using the new crosslinker to link His 6 -tagged Ran to the measuring tip [Nat. Struct. Biol. (2003), 10, 553-557

  12. Transport through a Single Octanethiol Molecule

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kockmann, D.; Poelsema, Bene; Zandvliet, Henricus J.W.

    2009-01-01

    Octanethiol molecules adsorbed on Pt chains are studied with scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy at 77 K. The head of the octanethiol binds to a Pt atom and the tail is lying flat down on the chain. Open-loop current time traces reveal that the molecule wags its tail and attaches to the

  13. Experimental techniques for single cell and single molecule biomechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, C.T.; Zhou, E.H.; Li, A.; Vedula, S.R.K.; Fu, H.X.

    2006-01-01

    Stresses and strains that act on the human body can arise either from external physical forces or internal physiological environmental conditions. These biophysical interactions can occur not only at the musculoskeletal but also cellular and molecular levels and can determine the health and function of the human body. Here, we seek to investigate the structure-property-function relationship of cells and biomolecules so as to understand their important physiological functions as well as establish possible connections to human diseases. With the recent advancements in cell and molecular biology, biophysics and nanotechnology, several innovative and state-of-the-art experimental techniques and equipment have been developed to probe the structural and mechanical properties of biostructures from the micro- down to picoscale. Some of these experimental techniques include the optical or laser trap method, micropipette aspiration, step-pressure technique, atomic force microscopy and molecular force spectroscopy. In this article, we will review the basic principles and usage of these techniques to conduct single cell and single molecule biomechanics research

  14. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Gambin, Yann; Deniz, Ashok A.

    2012-01-01

    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster reson...

  15. Compact quantum dots for single-molecule imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew M; Nie, Shuming

    2012-10-09

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

  16. Electrochemistry and bioelectrochemistry towards the single-molecule level: Theoretical notions and systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Jingdong; Chi Qijin; Albrecht, Tim; Kuznetsov, Alexander M.; Grubb, Mikala; Hansen, Allan G.; Wackerbarth, Hainer; Welinder, Anne C.; Ulstrup, Jens

    2005-01-01

    Surface structures controlled at the nanometer and single-molecule levels, with functions crucially determined by interfacial electron transfer (ET) are broadly reported in recent years, with different kinds of electrochemically controlled nanoscale/single molecule systems. One is the broad class of metallic and semiconductor-based nanoparticles, nano-arrays, nanotubes, and nanopits. Others are based on self-assembled molecular monolayers. The latter extend to bioelectrochemical systems with redox metalloproteins and DNA-based molecules as targets. We overview here some recent achievements in areas of interfacial electrochemical ET systems, mapped to the nanoscale and single-molecule levels. Focus is on both experimental and theoretical studies in our group. Systems addressed are organized monolayers of redox active transition metal complexes, and metalloproteins and metalloenzymes on single-crystal Au(1 1 1)-electrode surfaces. These systems have been investigated by voltammetry, spectroscopy, microcantilever technology, and scanning probe microscopy. A class of Os-complexes has shown suitable as targets for electrochemical in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), with close to single-molecule scanning tunnelling spectroscopic (STS) features. Mapping of redox metalloproteins from the three major classes, i.e. blue copper proteins, heme proteins, and iron-sulfur proteins, at the monolayer and single-molecule levels have also been achieved. In situ STM and spectroscopy of redox molecules and biomolecules have been supported by new theoretical frames, which extend established theory of interfacial electrochemical ET. The electrochemical nanoscale and single-molecule systems discussed are compared with other recent nanoscale and single-molecule systems with conspicuous device-like properties, particularly unimolecular rectifiers and single-molecule transistors. Both of these show analogies to electrochemical in situ STM features of redox molecules and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Y. F.; Kroger, J.; Berndt, R.

    2010-01-01

    Tin-phthalocyanine molecules adsorbed on Ag(111) were contacted with the tip of a cryogenic scanning tunneling microscope. Orders-of-magnitude variations of the single-molecule junction conductance were achieved by controllably dehydrogenating the molecule and by modifying the atomic structure...

  18. A plasmonic biosensor with single-molecule sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijlstra, P.; Paulo, P.M.R.; Yuan, H.; Khatua, S.; Yorulmaz, M.; Orrit, M.

    2013-01-01

    The plasmon resonance of a single metal nanoparticle induces an enhancement of the local electromagnetic field. We exploit this field enhancement to detect single molecules that are (1) poorly fluorescent or (2) completely non-fluorescent.

  19. Novel approaches for single molecule activation and detection

    CERN Document Server

    Benfenati, Fabio; Torre, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    How can we obtain tools able to process and exchange information at the molecular scale In order to do this, it is necessary to activate and detect single molecules under controlled conditions. This book focuses on the generation of biologically-inspired molecular devices. These devices are based on the developments of new photonic tools able to activate and stimulate single molecule machines. Additionally, new light sensitive molecules can be selectively activated by photonic tools. These technological innovations will provide a way to control activation of single light-sensitive molecules, a

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moayed, F.; Mashaghi, A.; Tans, S.J.

    2013-01-01

    Many applications in biosensing, biomaterial engineering and single molecule biophysics require multiple non-covalent linkages between DNA, protein molecules, and surfaces that are specific yet strong. Here, we present a novel method to join proteins and dsDNA molecule at their ends, in an

  1. Nanoscale methods for single-molecule electrochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Rotation of a single molecule within a supramolecular bearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gimzewski, J.K.; Joachim, C.; Schlittler, R.R.

    1998-01-01

    Experimental visualization and verification of a single-molecule rotor operating within a supramolecular bearing is reported. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, single molecules were observed to exist in one of two spatially defined states Laterally separated by 0.26 nanometers. One...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. A single molecule DNA flow stretching microscope for undergraduates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, Kelly; Grafe, Brendan; Burke, Kathryn M.; Tanner, Nathan; van Oijen, Antoine M.; Loparo, Joseph; Price, Allen C.

    2011-01-01

    The design of a simple, safe, and inexpensive single molecule flow stretching instrument is presented. The instrument uses a low cost upright microscope coupled to a webcam for imaging single DNA molecules that are tethered in an easy to construct microfluidic flow cell. The system requires no

  5. Computer systems for annotation of single molecule fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungsoo Na

    2009-09-01

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

  7. Observing single molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emory, S. R. (Steven R.); Ambrose, W. Patrick; Goodwin, P. M. (Peter M); Keller, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

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

  8. Controlled transport through a single molecule

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Avijit; Heimbuch, Rene; Poelsema, Bene; Zandvliet, Henricus J.W.

    2012-01-01

    We demonstrate how an electrode–molecule–electrode junction can be controllably opened and closed by careful tuning of the contacts' interspace and voltage. The molecule, an octanethiol, flips to bridge a ~1 nm interspace between substrate and scanning tunnelling microscope tip when an electric

  9. Zero-mode waveguide nanophotonic structures for single molecule characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, Garrison M.; Han, Donghoon; Bohn, Paul W.

    2018-05-01

    Single-molecule characterization has become a crucial research tool in the chemical and life sciences, but limitations, such as limited concentration range, inability to control molecular distributions in space, and intrinsic phenomena, such as photobleaching, present significant challenges. Recent developments in non-classical optics and nanophotonics offer promising routes to mitigating these restrictions, such that even low affinity (K D ~ mM) biomolecular interactions can be studied. Here we introduce and review specific nanophotonic devices used to support single molecule studies. Optical nanostructures, such as zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs), are usually fabricated in thin gold or aluminum films and serve to confine the observation volume of optical microspectroscopy to attoliter to zeptoliter volumes. These simple nanostructures allow individual molecules to be isolated for optical and electrochemical analysis, even when the molecules of interest are present at high concentration (µM–mM) in bulk solution. Arrays of ZMWs may be combined with optical probes such as single molecule fluorescence, single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy for distributed analysis of large numbers of single-molecule reactions or binding events in parallel. Furthermore, ZMWs may be used as multifunctional devices, for example by combining optical and electrochemical functions in a single discrete architecture to achieve electrochemical ZMWs. In this review, we will describe the optical properties, fabrication, and applications of ZMWs for single-molecule studies, as well as the integration of ZMWs into systems for chemical and biochemical analysis.

  10. Single Molecules as Optical Probes for Structure and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrit, Michel

    Single molecules and single nanoparticles are convenient links between the nanoscale world and the laboratory. We discuss the limits for their optical detection by three different methods: fluorescence, direct absorption, and photothermal detection. We briefly review some recent illustrations of qualitatively new information gathered from single-molecule signals: intermittency of the fluorescence intensity, acoustic vibrations of nanoparticles (1-100 GHz) or of extended defects in molecular crystals (0.1-1 MHz), and dynamical heterogeneity in glass-forming molecular liquids. We conclude with an outlook of future uses of single-molecule methods in physical chemistry, soft matter, and material science.

  11. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Quantum design rules for single molecule logic gates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renaud, N; Hliwa, M; Joachim, C

    2011-08-28

    Recent publications have demonstrated how to implement a NOR logic gate with a single molecule using its interaction with two surface atoms as logical inputs [W. Soe et al., ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 1436]. We demonstrate here how this NOR logic gate belongs to the general family of quantum logic gates where the Boolean truth table results from a full control of the quantum trajectory of the electron transfer process through the molecule by very local and classical inputs practiced on the molecule. A new molecule OR gate is proposed for the logical inputs to be also single metal atoms, one per logical input.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moth-Poulsen, Kasper; Bjørnholm, Thomas

    2009-09-01

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

  14. DNA-psoralen interaction: a single molecule experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-15

    By attaching one end of a single lambda-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 lambda-DNA by measuring force versus extension as we stretch the molecule. This powerful method permits single molecule studies. We are particularly 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.

  15. Direct single-molecule dynamic detection of chemical reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Jianxin; Jia, Chuancheng; Li, Yanwei; Liu, Zitong; Wang, Jinying; Yang, Zhongyue; Gu, Chunhui; Su, Dingkai; Houk, Kendall N; Zhang, Deqing; Guo, Xuefeng

    2018-02-01

    Single-molecule detection can reveal time trajectories and reaction pathways of individual intermediates/transition states in chemical reactions and biological processes, which is of fundamental importance to elucidate their intrinsic mechanisms. We present a reliable, label-free single-molecule approach that allows us to directly explore the dynamic process of basic chemical reactions at the single-event level by using stable graphene-molecule single-molecule junctions. These junctions are constructed by covalently connecting a single molecule with a 9-fluorenone center to nanogapped graphene electrodes. For the first time, real-time single-molecule electrical measurements unambiguously show reproducible large-amplitude two-level fluctuations that are highly dependent on solvent environments in a nucleophilic addition reaction of hydroxylamine to a carbonyl group. Both theoretical simulations and ensemble experiments prove that this observation originates from the reversible transition between the reactant and a new intermediate state within a time scale of a few microseconds. These investigations open up a new route that is able to be immediately applied to probe fast single-molecule physics or biophysics with high time resolution, making an important contribution to broad fields beyond reaction chemistry.

  16. Exploring the energy landscape of biopolymers using single molecule force spectroscopy and molecular simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Hyeon, Changbong

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, single molecule force techniques have opened a new avenue to decipher the folding landscapes of biopolymers by allowing us to watch and manipulate the dynamics of individual proteins and nucleic acids. In single molecule force experiments, quantitative analyses of measurements employing sound theoretical models and molecular simulations play central role more than any other field. With a brief description of basic theories for force mechanics and molecular simulation techniqu...

  17. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Bingqian, E-mail: bxu@engr.uga.edu [Single Molecule Study Laboratory, College of Engineering and Nanoscale Science, and Engineering Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30605 (United States); Lou, Zhichao [Single Molecule Study Laboratory, College of Engineering and Nanoscale Science, and Engineering Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30605 (United States); College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016 (China); Zhang, Haiqian [College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016 (China)

    2016-03-21

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  18. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Bingqian; Lou, Zhichao; Zhang, Haiqian

    2016-01-01

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  19. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Lou, Zhichao; Zhang, Haiqian; Xu, Bingqian

    2016-03-01

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  20. Single molecule magnets from magnetic building blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. A theoretical justification for single molecule peptide sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jagannath Swaminathan

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The proteomes of cells, tissues, and organisms reflect active cellular processes and change continuously in response to intracellular and extracellular cues. Deep, quantitative profiling of the proteome, especially if combined with mRNA and metabolite measurements, should provide an unprecedented view of cell state, better revealing functions and interactions of cell components. Molecular diagnostics and biomarker discovery should benefit particularly from the accurate quantification of proteomes, since complex diseases like cancer change protein abundances and modifications. Currently, shotgun mass spectrometry is the primary technology for high-throughput protein identification and quantification; while powerful, it lacks high sensitivity and coverage. We draw parallels with next-generation DNA sequencing and propose a strategy, termed fluorosequencing, for sequencing peptides in a complex protein sample at the level of single molecules. In the proposed approach, millions of individual fluorescently labeled peptides are visualized in parallel, monitoring changing patterns of fluorescence intensity as N-terminal amino acids are sequentially removed, and using the resulting fluorescence signatures (fluorosequences to uniquely identify individual peptides. We introduce a theoretical foundation for fluorosequencing and, by using Monte Carlo computer simulations, we explore its feasibility, anticipate the most likely experimental errors, quantify their potential impact, and discuss the broad potential utility offered by a high-throughput peptide sequencing technology.

  3. Single Molecule Raman Detection of Enkephalin on Silver Colloidal Particles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kneipp, Katrin; Kneipp, Holger; Abdali, Salim

    2004-01-01

    the Raman signal the enkephalin molecules have been attached to silver colloidal cluster structures. The experiments demonstrate that the SERS signal of the strongly enhanced ring breathing vibration of phenylalanine at 1000 cm-1 can be used as “intrinsic marker” for detecting a single enkephalin molecule...... and for monitoring its diffusion on the surface of the silver colloidal cluster without using a specific label molecule....

  4. Blinking effect and the use of quantum dots in single molecule spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rombach-Riegraf, Verena; Oswald, Peter; Bienert, Roland; Petersen, Jan [Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Institut fuer Physikalische Chemie, Albertstrasse 23a, 79104 Freiburg (Germany); Domingo, M.P. [Instituto de Carboquimica (CSIC), Miguel Luesma 4, 50018 Zaragoza (Spain); Pardo, Julian [Grupo Apoptosis, Inmunidad y Cancer, Departamento Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular y Celular, Fac. Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain); Fundacion Aragon I-D (ARAID), Gobierno de Aragon, Zaragoza (Spain); Immune Effector Cells Group, Aragon Health Research Institute (IIS Aragon), Biomedical Research Centre of Aragon (CIBA) Fundacion Aragon I-D - ARAID, Gobierno de Aragon, Zaragoza (Spain); Graeber, P. [Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Institut fuer Physikalische Chemie, Albertstrasse 23a, 79104 Freiburg (Germany); Galvez, E.M., E-mail: eva@icb.csic.es [Instituto de Carboquimica (CSIC), Miguel Luesma 4, 50018 Zaragoza (Spain); Immune Effector Cells Group, Aragon Health Research Institute (IIS Aragon), Biomedical Research Centre of Aragon (CIBA) Fundacion Aragon I-D - ARAID, Gobierno de Aragon, Zaragoza (Spain)

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer It is possible to eliminate the blinking effect of a water-soluble QD. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We provide a direct method to study protein function and dynamics at the single level. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer QD, potent tool for single molecule studies of biochemical and biological processes. -- Abstract: Luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots, QD) have unique photo-physical properties: high photostability, brightness and narrow size-tunable fluorescence spectra. Due to their unique properties, QD-based single molecule studies have become increasingly more popular during the last years. However QDs show a strong blinking effect (random and intermittent light emission), which may limit their use in single molecule fluorescence studies. QD blinking has been widely studied and some hypotheses have been done to explain this effect. Here we summarise what is known about the blinking effect in QDs, how this phenomenon may affect single molecule studies and, on the other hand, how the 'on'/'off' states can be exploited in diverse experimental settings. In addition, we present results showing that site-directed binding of QD to cysteine residues of proteins reduces the blinking effect. This option opens a new possibility of using QDs to study protein-protein interactions and dynamics by single molecule fluorescence without modifying the chemical composition of the solution or the QD surface.

  5. Excitonic Behavior of Rhodamine Dimers: A Single-Molecule Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hernando Campos, J.; van der Schaaf, Martijn; van Dijk, E.M.H.P.; Sauer, Markus; Garcia Parajo, M.F.; van Hulst, N.F.

    2003-01-01

    The optical behavior of a dimer of tetramethylrhodamine-5-isothiocyanate has been investigated by means of single-molecule measurements. Bulk absorption and fluorescence spectra show the existence of two populations of the dimer molecule that exhibit distinct excitonic interactions (strong and weak

  6. Isolated single-molecule magnets on native gold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zobbi, Laura; Mannini, Matteo; Pacchioni, Mirko; Chastanet, Guillaume; Bonacchi, Daniele; Zanardi, Chiara; Biagi, Roberto; Del Pennino, Umberto; Gatteschi, Dante; Cornia, Andrea; Sessoli, Roberta

    2005-03-28

    The incorporation of thioether groups in the structure of a Mn12 single-molecule magnet, [Mn12(O12)(L)16(H2O)4] with L = 4-(methylthio)benzoate, is a successful route to the deposition of well-separated clusters on native gold surfaces and to the addressing of individual molecules by scanning tunnelling microscopy.

  7. Investigating single molecule adhesion by atomic force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Fast temporal fluctuations in single-molecule junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Single Molecule Sensors to Study Hydrophobic Phenomena

    OpenAIRE

    Geisler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The nature and magnitude of the hydrophobic interaction is crucial for many technical and biological processes. In the current study a molecular probe was developed which consists of a single polymer that is bound onto the tip of an AFM cantilever in order to study these effects on the molecular scale. In the following, equilibrium forces are measured and factors of influence such as temperature, cosolvents and chemical composition are varied. Thereby, the system under investigation is so sma...

  10. Single atom and-molecules chemisorption on solid surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anda, E.V.; Ure, J.E.; Majlis, N.

    1981-01-01

    A simplified model for the microscopic interpretation of single atom and- molecules chemisorption on metallic surfaces is presented. An appropriated hamiltonian for this problem is resolved, through the Green's function formalism. (L.C.) [pt

  11. Extending Single-Molecule Microscopy Using Optical Fourier Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Single Molecule Scanning of DNA Radiation Oxidative Damage, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This proposal will develop an assay to map genomic DNA, at the single molecule level and in a nanodevice, for oxidative DNA damage arising from radiation exposure;...

  13. Single Molecule Spectroscopy in Chemistry, Physics and Biology Nobel Symposium

    CERN Document Server

    Gräslund, Astrid; Widengren, Jerker

    2010-01-01

    Written by the leading experts in the field, this book describes the development and current state-of-the-art in single molecule spectroscopy. The application of this technique, which started 1989, in physics, chemistry and biosciences is displayed.

  14. Nanofluidic single-molecule sorting of DNA: a new concept in separation and analysis of biomolecules towards ultimate level performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamoto, Takatoki; Fujii, Teruo

    2010-01-01

    Separation and separation-based analysis of biomolecules are fundamentally important techniques in the field of biotechnology. These techniques, however, depend on stochastic processes that intrinsically involve uncertainty, and thus it is not possible to achieve 100% separation accuracy. Theoretically, the ultimate resolution and sensitivity should be realized in a single-molecule system because of the deterministic nature of single-molecule manipulation. Here, we have proposed and experimentally demonstrated the concept of a 'single-molecule sorter' that detects and correctly identifies individual single molecules, realizing the ultimate level of resolution and sensitivity for any separation-based technology. The single-molecule sorter was created using a nanofluidic network consisting of a single inlet channel that branches off into multiple outlet channels. It includes two major functional elements, namely a single-molecule detection and identification element and a flow path switching element to accurately separate single molecules. With this system we have successfully demonstrated the world's first single-molecule sorting using DNA as a sample molecule. In the future, we hope to expand the application of such devices to comprehensive sorting of single-proteins from a single cell. We also believe that in addition to the single-molecule sorting method reported here, other types of single-molecule based processes will emerge and find use in a wide variety of applications.

  15. Electrochemically-gated single-molecule electrical devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Shaoyin; Artés, Juan Manuel; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, single-molecule electrical contacts have emerged as a new experimental platform that allows exploring charge transport phenomena in individual molecular blocks. This novel tool has evolved into an essential element within the Molecular Electronics field to understand charge transport processes in hybrid (bio)molecule/electrode interfaces at the nanoscale, and prospect the implementation of active molecular components into functional nanoscale optoelectronic devices. Within this area, three-terminal single-molecule devices have been sought, provided that they are highly desired to achieve full functionality in logic electronic circuits. Despite the latest experimental developments offer consistent methods to bridge a molecule between two electrodes (source and drain in a transistor notation), placing a third electrode (gate) close to the single-molecule electrical contact is still technically challenging. In this vein, electrochemically-gated single-molecule devices have emerged as an experimentally affordable alternative to overcome these technical limitations. In this review, the operating principle of an electrochemically-gated single-molecule device is presented together with the latest experimental methodologies to built them and characterize their charge transport characteristics. Then, an up-to-date comprehensive overview of the most prominent examples will be given, emphasizing on the relationship between the molecular structure and the final device electrical behaviour

  16. Electrochemical proton relay at the single-molecule level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuznetsov, A. M.; Medvedev, I. G.; Ulstrup, Jens

    2009-01-01

    A scheme for the experimental study of single-proton transfer events, based on proton-coupled two-electron transfer between a proton donor and a proton acceptor molecule confined in the tunneling gap between two metal leads in electrolyte solution is suggested. Expressions for the electric current...... are derived and compared with formalism for electron tunneling through redox molecules. The scheme allows studying the kinetics of proton and hydrogen atom transfer as well as kinetic isotope effects at the single-molecule level under electrochemical potential control....

  17. DNA replication at the single-molecule level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stratmann, S.A.; Oijen, A.M. van

    2014-01-01

    A cell can be thought of as a highly sophisticated micro factory: in a pool of billions of molecules – metabolites, structural proteins, enzymes, oligonucleotides – multi-subunit complexes assemble to perform a large number of basic cellular tasks, such as DNA replication, RNA/protein synthesis or

  18. Massively Parallel Single-Molecule Manipulation Using Centrifugal Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Lattice diffusion of a single molecule in solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggeri, Francesca; Krishnan, Madhavi

    2017-12-01

    The ability to trap a single molecule in an electrostatic potential well in solution has opened up new possibilities for the use of molecular electrical charge to study macromolecular conformation and dynamics at the level of the single entity. Here we study the diffusion of a single macromolecule in a two-dimensional lattice of electrostatic traps in solution. We report the ability to measure both the size and effective electrical charge of a macromolecule by observing single-molecule transport trajectories, typically a few seconds in length, using fluorescence microscopy. While, as shown previously, the time spent by the molecule in a trap is a strong function of its effective charge, we demonstrate here that the average travel time between traps in the landscape yields its hydrodynamic radius. Tailoring the pitch of the lattice thus yields two different experimentally measurable time scales that together uniquely determine both the size and charge of the molecule. Since no information is required on the location of the molecule between consecutive departure and arrival events at lattice sites, the technique is ideally suited to measurements on weakly emitting entities such as single molecules.

  20. Blinking effect and the use of quantum dots in single molecule spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rombach-Riegraf, Verena; Oswald, Peter; Bienert, Roland; Petersen, Jan; Domingo, M.P.; Pardo, Julian; Gräber, P.; Galvez, E.M.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► It is possible to eliminate the blinking effect of a water-soluble QD. ► We provide a direct method to study protein function and dynamics at the single level. ► QD, potent tool for single molecule studies of biochemical and biological processes. -- Abstract: Luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots, QD) have unique photo-physical properties: high photostability, brightness and narrow size-tunable fluorescence spectra. Due to their unique properties, QD-based single molecule studies have become increasingly more popular during the last years. However QDs show a strong blinking effect (random and intermittent light emission), which may limit their use in single molecule fluorescence studies. QD blinking has been widely studied and some hypotheses have been done to explain this effect. Here we summarise what is known about the blinking effect in QDs, how this phenomenon may affect single molecule studies and, on the other hand, how the “on”/“off” states can be exploited in diverse experimental settings. In addition, we present results showing that site-directed binding of QD to cysteine residues of proteins reduces the blinking effect. This option opens a new possibility of using QDs to study protein–protein interactions and dynamics by single molecule fluorescence without modifying the chemical composition of the solution or the QD surface.

  1. Single Molecule Kinetics of ENTH Binding to Lipid Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozovsky, Sharon [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States); Forstner, Martin B. [Syracuse Univ., NY (United States); Sondermann, Holger [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States); Groves, Jay T. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    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.

  2. Single-Molecule Electronics with Cross- Conjugated Molecules: Quantum Interference, IETS and Non-Equilibrium "Temperatures"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Jacob Lykkebo

    Abstract The idea of using single-molecules as components in electronic devices is fas- cinating. For this idea to come into fruition, a number of technical and theo- retical challenges must be overcome. In this PhD thesis, the electron-phonon interaction is studied for a special class of molecules......, which is characterised by destructive quantum interference. The molecules are cross-conjugated, which means that the two parts of the molecules are conjugated to a third part, but not to each other. This gives rise to an anti-resonance in the trans- mission. In the low bias and low temperature regime......-conjugated molecules. We nd that the vibrational modes that would be expected to dominate, following the propensity, rules are very weak. Instead, other modes are found to be the dominant ones. We study this phenomenon for a number of cross-conjugated molecules, and link these ndings to the anti...

  3. Single-Molecule Sensing with Nanopore Confinement: from Chemical Reactions to Biological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yao; Ying, Yi-Lun; Gao, Rui; Long, Yi-Tao

    2018-03-25

    The nanopore can generate an electrochemical confinement for single-molecule sensing which help understand the fundamental chemical principle in nanoscale dimensions. By observing the generated ionic current, individual bond-making and bond-breaking steps, single biomolecule dynamic conformational changes and electron transfer processes that occur within pore can be monitored with high temporal and current resolution. These single-molecule studies in nanopore confinement are revealing information about the fundamental chemical and biological processes that cannot be extracted from ensemble measurements. In this concept, we introduce and discuss the electrochemical confinement effects on single-molecule covalent reactions, conformational dynamics of individual molecules and host-guest interactions in protein nanopores. Then, we extend the concept of nanopore confinement effects to confine electrochemical redox reactions in solid-state nanopores for developing new sensing mechanisms. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Single Molecule Study of DNA Organization and Recombination

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  5. Challenges for single molecule electronic devices with nanographene and organic molecules. Do single molecules offer potential as elements of electronic devices in the next generation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enoki, Toshiaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2018-03-01

    Interest in utilizing organic molecules to fabricate electronic materials has existed ever since organic (molecular) semiconductors were first discovered in the 1950s. Since then, scientists have devoted serious effort to the creation of various molecule-based electronic systems, such as molecular metals and molecular superconductors. Single-molecule electronics and the associated basic science have emerged over the past two decades and provided hope for the development of highly integrated molecule-based electronic devices in the future (after the Si-based technology era has ended). Here, nanographenes (nano-sized graphene) with atomically precise structures are among the most promising molecules that can be utilized for electronic/spintronic devices. To manipulate single small molecules for an electronic device, a single molecular junction has been developed. It is a powerful tool that allows even small molecules to be utilized. External electric, magnetic, chemical, and mechanical perturbations can change the physical and chemical properties of molecules in a way that is different from bulk materials. Therefore, the various functionalities of molecules, along with changes induced by external perturbations, allows us to create electronic devices that we cannot create using current top-down Si-based technology. Future challenges that involve the incorporation of condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry calculations, organic synthetic chemistry, and electronic device engineering are expected to open a new era in single-molecule device electronic technology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-17

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

  7. Monofunctional stealth nanoparticle for unbiased single molecule tracking inside living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Domenik; Richter, Christian P; Drees, Christoph; Birkholz, Oliver; You, Changjiang; Rampazzo, Enrico; Piehler, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of a protein cage scaffold, we have systematically explored intracellular application of nanoparticles for single molecule studies and discovered that recognition by the autophagy machinery plays a key role for rapid metabolism in the cytosol. Intracellular stealth nanoparticles were achieved by heavy surface PEGylation. By combination with a generic approach for nanoparticle monofunctionalization, efficient labeling of intracellular proteins with high fidelity was accomplished, allowing unbiased long-term tracking of proteins in the outer mitochondrial membrane.

  8. Watching single protein molecules in action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heiðarsson, Pétur Orri

    along the reaction coordinate. The results call for a modified view of the mechanical response of native states which may be relevant in an evolutionary sense for functionality and for biomolecular design. A vastly more complex folding behavior was observed for the two-domain neuronal calcium sensor 1...

  9. Fast recognition of single molecules based on single-event photon statistics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dong Shuangli; Huang Tao; Liu Yuan; Wang Jun; Zhang Guofeng; Xiao Liantuan; Jia Suotang

    2007-01-01

    Mandel's Q parameter, which is determined from single-event photon statistics, provides an alternative way to recognize single molecules with fluorescence detection, other than the second-order correlation function. It is shown that the Q parameter of an assumed ideal double-molecule fluorescence with the same average photon number as that of the sample fluorescence can act as the criterion for single-molecule recognition. The influence of signal-to-background ratio and the error estimates for photon statistics are also presented. We have applied this method to ascertain single Cy5 dye molecules within hundreds of milliseconds

  10. A general approach to break the concentration barrier in single-molecule imaging

    KAUST Repository

    Loveland, Anna B.

    2012-09-09

    Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is often incompatible with physiological protein concentrations, as fluorescence background overwhelms an individual molecule\\'s signal. We solve this problem with a new imaging approach called PhADE (PhotoActivation, Diffusion and Excitation). A protein of interest is fused to a photoactivatable protein (mKikGR) and introduced to its surface-immobilized substrate. After photoactivation of mKikGR near the surface, rapid diffusion of the unbound mKikGR fusion out of the detection volume eliminates background fluorescence, whereupon the bound molecules are imaged. We labeled the eukaryotic DNA replication protein flap endonuclease 1 with mKikGR and added it to replication-competent Xenopus laevis egg extracts. PhADE imaging of high concentrations of the fusion construct revealed its dynamics and micrometer-scale movements on individual, replicating DNA molecules. Because PhADE imaging is in principle compatible with any photoactivatable fluorophore, it should have broad applicability in revealing single-molecule dynamics and stoichiometry of macromolecular protein complexes at previously inaccessible fluorophore concentrations. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Water-mediated influence of a crowded environment on internal vibrations of a protein molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffel, Anna; Zielkiewicz, Jan

    2016-02-14

    The influence of crowding on the protein inner dynamics is examined by putting a single protein molecule close to one or two neighboring protein molecules. The presence of additional molecules influences the amplitudes of protein fluctuations. Also, a weak dynamical coupling of collective velocities of surface atoms of proteins separated by a layer of water is detected. The possible mechanisms of these phenomena are described. The cross-correlation function of the collective velocities of surface atoms of two proteins was decomposed into the Fourier series. The amplitude spectrum displays a peak at low frequencies. Also, the results of principal component analysis suggest that the close presence of an additional protein molecule influences the high-amplitude, low-frequency modes in the most prominent way. This part of the spectrum covers biologically important protein motions. The neighbor-induced changes in the inner dynamics of the protein may be connected with the changes in the velocity power spectrum of interfacial water. The additional protein molecule changes the properties of solvation water and in this way it can influence the dynamics of the second protein. It is suggested that this phenomenon may be described, at first approximation, by a damped oscillator driven by an external random force. This model was successfully applied to conformationally rigid Choristoneura fumiferana antifreeze protein molecules.

  12. 2012 Gordon Research Conference, Single molecule approaches to biology, July 15-20 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, Julio M. [Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-16

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

  14. Rationale for single molecule detection by means of Raman spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaponenko, S.V.; Guzatov, D.V.

    2009-01-01

    A consistent quantum electrodynamical description is proposed of Raman scattering of light by a molecule in a medium with a modified photon density of states. Enhanced local density of states near a metal nanobody is shown to increase a scattering rate by several orders of magnitude, thus providing a rationale for experimental detection of single molecules by means of Raman spectroscopy. For an ellipsoidal particle 10 14 -fold enhancement of the Raman scattering cross-section is obtained. (authors)

  15. Control of Single Molecule Fluorescence Dynamics by Stimulated Emission Depletion

    OpenAIRE

    Marsh, R. J.; Osborne, M. A.; Bain, A. J.

    2003-01-01

    The feasibility of manipulating the single molecule absorption-emission cycle using picosecond stimulated emission depletion (STED) is investigated using a stochastic computer simulation. In the simulation the molecule is subjected to repeated excitation and depletion events using time delayed pairs of excitation (PUMP) and depletion (DUMP) pulses derived from a high repetition rate pulsed laser system. The model is used to demonstrate that a significant and even substantial reduction in the ...

  16. Single molecule microscopy on Store-Operated Calcium channels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madl, J.

    2011-01-01

    Store-Operated Calcium Entry is essential for many signaling processes in non-excitable cells. The best studied Store-Operated Calcium current is the Calcium-Release-Activated-Calcium (CRAC) current in T-cells and mast cells, with Orai1 representing the essential pore forming subunit. Functional CRAC channels in store-depleted cells are composed of four Orai1 subunits. However, the stoichiometric composition in resting cells is still discussed controversially: both a tetrameric and a dimeric stoichiometry of resting-state Orai1 have been reported for immobilized or immobile Orai1 proteins. The aim of this thesis was to design a more versatile approach that allows reliable determination of the subunit stoichiometry of mobile Orai1 channels. The motive for this approach is that mobile sub-fractions of the entire Orai1 population provide the cleanest pool of data, devoid of contributions e.g. from immobile Orai1 clusters or Orai1-loaded vesicles attached to the plasma membrane. Moreover, resting-state Orai1 is predominantly mobile, and mobility appears critical for the lateral redistribution which occurs upon store depletion. The method per se is based on single molecule fluorescence microscopy and brightness analysis. Orai1 proteins were fused to a monomeric variant of Green Fluorescent Protein (mGFP) and over-expressed in a human cell line (T24). The 1:1 labeling stoichiometry allows using the brightness of individual Orai1-mGFP channels as a direct measure of the pore stoichiometry. Due to over-expression a potential mixing with endogenous Orai1 can be neglected. However, over-expression of Orai1-mGFP results in channel densities that are too high to allow for resolving single channels using diffraction limited optical microscopy. In order to overcome this challenge, I developed an experimental strategy that allows reduction of the density of actively fluorescent Orai1-mGFP channels without altering the labeling stoichiometry. In order to reduce the surface density

  17. Electron transfer dynamics of bistable single-molecule junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danilov, A.V; Kubatkin, S.; Kafanov, S. G.

    2006-01-01

    We present transport measurements of single-molecule junctions bridged by a molecule with three benzene rings connected by two double bonds and with thiol end-groups that allow chemical binding to gold electrodes. The I-V curves show switching behavior between two distinct states. By statistical ...... analysis of the switching events, we show that a 300 meV mode mediates the transition between the two states. We propose that breaking and reformation of a S-H bond in the contact zone between molecule and electrode explains the observed bistability....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-25

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

  19. DNA origami as biocompatible surface to match single-molecule and ensemble experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gietl, Andreas; Holzmeister, Phil; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule experiments on immobilized molecules allow unique insights into the dynamics of molecular machines and enzymes as well as their interactions. The immobilization, however, can invoke perturbation to the activity of biomolecules causing incongruities between single molecule and ensemble measurements. Here we introduce the recently developed DNA origami as a platform to transfer ensemble assays to the immobilized single molecule level without changing the nano-environment of the biomolecules. The idea is a stepwise transfer of common functional assays first to the surface of a DNA origami, which can be checked at the ensemble level, and then to the microscope glass slide for single-molecule inquiry using the DNA origami as a transfer platform. We studied the structural flexibility of a DNA Holliday junction and the TATA-binding protein (TBP)-induced bending of DNA both on freely diffusing molecules and attached to the origami structure by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. This resulted in highly congruent data sets demonstrating that the DNA origami does not influence the functionality of the biomolecule. Single-molecule data collected from surface-immobilized biomolecule-loaded DNA origami are in very good agreement with data from solution measurements supporting the fact that the DNA origami can be used as biocompatible surface in many fluorescence-based measurements. PMID:22523083

  20. Single-molecule spectroscopy of amino acids and peptides by recognition tunnelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yanan; Ashcroft, Brian; Zhang, Peiming; Liu, Hao; Sen, Suman; Song, Weisi; Im, Jongone; Gyarfas, Brett; Manna, Saikat; Biswas, Sovan; Borges, Chad; Lindsay, Stuart

    2014-06-01

    The human proteome has millions of protein variants due to alternative RNA splicing and post-translational modifications, and variants that are related to diseases are frequently present in minute concentrations. For DNA and RNA, low concentrations can be amplified using the polymerase chain reaction, but there is no such reaction for proteins. Therefore, the development of single-molecule protein sequencing is a critical step in the search for protein biomarkers. Here, we show that single amino acids can be identified by trapping the molecules between two electrodes that are coated with a layer of recognition molecules, then measuring the electron tunnelling current across the junction. A given molecule can bind in more than one way in the junction, and we therefore use a machine-learning algorithm to distinguish between the sets of electronic `fingerprints' associated with each binding motif. With this recognition tunnelling technique, we are able to identify D and L enantiomers, a methylated amino acid, isobaric isomers and short peptides. The results suggest that direct electronic sequencing of single proteins could be possible by sequentially measuring the products of processive exopeptidase digestion, or by using a molecular motor to pull proteins through a tunnel junction integrated with a nanopore.

  1. DNA analysis by single molecule stretching in nanofluidic biochips

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abad, E.; Juarros, A.; Retolaza, A.

    2011-01-01

    Imprint Lithography (NIL) technology combined with a conventional anodic bonding of the silicon base and Pyrex cover. Using this chip, we have performed single molecule imaging on a bench-top fluorescent microscope system. Lambda phage DNA was used as a model sample to characterize the chip. Single molecules of λ-DNA......Stretching single DNA molecules by confinement in nanofluidic channels has attracted a great interest during the last few years as a DNA analysis tool. We have designed and fabricated a sealed micro/nanofluidic device for DNA stretching applications, based on the use of the high throughput Nano...... stained with the fluorescent dye YOYO-1 were stretched in the nanochannel array and the experimental results were analysed to determine the extension factor of the DNA in the chip and the geometrical average of the nanochannel inner diameter. The determination of the extension ratio of the chip provides...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  3. Improved Dye Stability in Single-Molecule Fluorescence Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Coherent interaction of single molecules and plasmonic nanowires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhardt, Ilja; Grotz, Bernhard; Siyushev, Petr; Wrachtrup, Jörg

    2017-09-01

    Quantum plasmonics opens the option to integrate complex quantum optical circuitry onto chip scale devices. In the past, often external light sources were used and nonclassical light was coupled in and out of plasmonic structures, such as hole arrays or waveguide structures. Another option to launch single plasmonic excitations is the coupling of single emitters in the direct proximity of, e.g., a silver or gold nanostructure. Here, we present our attempts to integrate the research of single emitters with wet-chemically grown silver nanowires. The emitters of choice are single organic dye molecules under cryogenic conditions, which are known to act as high-brightness and extremely narrow-band single photon sources. Another advantage is their high optical nonlinearity, such that they might mediate photon-photon interactions on the nanoscale. We report on the coupling of a single molecule fluorescence emission through the wire over the length of several wavelengths. The transmission of coherently emitted photons is proven by an extinction type experiment. As for influencing the spectral properties of a single emitter, we are able to show a remote change of the line-width of a single terrylene molecule, which is in close proximity to the nanowire.

  5. Electrochemical Single-Molecule Transistors with Optimized Gate Coupling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osorio, Henrry M.; Catarelli, Samantha; Cea, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    Electrochemical gating at the single molecule level of viologen molecular bridges in ionic liquids is examined. Contrary to previous data recorded in aqueous electrolytes, a clear and sharp peak in the single molecule conductance versus electrochemical potential data is obtained in ionic liquids....... These data are rationalized in terms of a two-step electrochemical model for charge transport across the redox bridge. In this model the gate coupling in the ionic liquid is found to be fully effective with a modeled gate coupling parameter, ξ, of unity. This compares to a much lower gate coupling parameter...

  6. Thousand-fold enhancement of single-molecule fluorescence near a single gold nanorod

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yuan, H.; Khatua, S.; Zijlstra, P.; Yorulmaz, M.; Orrit, M.

    2013-01-01

    Single molecules: Large enhancements of single-molecule fluorescence up to 1100 times by using synthesized gold nanorods are reported (see picture). This high enhancement is achieved by selecting a dye with its adsorption and emission close to the surface plasmon resonance of the gold nanorods

  7. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy review: shedding new light on old problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shashkova, Sviatlana; Leake, Mark C

    2017-08-31

    Fluorescence microscopy is an invaluable tool in the biosciences, a genuine workhorse technique offering exceptional contrast in conjunction with high specificity of labelling with relatively minimal perturbation to biological samples compared with many competing biophysical techniques. Improvements in detector and dye technologies coupled to advances in image analysis methods have fuelled recent development towards single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which can utilize light microscopy tools to enable the faithful detection and analysis of single fluorescent molecules used as reporter tags in biological samples. For example, the discovery of GFP, initiating the so-called 'green revolution', has pushed experimental tools in the biosciences to a completely new level of functional imaging of living samples, culminating in single fluorescent protein molecule detection. Today, fluorescence microscopy is an indispensable tool in single-molecule investigations, providing a high signal-to-noise ratio for visualization while still retaining the key features in the physiological context of native biological systems. In this review, we discuss some of the recent discoveries in the life sciences which have been enabled using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, paying particular attention to the so-called 'super-resolution' fluorescence microscopy techniques in live cells, which are at the cutting-edge of these methods. In particular, how these tools can reveal new insights into long-standing puzzles in biology: old problems, which have been impossible to tackle using other more traditional tools until the emergence of new single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Towards single molecule biosensors using super-resolution fluorescence microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xun; Nicovich, Philip R; Gaus, Katharina; Gooding, J Justin

    2017-07-15

    Conventional immunosensors require many binding events to give a single transducer output which represents the concentration of the analyte in the sample. Because of the requirements to selectively detect species in complex samples, immunosensing interfaces must allow immobilisation of antibodies while repelling nonspecific adsorption of other species. These requirements lead to quite sophisticated interfacial design, often with molecular level control, but we have no tools to characterise how well these interfaces work at the molecular level. The work reported herein is an initial feasibility study to show that antibody-antigen binding events can be monitored at the single molecule level using single molecule localisation microscopy (SMLM). The steps to achieve this first requires showing that indium tin oxide surfaces can be used for SMLM, then that these surfaces can be modified with self-assembled monolayers using organophosphonic acid derivatives, that the amount of antigens and antibodies on the surface can be controlled and monitored at the single molecule level and finally antibody binding to antigen modified surfaces can be monitored. The results show the amount of antibody that binds to an antigen modified surface is dependent on both the concentration of antigen on the surface and the concentration of antibody in solution. This study demonstrates the potential of SMLM for characterising biosensing interfaces and as the transducer in a massively parallel, wide field, single molecule detection scheme for quantitative analysis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. A new microcavity design for single molecule detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steiner, M.; Schleifenbaum, F.; Stupperich, C.; Failla, A.V.; Hartschuh, A.; Meixner, A.J.

    2006-01-01

    We present a new microcavity design which allows for efficient detection of single molecules by measuring the molecular fluorescence emission coupled into a resonant cavity mode. The Fabry-Perot-type microresonator consists of two silver mirrors separated by a thin polymer film doped with dye molecules in ultralow concenctration. By slightly tilting one of the mirrors different cavity lengths can be selected within the same sample. Locally, on a μm scale, the microcavity still acts as a planar Fabry-Perot resonator. Using scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy, single emitters on resonance with a single mode of the microresonator can be spatially addressed. Our microcavity is demonstrated to be well-suited for investigating the coupling mechanism between single quantum emitters and single modes of the electromagnetic field. The microcavity layout could be integrated in a lab-on-a-microchip design for ultrasensitive microfluidic analytics and can be considered as an important improvement for single photon sources based on single molecules operating at room temperature

  10. Single-Molecule Analysis of Pre-mRNA Splicing with Colocalization Single-Molecule Spectroscopy (CoSMoS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Joerg E; Serebrov, Victor

    2017-01-01

    Recent development of single-molecule techniques to study pre-mRNA splicing has provided insights into the dynamic nature of the spliceosome. Colocalization single-molecule spectroscopy (CoSMoS) allows following spliceosome assembly in real time at single-molecule resolution in the full complexity of cellular extracts. A detailed protocol of CoSMoS has been published previously (Anderson and Hoskins, Methods Mol Biol 1126:217-241, 2014). Here, we provide an update on the technical advances since the first CoSMoS studies including slide surface treatment, data processing, and representation. We describe various labeling strategies to generate RNA reporters with multiple dyes (or other moieties) at specific locations.

  11. Single-molecule imaging and manipulation of biomolecular machines and systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iino, Ryota; Iida, Tatsuya; Nakamura, Akihiko; Saita, Ei-Ichiro; You, Huijuan; Sako, Yasushi

    2018-02-01

    Biological molecular machines support various activities and behaviors of cells, such as energy production, signal transduction, growth, differentiation, and migration. We provide an overview of single-molecule imaging methods involving both small and large probes used to monitor the dynamic motions of molecular machines in vitro (purified proteins) and in living cells, and single-molecule manipulation methods used to measure the forces, mechanical properties and responses of biomolecules. We also introduce several examples of single-molecule analysis, focusing primarily on motor proteins and signal transduction systems. Single-molecule analysis is a powerful approach to unveil the operational mechanisms both of individual molecular machines and of systems consisting of many molecular machines. Quantitative, high-resolution single-molecule analyses of biomolecular systems at the various hierarchies of life will help to answer our fundamental question: "What is life?" This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Biophysical Exploration of Dynamical Ordering of Biomolecular Systems" edited by Dr. Koichi Kato. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Single-base resolution and long-coverage sequencing based on single-molecule nanomanipulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An Hongjie; Huang Jiehuan; Lue Ming; Li Xueling; Lue Junhong; Li Haikuo; Zhang Yi; Li Minqian; Hu Jun

    2007-01-01

    We show new approaches towards a novel single-molecule sequencing strategy which consists of high-resolution positioning isolation of overlapping DNA fragments with atomic force microscopy (AFM), subsequent single-molecule PCR amplification and conventional Sanger sequencing. In this study, a DNA labelling technique was used to guarantee the accuracy in positioning the target DNA. Single-molecule multiplex PCR was carried out to test the contamination. The results showed that the two overlapping DNA fragments isolated by AFM could be successfully sequenced with high quality and perfect contiguity, indicating that single-base resolution and long-coverage sequencing have been achieved simultaneously

  13. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Since the term protein was first coined in 1838 and protein was discovered to be the essential component of fibrin and albumin, all cellular proteins were presumed to play beneficial roles in plants and mammals. However, in 1967, Griffith proposed that proteins could be infectious pathogens and postulated their involvement in scrapie, a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in goats and sheep. Nevertheless, this novel hypothesis had not been evidenced until 1982, when Prusiner and coworkers purified infectious particles from scrapie-infected hamster brains and demonstrated that they consisted of a specific protein that he called a “prion.” Unprecedentedly, the infectious prion pathogen is actually derived from its endogenous cellular form in the central nervous system. Unlike other infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, prions do not contain genetic materials such as DNA or RNA. The unique traits and genetic information of prions are believed to be encoded within the conformational structure and posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Remarkably, prion-like behavior has been recently observed in other cellular proteins—not only in pathogenic roles but also serving physiological functions. The significance of these fascinating developments in prion biology is far beyond the scope of a single cellular protein and its related disease. PMID:27226089

  14. Plasmonic tunnel junctions for single-molecule redox chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Nijs, Bart; Benz, Felix; Barrow, Steven J; Sigle, Daniel O; Chikkaraddy, Rohit; Palma, Aniello; Carnegie, Cloudy; Kamp, Marlous; Sundararaman, Ravishankar; Narang, Prineha; Scherman, Oren A; Baumberg, Jeremy J

    2017-10-20

    Nanoparticles attached just above a flat metallic surface can trap optical fields in the nanoscale gap. This enables local spectroscopy of a few molecules within each coupled plasmonic hotspot, with near thousand-fold enhancement of the incident fields. As a result of non-radiative relaxation pathways, the plasmons in such sub-nanometre cavities generate hot charge carriers, which can catalyse chemical reactions or induce redox processes in molecules located within the plasmonic hotspots. Here, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy allows us to track these hot-electron-induced chemical reduction processes in a series of different aromatic molecules. We demonstrate that by increasing the tunnelling barrier height and the dephasing strength, a transition from coherent to hopping electron transport occurs, enabling observation of redox processes in real time at the single-molecule level.

  15. A Single Molecule Investigation of the Photostability of Quantum Dots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Eva Arnspang; Kulatunga, Pasad; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer

    2012-01-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) are very attractive probes for multi-color fluorescence applications. We report here however that single QDs that are subject to continuous blue excitation from a 100W mercury arc lamp will undergo a continuous blue-switching of the emission wavelength eventually reaching a per...... is especially detrimental for multi-color single molecule applications, as we regularly observe spectral blue-shifts of 50 nm, or more even after only ten seconds of illumination....

  16. Single-Molecule Light-Sheet Imaging of Suspended T Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponjavic, Aleks; McColl, James; Carr, Alexander R; Santos, Ana Mafalda; Kulenkampff, Klara; Lippert, Anna; Davis, Simon J; Klenerman, David; Lee, Steven F

    2018-05-08

    Adaptive immune responses are initiated by triggering of the T cell receptor. Single-molecule imaging based on total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy at coverslip/basal cell interfaces is commonly used to study this process. These experiments have suggested, unexpectedly, that the diffusional behavior and organization of signaling proteins and receptors may be constrained before activation. However, it is unclear to what extent the molecular behavior and cell state is affected by the imaging conditions, i.e., by the presence of a supporting surface. In this study, we implemented single-molecule light-sheet microscopy, which enables single receptors to be directly visualized at any plane in a cell to study protein dynamics and organization in live, resting T cells. The light sheet enabled the acquisition of high-quality single-molecule fluorescence images that were comparable to those of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. By comparing the apical and basal surfaces of surface-contacting T cells using single-molecule light-sheet microscopy, we found that most coated-glass surfaces and supported lipid bilayers profoundly affected the diffusion of membrane proteins (T cell receptor and CD45) and that all the surfaces induced calcium influx to various degrees. Our results suggest that, when studying resting T cells, surfaces are best avoided, which we achieve here by suspending cells in agarose. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Single molecule DNA detection with an atomic vapor notch filter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uhland, Denis; Rendler, Torsten; Widmann, Matthias; Lee, Sang-Yun [University of Stuttgart and Stuttgart Research Center of Photonic Engineering (SCoPE) and IQST, 3rd Physics Institute, Stuttgart (Germany); Wrachtrup, Joerg; Gerhardt, Ilja [University of Stuttgart and Stuttgart Research Center of Photonic Engineering (SCoPE) and IQST, 3rd Physics Institute, Stuttgart (Germany); Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart (Germany)

    2015-12-01

    The detection of single molecules has facilitated many advances in life- and material-science. Commonly the fluorescence of dye molecules is detected, which are attached to a non-fluorescent structure under study. For fluorescence microscopy one desires to maximize the detection efficiency together with an efficient suppression of undesired laser leakage. Here we present the use of the narrow-band filtering properties of hot atomic sodium vapor to selectively filter the excitation light from the red-shifted fluorescence of dye labeled single-stranded DNA molecules. A statistical analysis proves an enhancement in detection efficiency of more than 15% in a confocal and in a wide-field configuration. (orig.)

  18. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Gambin, Yann; Deniz, Ashok A

    2012-10-30

    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to test the counteraction hypothesis of counterbalancing effects between the protecting osmolyte trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and denaturing osmolyte urea for the case of α-synuclein, a Parkinson's disease-linked protein whose monomer exhibits significant disorder. The single-molecule experiments, which avoid complications from protein aggregation, do not exhibit clear solvent-induced cooperative protein transitions for these osmolytes, unlike results from previous studies on globular proteins. Our data demonstrate the ability of TMAO and urea to shift α-synuclein structures towards either more compact or expanded average dimensions. Strikingly, the experiments directly reveal that a 21 [urea][TMAO] ratio has a net neutral effect on the protein's dimensions, a result that holds regardless of the absolute osmolyte concentrations. Our findings shed light on a surprisingly simple aspect of the interplay between urea and TMAO on α-synuclein in the context of intrinsically disordered proteins, with potential implications for the biological roles of such chemical chaperones. The results also highlight the strengths of single-molecule experiments in directly probing the chemical physics of protein structure and disorder in more chemically complex environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-15

    From the onset of the first microscopic visualization of single fluorescent molecules in living cells at the beginning of this century, to the present, almost routine application of single molecule microscopy, the method has well-proven its ability to contribute unmatched detailed insight into the heterogeneous and dynamic molecular world life is composed of. Except for investigations on bacteria and yeast, almost the entire story of success is based on studies on adherent mammalian 2D cell cultures. However, despite this continuous progress, the technique was not able to keep pace with the move of the cell biology community to adapt 3D cell culture models for basic research, regenerative medicine, or drug development and screening. In this review, we will summarize the progress, which only recently allowed for the application of single molecule microscopy to 3D cell systems and give an overview of the technical advances that led to it. While initially posing a challenge, we finally conclude that relevant 3D cell models will become an integral part of the on-going success of single molecule microscopy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Single molecule magnet behaviour in robust dysprosium-biradical complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernot, Kevin; Pointillart, Fabrice; Rosa, Patrick; Etienne, Mael; Sessoli, Roberta; Gatteschi, Dante

    2010-09-21

    A Dy-biradical complex was synthesized and characterized down to very low temperature. ac magnetic measurements reveal single molecule magnet behaviour visible without any application of dc field. The transition to the quantum tunneling regime is evidenced. Photophysical and EPR measurements provide evidence of the excellent stability of these complexes in solution.

  1. Computing magnetic anisotropy constants of single molecule magnets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We present here a theoretical approach to compute the molecular magnetic anisotropy parameters, and for single molecule magnets in any given spin eigenstate of exchange spin Hamiltonian. We first describe a hybrid constant -valence bond (VB) technique of solving spin Hamiltonians employing full spatial ...

  2. SISGR: Room Temperature Single-Molecule Detection and Imaging by Stimulated Emission Microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xie, Xiaoliang Sunney [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

    2017-03-13

    specificity than absorption and fluorescence. Current sensitivity limit of SRS microscopy has not yet reached single molecule detection. We proposed to capitalize on our state-of-the-art SRS microscopy and develop near-resonance enhanced SRS for single molecule detection of carotenoids and heme proteins. The specific aims we pursued are: (1) building the next SRS generation microscope that utilizes near resonance enhancement to allow detection and imaging of single molecules with undetectable fluorescence, such as -carotene. (2) using near-resonance SRS as a contrast mechanism to study dye-sensitize semiconductor interface, elucidating the heterogeneous electron ejection kinetics with high spatial and temporal resolution. (3) studying the binding and unbinding of oxygen in single hemoglobin molecules in order to gain molecular level understanding of the long-standing issue of cooperativity. The new methods developed in the fund period of this grant have advanced the detection sensitivity in many aspects. Near-resonance SRS improved the signal by using shorter wavelengths for SRS microscopy. Frequency modulation and multi-color SRS target the reduction of background to improve the chemical specificity of SRS while maintaining the high imaging speed. Time-domain coherent Raman scattering microscopy targets to reduce the noise floor of coherent Raman microscopy. These methods have already demonstrated first-of-a-kind new applications in biology and medical research. However, we are still one order of magnitude away from single molecule limit. It is important to continue to improve the laser specification and develop new imaging methods to finally achieve label-free single molecule microscopy.

  3. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies of Membrane Transporters Using Total Internal Reflection Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudsmits, Joris M H; van Oijen, Antoine M; Slotboom, Dirk J

    2017-01-01

    Cells are delineated by a lipid bilayer that physically separates the inside from the outer environment. Most polar, charged, or large molecules require proteins to reduce the energetic barrier for passage across the membrane and to achieve transport rates that are relevant for life. Here, we describe techniques to visualize the functioning of membrane transport proteins with fluorescent probes at the single-molecule level. First, we explain how to produce membrane-reconstituted transporters with fluorescent labels. Next, we detail the construction of a microfluidic flow cell to image immobilized proteoliposomes on a total internal reflection fluorescence microscope. We conclude by describing the methods that are needed to analyze fluorescence movies and obtain useful single-molecule data. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Deniz, Ashok A.

    2012-01-01

    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to test the counteraction hypothesis of counterbalancing effects between the protecting osmolyte trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and denaturing osmolyte urea for the case of α-synuclein, a Parkinson’s disease-linked protein whose monomer exhibits significant disorder. The single-molecule experiments, which avoid complications from protein aggregation, do not exhibit clear solvent-induced cooperative protein transitions for these osmolytes, unlike results from previous studies on globular proteins. Our data demonstrate the ability of TMAO and urea to shift α-synuclein structures towards either more compact or expanded average dimensions. Strikingly, the experiments directly reveal that a 2∶1 [urea]∶[TMAO] ratio has a net neutral effect on the protein’s dimensions, a result that holds regardless of the absolute osmolyte concentrations. Our findings shed light on a surprisingly simple aspect of the interplay between urea and TMAO on α-synuclein in the context of intrinsically disordered proteins, with potential implications for the biological roles of such chemical chaperones. The results also highlight the strengths of single-molecule experiments in directly probing the chemical physics of protein structure and disorder in more chemically complex environments. PMID:22826265

  6. Protein determination in single corns

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knorr, J.; Schiekel, M.; Franke, W.; Focke, F.

    1994-01-01

    Determination of protein content in food materials is usually done by analyzing the nitrogen amount by wet chemical Kjeldahl method. An improved accuracy accompanied by smaller analyzing intervals can be achieved using nondestructive neutron activation. Analyses have been performed using 14 MeV neutrons to determine the content of N and P in single wheat corns. Irradiation parameters have been optimized to prevent serious radiation damage in grains. About 200 single corns have been investigated with total net weights ranging from 30 to 70 mg. The tested arrangement allows determination of nitrogen amount in a single corn down to 0.3 mg with an accuracy of better than 4 %. Mean nitrogen concentrations in the range from 9 to 19% per corn have been detected. (author) 5 refs.; 6 figs

  7. Modulation of intermolecular interactions in single-molecule magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroux, Katie Jeanne

    Polynuclear manganese clusters exhibiting interesting magnetic and quantum properties have been an area of intense research since the discovery of the first single-molecule magnet (SMM) in 1993. These molecules, below their blocking temperature, function as single-domain magnetic particles which exhibit classical macroscale magnetic properties as well as quantum mechanical phenomena such as quantum tunnelling of magnetization (QTM) and quantum phase interference. The union of classical and quantum behavior in these nanomaterials makes SMMs ideal candidates for high-density information storage and quantum computing. However, environmental coupling factors (nuclear spins, phonons, neighboring molecules) must be minimized if such applications are ever to be fully realized. The focus of this work is making small structural changes in well-known manganese SMMs in order to drastically enhance the overall magnetic and quantum properties of the system. Well-isolated molecules of high crystalline quality should lead to well-defined energetic and spectral properties as well. An advantage of SMMs over bulk magnetic materials is that they can be chemically altered from a "bottom-up" approach providing a synthetic tool for tuning magnetic properties. This systematic approach is utilized in the work presented herein by incorporating bulky ligands and/or counterions to "isolate" the magnetic core of [Mn4] dicubane SMMs. Reducing intermolecular interactions in the crystal lattice (neighboring molecules, solvate molecules, dipolar interactions) is an important step toward developing viable quantum computing devices. Detailed bulk magnetic studies as well as single crystal magnetization hysteresis and high-frequency EPR studies on these sterically-isolated complexes show enhanced, and sometimes even unexpected, quantum dynamics. The importance of intra- and intermolecular interactions remains a common theme throughout this work, extending to other SMMs of various topology including

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Investigation of polyelectrolyte desorption by single molecule force spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedsam, C; Seitz, M; Gaub, H E

    2004-01-01

    Single molecule force spectroscopy has evolved into a powerful method for the investigation of intra- and intermolecular interactions at the level of individual molecules. Many examples, including the investigation of the dynamic properties of complex biological systems as well as the properties of covalent bonds or intermolecular transitions within individual polymers, are reported in the literature. The technique has recently been extended to the systematic investigation of desorption processes of individual polyelectrolyte molecules adsorbed on generic surfaces. The stable covalent attachment of polyelectrolyte molecules to the AFM-tip provides the possibility of performing long-term measurements with the same set of molecules and therefore allows the in situ observation of the impact of environmental changes on the adsorption behaviour of individual molecules. Different types of interactions, e.g. electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions, that determine the adsorption process could be identified and characterized. The experiments provided valuable details that help to understand the nature and the properties of non-covalent interactions, which is helpful with regard to biological systems as well as for technical applications. Apart from this, desorption experiments can be utilized to characterize the properties of surfaces or polymer coatings. Therefore they represent a versatile tool that can be further developed in terms of various aspects

  10. Transition paths in single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossio, Pilar; Hummer, Gerhard; Szabo, Attila

    2018-03-28

    In a typical single-molecule force spectroscopy experiment, the ends of the molecule of interest are connected by long polymer linkers to a pair of mesoscopic beads trapped in the focus of two laser beams. At constant force load, the total extension, i.e., the end-to-end distance of the molecule plus linkers, is measured as a function of time. In the simplest systems, the measured extension fluctuates about two values characteristic of folded and unfolded states, with occasional transitions between them. We have recently shown that molecular (un)folding rates can be recovered from such trajectories, with a small linker correction, as long as the characteristic time of the bead fluctuations is shorter than the residence time in the unfolded (folded) state. Here, we show that accurate measurements of the molecular transition path times require an even faster apparatus response. Transition paths, the trajectory segments in which the molecule (un)folds, are properly resolved only if the beads fluctuate more rapidly than the end-to-end distance of the molecule. Therefore, over a wide regime, the measured rates may be meaningful but not the transition path times. Analytic expressions for the measured mean transition path times are obtained for systems diffusing anisotropically on a two-dimensional free energy surface. The transition path times depend on the properties both of the molecule and of the pulling device.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reisner, Walter; Larsen, Niels Bent; Silahtaroglu, Asli

    2010-01-01

    Here we explore the potential power of denaturation mapping as a single-molecule technique. By partially denaturing YOYO (R)-1-labeled DNA in nanofluidic channels with a combination of formamide and local heating, we obtain a sequence-dependent "barcode" corresponding to a series of local dips...... and peaks in the intensity trace along the extended molecule. We demonstrate that this structure arises from the physics of local denaturation: statistical mechanical calculations of sequence-dependent melting probability can predict the barcode to be observed experimentally for a given sequence...

  12. Spin-Spin Cross Relaxation in Single-Molecule Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernsdorfer, W.; Bhaduri, S.; Tiron, R.; Hendrickson, D. N.; Christou, G.

    2002-10-01

    The one-body tunnel picture of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) is not always sufficient to explain the measured tunnel transitions. An improvement to the picture is proposed by including also two-body tunnel transitions such as spin-spin cross relaxation (SSCR) which are mediated by dipolar and weak superexchange interactions between molecules. A Mn4 SMM is used as a model system. At certain external fields, SSCRs lead to additional quantum resonances which show up in hysteresis loop measurements as well-defined steps. A simple model is used to explain quantitatively all observed transitions.

  13. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  14. Simulation of diffusion time of small molecules in protein crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geremia, Silvano; Campagnolo, Mara; Demitri, Nicola; Johnson, Louise N

    2006-03-01

    A simple model for evaluation of diffusion times of small molecule into protein crystals has been developed, which takes into account the physical and chemical properties both of protein crystal and the diffusing molecules. The model also includes consideration of binding and the binding affinity of a ligand to the protein. The model has been validated by simulation of experimental set-ups of several examples found in the literature. These experiments cover a wide range of situations: from small to relatively large diffusing molecules, crystals having low, medium, or high protein density, and different size. The reproduced experiments include ligand exchange in protein crystals by soaking techniques. Despite the simplifying assumptions of the model, theoretical and experimental data are in agreement with available data, with experimental diffusion times ranging from a few seconds to several hours. The method has been used successfully for planning intermediate cryotrapping experiments in maltodextrin phosphorylase crystals.

  15. Vibrationally coupled electron transport through single-molecule junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haertle, Rainer

    2012-04-26

    Single-molecule junctions are among the smallest electric circuits. They consist of a molecule that is bound to a left and a right electrode. With such a molecular nanocontact, the flow of electrical currents through a single molecule can be studied and controlled. Experiments on single-molecule junctions show that a single molecule carries electrical currents that can even be in the microampere regime. Thereby, a number of transport phenomena have been observed, such as, for example, diode- or transistor-like behavior, negative differential resistance and conductance switching. An objective of this field, which is commonly referred to as molecular electronics, is to relate these transport phenomena to the properties of the molecule in the contact. To this end, theoretical model calculations are employed, which facilitate an understanding of the underlying transport processes and mechanisms. Thereby, one has to take into account that molecules are flexible structures, which respond to a change of their charge state by a profound reorganization of their geometrical structure or may even dissociate. It is thus important to understand the interrelation between the vibrational degrees of freedom of a singlemolecule junction and the electrical current flowing through the contact. In this thesis, we investigate vibrational effects in electron transport through singlemolecule junctions. For these studies, we calculate and analyze transport characteristics of both generic and first-principles based model systems of a molecular contact. To this end, we employ a master equation and a nonequilibrium Green's function approach. Both methods are suitable to describe this nonequilibrium transport problem and treat the interactions of the tunneling electrons on the molecular bridge non-perturbatively. This is particularly important with respect to the vibrational degrees of freedom, which may strongly interact with the tunneling electrons. We show in detail that the resulting

  16. Simple test system for single molecule recognition force microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riener, Christian K.; Stroh, Cordula M.; Ebner, Andreas; Klampfl, Christian; Gall, Alex A.; Romanin, Christoph; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.; Hinterdorfer, Peter; Gruber, Hermann J.

    2003-01-01

    We have established an easy-to-use test system for detecting receptor-ligand interactions on the single molecule level using atomic force microscopy (AFM). For this, avidin-biotin, probably the best characterized receptor-ligand pair, was chosen. AFM sensors were prepared containing tethered biotin molecules at sufficiently low surface concentrations appropriate for single molecule studies. A biotin tether, consisting of a 6 nm poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain and a functional succinimide group at the other end, was newly synthesized and covalently coupled to amine-functionalized AFM tips. In particular, PEG 800 diamine was glutarylated, the mono-adduct NH 2 -PEG-COOH was isolated by ion exchange chromatography and reacted with biotin succinimidylester to give biotin-PEG-COOH which was then activated as N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) ester to give the biotin-PEG-NHS conjugate which was coupled to the aminofunctionalized AFM tip. The motional freedom provided by PEG allows for free rotation of the biotin molecule on the AFM sensor and for specific binding to avidin which had been adsorbed to mica surfaces via electrostatic interactions. Specific avidin-biotin recognition events were discriminated from nonspecific tip-mica adhesion by their typical unbinding force (∼40 pN at 1.4 nN/s loading rate), unbinding length (<13 nm), the characteristic nonlinear force-distance relation of the PEG linker, and by specific block with excess of free d-biotin. The convenience of the test system allowed to evaluate, and compare, different methods and conditions of tip aminofunctionalization with respect to specific binding and nonspecific adhesion. It is concluded that this system is well suited as calibration or start-up kit for single molecule recognition force microscopy

  17. Molecular electronics--resonant transport through single molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lörtscher, Emanuel; Riel, Heike

    2010-01-01

    The mechanically controllable break-junction technique (MCBJ) enables us to investigate charge transport through an individually contacted and addressed molecule in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) environment at variable temperature ranging from room temperature down to 4 K. Using a statistical measurement and analysis approach, we acquire current-voltage (I-V) characteristics during the repeated formation, manipulation, and breaking of a molecular junction. At low temperatures, voltages accessing the first molecular orbitals in resonance can be applied, providing spectroscopic information about the junction's energy landscape, in particular about the molecular level alignment in respect to the Fermi energy of the electrodes. Thereby, we can investigate the non-linear transport properties of various types of functional molecules and explore their potential use as functional building blocks for future nano-electronics. An example will be given by the reversible and controllable switching between two distinct conductive states of a single molecule. As a proof-of-principle for functional molecular devices, a single-molecule memory element will be demonstrated.

  18. Machine learning approach for single molecule localisation microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colabrese, Silvia; Castello, Marco; Vicidomini, Giuseppe; Del Bue, Alessio

    2018-04-01

    Single molecule localisation (SML) microscopy is a fundamental tool for biological discoveries; it provides sub-diffraction spatial resolution images by detecting and localizing "all" the fluorescent molecules labeling the structure of interest. For this reason, the effective resolution of SML microscopy strictly depends on the algorithm used to detect and localize the single molecules from the series of microscopy frames. To adapt to the different imaging conditions that can occur in a SML experiment, all current localisation algorithms request, from the microscopy users, the choice of different parameters. This choice is not always easy and their wrong selection can lead to poor performance. Here we overcome this weakness with the use of machine learning. We propose a parameter-free pipeline for SML learning based on support vector machine (SVM). This strategy requires a short supervised training that consists in selecting by the user few fluorescent molecules (∼ 10-20) from the frames under analysis. The algorithm has been extensively tested on both synthetic and real acquisitions. Results are qualitatively and quantitatively consistent with the state of the art in SML microscopy and demonstrate that the introduction of machine learning can lead to a new class of algorithms competitive and conceived from the user point of view.

  19. Light-Induced Switching of Tunable Single-Molecule Junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Sendler, Torsten

    2015-04-16

    A major goal of molecular electronics is the development and implementation of devices such as single-molecular switches. Here, measurements are presented that show the controlled in situ switching of diarylethene molecules from their nonconductive to conductive state in contact to gold nanoelectrodes via controlled light irradiation. Both the conductance and the quantum yield for switching of these molecules are within a range making the molecules suitable for actual devices. The conductance of the molecular junctions in the opened and closed states is characterized and the molecular level E 0, which dominates the current transport in the closed state, and its level broadening Γ are identified. The obtained results show a clear light-induced ring forming isomerization of the single-molecule junctions. Electron withdrawing side-groups lead to a reduction of conductance, but do not influence the efficiency of the switching mechanism. Quantum chemical calculations of the light-induced switching processes correlate these observations with the fundamentally different low-lying electronic states of the opened and closed forms and their comparably small modification by electron-withdrawing substituents. This full characterization of a molecular switch operated in a molecular junction is an important step toward the development of real molecular electronics devices.

  20. New antifouling platform characterized by single-molecule imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Ji Young; Song, In Taek; Lau, K H Aaron; Messersmith, Phillip B; Yoon, Tae-Young; Lee, Haeshin

    2014-03-12

    Antifouling surfaces have been widely studied for their importance in medical devices and industry. Antifouling surfaces mostly achieved by methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) have shown biomolecular adsorption less than 1 ng/cm(2) which was measured by surface analytical tools such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy, quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), or optical waveguide lightmode (OWL) spectroscopy. Herein, we utilize a single-molecule imaging technique (i.e., an ultimate resolution) to study antifouling properties of functionalized surfaces. We found that about 600 immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules are adsorbed. This result corresponds to ∼5 pg/cm(2) adsorption, which is far below amount for the detection limit of the conventional tools. Furthermore, we developed a new antifouling platform that exhibits improved antifouling performance that shows only 78 IgG molecules adsorbed (∼0.5 pg/cm(2)). The antifouling platform consists of forming 1 nm TiO2 thin layer, on which peptidomimetic antifouling polymer (PMAP) is robustly anchored. The unprecedented antifouling performance can potentially revolutionize a variety of research fields such as single-molecule imaging, medical devices, biosensors, and others.

  1. Light-Induced Switching of Tunable Single-Molecule Junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Sendler, Torsten; Luka-Guth, Katharina; Wieser, Matthias; Lokamani; Wolf, Jannic Sebastian; Helm, Manfred; Gemming, Sibylle; Kerbusch, Jochen; Scheer, Elke; Huhn, Thomas; Erbe, Artur

    2015-01-01

    A major goal of molecular electronics is the development and implementation of devices such as single-molecular switches. Here, measurements are presented that show the controlled in situ switching of diarylethene molecules from their nonconductive to conductive state in contact to gold nanoelectrodes via controlled light irradiation. Both the conductance and the quantum yield for switching of these molecules are within a range making the molecules suitable for actual devices. The conductance of the molecular junctions in the opened and closed states is characterized and the molecular level E 0, which dominates the current transport in the closed state, and its level broadening Γ are identified. The obtained results show a clear light-induced ring forming isomerization of the single-molecule junctions. Electron withdrawing side-groups lead to a reduction of conductance, but do not influence the efficiency of the switching mechanism. Quantum chemical calculations of the light-induced switching processes correlate these observations with the fundamentally different low-lying electronic states of the opened and closed forms and their comparably small modification by electron-withdrawing substituents. This full characterization of a molecular switch operated in a molecular junction is an important step toward the development of real molecular electronics devices.

  2. New Antifouling Platform Characterized by Single-Molecule Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Antifouling surfaces have been widely studied for their importance in medical devices and industry. Antifouling surfaces mostly achieved by methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) have shown biomolecular adsorption less than 1 ng/cm2 which was measured by surface analytical tools such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy, quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), or optical waveguide lightmode (OWL) spectroscopy. Herein, we utilize a single-molecule imaging technique (i.e., an ultimate resolution) to study antifouling properties of functionalized surfaces. We found that about 600 immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules are adsorbed. This result corresponds to ∼5 pg/cm2 adsorption, which is far below amount for the detection limit of the conventional tools. Furthermore, we developed a new antifouling platform that exhibits improved antifouling performance that shows only 78 IgG molecules adsorbed (∼0.5 pg/cm2). The antifouling platform consists of forming 1 nm TiO2 thin layer, on which peptidomimetic antifouling polymer (PMAP) is robustly anchored. The unprecedented antifouling performance can potentially revolutionize a variety of research fields such as single-molecule imaging, medical devices, biosensors, and others. PMID:24503420

  3. Flexible single molecule simulation of reaction-diffusion processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hellander, Stefan; Loetstedt, Per

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Single-molecule chemical reactions on DNA origami

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voigt, Niels Vinther; Tørring, Thomas; Rotaru, Alexandru

    2010-01-01

    as templates for building materials with new functional properties. Relatively large nanocomponents such as nanoparticles and biomolecules can also be integrated into DNA nanostructures and imaged. Here, we show that chemical reactions with single molecules can be performed and imaged at a local position...... on a DNA origami scaffold by atomic force microscopy. The high yields and chemoselectivities of successive cleavage and bond-forming reactions observed in these experiments demonstrate the feasibility of post-assembly chemical modification of DNA nanostructures and their potential use as locally......DNA nanotechnology and particularly DNA origami, in which long, single-stranded DNA molecules are folded into predetermined shapes, can be used to form complex self-assembled nanostructures. Although DNA itself has limited chemical, optical or electronic functionality, DNA nanostructures can serve...

  5. Revealing time bunching effect in single-molecule enzyme conformational dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, H Peter

    2011-04-21

    In this perspective, we focus our discussion on how the single-molecule spectroscopy and statistical analysis are able to reveal enzyme hidden properties, taking the study of T4 lysozyme as an example. Protein conformational fluctuations and dynamics play a crucial role in biomolecular functions, such as in enzymatic reactions. Single-molecule spectroscopy is a powerful approach to analyze protein conformational dynamics under physiological conditions, providing dynamic perspectives on a molecular-level understanding of protein structure-function mechanisms. Using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, we have probed T4 lysozyme conformational motions under the hydrolysis reaction of a polysaccharide of E. coli B cell walls by monitoring the fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET) between a donor-acceptor probe pair tethered to T4 lysozyme domains involving open-close hinge-bending motions. Based on the single-molecule spectroscopic results, molecular dynamics simulation, a random walk model analysis, and a novel 2D statistical correlation analysis, we have revealed a time bunching effect in protein conformational motion dynamics that is critical to enzymatic functions. Bunching effect implies that conformational motion times tend to bunch in a finite and narrow time window. We show that convoluted multiple Poisson rate processes give rise to the bunching effect in the enzymatic reaction dynamics. Evidently, the bunching effect is likely common in protein conformational dynamics involving in conformation-gated protein functions. In this perspective, we will also discuss a new approach of 2D regional correlation analysis capable of analyzing fluctuation dynamics of complex multiple correlated and anti-correlated fluctuations under a non-correlated noise background. Using this new method, we are able to map out any defined segments along the fluctuation trajectories and determine whether they are correlated, anti-correlated, or non-correlated; after which, a

  6. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  7. Optimized Free Energies from Bidirectional Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minh, David D. L.; Adib, Artur B.

    2008-05-01

    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.

  8. Berry-phase blockade in single-molecule magnets

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, Gabriel; Leuenberger, Michael N.

    2006-01-01

    We formulate the problem of electron transport through a single-molecule magnet (SMM) in the Coulomb blockade regime taking into account topological interference effects for the tunneling of the large spin of a SMM. The interference originates from spin Berry phases associated with different tunneling paths. We show that in the case of incoherent spin states it is essential to place the SMM between oppositely spin-polarized source and drain leads in order to detect the spin tunneling in the s...

  9. Single Molecule Fluorescence: from Physical Fascination to Biological Relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Segers-Nolten, Gezina M.J.

    2003-01-01

    Confocal fluorescence microscopy is particularly well-known from the beautiful images that have been obtained with this technique from cells. Several cellular components could be nicely visualized simultaneously by staining them with different fluorophores. Not only for ensemble applications but also in single molecule research confocal fluorescence microscopy became a popular technique. In this thesis the possibilities are shown to study a complicated biological process, which is Nucleotide ...

  10. Dysprosium Acetylacetonato Single-Molecule Magnet Encapsulated in Carbon Nanotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryo Nakanishi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Dy single-molecule magnets (SMMs, which have several potential uses in a variety of applications, such as quantum computing, were encapsulated in multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs by using a capillary method. Encapsulation was confirmed by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM. In alternating current magnetic measurements, the magnetic susceptibilities of the Dy acetylacetonato complexes showed clear frequency dependence even inside the MWCNTs, meaning that this hybrid can be used as magnetic materials in devices.

  11. Excitonic Coupling in Linear and Trefoil Trimer Perylenediimide Molecules Probed by Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

    KAUST Repository

    Yoo, Hyejin

    2012-10-25

    Perylenediimide (PDI) molecules are promising building blocks for photophysical studies of electronic interactions within multichromophore arrays. Such PDI arrays are important materials for fabrication of molecular nanodevices such as organic light-emitting diodes, organic semiconductors, and biosensors because of their high photostability, chemical and physical inertness, electron affinity, and high tinctorial strength over the entire visible spectrum. In this work, PDIs have been organized into linear (L3) and trefoil (T3) trimer molecules and investigated by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to probe the relationship between molecular structures and interchromophoric electronic interactions. We found a broad distribution of coupling strengths in both L3 and T3 and hence strong/weak coupling between PDI units by monitoring spectral peak shifts in single-molecule fluorescence spectra upon sequential photobleaching of each constituent chromophore. In addition, we used a wide-field defocused imaging technique to resolve heterogeneities in molecular structures of L3 and T3 embedded in a PMMA polymer matrix. A systematic comparison between the two sets of experimental results allowed us to infer the correlation between intermolecular interactions and molecular structures. Our results show control of the PDI intermolecular interactions using suitable multichromophoric structures. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  12. Single-Molecule Photocurrent at a Metal-Molecule-Semiconductor Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzoli, Andrea; Brooke, Richard J; Higgins, Simon J; Schwarzacher, Walther; Nichols, Richard J

    2017-11-08

    We demonstrate here a new concept for a metal-molecule-semiconductor nanodevice employing Au and GaAs contacts that acts as a photodiode. Current-voltage traces for such junctions are recorded using a STM, and the "blinking" or "I(t)" method is used to record electrical behavior at the single-molecule level in the dark and under illumination, with both low and highly doped GaAs samples and with two different types of molecular bridge: nonconjugated pentanedithiol and the more conjugated 1,4-phenylene(dimethanethiol). Junctions with highly doped GaAs show poor rectification in the dark and a low photocurrent, while junctions with low doped GaAs show particularly high rectification ratios in the dark (>10 3 for a 1.5 V bias potential) and a high photocurrent in reverse bias. In low doped GaAs, the greater thickness of the depletion layer not only reduces the reverse bias leakage current, but also increases the volume that contributes to the photocurrent, an effect amplified by the point contact geometry of the junction. Furthermore, since photogenerated holes tunnel to the metal electrode assisted by the HOMO of the molecular bridge, the choice of the latter has a strong influence on both the steady state and transient metal-molecule-semiconductor photodiode response. The control of junction current via photogenerated charge carriers adds new functionality to single-molecule nanodevices.

  13. Excitonic Coupling in Linear and Trefoil Trimer Perylenediimide Molecules Probed by Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

    KAUST Repository

    Yoo, Hyejin; Furumaki, Shu; Yang, Jaesung; Lee, Ji-Eun; Chung, Heejae; Oba, Tatsuya; Kobayashi, Hiroyuki; Rybtchinski, Boris; Wilson, Thea M.; Wasielewski, Michael R.; Vacha, Martin; Kim, Dongho

    2012-01-01

    Perylenediimide (PDI) molecules are promising building blocks for photophysical studies of electronic interactions within multichromophore arrays. Such PDI arrays are important materials for fabrication of molecular nanodevices such as organic light-emitting diodes, organic semiconductors, and biosensors because of their high photostability, chemical and physical inertness, electron affinity, and high tinctorial strength over the entire visible spectrum. In this work, PDIs have been organized into linear (L3) and trefoil (T3) trimer molecules and investigated by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to probe the relationship between molecular structures and interchromophoric electronic interactions. We found a broad distribution of coupling strengths in both L3 and T3 and hence strong/weak coupling between PDI units by monitoring spectral peak shifts in single-molecule fluorescence spectra upon sequential photobleaching of each constituent chromophore. In addition, we used a wide-field defocused imaging technique to resolve heterogeneities in molecular structures of L3 and T3 embedded in a PMMA polymer matrix. A systematic comparison between the two sets of experimental results allowed us to infer the correlation between intermolecular interactions and molecular structures. Our results show control of the PDI intermolecular interactions using suitable multichromophoric structures. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ajuan; Dong, Huanli; Hu, Wenping

    2015-12-01

    With the establishment of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-based integrated circuit technology, it has become more difficult to follow Moore's law to further downscale the size of electronic components. Devices based on various nanostructures were constructed to continue the trend in the minimization of electronics, and molecular devices are among the most promising candidates. Compared with other candidates, molecular devices show unique superiorities, and intensive studies on molecular devices have been carried out both experimentally and theoretically at the present time. Compared to two-terminal molecular devices, three-terminal devices, namely single-molecule transistors, show unique advantages both in fundamental research and application and are considered to be an essential part of integrated circuits based on molecular devices. However, it is very difficult to construct them using the traditional microfabrication techniques directly, thus new fabrication strategies are developed. This review aims to provide an exclusive way of manufacturing solid state gated nanogap electrodes, the foundation of constructing transistors of single or a few molecules. Such single-molecule transistors have the potential to be used to build integrated circuits. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Single molecule photodynamics by means of one- and two-photon approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chirico, Giuseppe; Cannone, Fabio; Diaspro, Alberto

    2003-01-01

    Single molecule spectroscopy allows to investigate heterogeneous behaviours on photochemical and structural grounds. We report on studies of the effect of the excitation intensity on the internal photodynamics of simple dyes immobilized on chemically etched glass slides. The use of the excitation intensity needed for two-photon excitation induces local heating, structural changes and transitions to dark states. Similar behaviour is found on single green fluorescent proteins immobilized on glass slides or embedded in silica gels upon single-photon excitation. However, by sampling the images with sufficiently low frequency, we are able to follow relevant biological events, such as the unfolding kinetics. We find that the glass slides are preferable in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio but the protein is not preserved in its native state, while evidence for the native conformation of the single proteins in the silica gels is found in the uniformity of the fluorescence emission

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Grubb, Mikala; Hansen, Allan Glargaard

    2003-01-01

    is combined with state-of-the-art physical electrochemistry with emphasis on single-crystal, atomically planar electrode surfaces, in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and other surface techniques. These approaches have brought bioelectrochemistry important steps forward towards the nanoscale...... and single-molecule levels.We discuss here these advances with reference to two specific redox metalloproteins, the blue single-copper protein Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin and the single-haem protein Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cytochrome c, and a short oligonucleotide. Both proteins can be immobilized...... electron transfer (ET) function retained. In situ STM can also address the microscopic mechanisms for electron tunnelling through the biomolecules and offers novel notions such as coherent multi-ET between the substrate and tip via the molecular redox levels. This differs in important respects from...

  17. Single Molecule Screening of Disease DNA Without Amplification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Ji-Young [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Electron tunnelling through single azurin molecules can be on/off switched by voltage pulses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldacchini, Chiara [Biophysics and Nanoscience Centre, DEB-CNISM, Università della Tuscia, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy); Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology, CNR, I-05010 Porano (Italy); Kumar, Vivek; Bizzarri, Anna Rita; Cannistraro, Salvatore, E-mail: cannistr@unitus.it [Biophysics and Nanoscience Centre, DEB-CNISM, Università della Tuscia, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy)

    2015-05-04

    Redox metalloproteins are emerging as promising candidates for future bio-optoelectronic and nano-biomemory devices, and the control of their electron transfer properties through external signals is still a crucial task. Here, we show that a reversible on/off switching of the electron current tunnelling through a single protein can be achieved in azurin protein molecules adsorbed on gold surfaces, by applying appropriate voltage pulses through a scanning tunnelling microscope tip. The observed changes in the hybrid system tunnelling properties are discussed in terms of long-sustained charging of the protein milieu.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Coupling single-molecule magnets to quantum circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkins, Mark; Martínez-Pérez, María José; Zueco, David; Luis, Fernando; Hümmer, Thomas; García-Ripoll, Juanjo

    2013-01-01

    In this work we study theoretically the coupling of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) to a variety of quantum circuits, including microwave resonators with and without constrictions and flux qubits. The main result of this study is that it is possible to achieve strong and ultrastrong coupling regimes between SMM crystals and the superconducting circuit, with strong hints that such a coupling could also be reached for individual molecules close to constrictions. Building on the resulting coupling strengths and the typical coherence times of these molecules (∼ μs), we conclude that SMMs can be used for coherent storage and manipulation of quantum information, either in the context of quantum computing or in quantum simulations. Throughout the work we also discuss in detail the family of molecules that are most suitable for such operations, based not only on the coupling strength, but also on the typical energy gaps and the simplicity with which they can be tuned and oriented. Finally, we also discuss practical advantages of SMMs, such as the possibility to fabricate the SMMs ensembles on the chip through the deposition of small droplets. (paper)

  1. Single molecule transcription factor dynamics in the syncytial Drosophila embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darzacq, Xavier

    During early development in the Drosophila embryo, cell fates are determined over the course of just 2 hours with exquisite spatio-temoral precision. One of the key regulators of this process is the transcription factor Bicoid which forms a concentration gradient across the long axis of the embryo. Although Bicoids' primary role is activation at the anterior, where concentrations are highest, it is also known to play a role in the posterior where there are only 100s of molecules per nucleus. Understanding how Bicoid can find its target at such low concentrations has remained intractable, largely due to the inability to perform single molecule imaging in the context of the developing embryo. Here we use lattice light sheet microscopy to overcome the technical barriers of sample thickness and auto-fluorescence to characterize the single molecule dynamics of Bicoid. We find that off-rates do not vary across the embryo and that instead the on-rates are modulated through the formation of clusters that enrich local concentration. This data is contrary to the current concentration dependent model of Bicoid function since local concentration within the nucleus is now a regulated parameter and suggests a previously unknown mechanism for regulation at extremely low concentrations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun; Garg, Anupam

    2016-03-01

    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, Fe8. 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.

  3. Kondo effect in single-molecule magnet transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Gabriel; Leuenberger, Michael; Mucciolo, Eduardo

    2009-03-01

    We present a careful and thorough microscopic derivation of the anisotropic Kondo Hamiltonian for single-molecule magnet (SMM) transistors. When the molecule is strongly coupled to metallic leads, we show that by applying a transverse magnetic field it is possible to topologically induce or quench the Kondo effect in the conductance of a SMM with either an integer or a half-integer spin S>1/2. This topological Kondo effect is due to the Berry-phase interference between multiple quantum tunneling paths of the spin. We calculate the renormalized Berry-phase oscillations of the two Kondo peaks as a function of a transverse magnetic field by means of the poor man's scaling approach. We illustrate our findings with the SMM Ni4, which we propose as a possible candidate for the experimental observation of the conductance oscillations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-28

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

  5. Single molecule optical measurements of orientation and rotations of biological macromolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shroder, Deborah Y; Lippert, Lisa G; Goldman, Yale E

    2016-11-22

    Subdomains of macromolecules often undergo large orientation changes during their catalytic cycles that are essential for their activity. Tracking these rearrangements in real time opens a powerful window into the link between protein structure and functional output. Site-specific labeling of individual molecules with polarized optical probes and measurement of their spatial orientation can give insight into the crucial conformational changes, dynamics, and fluctuations of macromolecules. Here we describe the range of single molecule optical technologies that can extract orientation information from these probes, review the relevant types of probes and labeling techniques, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies for addressing specific inquiries.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Yu Su

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available 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. Characterizing single-molecule FRET dynamics with probability distribution analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoso, Yusdi; Torella, Joseph P; Kapanidis, Achillefs N

    2010-07-12

    Probability distribution analysis (PDA) is a recently developed statistical tool for predicting the shapes of single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) histograms, which allows the identification of single or multiple static molecular species within a single histogram. We used a generalized PDA method to predict the shapes of FRET histograms for molecules interconverting dynamically between multiple states. This method is tested on a series of model systems, including both static DNA fragments and dynamic DNA hairpins. By fitting the shape of this expected distribution to experimental data, the timescale of hairpin conformational fluctuations can be recovered, in good agreement with earlier published results obtained using different techniques. This method is also applied to studying the conformational fluctuations in the unliganded Klenow fragment (KF) of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I, which allows both confirmation of the consistency of a simple, two-state kinetic model with the observed smFRET distribution of unliganded KF and extraction of a millisecond fluctuation timescale, in good agreement with rates reported elsewhere. We expect this method to be useful in extracting rates from processes exhibiting dynamic FRET, and in hypothesis-testing models of conformational dynamics against experimental data.

  8. Continuous throughput and long-term observation of single-molecule FRET without immobilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Swati; VanDelinder, Virginia; Banterle, Niccolò; Fuertes, Gustavo; Milles, Sigrid; Agez, Morgane; Lemke, Edward A

    2014-03-01

    We present an automated microfluidic platform that performs multisecond observation of single molecules with millisecond time resolution while bypassing the need for immobilization procedures. With this system, we confine biomolecules to a thin excitation field by reversibly collapsing microchannels to nanochannels. We demonstrate the power of our method by studying a variety of complex nucleic acid and protein systems, including DNA Holliday junctions, nucleosomes and human transglutaminase 2.

  9. Exploring Biomolecular Interactions Through Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy and Computational Simulation

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Darren

    2016-01-01

    Molecular interactions between cellular components such as proteins and nucleic acids govern the fundamental processes of living systems. Technological advancements in the past decade have allowed the characterization of these molecular interactions at the single-molecule level with high temporal and spatial resolution. Simultaneously, progress in computer simulation has enabled theoretical research at the atomistic level, assisting in the interpretation of experimental results. This thesi...

  10. Bright photoactivatable fluorophores for single-molecule imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Jonathan B; English, Brian P; Choi, Heejun; Muthusamy, Anand K; Mehl, Brian P; Dong, Peng; Brown, Timothy A; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Liu, Zhe; Lionnet, Timothée; Lavis, Luke D

    2016-12-01

    Small-molecule fluorophores are important tools for advanced imaging experiments. We previously reported a general method to improve small, cell-permeable fluorophores which resulted in the azetidine-containing 'Janelia Fluor' (JF) dyes. Here, we refine and extend the utility of these dyes by synthesizing photoactivatable derivatives that are compatible with live-cell labeling strategies. Once activated, these derived compounds retain the superior brightness and photostability of the JF dyes, enabling improved single-particle tracking and facile localization microscopy experiments.

  11. Quantifying DNA melting transitions using single-molecule force spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calderon, Christopher P; Chen, W-H; Harris, Nolan C; Kiang, C-H; Lin, K-J

    2009-01-01

    We stretched a DNA molecule using an atomic force microscope (AFM) and quantified the mechanical properties associated with B and S forms of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), molten DNA, and single-stranded DNA. We also fit overdamped diffusion models to the AFM time series and used these models to extract additional kinetic information about the system. Our analysis provides additional evidence supporting the view that S-DNA is a stable intermediate encountered during dsDNA melting by mechanical force. In addition, we demonstrated that the estimated diffusion models can detect dynamical signatures of conformational degrees of freedom not directly observed in experiments.

  12. Quantifying DNA melting transitions using single-molecule force spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calderon, Christopher P [Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University, Houston, TX (United States); Chen, W-H; Harris, Nolan C; Kiang, C-H [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX (United States); Lin, K-J [Department of Chemistry, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan (China)], E-mail: chkiang@rice.edu

    2009-01-21

    We stretched a DNA molecule using an atomic force microscope (AFM) and quantified the mechanical properties associated with B and S forms of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), molten DNA, and single-stranded DNA. We also fit overdamped diffusion models to the AFM time series and used these models to extract additional kinetic information about the system. Our analysis provides additional evidence supporting the view that S-DNA is a stable intermediate encountered during dsDNA melting by mechanical force. In addition, we demonstrated that the estimated diffusion models can detect dynamical signatures of conformational degrees of freedom not directly observed in experiments.

  13. Tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance in single-molecule magnet junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Haiqing; Wang, Qiang; Jiao, Hujun; Liang, J.-Q.

    2012-08-01

    We theoretically investigate quantum transport through single-molecule magnet (SMM) junctions with ferromagnetic and normal-metal leads in the sequential regime. The current obtained by means of the rate-equation gives rise to the tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance (TAMR), which varies with the angle between the magnetization direction of ferromagnetic lead and the easy axis of SMM. The angular dependence of TAMR can serve as a probe to determine experimentally the easy axis of SMM. Moreover, it is demonstrated that both the magnitude and the sign of TAMR are tunable by the bias voltage, suggesting a new spin-valve device with only one magnetic electrode in molecular spintronics.

  14. Berry-Phase Blockade in Single-Molecule Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Gabriel; Leuenberger, Michael N.

    2007-06-01

    We formulate the problem of electron transport through a single-molecule magnet (SMM) in the Coulomb blockade regime taking into account topological interference effects for the tunneling of the large spin of a SMM. The interference originates from spin Berry phases associated with different tunneling paths. We show that, in the case of incoherent spin states, it is essential to place the SMM between oppositely spin-polarized source and drain leads in order to detect the spin tunneling in the stationary current, which exhibits topological zeros as a function of the transverse magnetic field.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ray, S. J., E-mail: ray.sjr@gmail.com [Institute of Materials Science, Technical University of Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 2, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany)

    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.

  16. Magnetic Quantum Tunneling and Symmetry in Single Molecule Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Andrew D.

    2003-03-01

    We have studied the symmetry of magnetic quantum tunneling (MQT) in single molecule magnets (SMMs) using a micro-Hall effect magnetometer and high field vector superconducting magnet system. In the most widely studied SMM, Mn12-acetate, an average crystal 4-fold symmetry in the magnetic response is shown to be due to local molecular environments of 2-fold symmetry that are rotated by 90 degrees with respect to one another. We attribute this to ligand disorder that leads to local rhombic distortions, a model first proposed by Cornia et al. based on x-ray diffraction data [1]. We have magnetically distilled a Mn12-acetate crystal to study a subset of these lower (2-fold) site symmetry molecules and present evidence for a spin-parity effect consistent with a local 2-fold symmetry [2]. These results highlight the importance of subtle changes in molecule environment in modulating magnetic anisotropy and MQT. [1] Cornia et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 257201 (2002) [2] E. del Barco, A. D. Kent, E. Rumberger, D. H. Hendrickson, G. Christou, submitted for publication (2002) and Europhys. Lett. 60, 768 (2002)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Enhancing Single Molecule Imaging in Optofluidics and Microfluidics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas E. Vasdekis

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Single-Molecule Electrochemical Gating in Ionic Liquids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kay, Nicola J.; Higgins, Simon J.; Jeppesen, Jan O.

    2012-01-01

    The single-molecular conductance of a redox active molecular bridge has been studied in an electrochemical single-molecule transistor configuration in a room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL). The redox active pyrrolo-tetrathiafulvalene (pTTF) moiety was attached to gold contacts at both ends through...... −(CH2)6S– groups, and gating of the redox state was achieved with the electrochemical potential. The water-free, room-temperature, ionic liquid environment enabled both the monocationic and the previously inaccessible dicationic redox states of the pTTF moiety to be studied in the in situ scanning...... and decreases again as the second redox process is passed. This is described as an “off–on–off–on–off” conductance switching behavior. This molecular conductance vs electrochemical potential relation could be modeled well as a sequential two-step charge transfer process with full or partial vibrational...

  20. Photoinduced nuclear spin conversion of methyl groups of single molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sigl, A.

    2007-01-01

    A methyl group is an outstanding quantum system due to its special symmetry properties. The threefold rotation around one of its bond is isomorphic to the group of even permutations of the remaining protons, a property which imposes severe quantum restrictions on the system, for instance a strict correlation of rotational states with nuclear spin states. The resulting long lifetimes of the rotational tunneling states of the methyl group can be exploited for applying certain high resolution optical techniques, like hole burning or single molecule spectroscopy to optically switch the methyl group from one tunneling state to another therebye changing the nuclear spin of the protons. One goal of the thesis was to perform this switching in single methyl groups. To this end the methyl group was attached to a chromophoric system, in the present case terrylene, which is well suited for single molecule spectroscopy as well as for hole burning. Experiments were performed with the bare terrylene molecule in a hexadecane lattice which served as a reference system, with alphamethyl terrylene and betamethyl terrylene, both embedded in hexadecane, too. A single molecular probe is a highly sensitive detector for dynamic lattice instabilities. Already the bare terrylene probe showed a wealth of interesting local dynamic effects of the hexadecane lattice which could be well acounted for by the assumption of two nearly degenerate sites with rather different optical and thermal properties, all of which could be determined in a quantitative fashion. As to the methylated terrylene systems, the experiments verified that for betamethyl terrylene it is indeed possible to measure rotational tunneling events in single methyl groups. However, the spectral patterns obtained was much more complicated than expected pointing to the presence of three spectroscopically different methyl groups. In order to achieve a definite assignement, molecular mechanics simulations of the terrylene probes in the

  1. Reciprocal carbonyl-carbonyl interactions in small molecules and proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahim, Abdur; Saha, Pinaki; Jha, Kunal Kumar; Sukumar, Nagamani; Sarma, Bani Kanta

    2017-07-19

    Carbonyl-carbonyl n→π* interactions where a lone pair (n) of the oxygen atom of a carbonyl group is delocalized over the π* orbital of a nearby carbonyl group have attracted a lot of attention in recent years due to their ability to affect the 3D structure of small molecules, polyesters, peptides, and proteins. In this paper, we report the discovery of a "reciprocal" carbonyl-carbonyl interaction with substantial back and forth n→π* and π→π* electron delocalization between neighboring carbonyl groups. We have carried out experimental studies, analyses of crystallographic databases and theoretical calculations to show the presence of this interaction in both small molecules and proteins. In proteins, these interactions are primarily found in polyproline II (PPII) helices. As PPII are the most abundant secondary structures in unfolded proteins, we propose that these local interactions may have implications in protein folding.Carbonyl-carbonyl π* non covalent interactions affect the structure and stability of small molecules and proteins. Here, the authors carry out experimental studies, analyses of crystallographic databases and theoretical calculations to describe an additional type of carbonyl-carbonyl interaction.

  2. Protein dynamics during presynaptic complex assembly on individual ssDNA molecules

    OpenAIRE

    Gibb, Bryan; Ye, Ling F.; Kwon, YoungHo; Niu, Hengyao; Sung, Patrick; Greene, Eric C.

    2014-01-01

    Homologous recombination is a conserved pathway for repairing double?stranded breaks, which are processed to yield single?stranded DNA overhangs that serve as platforms for presynaptic complex assembly. Here we use single?molecule imaging to reveal the interplay between Saccharomyce cerevisiae RPA, Rad52, and Rad51 during presynaptic complex assembly. We show that Rad52 binds RPA?ssDNA and suppresses RPA turnover, highlighting an unanticipated regulatory influence on protein dynamics. Rad51 b...

  3. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy Imaging-Guided Confocal Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng, Desheng; Kaldaras, Leonora; Lu, H. Peter

    2013-01-01

    We have developed an integrated spectroscopy system combining total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy imaging with confocal single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy for two-dimensional interfaces. This spectroscopy approach is capable of both multiple molecules simultaneously sampling and in situ confocal fluorescence dynamics analyses of individual molecules of interest. We have demonstrated the calibration with fluorescent microspheres, and carried out single-molecule spectroscop...

  4. Topoisomerase I as a Biomarker: Detection of Activity at the Single Molecule Level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Proszek, Joanna; Roy, Amit; Jakobsen, Ann-Katrine

    2014-01-01

    in hTopI have been reported to result in CPT resistance. Therefore, hTOPI gene copy number, mRNA level, protein amount, and enzyme activity have been studied to explain differences in cellular response to CPT. We show that Rolling Circle Enhanced Enzyme Activity Detection (REEAD), allowing measurement...... of hTopI cleavage-religation activity at the single molecule level, may be used to detect posttranslational enzymatic differences influencing CPT response. These differences cannot be detected by analysis of hTopI gene copy number, mRNA amount, or protein amount, and only become apparent upon measuring...

  5. Versatile single-molecule multi-color excitation and detection fluorescence setup for studying biomolecular dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Sobhy, M. A.; Elshenawy, M. M.; Takahashi, Masateru; Whitman, B. H.; Walter, N. G.; Hamdan, S. M.

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is at the forefront of tools applied to study biomolecular dynamics both in vitro and in vivo. The ability of the single-molecule fluorescence microscope to conduct simultaneous multi-color excitation

  6. Scanning a DNA molecule for bound proteins using hybrid magnetic and optical tweezers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijn T J van Loenhout

    Full Text Available The functional state of the genome is determined by its interactions with proteins that bind, modify, and move along the DNA. To determine the positions and binding strength of proteins localized on DNA we have developed a combined magnetic and optical tweezers apparatus that allows for both sensitive and label-free detection. A DNA loop, that acts as a scanning probe, is created by looping an optically trapped DNA tether around a DNA molecule that is held with magnetic tweezers. Upon scanning the loop along the λ-DNA molecule, EcoRI proteins were detected with ~17 nm spatial resolution. An offset of 33 ± 5 nm for the detected protein positions was found between back and forwards scans, corresponding to the size of the DNA loop and in agreement with theoretical estimates. At higher applied stretching forces, the scanning loop was able to remove bound proteins from the DNA, showing that the method is in principle also capable of measuring the binding strength of proteins to DNA with a force resolution of 0.1 pN/[Formula: see text]. The use of magnetic tweezers in this assay allows the facile preparation of many single-molecule tethers, which can be scanned one after the other, while it also allows for direct control of the supercoiling state of the DNA molecule, making it uniquely suitable to address the effects of torque on protein-DNA interactions.

  7. Mutation-Specific Mechanisms of Hyperactivation of Noonan Syndrome SOS Molecules Detected with Single-molecule Imaging in Living Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yuki; Umeki, Nobuhisa; Abe, Mitsuhiro; Sako, Yasushi

    2017-10-26

    Noonan syndrome (NS) is a congenital hereditary disorder associated with developmental and cardiac defects. Some patients with NS carry mutations in SOS, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for the small GTPase RAS. NS mutations have been identified not only in the GEF domain, but also in various domains of SOS, suggesting that multiple mechanisms disrupt SOS function. In this study, we examined three NS mutations in different domains of SOS to clarify the abnormality in its translocation to the plasma membrane, where SOS activates RAS. The association and dissociation kinetics between SOS tagged with a fluorescent protein and the living cell surface were observed in single molecules. All three mutants showed increased affinity for the plasma membrane, inducing excessive RAS signalling. However, the mechanisms by which their affinity was increased were specific to each mutant. Conformational disorder in the resting state, increased probability of a conformational change on the plasma membrane, and an increased association rate constant with the membrane receptor are the suggested mechanisms. These different properties cause the specific phenotypes of the mutants, which should be rescuable with different therapeutic strategies. Therefore, single-molecule kinetic analyses of living cells are useful for the pathological analysis of genetic diseases.

  8. Probing force-induced unfolding intermediates of a single staphylococcal nuclease molecule and the effect of ligand binding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishii, Takaaki; Murayama, Yoshihiro; Katano, Atsuto; Maki, Kosuke; Kuwajima, Kunihiro; Sano, Masaki

    2008-01-01

    Single-molecule manipulation techniques have given experimental access to unfolding intermediates of proteins that are inaccessible in conventional experiments. A detailed characterization of the intermediates is a challenging problem that provides new possibilities for directly probing the energy landscape of proteins. We investigated single-molecule mechanical unfolding of a small globular protein, staphylococcal nuclease (SNase), using atomic force microscopy. The unfolding trajectories of the protein displayed sub-molecular and stochastic behavior with typical lengths corresponding to the size of the unfolded substructures. Our results support the view that the single protein unfolds along multiple pathways as suggested in recent theoretical studies. Moreover, we found the drastic change, caused by the ligand and inhibitor bindings, in the mechanical unfolding dynamics

  9. Cytoplasmic Actin: Purification and Single Molecule Assembly Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Scott D.; Zuchero, J. Bradley; Mullins, R. Dyche

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is essential to all eukaryotic cells. In addition to playing important structural roles, assembly of actin into filaments powers diverse cellular processes, including cell motility, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Actin polymerization is tightly regulated by its numerous cofactors, which control spatial and temporal assembly of actin as well as the physical properties of these filaments. Development of an in vitro model of actin polymerization from purified components has allowed for great advances in determining the effects of these proteins on the actin cytoskeleton. Here we describe how to use the pyrene actin assembly assay to determine the effect of a protein on the kinetics of actin assembly, either directly or as mediated by proteins such as nucleation or capping factors. Secondly, we show how fluorescently labeled phalloidin can be used to visualize the filaments that are created in vitro to give insight into how proteins regulate actin filament structure. Finally, we describe a method for visualizing dynamic assembly and disassembly of single actin filaments and fluorescently labeled actin binding proteins using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. PMID:23868587

  10. An all-electric single-molecule motor.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-23

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

  11. Single-Molecule Detection in Nanogap-Embedded Plasmonic Gratings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biyan Chen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We introduce nanogap-embedded silver plasmonic gratings for single-molecule (SM visualization using an epifluorescence microscope. This silver plasmonic platform was fabricated by a cost-effective nano-imprint lithography technique, using an HD DVD template. DNA/ RNA duplex molecules tagged with Cy3/Cy5 fluorophores were immobilized on SiO 2 -capped silver gratings. Light was coupled to the gratings at particular wavelengths and incident angles to form surface plasmons. The SM fluorescence intensity of the fluorophores at the nanogaps showed approximately a 100-fold mean enhancement with respect to the fluorophores observed on quartz slides using an epifluorescence microscope. This high level of enhancement was due to the concentration of surface plasmons at the nanogaps. When nanogaps imaged with epifluorescence mode were compared to quartz imaged using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF microscopy, more than a 30-fold mean enhancement was obtained. Due to the SM fluorescence enhancement of plasmonic gratings and the correspondingly high emission intensity, the required laser power can be reduced, resulting in a prolonged detection time prior to photobleaching. This simple platform was able to perform SM studies with a low-cost epifluorescence apparatus, instead of the more expensive TIRF or confocal microscopes, which would enable SM analysis to take place in most scientific laboratories.

  12. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals photosynthetic LH2 complexes switch between emissive states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S; Wang, Quan; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J; Moerner, W E

    2013-07-02

    Photosynthetic organisms flourish under low light intensities by converting photoenergy to chemical energy with near unity quantum efficiency and under high light intensities by safely dissipating excess photoenergy and deleterious photoproducts. The molecular mechanisms balancing these two functions remain incompletely described. One critical barrier to characterizing the mechanisms responsible for these processes is that they occur within proteins whose excited-state properties vary drastically among individual proteins and even within a single protein over time. In ensemble measurements, these excited-state properties appear only as the average value. To overcome this averaging, we investigate the purple bacterial antenna protein light harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila at the single-protein level. We use a room-temperature, single-molecule technique, the anti-Brownian electrokinetic trap, to study LH2 in a solution-phase (nonperturbative) environment. By performing simultaneous measurements of fluorescence intensity, lifetime, and spectra of single LH2 complexes, we identify three distinct states and observe transitions occurring among them on a timescale of seconds. Our results reveal that LH2 complexes undergo photoactivated switching to a quenched state, likely by a conformational change, and thermally revert to the ground state. This is a previously unobserved, reversible quenching pathway, and is one mechanism through which photosynthetic organisms can adapt to changes in light intensities.

  13. Nanofabrication of SERS Substrates for Single/Few Molecules Detection

    KAUST Repository

    Melino, Gianluca

    2015-05-04

    Raman spectroscopy is among the most widely employed methods to investigate the properties of materials in several fields of study. Evolution in materials science allowed us to fabricate suitable substrates, at the nanoscale, capable to enhance the electromagnetic field of the signals coming from the samples which at this range turn out to be in most cases singles or a few molecules. This particular variation of the classical technique is called SERS (Surface Enanched Raman Spectroscopy). In this work, the enhancement of the electromagnetic field is obtained by manipulation of the optical properties of metals with respect to their size. By using electroless deposition (bottom up technique), gold and silver nanoparticles were deposited in nanostructured patterns obtained on silicon wafers by means of electron beam lithography (top down technique). Rhodamine 6G in aqueous solution at extremely low concentration (10-8 M) was absorbed on the resultant dimers and the collection of the Raman spectra demonstrated the high efficiency of the substrates.

  14. Quantum turnstile operation of single-molecule magnets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moldoveanu, V; Dinu, I V; Tanatar, B; Moca, C P

    2015-01-01

    The time-dependent transport through single-molecule magnets coupled to magnetic or non-magnetic electrodes is studied in the framework of the generalized master equation method. We investigate the transient regime induced by the periodic switching of the source and drain contacts. If the electrodes have opposite magnetizations the quantum turnstile operation allows the stepwise writing of intermediate excited states. In turn, the transient currents provide a way to read these states. Within our approach we take into account both the uniaxial and transverse anisotropy. The latter may induce additional quantum tunneling processes which affect the efficiency of the proposed read-and-write scheme. An equally weighted mixture of molecular spin states can be prepared if one of the electrodes is ferromagnetic. (paper)

  15. Spin interactions in Graphene-Single Molecule Magnets Hybrids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervetti, Christian; Rettori, Angelo; Pini, Maria Gloria; Cornia, Andrea; Repollés, Aña; Luis, Fernando; Rauschenbach, Stephan; Dressel, Martin; Kern, Klaus; Burghard, Marko; Bogani, Lapo

    2014-03-01

    Graphene is a potential component of novel spintronics devices owing to its long spin diffusion length. Besides its use as spin-transport channel, graphene can be employed for the detection and manipulation of molecular spins. This requires an appropriate coupling between the sheets and the single molecular magnets (SMM). Here, we present a comprehensive characterization of graphene-Fe4 SMM hybrids. The Fe4 clusters are anchored non-covalently to the graphene following a diffusion-limited assembly and can reorganize into random networks when subjected to slightly elevated temperature. Molecules anchored on graphene sheets show unaltered static magnetic properties, whilst the quantum dynamics is profoundly modulated. Interaction with Dirac fermions becomes the dominant spin-relaxation channel, with observable effects produced by graphene phonons and reduced dipolar interactions. Coupling to graphene drives the spins over Villain's threshold, allowing the first observation of strongly-perturbative tunneling processes. Preliminary spin-transport experiments at low-temperature are further presented.

  16. Quantum Tunneling of Magnetization in Trigonal Single-Molecule Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Junjie; Del Barco, Enrique; Hill, Stephen

    2012-02-01

    We perform a numerical analysis of the quantum tunneling of magnetization (QTM) that occurs in a spin S = 6 single-molecule magnet (SMM) with idealized C3 symmetry. The deconstructive points in the QTM are located by following the Berry-phase interference (BPI) oscillations. We find that the O4^3 (=12[Sz,S+^3 +S-^3 ]) operator unfreezes odd-k QTM resonances and generates three-fold patterns of BPI minima in all resonances, including k = 0! This behavior cannot be reproduced with operators that possess even rotational symmetry about the quantization axis. We find also that the k = 0 BPI minima shift away from zero longitudinal field. The wider implications of these results will be discussed in terms of the QTM behavior observed in other SMMs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Mei; Cutsail, George E; Aravena, Daniel; Amoza, Martín; Rouzières, Mathieu; Dechambenoit, Pierre; Losovyj, Yaroslav; Pink, Maren; Ruiz, Eliseo; Clérac, Rodolphe; Smith, Jeremy M

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Spin thermoelectric effects in organic single-molecule devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, H.L.; Wang, M.X.; Qian, C.; Hong, X.K.; Zhang, D.B.; Liu, Y.S.; Yang, X.F., E-mail: xfyang@cslg.edu.cn

    2017-05-25

    Highlights: • A stronger spin thermoelectric performance in a polyacetylene device is observed. • For the antiferromagnetic (AFM) ordering, a transport gap is opened. Thus the thermoelectric effects are largely enhanced. - Abstract: The spin thermoelectric performance of a polyacetylene chain bridging two zigzag graphene nanoribbons (ZGNRs) is investigated based on first principles method. Two different edge spin arrangements in ZGNRs are considered. For ferromagnetic (FM) ordering, transmission eigenstates with different spin indices distributed below and above Fermi level are observed, leading directly to a strong spin thermoelectric effect in a wide temperature range. With the edge spins arranged in the antiferromagnetic (AFM) ordering, an obvious transport gap appears in the system, which greatly enhances the thermoelectric effects. The presence of a small spin splitting also induces a spin thermoelectric effect greater than the charge thermoelectric effect in certain temperature range. In general, the single-molecule junction exhibits the potential to be used for the design of perfect thermospin devices.

  19. Single Molecule Study of Photoconversion and Spectral Heterogeneities of Fluorophores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liao, Zhiyu

    of conformational changes and dynamics. The photophysical properties of organic dyes directly determine the quality of the experiments. So the better understanding of the photophysical properties of organic dyes, the better we are able to design the experiments and interpret the data, especially in single molecule...... important criteria for a good fluorophore. Improving the photostability of organic dyes by designing the structure is always a difficult task for organic chemists. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of the photobleaching behavior of fluorophores. It is the aim of this work...... to understand the mechanisms of photobleaching behaviors of organic dyes, terrylene diimide (TDI) and amino-trioxatriangulenium dye (A3-TOTA+). Photobleaching is usually seen as permanent loss of fluorescence. In this work, we show that organic fluorophores can be converted into another chemical compound after...

  20. Revealing −1 Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting Mechanisms by Single-Molecule Techniques and Computational Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai-Chun Chang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF serves as an intrinsic translational regulation mechanism employed by some viruses to control the ratio between structural and enzymatic proteins. Most viral mRNAs which use PRF adapt an H-type pseudoknot to stimulate −1 PRF. The relationship between the thermodynamic stability and the frameshifting efficiency of pseudoknots has not been fully understood. Recently, single-molecule force spectroscopy has revealed that the frequency of −1 PRF correlates with the unwinding forces required for disrupting pseudoknots, and that some of the unwinding work dissipates irreversibly due to the torsional restraint of pseudoknots. Complementary to single-molecule techniques, computational modeling provides insights into global motions of the ribosome, whose structural transitions during frameshifting have not yet been elucidated in atomic detail. Taken together, recent advances in biophysical tools may help to develop antiviral therapies that target the ubiquitous −1 PRF mechanism among viruses.

  1. TOPICAL REVIEW: Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritort, F.

    2006-08-01

    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.

  2. Single-cell multiple gene expression analysis based on single-molecule-detection microarray assay for multi-DNA determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Lu [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100 (China); Wang, Xianwei [School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan 250100 (China); Zhang, Xiaoli [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100 (China); Wang, Jinxing [School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan 250100 (China); Jin, Wenrui, E-mail: jwr@sdu.edu.cn [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100 (China)

    2015-01-07

    Highlights: • A single-molecule-detection (SMD) microarray for 10 samples is fabricated. • The based-SMD microarray assay (SMA) can determine 8 DNAs for each sample. • The limit of detection of SMA is as low as 1.3 × 10{sup −16} mol L{sup −1}. • The SMA can be applied in single-cell multiple gene expression analysis. - Abstract: We report a novel ultra-sensitive and high-selective single-molecule-detection microarray assay (SMA) for multiple DNA determination. In the SMA, a capture DNA (DNAc) microarray consisting of 10 subarrays with 9 spots for each subarray is fabricated on a silanized glass coverslip as the substrate. On the subarrays, the spot-to-spot spacing is 500 μm and each spot has a diameter of ∼300 μm. The sequence of the DNAcs on the 9 spots of a subarray is different, to determine 8 types of target DNAs (DNAts). Thus, 8 types of DNAts are captured to their complementary DNAcs at 8 spots of a subarray, respectively, and then labeled with quantum dots (QDs) attached to 8 types of detection DNAs (DNAds) with different sequences. The ninth spot is used to detect the blank value. In order to determine the same 8 types of DNAts in 10 samples, the 10 DNAc-modified subarrays on the microarray are identical. Fluorescence single-molecule images of the QD-labeled DNAts on each spot of the subarray are acquired using a home-made single-molecule microarray reader. The amounts of the DNAts are quantified by counting the bright dots from the QDs. For a microarray, 8 types of DNAts in 10 samples can be quantified in parallel. The limit of detection of the SMA for DNA determination is as low as 1.3 × 10{sup −16} mol L{sup −1}. The SMA for multi-DNA determination can also be applied in single-cell multiple gene expression analysis through quantification of complementary DNAs (cDNAs) corresponding to multiple messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in single cells. To do so, total RNA in single cells is extracted and reversely transcribed into their cDNAs. Three

  3. A Highly Specific Gold Nanoprobe for Live-Cell Single-Molecule Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leduc, Cécile; Si, Satyabrata; Gautier, Jérémie; Soto-Ribeiro, Martinho; Wehrle-Haller, Bernhard; Gautreau, Alexis; Giannone, Grégory; Cognet, Laurent; Lounis, Brahim

    2013-04-01

    Single molecule tracking in live cells is the ultimate tool to study subcellular protein dynamics, but it is often limited by the probe size and photostability. Due to these issues, long-term tracking of proteins in confined and crowded environments, such as intracellular spaces, remains challenging. We have developed a novel optical probe consisting of 5-nm gold nanoparticles functionalized with a small fragment of camelid antibodies that recognize widely used GFPs with a very high affinity, which we call GFP-nanobodies. These small gold nanoparticles can be detected and tracked using photothermal imaging for arbitrarily long periods of time. Surface and intracellular GFP-proteins were effectively labeled even in very crowded environments such as adhesion sites and cytoskeletal structures both in vitro and in live cell cultures. These nanobody-coated gold nanoparticles are probes with unparalleled capabilities; small size, perfect photostability, high specificity, and versatility afforded by combination with the vast existing library of GFP-tagged proteins.

  4. Quantum Tunneling Symmetry of Single Molecule Magnet Mn_12-acetate

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Barco, E.; Kent, A. D.; Rumberger, E.; Hendrikson, D. N.; Christou, G.

    2003-03-01

    We have studied the symmetry of magnetic quantum tunneling (MQT) in single crystals of single molecular magnet (SMM) Mn_12-acetate. A superconducting high field vector magnet was used to apply magnetic fields in arbitrary directions respect to the axes of the crystal. The MQT probability is extracted from the change in magnetization measured on sweeping the field through a MQT resonance. This is related to the quantum splitting of the molecules relaxing in the time window of the experiment [1]. The dependence of the MQT probability on the angle between the applied transverse field and the crystallographic axes shows a four-fold rotation pattern, with maxima at angles separated by 90 degrees. By selecting a part of the splitting distribution of the sample by applying an initial transverse field in the direction of one of the observed maxima the situation changes completely. The resulting behavior of the MQT probability shows a two-fold rotation pattern with maxima separated by 180 degrees. Moreover, if the selection is made by applying the initial transverse field in the direction of a complementary four-fold maximum the behavior shows again two-fold symmetry. However, the maxima are found to be shifted by 90 degrees respect to the first selection. The fact that we observe two-fold symmetry for different selections is a clear evidence of the existence of different molecules with lower anisotropy than the imposed by the tetragonal crystallographic site symmetry. The general four-fold symmetry observed is thus due in large part to equal populations of molecules with opposite signs of the second order anisotropy, as suggested by Cornia et al. and appears to be a consequence of to the existence of a discrete set of lower symmetry isomers in a Mn_12-acetate crystal [2]. [1] E. del Barco, A. D. Kent, E. Rumberger, D. N. Hendrikson and G. Christou, Europhys. Lett. 60, 768 (2002) [2] A. Cornia, R. Sessoli, L. Sorace, D. Gatteschi, A. L. Barra and C. Daiguebonne, Phys. Rev

  5. Developing DNA nanotechnology using single-molecule fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Binding and Translocation of Termination Factor Rho Studied at the Single-Molecule Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koslover, Daniel J.; Fazal, Furqan M.; Mooney, Rachel A.; Landick, Robert; Block, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    Rho termination factor is an essential hexameric helicase responsible for terminating 20–50% of all mRNA synthesis in E. coli. We used single- molecule force spectroscopy to investigate Rho-RNA binding interactions at the Rho- utilization (rut) site of the ? tR1 terminator. Our results are consistent with Rho complexes adopting two states, one that binds 57 ±2 nucleotides of RNA across all six of the Rho primary binding sites, and another that binds 85 ±2 nucleotides at the six primary sites plus a single secondary site situated at the center of the hexamer. The single-molecule data serve to establish that Rho translocates 5′-to-3′ towards RNA polymerase (RNAP) by a tethered-tracking mechanism, looping out the intervening RNA between the rut site and RNAP. These findings lead to a general model for Rho binding and translocation, and establish a novel experimental approach that should facilitate additional single- molecule studies of RNA-binding proteins. PMID:22885804

  7. Evaluation of the Kinetic Property of Single-Molecule Junctions by Tunneling Current Measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harashima, Takanori; Hasegawa, Yusuke; Kiguchi, Manabu; Nishino, Tomoaki

    2018-01-01

    We investigated the formation and breaking of single-molecule junctions of two kinds of dithiol molecules by time-resolved tunneling current measurements in a metal nanogap. The resulting current trajectory was statistically analyzed to determine the single-molecule conductance and, more importantly, to reveal the kinetic property of the single-molecular junction. These results suggested that combining a measurement of the single-molecule conductance and statistical analysis is a promising method to uncover the kinetic properties of the single-molecule junction.

  8. Single-molecule pull-down (SiMPull) for new-age biochemistry: methodology and biochemical applications of single-molecule pull-down (SiMPull) for probing biomolecular interactions in crude cell extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Vasudha; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-11-01

    Macromolecular interactions play a central role in many biological processes. Protein-protein interactions have mostly been studied by co-immunoprecipitation, which cannot provide quantitative information on all possible molecular connections present in the complex. We will review a new approach that allows cellular proteins and biomolecular complexes to be studied in real-time at the single-molecule level. This technique is called single-molecule pull-down (SiMPull), because it integrates principles of conventional immunoprecipitation with the powerful single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. SiMPull is used to count how many of each protein is present in the physiological complexes found in cytosol and membranes. Concurrently, it serves as a single-molecule biochemical tool to perform functional studies on the pulled-down proteins. In this review, we will focus on the detailed methodology of SiMPull, its salient features and a wide range of biological applications in comparison with other biosensing tools. © 2014 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Compressive Force Spectroscopy: From Living Cells to Single Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiabin; Liu, Meijun; Shen, Yi; Sun, Jielin; Shao, Zhifeng; Czajkowsky, Daniel Mark

    2018-03-23

    One of the most successful applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM) in biology involves monitoring the effect of force on single biological molecules, often referred to as force spectroscopy. Such studies generally entail the application of pulling forces of different magnitudes and velocities upon individual molecules to resolve individualistic unfolding/separation pathways and the quantification of the force-dependent rate constants. However, a less recognized variation of this method, the application of compressive force, actually pre-dates many of these "tensile" force spectroscopic studies. Further, beyond being limited to the study of single molecules, these compressive force spectroscopic investigations have spanned samples as large as living cells to smaller, multi-molecular complexes such as viruses down to single protein molecules. Correspondingly, these studies have enabled the detailed characterization of individual cell states, subtle differences between seemingly identical viral structures, as well as the quantification of rate constants of functionally important, structural transitions in single proteins. Here, we briefly review some of the recent achievements that have been obtained with compressive force spectroscopy using AFM and highlight exciting areas of its future development.

  10. Single-strand DNA molecule translocation through nanoelectrode gaps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Xiongce; Payne, Christina M; Cummings, Peter T; Lee, James W

    2007-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to investigate the translocation of single-strand DNA through nanoscale electrode gaps under the action of a constant driving force. The application behind this theoretical study is a proposal to use nanoelectrodes as a screening gap as part of a rapid genomic sequencing device. Preliminary results from a series of simulations using various gap widths and driving forces suggest that the narrowest electrode gap that a single-strand DNA can pass is ∼1.5 nm. The minimum force required to initiate the translocation within nanoseconds is ∼0.3 nN. Simulations using DNA segments of various lengths indicate that the minimum initiation force is insensitive to the length of DNA. However, the average threading velocity of DNA varies appreciably from short to long DNA segments. We attribute such variation to the different nature of drag force experienced by the short and long DNA segments in the environment. It is found that DNA molecules deform significantly to fit in the shape of the nanogap during the translocation

  11. Photon-Induced Magnetization Reversal in Single Molecule Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, Mustafa

    2005-03-01

    Single-molecule magnets (SMM) have been the subject of intensive research for more than a decade now because of their unique properties such as macroscopic quantum tunneling. Recent work in this area is focused on whether SMM are potential qubits, as proposed theoretically [1]. We use continuous millimeter wave radiation to manipulate the populations of the energy levels of a single crystal molecular magnet Fe8 [2]. When radiation is in resonance with the transitions between energy levels, the steady state magnetization exhibits dips. As expected, the magnetic field locations of these dips vary linearly with the radiation frequency. We will describe our experimental results, which provide a lower bound of 0.17 ns for transverse relaxation time. Transitions between excited states are found even though these states have negligible population at the experimental temperature. We find evidence that the sample heating is significant when the resonance condition is satisfied. Recent experiments are concentrated on the spin dynamics of Fe8 induced by pulsed radiation and results of these studies will also be presented. [1] Leuenberger, M. N. and Loss, D., Nature 410, 789 (2001). [2] M. Bal et al., Phys. Rev. B 70, 100408(R) (2004).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Identification and quantitation of signal molecule-dependent protein phosphorylation

    KAUST Repository

    Groen, Arnoud J.

    2013-09-03

    Phosphoproteomics is a fast-growing field that aims at characterizing phosphorylated proteins in a cell or a tissue at a given time. Phosphorylation of proteins is an important regulatory mechanism in many cellular processes. Gel-free phosphoproteome technique involving enrichment of phosphopeptide coupled with mass spectrometry has proven to be invaluable to detect and characterize phosphorylated proteins. In this chapter, a gel-free quantitative approach involving 15N metabolic labelling in combination with phosphopeptide enrichment by titanium dioxide (TiO2) and their identification by MS is described. This workflow can be used to gain insights into the role of signalling molecules such as cyclic nucleotides on regulatory networks through the identification and quantification of responsive phospho(proteins). © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  14. Nanofabricated racks of aligned and anchored DNA substrates for single-molecule imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorman, Jason; Fazio, Teresa; Wang, Feng; Wind, Shalom; Greene, Eric C

    2010-01-19

    Single-molecule studies of biological macromolecules can benefit from new experimental platforms that facilitate experimental design and data acquisition. Here we develop new strategies to construct curtains of DNA in which the molecules are aligned with respect to one another and maintained in an extended configuration by anchoring both ends of the DNA to the surface of a microfluidic sample chamber that is otherwise coated with an inert lipid bilayer. This "double-tethered" DNA substrate configuration is established through the use of nanofabricated rack patterns comprised of two distinct functional elements: linear barriers to lipid diffusion that align DNA molecules anchored by one end to the bilayer and antibody-coated pentagons that provide immobile anchor points for the opposite ends of the DNA. These devices enable the alignment and anchoring of thousands of individual DNA molecules, which can then be visualized using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy under conditions that do not require continuous application of buffer flow to stretch the DNA. This unique strategy offers the potential for studying protein-DNA interactions on large DNA substrates without compromising measurements through application of hydrodynamic force. We provide a proof-of-principle demonstration that double-tethered DNA curtains made with nanofabricated rack patterns can be used in a one-dimensional diffusion assay that monitors the motion of quantum dot-tagged proteins along DNA.

  15. Going Vertical To Improve the Accuracy of Atomic Force Microscopy Based Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walder, Robert; Van Patten, William J; Adhikari, Ayush; Perkins, Thomas T

    2018-01-23

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is a powerful technique to characterize the energy landscape of individual proteins, the mechanical properties of nucleic acids, and the strength of receptor-ligand interactions. Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based SMFS benefits from ongoing progress in improving the precision and stability of cantilevers and the AFM itself. Underappreciated is that the accuracy of such AFM studies remains hindered by inadvertently stretching molecules at an angle while measuring only the vertical component of the force and extension, degrading both measurements. This inaccuracy is particularly problematic in AFM studies using double-stranded DNA and RNA due to their large persistence length (p ≈ 50 nm), often limiting such studies to other SMFS platforms (e.g., custom-built optical and magnetic tweezers). Here, we developed an automated algorithm that aligns the AFM tip above the DNA's attachment point to a coverslip. Importantly, this algorithm was performed at low force (10-20 pN) and relatively fast (15-25 s), preserving the connection between the tip and the target molecule. Our data revealed large uncorrected lateral offsets for 100 and 650 nm DNA molecules [24 ± 18 nm (mean ± standard deviation) and 180 ± 110 nm, respectively]. Correcting this offset yielded a 3-fold improvement in accuracy and precision when characterizing DNA's overstretching transition. We also demonstrated high throughput by acquiring 88 geometrically corrected force-extension curves of a single individual 100 nm DNA molecule in ∼40 min and versatility by aligning polyprotein- and PEG-based protein-ligand assays. Importantly, our software-based algorithm was implemented on a commercial AFM, so it can be broadly adopted. More generally, this work illustrates how to enhance AFM-based SMFS by developing more sophisticated data-acquisition protocols.

  16. Computational and Experimental Insight Into Single-Molecule Piezoelectric Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin, Christopher Wayne

    Piezoelectric materials allow for the harvesting of ambient waste energy from the environment. Producing lightweight, highly responsive materials is a challenge for this type of material, requiring polymer, foam, or bio-inspired materials. In this dissertation, I explore the origin of the piezoelectric effect in single molecules through density functional theory (DFT), analyze the piezoresponse of bio-inspired peptidic materials through the use of atomic and piezoresponse force microscopy (AFM and PFM), and develop a novel class of materials combining flexible polyurethane foams and non-piezoelectric, polar dopants. For the DFT calculations, functional group, regiochemical, and heteroatom derivatives of [6]helicene were examined for their influence on the piezoelectric response. An aza[6]helicene derivative was found to have a piezoelectric response (108 pm/V) comparable to ceramics such as lead zirconium titanate (200+ pm/V). These computed materials have the possibility to compete with current field-leading piezomaterials such as lead zirconium titanate (PZT), zinc oxide (ZnO), and polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and its derivatives. The use of AFM/PFM allows for the demonstration of the piezoelectric effect of the selfassembled monolayer (SAM) peptidic systems. Through PFM, the influence that the helicity and sequence of the peptide has on the overall response of the molecule can be analyzed. Finally, development of a novel class of piezoelectrics, the foam-based materials, expands the current understanding of the qualities required for a piezoelectric material from ceramic and rigid materials to more flexible, organic materials. Through the exploration of these novel types of piezoelectric materials, new design rules and figures of merit have been developed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  18. Studying DNA looping by single-molecule FRET.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Tung T; Kim, Harold D

    2014-06-28

    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.

  19. Efficient Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Technique Identifies Direct Interaction of Small Molecule Inhibitors with the Target Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gal, Maayan; Bloch, Itai; Shechter, Nelia; Romanenko, Olga; Shir, Ofer M

    2016-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPI) play a critical role in regulating many cellular processes. Finding novel PPI inhibitors that interfere with specific binding of two proteins is considered a great challenge, mainly due to the complexity involved in characterizing multi-molecular systems and limited understanding of the physical principles governing PPIs. Here we show that the combination of virtual screening techniques, which are capable of filtering a large library of potential small molecule inhibitors, and a unique secondary screening by isothermal titration calorimetry, a label-free method capable of observing direct interactions, is an efficient tool for finding such an inhibitor. In this study we applied this strategy in a search for a small molecule capable of interfering with the interaction of the tumor-suppressor p53 and the E3-ligase MDM2. We virtually screened a library of 15 million small molecules that were filtered to a final set of 80 virtual hits. Our in vitro experimental assay, designed to validate the activity of mixtures of compounds by isothermal titration calorimetry, was used to identify an active molecule against MDM2. At the end of the process the small molecule (4S,7R)-4-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-hydroxy-2,7-dimethyl-N-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl)-4,6,7,8 tetrahydrIoquinoline-3-carboxamide was found to bind MDM2 with a dissociation constant of ~2 µM. Following the identification of this single bioactive compound, spectroscopic measurements were used to further characterize the interaction of the small molecule with the target protein. 2D NMR spectroscopy was used to map the binding region of the small molecule, and fluorescence polarization measurement confirmed that it indeed competes with p53.

  20. Elastin-like Polypeptide Linkers for Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Wolfgang; Jobst, Markus A; Bauer, Magnus S; Durner, Ellis; Milles, Lukas F; Nash, Michael A; Gaub, Hermann E

    2017-06-27

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is by now well established as a standard technique in biophysics and mechanobiology. In recent years, the technique has benefitted greatly from new approaches to bioconjugation of proteins to surfaces. Indeed, optimized immobilization strategies for biomolecules and refined purification schemes are being steadily adapted and improved, which in turn has enhanced data quality. In many previously reported SMFS studies, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was used to anchor molecules of interest to surfaces and/or cantilever tips. The limitation, however, is that PEG exhibits a well-known trans-trans-gauche to all-trans transition, which results in marked deviation from standard polymer elasticity models such as the worm-like chain, particularly at elevated forces. As a result, the assignment of unfolding events to protein domains based on their corresponding amino acid chain lengths is significantly obscured. Here, we provide a solution to this problem by implementing unstructured elastin-like polypeptides as linkers to replace PEG. We investigate the suitability of tailored elastin-like polypeptides linkers and perform direct comparisons to PEG, focusing on attributes that are critical for single-molecule force experiments such as linker length, monodispersity, and bioorthogonal conjugation tags. Our results demonstrate that by avoiding the ambiguous elastic response of mixed PEG/peptide systems and instead building the molecular mechanical systems with only a single bond type with uniform elastic properties, we improve data quality and facilitate data analysis and interpretation in force spectroscopy experiments. The use of all-peptide linkers allows alternative approaches for precisely defining elastic properties of proteins linked to surfaces.

  1. Single-Molecule View of Small RNA-Guided Target Search and Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globyte, Viktorija; Kim, Sung Hyun; Joo, Chirlmin

    2018-05-20

    Most everyday processes in life involve a necessity for an entity to locate its target. On a cellular level, many proteins have to find their target to perform their function. From gene-expression regulation to DNA repair to host defense, numerous nucleic acid-interacting proteins use distinct target search mechanisms. Several proteins achieve that with the help of short RNA strands known as guides. This review focuses on single-molecule advances studying the target search and recognition mechanism of Argonaute and CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) systems. We discuss different steps involved in search and recognition, from the initial complex prearrangement into the target-search competent state to the final proofreading steps. We focus on target search mechanisms that range from weak interactions, to one- and three-dimensional diffusion, to conformational proofreading. We compare the mechanisms of Argonaute and CRISPR with a well-studied target search system, RecA.

  2. A versatile optical microscope for time-dependent single-molecule and single-particle spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; Yang, Haw

    2018-03-01

    This work reports the design and implementation of a multi-function optical microscope for time-dependent spectroscopy on single molecules and single nanoparticles. It integrates the now-routine single-object measurements into one standalone platform so that no reconfiguration is needed when switching between different types of sample or spectroscopy modes. The illumination modes include evanescent field through total internal reflection, dark-field illumination, and epi-excitation onto a diffraction-limited spot suitable for confocal detection. The detection modes include spectrally resolved line imaging, wide-field imaging with dual-color capability, and two-color single-element photon-counting detection. The switch between different spectroscopy and data acquisition modes is fully automated and executed through computer programming. The capability of this microscope is demonstrated through selected proof-of-principle experiments.

  3. A versatile optical microscope for time-dependent single-molecule and single-particle spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; Yang, Haw

    2018-03-28

    This work reports the design and implementation of a multi-function optical microscope for time-dependent spectroscopy on single molecules and single nanoparticles. It integrates the now-routine single-object measurements into one standalone platform so that no reconfiguration is needed when switching between different types of sample or spectroscopy modes. The illumination modes include evanescent field through total internal reflection, dark-field illumination, and epi-excitation onto a diffraction-limited spot suitable for confocal detection. The detection modes include spectrally resolved line imaging, wide-field imaging with dual-color capability, and two-color single-element photon-counting detection. The switch between different spectroscopy and data acquisition modes is fully automated and executed through computer programming. The capability of this microscope is demonstrated through selected proof-of-principle experiments.

  4. Protein-detergent interactions in single crystals of membrane proteins studied by neutron crystallography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timmins, P.A.; Pebay-Peyroula, E.

    1994-01-01

    The detergent micelles surrounding membrane protein molecules in single crystals can be investigated using neutron crystallography combined with H 2 O/D 2 O contrast variation. If the protein structure is known then the contrast variation method allows phases to be determined at a contrast where the detergent dominates the scattering. The application of various constraints allows the resulting scattering length density map to be realistically modeled. The method has been applied to two different forms of the membrane protein porin. In one case both hydrogenated and partially deuterated protein were used, allowing the head group and tail to be distinguished

  5. Protein-detergent interactions in single crystals of membrane proteins studied by neutron crystallography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmins, P.A. [ILL, Grenoble (France); Pebay-Peyroula, E. [IBS-UJF Grenoble (France)

    1994-12-31

    The detergent micelles surrounding membrane protein molecules in single crystals can be investigated using neutron crystallography combined with H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast variation. If the protein structure is known then the contrast variation method allows phases to be determined at a contrast where the detergent dominates the scattering. The application of various constraints allows the resulting scattering length density map to be realistically modeled. The method has been applied to two different forms of the membrane protein porin. In one case both hydrogenated and partially deuterated protein were used, allowing the head group and tail to be distinguished.

  6. Real-time monitoring and manipulation of single bio-molecules in free solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hung-Wing [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2005-01-01

    with TIWM. FAD bound loosely in the proteins changed from the stacked conformation to the unstacked conformation upon laser excitation. FAD in free solution not only underwent conformational changes but also reacted with each other to form a dimer. Direct measurement of the single-molecule enzymatic cleavage rates of ApaI-DNA complex in the presence of various concentrations of MgCl{sub 2} solution is reported. Results suggest that there exists a distribution of ApaI conformations around the restriction site.

  7. Urea transporter proteins as targets for small-molecule diuretics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteva-Font, Cristina; Anderson, Marc O; Verkman, Alan S

    2015-02-01

    Conventional diuretics such as furosemide and thiazides target salt transporters in kidney tubules, but urea transporters (UTs) have emerged as alternative targets. UTs are a family of transmembrane channels expressed in a variety of mammalian tissues, in particular the kidney. UT knockout mice and humans with UT mutations exhibit reduced maximal urinary osmolality, demonstrating that UTs are necessary for the concentration of urine. Small-molecule screening has identified potent and selective inhibitors of UT-A, the UT protein expressed in renal tubule epithelial cells, and UT-B, the UT protein expressed in vasa recta endothelial cells. Data from UT knockout mice and from rodents administered UT inhibitors support the diuretic action of UT inhibition. The kidney-specific expression of UT-A1, together with high selectivity of the small-molecule inhibitors, means that off-target effects of such small-molecule drugs should be minimal. This Review summarizes the structure, expression and function of UTs, and looks at the evidence supporting the validity of UTs as targets for the development of salt-sparing diuretics with a unique mechanism of action. UT-targeted inhibitors may be useful alone or in combination with conventional diuretics for therapy of various oedemas and hyponatraemias, potentially including those refractory to treatment with current diuretics.

  8. Investigation on Single-Molecule Junctions Based on Current–Voltage Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuji Isshiki

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between the current through an electronic device and the voltage across its terminals is a current–voltage characteristic (I–V that determine basic device performance. Currently, I–V measurement on a single-molecule scale can be performed using break junction technique, where a single molecule junction can be prepared by trapping a single molecule into a nanogap between metal electrodes. The single-molecule I–Vs provide not only the device performance, but also reflect information on energy dispersion of the electronic state and the electron-molecular vibration coupling in the junction. This mini review focuses on recent representative studies on I–Vs of the single molecule junctions that cover investigation on the single-molecule diode property, the molecular vibration, and the electronic structure as a form of transmission probability, and electronic density of states, including the spin state of the single-molecule junctions. In addition, thermoelectronic measurements based on I–Vs and identification of the charged carriers (i.e., electrons or holes are presented. The analysis in the single-molecule I–Vs provides fundamental and essential information for a better understanding of the single-molecule science, and puts the single molecule junction to more practical use in molecular devices.

  9. The Single-Molecule Centroid Localization Algorithm Improves the Accuracy of Fluorescence Binding Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Boyang; Wang, Yanbo; Park, Seongjin; Han, Kyu Young; Singh, Digvijay; Kim, Jin H; Cheng, Wei; Ha, Taekjip

    2018-03-13

    Here, we demonstrate that the use of the single-molecule centroid localization algorithm can improve the accuracy of fluorescence binding assays. Two major artifacts in this type of assay, i.e., nonspecific binding events and optically overlapping receptors, can be detected and corrected during analysis. The effectiveness of our method was confirmed by measuring two weak biomolecular interactions, the interaction between the B1 domain of streptococcal protein G and immunoglobulin G and the interaction between double-stranded DNA and the Cas9-RNA complex with limited sequence matches. This analysis routine requires little modification to common experimental protocols, making it readily applicable to existing data and future experiments.

  10. Single Lipid Molecule Dynamics on Supported Lipid Bilayers with Membrane Curvature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip P. Cheney

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The plasma membrane is a highly compartmentalized, dynamic material and this organization is essential for a wide variety of cellular processes. Nanoscale domains allow proteins to organize for cell signaling, endo- and exocytosis, and other essential processes. Even in the absence of proteins, lipids have the ability to organize into domains as a result of a variety of chemical and physical interactions. One feature of membranes that affects lipid domain formation is membrane curvature. To directly test the role of curvature in lipid sorting, we measured the accumulation of two similar lipids, 1,2-Dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DHPE and hexadecanoic acid (HDA, using a supported lipid bilayer that was assembled over a nanopatterned surface to obtain regions of membrane curvature. Both lipids studied contain 16 carbon, saturated tails and a head group tag for fluorescence microscopy measurements. The accumulation of lipids at curvatures ranging from 28 nm to 55 nm radii was measured and fluorescein labeled DHPE accumulated more than fluorescein labeled HDA at regions of membrane curvature. We then tested whether single biotinylated DHPE molecules sense curvature using single particle tracking methods. Similar to groups of fluorescein labeled DHPE accumulating at curvature, the dynamics of single molecules of biotinylated DHPE was also affected by membrane curvature and highly confined motion was observed.

  11. Single-molecule studies of the Im7 folding landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Sara D; Gell, Christopher; Smith, D Alastair; Radford, Sheena E; Brockwell, David J

    2010-04-23

    Under appropriate conditions, the four-helical Im7 (immunity protein 7) folds from an ensemble of unfolded conformers to a highly compact native state via an on-pathway intermediate. Here, we investigate the unfolded, intermediate, and native states populated during folding using diffusion single-pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer by measuring the efficiency of energy transfer (or proximity or P ratio) between pairs of fluorophores introduced into the side chains of cysteine residues placed in the center of helices 1 and 4, 1 and 3, or 2 and 4. We show that while the native states of each variant give rise to a single narrow distribution with high P values, the distributions of the intermediates trapped at equilibrium (denoted I(eqm)) are fitted by two Gaussian distributions. Modulation of the folding conditions from those that stabilize the intermediate to those that destabilize the intermediate enabled the distribution of lower P value to be assigned to the population of the unfolded ensemble in equilibrium with the intermediate state. The reduced stability of the I(eqm) variants allowed analysis of the effect of denaturant concentration on the compaction and breadth of the unfolded state ensemble to be quantified from 0 to 6 M urea. Significant compaction is observed as the concentration of urea is decreased in both the presence and absence of sodium sulfate, as previously reported for a variety of proteins. In the presence of Na(2)SO(4) in 0 M urea, the P value of the unfolded state ensemble approaches that of the native state. Concurrent with compaction, the ensemble displays increased peak width of P values, possibly reflecting a reduction in the rate of conformational exchange among iso-energetic unfolded, but compact conformations. The results provide new insights into the initial stages of folding of Im7 and suggest that the unfolded state is highly conformationally constrained at the outset of folding. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Interrogating the activities of conformational deformed enzyme by single-molecule fluorescence-magnetic tweezers microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qing; He, Yufan; Lu, H. Peter

    2015-01-01

    Characterizing the impact of fluctuating enzyme conformation on enzymatic activity is critical in understanding the structure–function relationship and enzymatic reaction dynamics. Different from studying enzyme conformations under a denaturing condition, it is highly informative to manipulate the conformation of an enzyme under an enzymatic reaction condition while monitoring the real-time enzymatic activity changes simultaneously. By perturbing conformation of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) molecules using our home-developed single-molecule total internal reflection magnetic tweezers, we successfully manipulated the enzymatic conformation and probed the enzymatic activity changes of HRP in a catalyzed H2O2–amplex red reaction. We also observed a significant tolerance of the enzyme activity to the enzyme conformational perturbation. Our results provide a further understanding of the relation between enzyme behavior and enzymatic conformational fluctuation, enzyme–substrate interactions, enzyme–substrate active complex formation, and protein folding–binding interactions. PMID:26512103

  13. Proposal for probing energy transfer pathway by single-molecule pump-dump experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Tao, Ming-Jie; Ai, Qing; Deng, Fu-Guo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung

    2016-01-01

    The structure of Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) light-harvesting complex has long been recognized as containing seven bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) molecules. Recently, an additional BChl molecule was discovered in the crystal structure of the FMO complex, which may serve as a link between baseplate and the remaining seven molecules. Here, we investigate excitation energy transfer (EET) process by simulating single-molecule pump-dump experiment in the eight-molecules complex. We adopt the coherent m...

  14. Single molecule force measurements delineate salt, pH and surface effects on biopolymer adhesion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pirzer, T; Geisler, M; Hugel, T; Scheibel, T

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we probe the influence of surface properties, pH and salt on the adhesion of recombinant spider silk proteins onto solid substrates with single molecule force spectroscopy. A single engineered spider silk protein (monomeric C 16 or dimeric (QAQ) 8 NR3) is covalently bound with one end to an AFM tip, which assures long-time measurements for hours with one and the same protein. The tip with the protein is brought into contact with various substrates at various buffer conditions and then retracted to desorb the protein. We observe a linear dependence of the adhesion force on the concentration of three selected salts (NaCl, NaH 2 PO 4 and NaI) and a Hofmeister series both for anions and cations. As expected, the more hydrophobic C 16 shows a higher adhesion force than (QAQ) 8 NR3, and the adhesion force rises with the hydrophobicity of the substrate. Unexpected is the magnitude of the dependences—we never observe a change of more than 30%, suggesting a surprisingly well-regulated balance between dispersive forces, water-structure-induced forces as well as co-solute-induced forces in biopolymer adhesion

  15. Single molecule force measurements delineate salt, pH and surface effects on biopolymer adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirzer, T.; Geisler, M.; Scheibel, T.; Hugel, T.

    2009-06-01

    In this paper we probe the influence of surface properties, pH and salt on the adhesion of recombinant spider silk proteins onto solid substrates with single molecule force spectroscopy. A single engineered spider silk protein (monomeric C16 or dimeric (QAQ)8NR3) is covalently bound with one end to an AFM tip, which assures long-time measurements for hours with one and the same protein. The tip with the protein is brought into contact with various substrates at various buffer conditions and then retracted to desorb the protein. We observe a linear dependence of the adhesion force on the concentration of three selected salts (NaCl, NaH2PO4 and NaI) and a Hofmeister series both for anions and cations. As expected, the more hydrophobic C16 shows a higher adhesion force than (QAQ)8NR3, and the adhesion force rises with the hydrophobicity of the substrate. Unexpected is the magnitude of the dependences—we never observe a change of more than 30%, suggesting a surprisingly well-regulated balance between dispersive forces, water-structure-induced forces as well as co-solute-induced forces in biopolymer adhesion.

  16. Charge transport through image charged stabilized states in a single molecule single electron transistor device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedegard, Per; Bjornholm, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    The present paper gives an elaborate theoretical description of a new molecular charge transport mechanism applying to a single molecule trapped between two macroscopic electrodes in a solid state device. It is shown by a Hubbard type model of the electronic and electrostatic interactions, that the close proximity of metal electrodes may allow electrons to tunnel from the electrode directly into very localized image charge stabilized states on the molecule. Due to this mechanism, an exceptionally large number of redox states may be visited within an energy scale which would normally not allow the molecular HOMO-LUMO gap to be transversed. With a reasonable set of parameters, a good fit to recent experimental values may be obtained. The theoretical model is furthermore used to search for the physical boundaries of this effect, and it is found that a rather narrow geometrical space is available for the new mechanism to work: in the specific case of oligophenylenevinylene molecules recently explored in such devices several atoms in the terminal benzene rings need to be at van der Waal's distance to the electrode in order for the mechanism to work. The model predicts, that chemisorption of the terminal benzene rings too gold electrodes will impede the image charge effect very significantly because the molecule is pushed away from the electrode by the covalent thiol-gold bond

  17. In Planta Single-Molecule Pull-Down Reveals Tetrameric Stoichiometry of HD-ZIPIII:LITTLE ZIPPER Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husbands, Aman Y; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Ha, Taekjip; Timmermans, Marja C P

    2016-08-01

    Deciphering complex biological processes markedly benefits from approaches that directly assess the underlying biomolecular interactions. Most commonly used approaches to monitor protein-protein interactions typically provide nonquantitative readouts that lack statistical power and do not yield information on the heterogeneity or stoichiometry of protein complexes. Single-molecule pull-down (SiMPull) uses single-molecule fluorescence detection to mitigate these disadvantages and can quantitatively interrogate interactions between proteins and other compounds, such as nucleic acids, small molecule ligands, and lipids. Here, we establish SiMPull in plants using the HOMEODOMAIN LEUCINE ZIPPER III (HD-ZIPIII) and LITTLE ZIPPER (ZPR) interaction as proof-of-principle. Colocalization analysis of fluorophore-tagged HD-ZIPIII and ZPR proteins provides strong statistical evidence of complex formation. In addition, we use SiMPull to directly quantify YFP and mCherry maturation probabilities, showing these differ substantially from values obtained in mammalian systems. Leveraging these probabilities, in conjunction with fluorophore photobleaching assays on over 2000 individual complexes, we determined HD-ZIPIII:ZPR stoichiometry. Intriguingly, these complexes appear as heterotetramers, comprising two HD-ZIPIII and two ZPR molecules, rather than heterodimers as described in the current model. This surprising result raises new questions about the regulation of these key developmental factors and is illustrative of the unique contribution SiMPull is poised to make to in planta protein interaction studies. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  18. Single-molecule studies of DNA transcription using atomic force microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Billingsley, Daniel J; Crampton, Neal; Thomson, Neil H; Bonass, William A; Kirkham, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) can detect single biomacromolecules with a high signal-to-noise ratio on atomically flat biocompatible support surfaces, such as mica. Contrast arises from the innate forces and therefore AFM does not require imaging contrast agents, leading to sample preparation that is relatively straightforward. The ability of AFM to operate in hydrated environments, including humid air and aqueous buffers, allows structure and function of biological and biomolecular systems to be retained. These traits of the AFM are ensuring that it is being increasingly used to study deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) structure and DNA–protein interactions down to the secondary structure level. This report focuses in particular on reviewing the applications of AFM to the study of DNA transcription in reductionist single-molecule bottom-up approaches. The technique has allowed new insights into the interactions between ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase to be gained and enabled quantification of some aspects of the transcription process, such as promoter location, DNA wrapping and elongation. More recently, the trend is towards studying the interactions of more than one enzyme operating on a single DNA template. These methods begin to reveal the mechanics of gene expression at the single-molecule level and will enable us to gain greater understanding of how the genome is transcribed and translated into the proteome. (topical review)

  19. Probing static disorder in Arrhenius kinetics by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Tzu-Ling; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Li, Jingyuan; Barel, Itay; Lu, Hui; Berne, Bruce J; Urbakh, Michael; Klafter, Joseph; Fernández, Julio M

    2010-06-22

    The widely used Arrhenius equation describes the kinetics of simple two-state reactions, with the implicit assumption of a single transition state with a well-defined activation energy barrier DeltaE, as the rate-limiting step. However, it has become increasingly clear that the saddle point of the free-energy surface in most reactions is populated by ensembles of conformations, leading to nonexponential kinetics. Here we present a theory that generalizes the Arrhenius equation to include static disorder of conformational degrees of freedom as a function of an external perturbation to fully account for a diverse set of transition states. The effect of a perturbation on static disorder is best examined at the single-molecule level. Here we use force-clamp spectroscopy to study the nonexponential kinetics of single ubiquitin proteins unfolding under force. We find that the measured variance in DeltaE shows both force-dependent and independent components, where the force-dependent component scales with F(2), in excellent agreement with our theory. Our study illustrates a novel adaptation of the classical Arrhenius equation that accounts for the microscopic origins of nonexponential kinetics, which are essential in understanding the rapidly growing body of single-molecule data.

  20. Single-Molecule Flow Platform for the Quantification of Biomolecules Attached to Single Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Seung-Ryoung; Han, Rui; Sun, Wei; Jiang, Yifei; Fujimoto, Bryant S; Yu, Jiangbo; Kuo, Chun-Ting; Rong, Yu; Zhou, Xing-Hua; Chiu, Daniel T

    2018-05-15

    We describe here a flow platform for quantifying the number of biomolecules on individual fluorescent nanoparticles. The platform combines line-confocal fluorescence detection with near nanoscale channels (1-2 μm in width and height) to achieve high single-molecule detection sensitivity and throughput. The number of biomolecules present on each nanoparticle was determined by deconvolving the fluorescence intensity distribution of single-nanoparticle-biomolecule complexes with the intensity distribution of single biomolecules. We demonstrate this approach by quantifying the number of streptavidins on individual semiconducting polymer dots (Pdots); streptavidin was rendered fluorescent using biotin-Alexa647. This flow platform has high-throughput (hundreds to thousands of nanoparticles detected per second) and requires minute amounts of sample (∼5 μL at a dilute concentration of 10 pM). This measurement method is an additional tool for characterizing synthetic or biological nanoparticles.

  1. Intramolecular three-colour single pair FRET of intrinsically disordered proteins with increased dynamic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Sigrid; Koehler, Christine; Gambin, Yann; Deniz, Ashok A; Lemke, Edward A

    2012-10-01

    Single molecule observation of fluorescence resonance energy transfer can be used to provide insight into the structure and dynamics of proteins. Using a straightforward triple-colour labelling strategy, we present a measurement and analysis scheme that can simultaneously study multiple regions within single intrinsically disordered proteins.

  2. Diffracted X-ray tracking for monitoring intramolecular motion in individual protein molecules using broad band X-ray

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ichiyanagi, Kouhei; Sasaki, Yuji C. [Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 609 Kiban Building 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kahiwashi, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST, CREST, Sasaki-Team, 609 Kiban Building, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Sekiguchi, Hiroshi; Hoshino, Masato; Kajiwara, Kentaro; Senba, Yasunori; Ohashi, Haruhiko; Ohta, Noboru [Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute, SPring-8, 1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo, Hyogo 679-5198 (Japan); Hoshisashi, Kentaro; Jae-won, Chang; Tokue, Maki; Matsushita, Yufuku [Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 609 Kiban Building 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kahiwashi, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Nishijima, Masaki; Inoue, Yoshihisa [Department of Applied Chemistry and Office for University-Industry Collaboration, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Yagi, Naoto [Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST, CREST, Sasaki-Team, 609 Kiban Building, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute, SPring-8, 1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo, Hyogo 679-5198 (Japan)

    2013-10-15

    Diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT) enables the tilting and twisting motions of single protein molecules to be monitored with micro- to milliradian resolution using a highly brilliant X-ray source with a wide energy bandwidth. We have developed a technique to monitor single molecules using gold nanocrystals attached to individual protein molecules using the BL28B2 beamline at SPring-8. In this paper we present the installation of a single toroidal X-ray mirror at BL28B2 to focus X-rays in an energy range of 10–20 keV (△E/E = 82% for an X-ray with a wide energy bandwidth). With this beamline we tracked diffraction spots from gold nanocrystals over a wide angle range than that using quasi-monochromatic X-rays. Application of the wide angle DXT technique to biological systems enabled us to observe the on-site motions of single protein molecules that have been functionalized in vivo. We further extend the capability of DXT by observing the fractional tilting and twisting motions of inner proteins under various conditions. As a proof of this methodology and to determine instrumental performance the intramolecular motions of a human serum albumin complex with 2-anthracenecarboxylic acid was investigated using the BL28B2 beamline. The random tilting and twisting intramolecular motions are shown to be directly linked to the movement of individual protein molecules in the buffer solution.

  3. Nonlinear and Nonsymmetric Single-Molecule Electronic Properties Towards Molecular Information Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamaki, Takashi; Ogawa, Takuji

    2017-09-05

    This review highlights molecular design for nonlinear and nonsymmetric single-molecule electronic properties such as rectification, negative differential resistance, and switching, which are important components of future single-molecule information processing devices. Perspectives on integrated "molecular circuits" are also provided. Nonlinear and nonsymmetric single-molecule electronics can be designed by utilizing (1) asymmetric molecular cores, (2) asymmetric anchoring groups, (3) an asymmetric junction environment, and (4) asymmetric electrode materials. This review mainly focuses on the design of molecular cores.

  4. Characterization of nanostructures in the live cell plasma membrane utilizing advanced single molecule fluorescence techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brameshuber, M.

    2009-01-01

    Unrevealing the detailed structure of the cellular plasma membrane at a nanoscopic length scale is the key for understanding the regulation of various signaling pathways or interaction mechanism. Hypotheses postulate the existence of nanoscopic lipid platforms in the cell membrane which are termed lipid- or membrane rafts. Based on biochemical studies, rafts are believed to play a crucial role in many signaling processes. However, there is currently not much information on their size, shape, stability, surface density, composition and heterogeneity. In this thesis I present an ultra-sensitive fluorescence based method which allows for the first time the direct imaging of single mobile rafts in the live cell plasma membrane. The method senses rafts by their property to assemble a characteristic set of fluorescent marker-proteins or lipids on a time-scale of seconds. A special photobleaching protocol was developed and used to reduce the surface density of labeled mobile rafts down to the level of well-isolated diffraction-limited spots, without altering the single spot brightness. The statistical distribution of probe molecules per raft was determined by single molecule brightness analysis. For demonstration, I used the consensus markers Bodipy-GM1, a fluorescent lipid analogue, and glycosylphosphatidyl-inositol-anchored monomeric GFP. For both markers I found cholesterol-dependent association in the plasma membrane of living CHO and Jurkat T cells in the resting state, indicating the presence of mobile, stable rafts hosting these probes. I further characterized these structures by taking cell-to-cell variations under consideration. By comparing Bodipy-GM1 with mGFP-GPI homo-association upon temperature variation, two different states - a non-equilibrated and an equilibrated state - could be identified. I conclude that rafts are loaded non-randomly; the characteristic load is maintained during its lifetime in the plasma membrane of a non-activated cell. Beside these

  5. Reverse engineering of an affinity-switchable molecular interaction characterized by atomic force microscopy single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anselmetti, Dario; Bartels, Frank Wilco; Becker, Anke; Decker, Björn; Eckel, Rainer; McIntosh, Matthew; Mattay, Jochen; Plattner, Patrik; Ros, Robert; Schäfer, Christian; Sewald, Norbert

    2008-02-19

    Tunable and switchable interaction between molecules is a key for regulation and control of cellular processes. The translation of the underlying physicochemical principles to synthetic and switchable functional entities and molecules that can mimic the corresponding molecular functions is called reverse molecular engineering. We quantitatively investigated autoinducer-regulated DNA-protein interaction in bacterial gene regulation processes with single atomic force microscopy (AFM) molecule force spectroscopy in vitro, and developed an artificial bistable molecular host-guest system that can be controlled and regulated by external signals (UV light exposure and thermal energy). The intermolecular binding functionality (affinity) and its reproducible and reversible switching has been proven by AFM force spectroscopy at the single-molecule level. This affinity-tunable optomechanical switch will allow novel applications with respect to molecular manipulation, nanoscale rewritable molecular memories, and/or artificial ion channels, which will serve for the controlled transport and release of ions and neutral compounds in the future.

  6. Ordered array of CoPc-vacancies filled with single-molecule rotors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zheng-Bo; Wang, Ya-Li; Tao, Min-Long; Sun, Kai; Tu, Yu-Bing; Yuan, Hong-Kuan; Wang, Jun-Zhong

    2018-05-01

    We report the highly ordered array of CoPc-vacancies and the single-molecule rotors inside the vacancies. When CoPc molecules are deposited on Cd(0001) at low-temperature, three types of molecular vacancies appeared randomly in the CoPc monolayer. Annealing the sample to higher temperature leads to the spontaneous phase separation and self-organized arrangement of the vacancies. Highly ordered arrays of two-molecule vacancies and single-molecule vacancies have been obtained. In particular, there is a rotating CoPc molecule inside each single-molecule vacancy, which constitutes the array of single-molecule rotors. These results provide a new routine to fabricate the nano-machines on a large scale.

  7. Stereoelectronic Effect-Induced Conductance Switching in Aromatic Chain Single-Molecule Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Na; Wang, Jinying; Jia, Chuancheng; Liu, Zitong; Zhang, Xisha; Yu, Chenmin; Li, Mingliang; Wang, Shuopei; Gong, Yao; Sun, Hantao; Zhang, Guanxin; Liu, Zhirong; Zhang, Guangyu; Liao, Jianhui; Zhang, Deqing; Guo, Xuefeng

    2017-02-08

    Biphenyl, as the elementary unit of organic functional materials, has been widely used in electronic and optoelectronic devices. However, over decades little has been fundamentally understood regarding how the intramolecular conformation of biphenyl dynamically affects its transport properties at the single-molecule level. Here, we establish the stereoelectronic effect of biphenyl on its electrical conductance based on the platform of graphene-molecule single-molecule junctions, where a specifically designed hexaphenyl aromatic chain molecule is covalently sandwiched between nanogapped graphene point contacts to create stable single-molecule junctions. Both theoretical and temperature-dependent experimental results consistently demonstrate that phenyl twisting in the aromatic chain molecule produces different microstates with different degrees of conjugation, thus leading to stochastic switching between high- and low-conductance states. These investigations offer new molecular design insights into building functional single-molecule electrical devices.

  8. A New Theoretical Approach to Single-Molecule Fluorescence Optical Studies of RNA Dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Xinghai; Shan Guangcun; Bao Shuying

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in condensed phases has many important chemical and biological applications. The single-molecule fluorescence measurements contain information about conformational dynamics on a vast range of time scales. Based on the data analysis protocols methodology proposed by X. Sunney Xie, the theoretical study here mainly focuses on the single-molecule studies of single RNA with interconversions among different conformational states, to with a single FRET pair attached. We obtain analytical expressions for fluorescence lifetime correlation functions that relate changes in fluorescence lifetime to the distance-dependent FRET mechanism within the context of the Smoluchowski diffusion model. The present work establishes useful guideline for the single-molecule studies of biomolecules to reveal the complicated folding dynamics of single RNA molecules at nanometer scale.

  9. Single-molecule stochastic times in a reversible bimolecular reaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Peter; Valleriani, Angelo

    2012-08-01

    In this work, we consider the reversible reaction between reactants of species A and B to form the product C. We consider this reaction as a prototype of many pseudobiomolecular reactions in biology, such as for instance molecular motors. We derive the exact probability density for the stochastic waiting time that a molecule of species A needs until the reaction with a molecule of species B takes place. We perform this computation taking fully into account the stochastic fluctuations in the number of molecules of species B. We show that at low numbers of participating molecules, the exact probability density differs from the exponential density derived by assuming the law of mass action. Finally, we discuss the condition of detailed balance in the exact stochastic and in the approximate treatment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Moayed

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

  11. Force spectroscopy studies on protein-ligand interactions: a single protein mechanics perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaotang; Li, Hongbin

    2014-10-01

    Protein-ligand interactions are ubiquitous and play important roles in almost every biological process. The direct elucidation of the thermodynamic, structural and functional consequences of protein-ligand interactions is thus of critical importance to decipher the mechanism underlying these biological processes. A toolbox containing a variety of powerful techniques has been developed to quantitatively study protein-ligand interactions in vitro as well as in living systems. The development of atomic force microscopy-based single molecule force spectroscopy techniques has expanded this toolbox and made it possible to directly probe the mechanical consequence of ligand binding on proteins. Many recent experiments have revealed how ligand binding affects the mechanical stability and mechanical unfolding dynamics of proteins, and provided mechanistic understanding on these effects. The enhancement effect of mechanical stability by ligand binding has been used to help tune the mechanical stability of proteins in a rational manner and develop novel functional binding assays for protein-ligand interactions. Single molecule force spectroscopy studies have started to shed new lights on the structural and functional consequence of ligand binding on proteins that bear force under their biological settings. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Solid-phase single molecule biosensing using dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot nanoprobes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianbo; Yang, Xiaohai; Wang, Kemin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Wei; Wang, Dong

    2013-10-01

    The development of solid-phase surface-based single molecule imaging technology has attracted significant interest during the past decades. Here we demonstrate a sandwich hybridization method for highly sensitive detection of a single thrombin protein at a solid-phase surface based on the use of dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot (QD) nanoprobes. Green QD560-modified thrombin binding aptamer I (QD560-TBA I) were deposited on a positive poly(l-lysine) assembled layer, followed by bovine serum albumin blocking. It allowed the thrombin protein to mediate the binding of the easily detectable red QD650-modified thrombin binding aptamer II (QD650-TBA II) to the QD560-TBA I substrate. Thus, the presence of the target thrombin can be determined based on fluorescent colocalization measurements of the nanoassemblies, without target amplification or probe separation. The detection limit of this assay reached 0.8 pM. This fluorescent colocalization assay has enabled single molecule recognition in a separation-free detection format, and can serve as a sensitive biosensing platform that greatly suppresses the nonspecific adsorption false-positive signal. This method can be extended to other areas such as multiplexed immunoassay, single cell analysis, and real time biomolecule interaction studies.The development of solid-phase surface-based single molecule imaging technology has attracted significant interest during the past decades. Here we demonstrate a sandwich hybridization method for highly sensitive detection of a single thrombin protein at a solid-phase surface based on the use of dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot (QD) nanoprobes. Green QD560-modified thrombin binding aptamer I (QD560-TBA I) were deposited on a positive poly(l-lysine) assembled layer, followed by bovine serum albumin blocking. It allowed the thrombin protein to mediate the binding of the easily detectable red QD650-modified thrombin binding aptamer II (QD650-TBA II) to

  13. Finding Order in Randomness: Single-Molecule Studies Reveal Stochastic RNA Processing | Center for Cancer Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Producing a functional eukaryotic messenger RNA (mRNA) requires the coordinated activity of several large protein complexes to initiate transcription, elongate nascent transcripts, splice together exons, and cleave and polyadenylate the 3’ end. Kinetic competition between these various processes has been proposed to regulate mRNA maturation, but this model could lead to multiple, randomly determined, or stochastic, pathways or outcomes. Regulatory checkpoints have been suggested as a means of ensuring quality control. However, current methods have been unable to tease apart the contributions of these processes at a single gene or on a time scale that could provide mechanistic insight. To begin to investigate the kinetic relationship between transcription and splicing, Daniel Larson, Ph.D., of CCR’s Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, and his colleagues employed a single-molecule RNA imaging approach to monitor production and processing of a human β-globin reporter gene in living cells.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frisenda, R.; Perrin, M.L.; Van der Zant, H.S.J.

    2015-01-01

    We study single-molecule oligo(phenylene ethynylene)dithiol junctions by means of inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS). The molecule is contacted with gold nano-electrodes formed with the mechanically controllable break junction technique. We record the IETS spectrum of the molecule from

  15. Direct Single-Molecule Observation of Mode and Geometry of RecA-Mediated Homology Search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Andrew J; Endo, Masayuki; Hobbs, Jamie K; Wälti, Christoph

    2018-01-23

    Genomic integrity, when compromised by accrued DNA lesions, is maintained through efficient repair via homologous recombination. For this process the ubiquitous recombinase A (RecA), and its homologues such as the human Rad51, are of central importance, able to align and exchange homologous sequences within single-stranded and double-stranded DNA in order to swap out defective regions. Here, we directly observe the widely debated mechanism of RecA homology searching at a single-molecule level using high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) in combination with tailored DNA origami frames to present the reaction targets in a way suitable for AFM-imaging. We show that RecA nucleoprotein filaments move along DNA substrates via short-distance facilitated diffusions, or slides, interspersed with longer-distance random moves, or hops. Importantly, from the specific interaction geometry, we find that the double-stranded substrate DNA resides in the secondary DNA binding-site within the RecA nucleoprotein filament helical groove during the homology search. This work demonstrates that tailored DNA origami, in conjunction with HS-AFM, can be employed to reveal directly conformational and geometrical information on dynamic protein-DNA interactions which was previously inaccessible at an individual single-molecule level.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Thorsten

    2011-01-07

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

  17. Single-Molecule Methods for Nucleotide Excision Repair: Building a System to Watch Repair in Real Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Muwen; Beckwitt, Emily C; Springall, Luke; Kad, Neil M; Van Houten, Bennett

    2017-01-01

    Single-molecule approaches to solving biophysical problems are powerful tools that allow static and dynamic real-time observations of specific molecular interactions of interest in the absence of ensemble-averaging effects. Here, we provide detailed protocols for building an experimental system that employs atomic force microscopy and a single-molecule DNA tightrope assay based on oblique angle illumination fluorescence microscopy. Together with approaches for engineering site-specific lesions into DNA substrates, these complementary biophysical techniques are well suited for investigating protein-DNA interactions that involve target-specific DNA-binding proteins, such as those engaged in a variety of DNA repair pathways. In this chapter, we demonstrate the utility of the platform by applying these techniques in the studies of proteins participating in nucleotide excision repair. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Studies of G-quadruplex DNA structures at the single molecule level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kragh, Sofie Louise

    2015-01-01

    Folding of G-quaduplex structures adopted by the human telomeric repeat is here studied by single molecule FRET microscopy. This method allows for the investigation of G-quadruplex structures and their conformational dynamic. Telomeres are located at the ends of our chromosomes and end in a single...... with human telomeric repeat adopt several different G-quadruplex conformations in the presence of K+ ions. G-quadruplexes inhibit telomerase activity and are therefore potential targets for anti-cancer drugs, which can be small molecule ligands capable of stabilizing G-quadruplex structures. Understanding...... range. FRET spectroscopy can be performed on an ensemble of molecules, or on the single molecule level. In single molecule FRET experiments it is possible to follow the behaviour in time for each molecule independently, allowing insight into both dynamically and statistically heterogeneous molecular...

  19. Voltage-Driven Conformational Switching with Distinct Raman Signature in a Single-Molecule Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Hai; Palma, Carlos-Andres; Gong, Yuxiang; Hasch, Peter; Elbing, Mark; Mayor, Marcel; Reichert, Joachim; Barth, Johannes V

    2018-04-11

    Precisely controlling well-defined, stable single-molecule junctions represents a pillar of single-molecule electronics. Early attempts to establish computing with molecular switching arrays were partly challenged by limitations in the direct chemical characterization of metal-molecule-metal junctions. While cryogenic scanning probe studies have advanced the mechanistic understanding of current- and voltage-induced conformational switching, metal-molecule-metal conformations are still largely inferred from indirect evidence. Hence, the development of robust, chemically sensitive techniques is instrumental for advancement in the field. Here we probe the conformation of a two-state molecular switch with vibrational spectroscopy, while simultaneously operating it by means of the applied voltage. Our study emphasizes measurements of single-molecule Raman spectra in a room-temperature stable single-molecule switch presenting a signal modulation of nearly 2 orders of magnitude.

  20. Conserved linear dynamics of single-molecule Brownian motion

    KAUST Repository

    Serag, Maged F.

    2017-06-06

    Macromolecular diffusion in homogeneous fluid at length scales greater than the size of the molecule is regarded as a random process. The mean-squared displacement (MSD) of molecules in this regime increases linearly with time. Here we show that non-random motion of DNA molecules in this regime that is undetectable by the MSD analysis can be quantified by characterizing the molecular motion relative to a latticed frame of reference. Our lattice occupancy analysis reveals unexpected sub-modes of motion of DNA that deviate from expected random motion in the linear, diffusive regime. We demonstrate that a subtle interplay between these sub-modes causes the overall diffusive motion of DNA to appear to conform to the linear regime. Our results show that apparently random motion of macromolecules could be governed by non-random dynamics that are detectable only by their relative motion. Our analytical approach should advance broad understanding of diffusion processes of fundamental relevance.

  1. Conserved linear dynamics of single-molecule Brownian motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serag, Maged F.; Habuchi, Satoshi

    2017-06-01

    Macromolecular diffusion in homogeneous fluid at length scales greater than the size of the molecule is regarded as a random process. The mean-squared displacement (MSD) of molecules in this regime increases linearly with time. Here we show that non-random motion of DNA molecules in this regime that is undetectable by the MSD analysis can be quantified by characterizing the molecular motion relative to a latticed frame of reference. Our lattice occupancy analysis reveals unexpected sub-modes of motion of DNA that deviate from expected random motion in the linear, diffusive regime. We demonstrate that a subtle interplay between these sub-modes causes the overall diffusive motion of DNA to appear to conform to the linear regime. Our results show that apparently random motion of macromolecules could be governed by non-random dynamics that are detectable only by their relative motion. Our analytical approach should advance broad understanding of diffusion processes of fundamental relevance.

  2. Conserved linear dynamics of single-molecule Brownian motion

    KAUST Repository

    Serag, Maged F.; Habuchi, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    Macromolecular diffusion in homogeneous fluid at length scales greater than the size of the molecule is regarded as a random process. The mean-squared displacement (MSD) of molecules in this regime increases linearly with time. Here we show that non-random motion of DNA molecules in this regime that is undetectable by the MSD analysis can be quantified by characterizing the molecular motion relative to a latticed frame of reference. Our lattice occupancy analysis reveals unexpected sub-modes of motion of DNA that deviate from expected random motion in the linear, diffusive regime. We demonstrate that a subtle interplay between these sub-modes causes the overall diffusive motion of DNA to appear to conform to the linear regime. Our results show that apparently random motion of macromolecules could be governed by non-random dynamics that are detectable only by their relative motion. Our analytical approach should advance broad understanding of diffusion processes of fundamental relevance.

  3. Using Synthetic Nanopores for Single-Molecule Analyses: Detecting SNPs, Trapping DNA Molecules, and the Prospects for Sequencing DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrov, Valentin V.

    2009-01-01

    This work focuses on studying properties of DNA molecules and DNA-protein interactions using synthetic nanopores, and it examines the prospects of sequencing DNA using synthetic nanopores. We have developed a method for discriminating between alleles that uses a synthetic nanopore to measure the binding of a restriction enzyme to DNA. There exists…

  4. Structural and electronic properties of single molecules and organic layers on surfaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sotthewes, Kai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecules and organic layers on well-defined solid surfaces have attracted tremendous attention owing to their interesting physical and chemical properties. The ultimate utility of single molecules or self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) for potential applications is critically dependent on the

  5. Electric-Field Control of Interfering Transport Pathways in a Single-Molecule Anthraquinone Transistor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koole, Max; Thijssen, Jos M.; Valkenier, Hennie; Hummelen, Jan C.; van der Zant, Herre S. J.

    It is understood that molecular conjugation plays an important role in charge transport through single-molecule junctions. Here, we investigate electron transport through an anthraquinone based single-molecule three-terminal device. With the use of an electric-field induced by a gate electrode, the

  6. Injection molded nanofluidic chips: Fabrication method and functional tests using single-molecule DNA experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Utko, Pawel; Persson, Karl Fredrik; Kristensen, Anders

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate that fabrication of nanofluidic systems can be greatly simplified by injection molding of polymers. We functionally test our devices by single-molecule DNA experiments in nanochannels.......We demonstrate that fabrication of nanofluidic systems can be greatly simplified by injection molding of polymers. We functionally test our devices by single-molecule DNA experiments in nanochannels....

  7. Evidence for a single hydrogen molecule connected by an atomic chain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiguchi, M.; Stadler, Robert; Bækgaard, Iben Sig Buur

    2007-01-01

    Stable, single-molecule conducting-bridge configurations are typically identified from peak structures in a conductance histogram. In previous work on Pt with H-2 at cryogenic temperatures it has been shown that a peak near 1G(0) identifies a single-molecule Pt-H-2-Pt bridge. The histogram shows...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  9. Electrochemistry and bioelectrochemistry towards the single-molecule level: Theoretical notions and systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Chi, Qijin; Albrecht, Tim

    2005-01-01

    Surface structures controlled at the nanometer and single-molecule levels, with functions crucially determined by interfacial electron transfer (ET) are broadly reported in recent years, with different kinds of electrochemically controlled nanoscale/single molecule systems. One is the broad class...

  10. Real-time single-molecule co-immunoprecipitation analyses reveal cancer-specific Ras signalling dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hong-Won; Kyung, Taeyoon; Yoo, Janghyun; Kim, Tackhoon; Chung, Chaeuk; Ryu, Ji Young; Lee, Hanki; Park, Kihyun; Lee, Sangkyu; Jones, Walton D.; Lim, Dae-Sik; Hyeon, Changbong; Do Heo, Won; Yoon, Tae-Young

    2013-01-01

    Co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) has become a standard technique, but its protein-band output provides only static, qualitative information about protein–protein interactions. Here we demonstrate a real-time single-molecule co-IP technique that generates real-time videos of individual protein–protein interactions as they occur in unpurified cell extracts. By analysing single Ras–Raf interactions with a 50-ms time resolution, we have observed transient intermediates of the protein–protein interaction and determined all the essential kinetic rates. Using this technique, we have quantified the active fraction of native Ras proteins in xenograft tumours, normal tissue and cancer cell lines. We demonstrate that the oncogenic Ras mutations selectively increase the active-Ras fraction by one order of magnitude, without affecting total Ras levels or single-molecule signalling kinetics. Our approach allows us to probe the previously hidden, dynamic aspects of weak protein–protein interactions. It also suggests a path forward towards precision molecular diagnostics at the protein–protein interaction level. PMID:23422673

  11. Biomimetic Nanoarchitectures for the Study of T Cell Activation with Single-Molecule Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Haogang

    Physical factors in the environment of a cell affect its function and behavior in a variety of ways. There is increasing evidence that, among these factors, the geometric arrangement of receptor ligands plays an important role in setting the conditions for critical cellular processes. The goal of this thesis is to develop new techniques for probing the role of extracellular ligand geometry, with a focus on T cell activation. In this work, top-down molecular-scale nanofabrication and bottom-up selective self-assembly were combined in order to present functional nanomaterials (primarily biomolecules) on a surface with precise spatial control and single-molecule resolution. Such biomolecule nanoarrays are becoming an increasingly important tool in surface-based in vitro assays for biosensing, molecular and cellular studies. The nanoarrays consist of metallic nanodots patterned on glass coverslips using electron beam and nanoimprint lithography, combined with self-aligned pattern transfer. The nanodots were then used as anchors for the immobilization of biological ligands, and backfilled with a protein-repellent passivation layer of polyethylene glycol. The passivation efficiency was improved to minimize nonspecific adsorption. In order to ensure true single-molecule control, we developed an on-chip protocol to measure the molecular occupancy of nanodot arrays based on fluorescence photobleaching, while accounting for quenching effects by plasmonic absorption. We found that the molecular occupancy can be interpreted as a packing problem, with the solution depending on the nanodot size and the concentration of self-assembly reagents, where the latter can be easily adjusted to control the molecular occupancy according to the dot size. The optimized nanoarrays were used as biomimetic architectures for the study of T cell activation with single-molecule control. T cell activation involves an elaborate arrangement of signaling, adhesion, and costimulatory molecules

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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...... 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 interrogate basic structure-transport relations at the single-molecule limit....

  13. Alternative types of molecule-decorated atomic chains in Au–CO–Au single-molecule junctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Balogh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the formation and evolution of Au–CO single-molecule break junctions. The conductance histogram exhibits two distinct molecular configurations, which are further investigated by a combined statistical analysis. According to conditional histogram and correlation analysis these molecular configurations show strong anticorrelations with each other and with pure Au monoatomic junctions and atomic chains. We identify molecular precursor configurations with somewhat higher conductance, which are formed prior to single-molecule junctions. According to detailed length analysis two distinct types of molecule-affected chain-formation processes are observed, and we compare these results to former theoretical calculations considering bridge- and atop-type molecular configurations where the latter has reduced conductance due to destructive Fano interference.

  14. Dynamic simulations of single-molecule enzyme networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Armbruster, H.D.; Nagy, J.D.; Rijt, van de E.A.F.; Rooda, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    Along with the growth of technologies allowing accurate visualization of biochemical reactions to the scale of individual molecules has arisen an appreciation of the role of statistical fluctuations in intracellular biochemistry. The stochastic nature of metabolism can no longer be ignored. It can

  15. Automation of a single-DNA molecule stretching device

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Kristian Tølbøl; Lopacinska, Joanna M.; Tommerup, Niels

    2015-01-01

    We automate the manipulation of genomic-length DNA in a nanofluidic device based on real-time analysis of fluorescence images. In our protocol, individual molecules are picked from a microchannel and stretched with pN forces using pressure driven flows. The millimeter-long DNA fragments free...

  16. Physics of Polymers under Nanoscopic Confinement: a Single Molecule Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keshavarz, M.

    2016-01-01

    Physicist Masoumeh Keshavarz studied the thermal motion of a fluorescently labelled, individual “reporter” polymer molecule, surrounded and entangled by a gel of similar but unlabelled polymers. Owing to their extreme length and stiffness, it is possible to follow the shape and the motion of the

  17. Single ovalbumin molecules exploring nucleoplasm and nucleoli of living cell nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speil, Jasmin; Kubitscheck, Ulrich

    2010-03-01

    The nucleus is the center of direction and coordination of the cell's metabolic and reproductive activities and contains numerous functionally specialized domains. These subnuclear structures are not delimited by membranes like cytoplasmic organelles and their function is only poorly understood. Here, we studied the most prominent nuclear domains, nucleoli and the remaining nucleoplasm. We used fluorescently labeled ovalbumin-ATTO647N, an inert protein, to examine their physical properties. This inert tracer was microinjected into the cytoplasm of HeLa cells, and after diffusion into the nucleus the tracer distribution and mobility in the two nuclear compartments was examined. Like many macromolecular probes ovalbumin was significantly less abundant in nucleoli compared to the nucleoplasm. High-speed fluorescence microscopy allowed visualizing and analyzing single tracer molecule trajectories within nucleoli and nucleoplasm. In accordance with previous studies we found that the viscosity of the nucleus is sevenfold higher than that of aqueous buffer. Notably, nucleoplasm and nucleoli did not significantly differ in viscosity, however, the fraction of slow or trapped molecules was higher in the nucleoplasm than in nucleoli (6% versus 0.2%). Surprisingly, even a completely inert molecule like ovalbumin showed at times short-lived binding events with a decay time of 8 ms in the nucleoplasm and even shorter-6.3 ms-within the nucleoli. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Single-Photon Source for Quantum Information Based on Single Dye Molecule Fluorescence in Liquid Crystal Host

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes a new application for liquid crystals: quantum information technology. A deterministically polarized single-photon source that efficiently produces photons exhibiting antibunching is a pivotal hardware element in absolutely secure quantum communication. Planar-aligned nematic liquid crystal hosts deterministically align the single dye molecules which produce deterministically polarized single (antibunched) photons. In addition, 1-D photonic bandgap cholesteric liquid crystals will increase single-photon source efficiency. The experiments and challenges in the observation of deterministically polarized fluorescence from single dye molecules in planar-aligned glassy nematic-liquid-crystal oligomer as well as photon antibunching in glassy cholesteric oligomer are described for the first time

  19. Bianthrone in a Single-Molecule Junction: Conductance Switching with a Bistable Molecule Facilitated by Image Charge Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørnholm, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Bianthrone is a sterically hindered compound that exists in the form of two nonplanar isomers. Our experimental study of single-molecule junctions with bianthrone reveals persistent switching of electric conductance at low temperatures, which can be reasonably associated with molecular isomerizat...

  20. Zero-phonon-line emission of single molecules for applications in quantum information processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiraz, Alper; Ehrl, M.; Mustecaplioglu, O. E.; Hellerer, T.; Brauchle, C.; Zumbusch, A.

    2005-07-01

    A single photon source which generates transform limited single photons is highly desirable for applications in quantum optics. Transform limited emission guarantees the indistinguishability of the emitted single photons. This, in turn brings groundbreaking applications in linear optics quantum information processing within an experimental reach. Recently, self-assembled InAs quantum dots and trapped atoms have successfully been demonstrated as such sources for highly indistinguishable single photons. Here, we demonstrate that nearly transform limited zero-phonon-line (ZPL) emission from single molecules can be obtained by using vibronic excitation. Furthermore we report the results of coincidence detection experiments at the output of a Michelson-type interferometer. These experiments reveal Hong-Ou-Mandel correlations as a proof of the indistinguishability of the single photons emitted consecutively from a single molecule. Therefore, single molecules constitute an attractive alternative to single InAs quantum dots and trapped atoms for applications in linear optics quantum information processing. Experiments were performed with a home-built confocal microscope keeping the sample in a superfluid liquid Helium bath at 1.4K. We investigated terrylenediimide (TDI) molecules highly diluted in hexadecane (Shpol'skii matrix). A continuous wave single mode dye laser was used for excitation of vibronic transitions of individual molecules. From the integral fluorescence, the ZPL of single molecules was selected with a spectrally narrow interference filter. The ZPL emission was then sent to a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer for linewidth measurements or a Michelson-type interferometer for coincidence detection.

  1. Single-molecule diffusometry reveals the nucleotide-dependent oligomerization pathways of Nicotiana tabacum Rubisco activase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quan; Serban, Andrew J.; Wachter, Rebekka M.; Moerner, W. E.

    2018-03-01

    Oligomerization plays an important role in the function of many proteins, but a quantitative picture of the oligomer distribution has been difficult to obtain using existing techniques. Here we describe a method that combines sub-stoichiometric labeling and recently developed single-molecule diffusometry to measure the size distribution of oligomers under equilibrium conditions in solution, one molecule at a time. We use this technique to characterize the oligomerization behavior of Nicotiana tabacum (Nt) Rubisco activase (Nt-Rca), a chaperone-like AAA-plus ATPase essential in regulating carbon fixation during photosynthesis. We directly observed monomers, dimers, and a tetramer/hexamer mixture and extracted their fractional abundance as a function of protein concentration. We show that the oligomerization pathway of Nt-Rca is nucleotide dependent: ATPγS binding strongly promotes tetramer/hexamer formation from dimers and results in a preferred tetramer/hexamer population for concentrations in the 1-10 μM range. Furthermore, we directly observed dynamic assembly and disassembly processes of single complexes in real time and from there estimated the rate of subunit exchange to be ˜0.1 s-1 with ATPγS. On the other hand, ADP binding destabilizes Rca complexes by enhancing the rate of subunit exchange by >2 fold. These observations provide a quantitative starting point to elucidate the structure-function relations of Nt-Rca complexes. We envision the method to fill a critical gap in defining and quantifying protein assembly pathways in the small-oligomer regime.

  2. A Starting Point for Fluorescence-Based Single-Molecule Measurements in Biomolecular Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Gust

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Improving the representation of peptide-like inhibitor and antibiotic molecules in the Protein Data Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Shuchismita; Dimitropoulos, Dimitris; Feng, Zukang; Persikova, Irina; Sen, Sanchayita; Shao, Chenghua; Westbrook, John; Young, Jasmine; Zhuravleva, Marina A; Kleywegt, Gerard J; Berman, Helen M

    2014-06-01

    With the accumulation of a large number and variety of molecules in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) comes the need on occasion to review and improve their representation. The Worldwide PDB (wwPDB) partners have periodically updated various aspects of structural data representation to improve the integrity and consistency of the archive. The remediation effort described here was focused on improving the representation of peptide-like inhibitor and antibiotic molecules so that they can be easily identified and analyzed. Peptide-like inhibitors or antibiotics were identified in over 1000 PDB entries, systematically reviewed and represented either as peptides with polymer sequence or as single components. For the majority of the single-component molecules, their peptide-like composition was captured in a new representation, called the subcomponent sequence. A novel concept called "group" was developed for representing complex peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors that are composed of multiple polymer and nonpolymer components. In addition, a reference dictionary was developed with detailed information about these peptide-like molecules to aid in their annotation, identification and analysis. Based on the experience gained in this remediation, guidelines, procedures, and tools were developed to annotate new depositions containing peptide-like inhibitors and antibiotics accurately and consistently. © 2013 The Authors Biopolymers Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. A systematic investigation of differential effects of cell culture substrates on the extent of artifacts in single-molecule tracking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura C Zanetti-Domingues

    Full Text Available Single-molecule techniques are being increasingly applied to biomedical investigation, notwithstanding the numerous challenges they pose in terms of signal-to-noise ratio issues. Non-specific binding of probes to glass substrates, in particular, can produce experimental artifacts due to spurious molecules on glass, which can be particularly deleterious in live-cell tracking experiments. In order to resolve the issue of non-specific probe binding to substrates, we performed systematic testing of a range of available surface coatings, using three different proteins, and then extended our assessment to the ability of these coatings to foster cell growth and retain non-adhesive properties. Linear PEG, a passivating agent commonly used both in immobilized-molecule single-molecule techniques and in tissue engineering, is able to both successfully repel non-specific adhesion of fluorescent probes and to foster cell growth when functionalized with appropriate adhesive peptides. Linear PEG treatment results in a significant reduction of tracking artifacts in EGFR tracking with Affibody ligands on a cell line expressing EGFR-eGFP. The findings reported herein could be beneficial to a large number of experimental situations where single-molecule or single-particle precision is required.

  5. Electrostatic similarities between protein and small molecule ligands facilitate the design of protein-protein interaction inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnout Voet

    Full Text Available One of the underlying principles in drug discovery is that a biologically active compound is complimentary in shape and molecular recognition features to its receptor. This principle infers that molecules binding to the same receptor may share some common features. Here, we have investigated whether the electrostatic similarity can be used for the discovery of small molecule protein-protein interaction inhibitors (SMPPIIs. We have developed a method that can be used to evaluate the similarity of electrostatic potentials between small molecules and known protein ligands. This method was implemented in a software called EleKit. Analyses of all available (at the time of research SMPPII structures indicate that SMPPIIs bear some similarities of electrostatic potential with the ligand proteins of the same receptor. This is especially true for the more polar SMPPIIs. Retrospective analysis of several successful SMPPIIs has shown the applicability of EleKit in the design of new SMPPIIs.

  6. Single-molecule study of full-length NaChBac by planar lipid bilayer recording.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Jo

    Full Text Available Planar lipid bilayer device, alternatively known as BLM, is a powerful tool to study functional properties of conducting membrane proteins such as ion channels and porins. In this work, we used BLM to study the prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav NaChBac in a well-defined membrane environment. Navs are an essential component for the generation and propagation of electric signals in excitable cells. The successes in the biochemical, biophysical and crystallographic studies on prokaryotic Navs in recent years has greatly promoted the understanding of the molecular mechanism that underlies these proteins and their eukaryotic counterparts. In this work, we investigated the single-molecule conductance and ionic selectivity behavior of NaChBac. Purified NaChBac protein was first reconstituted into lipid vesicles, which is subsequently incorporated into planar lipid bilayer by fusion. At single-molecule level, we were able to observe three distinct long-lived conductance sub-states of NaChBac. Change in the membrane potential switches on the channel mainly by increasing its opening probability. In addition, we found that individual NaChBac has similar permeability for Na+, K+, and Ca2+. The single-molecule behavior of the full-length protein is essentially highly stochastic. Our results show that planar lipid bilayer device can be used to study purified ion channels at single-molecule level in an artificial environment, and such studies can reveal new protein properties that are otherwise not observable in in vivo ensemble studies.

  7. Single Molecule Cluster Analysis Identifies Signature Dynamic Conformations along the Splicing Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The spliceosome is the dynamic RNA-protein machine responsible for faithfully splicing introns from precursor messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs). Many of the dynamic processes required for the proper assembly, catalytic activation, and disassembly of the spliceosome as it acts on its pre-mRNA substrate remain poorly understood, a challenge that persists for many biomolecular machines. Here, we developed a fluorescence-based Single Molecule Cluster Analysis (SiMCAn) tool to dissect the manifold conformational dynamics of a pre-mRNA through the splicing cycle. By clustering common dynamic behaviors derived from selectively blocked splicing reactions, SiMCAn was able to identify signature conformations and dynamic behaviors of multiple ATP-dependent intermediates. In addition, it identified a conformation adopted late in splicing by a 3′ splice site mutant, invoking a mechanism for substrate proofreading. SiMCAn presents a novel framework for interpreting complex single molecule behaviors that should prove widely useful for the comprehensive analysis of a plethora of dynamic cellular machines. PMID:26414013

  8. A Synthetic Biology Project - Developing a single-molecule device for screening drug-target interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firman, Keith; Evans, Luke; Youell, James

    2012-07-16

    This review describes a European-funded project in the area of Synthetic Biology. The project seeks to demonstrate the application of engineering techniques and methodologies to the design and construction of a biosensor for detecting drug-target interactions at the single-molecule level. Production of the proteins required for the system followed the principle of previously described "bioparts" concepts (a system where a database of biological parts - promoters, genes, terminators, linking tags and cleavage sequences - is used to construct novel gene assemblies) and cassette-type assembly of gene expression systems (the concept of linking different "bioparts" to produce functional "cassettes"), but problems were quickly identified with these approaches. DNA substrates for the device were also constructed using a cassette-system. Finally, micro-engineering was used to build a magnetoresistive Magnetic Tweezer device for detection of single molecule DNA modifying enzymes (motors), while the possibility of constructing a Hall Effect version of this device was explored. The device is currently being used to study helicases from Plasmodium as potential targets for anti-malarial drugs, but we also suggest other potential uses for the device. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisenda, Riccardo; Perrin, Mickael L; van der Zant, Herre S J

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Single-molecule diffusion and conformational dynamics by spatial integration of temporal fluctuations

    KAUST Repository

    Serag, Maged F.

    2014-10-06

    Single-molecule localization and tracking has been used to translate spatiotemporal information of individual molecules to map their diffusion behaviours. However, accurate analysis of diffusion behaviours and including other parameters, such as the conformation and size of molecules, remain as limitations to the method. Here, we report a method that addresses the limitations of existing single-molecular localization methods. The method is based on temporal tracking of the cumulative area occupied by molecules. These temporal fluctuations are tied to molecular size, rates of diffusion and conformational changes. By analysing fluorescent nanospheres and double-stranded DNA molecules of different lengths and topological forms, we demonstrate that our cumulative-area method surpasses the conventional single-molecule localization method in terms of the accuracy of determined diffusion coefficients. Furthermore, the cumulative-area method provides conformational relaxation times of structurally flexible chains along with diffusion coefficients, which together are relevant to work in a wide spectrum of scientific fields.

  11. Single-molecule diffusion and conformational dynamics by spatial integration of temporal fluctuations

    KAUST Repository

    Serag, Maged F.; Abadi, Maram; Habuchi, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Single-molecule localization and tracking has been used to translate spatiotemporal information of individual molecules to map their diffusion behaviours. However, accurate analysis of diffusion behaviours and including other parameters, such as the conformation and size of molecules, remain as limitations to the method. Here, we report a method that addresses the limitations of existing single-molecular localization methods. The method is based on temporal tracking of the cumulative area occupied by molecules. These temporal fluctuations are tied to molecular size, rates of diffusion and conformational changes. By analysing fluorescent nanospheres and double-stranded DNA molecules of different lengths and topological forms, we demonstrate that our cumulative-area method surpasses the conventional single-molecule localization method in terms of the accuracy of determined diffusion coefficients. Furthermore, the cumulative-area method provides conformational relaxation times of structurally flexible chains along with diffusion coefficients, which together are relevant to work in a wide spectrum of scientific fields.

  12. Single-Molecule Tethered Particle Motion: Stepwise Analyses of Site-Specific DNA Recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiu-Fang Fan

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Tethered particle motion/microscopy (TPM is a biophysical tool used to analyze changes in the effective length of a polymer, tethered at one end, under changing conditions. The tether length is measured indirectly by recording the Brownian motion amplitude of a bead attached to the other end. In the biological realm, DNA, whose interactions with proteins are often accompanied by apparent or real changes in length, has almost exclusively been the subject of TPM studies. TPM has been employed to study DNA bending, looping and wrapping, DNA compaction, high-order DNA–protein assembly, and protein translocation along DNA. Our TPM analyses have focused on tyrosine and serine site-specific recombinases. Their pre-chemical interactions with DNA cause reversible changes in DNA length, detectable by TPM. The chemical steps of recombination, depending on the substrate and the type of recombinase, may result in a permanent length change. Single molecule TPM time traces provide thermodynamic and kinetic information on each step of the recombination pathway. They reveal how mechanistically related recombinases may differ in their early commitment to recombination, reversibility of individual steps, and in the rate-limiting step of the reaction. They shed light on the pre-chemical roles of catalytic residues, and on the mechanisms by which accessory proteins regulate recombination directionality.

  13. Single ionization of diatomic molecules by bare ion impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purkait, M; Mandal, C R

    2014-01-01

    The molecular three-Coulomb wave model (M3CW) has been extensively used to study the double-differential ionization cross sections (DDCS) of diatomic molecules by the impact of bare ions at intermediate and high energies. In this model, the distortion of the initial channel by the incoming projectile is also included. The present DDCS results are found to be in good accord both with the experiment of Baran et al 2008 as well as with other theory

  14. Single-Molecule Transport at a Rectifying GaAs Contact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzoli, Andrea; Brooke, Richard J; Ferri, Nicolò; Higgins, Simon J; Schwarzacher, Walther; Nichols, Richard J

    2017-02-08

    In most single- or few-molecule devices, the contact electrodes are simple ohmic resistors. Here we describe a new type of single-molecule device in which metal and semiconductor contact electrodes impart a function, namely, current rectification, which is then modified by a molecule bridging the gap. We study junctions with the structure Au STM tip/X/n-GaAs substrate, where "X" is either a simple alkanedithiol or a conjugated unit bearing thiol/methylthiol contacts, and we detect current jumps corresponding to the attachment and detachment of single molecules. From the magnitudes of the current jumps we can deduce values for the conductance decay constant with molecule length that agree well with values determined from Au/molecule/Au junctions. The ability to impart functionality to a single-molecule device through the properties of the contacts as well as through the properties of the molecule represents a significant extension of the single-molecule electronics "tool-box".

  15. Aligned deposition and electrical measurements on single DNA molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eidelshtein, Gennady; Kotlyar, Alexander; Hashemi, Mohtadin; Gurevich, Leonid

    2015-01-01

    A reliable method of deposition of aligned individual dsDNA molecules on mica, silicon, and micro/nanofabricated circuits is presented. Complexes of biotinylated double stranded poly(dG)–poly(dC) DNA with avidin were prepared and deposited on mica and silicon surfaces in the absence of Mg 2+ ions. Due to its positive charge, the avidin attached to one end of the DNA anchors the complex to negatively charged substrates. Subsequent drying with a directional gas flow yields DNA molecules perfectly aligned on the surface. In the avidin–DNA complex only the avidin moiety is strongly and irreversibly bound to the surface, while the DNA counterpart interacts with the substrates much more weakly and can be lifted from the surface and realigned in any direction. Using this technique, avidin–DNA complexes were deposited across platinum electrodes on a silicon substrate. Electrical measurements on the deposited DNA molecules revealed linear IV-characteristics and exponential dependence on relative humidity. (paper)

  16. Single Molecule Experiments Challenge the Strict Wave-Particle Dualism of Light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Otto Greulich

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Single molecule techniques improve our understanding of the photon and light. If the single photon double slit experiment is performed at the “single photon limit” of a multi-atom light source, faint light pulses with more than one photon hamper the interpretation. Single molecules, quantum dots or defect centres in crystals should be used as light source. “Single photon detectors” do not meet their promise―only “photon number resolving single photon detectors” do so. Particularly, the accumulation time argument, the only safe basis for the postulate of a strictly particle like photon, has so far not yet been verified.

  17. Single molecule experiments challenge the strict wave-particle dualism of light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greulich, Karl Otto

    2010-01-21

    Single molecule techniques improve our understanding of the photon and light. If the single photon double slit experiment is performed at the "single photon limit" of a multi-atom light source, faint light pulses with more than one photon hamper the interpretation. Single molecules, quantum dots or defect centres in crystals should be used as light source. "Single photon detectors" do not meet their promise-only "photon number resolving single photon detectors" do so. Particularly, the accumulation time argument, the only safe basis for the postulate of a strictly particle like photon, has so far not yet been verified.

  18. Photon-counting single-molecule spectroscopy for studying conformational dynamics and macromolecular interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurence, Ted Alfred [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Single-molecule methods have the potential to provide information about conformational dynamics and molecular interactions that cannot be obtained by other methods. Removal of ensemble averaging provides several benefits, including the ability to detect heterogeneous populations and the ability to observe asynchronous reactions. Single-molecule diffusion methodologies using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) are developed to monitor conformational dynamics while minimizing perturbations introduced by interactions between molecules and surfaces. These methods are used to perform studies of the folding of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor 2, a small, single-domain protein, and of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) homopolymers. Confocal microscopy is used in combination with sensitive detectors to detect bursts of photons from fluorescently labeled biomolecules as they diffuse through the focal volume. These bursts are analyzed to extract fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency. Advances in data acquisition and analysis techniques that are providing a more complete picture of the accessible molecular information are discussed. Photon Arrival-time Interval Distribution (PAID) analysis is a new method for monitoring macromolecular interactions by fluorescence detection with simultaneous determination of coincidence, brightness, diffusion time, and occupancy (proportional to concentration) of fluorescently-labeled molecules undergoing diffusion in a confocal detection volume. This method is based on recording the time of arrival of all detected photons, and then plotting the two-dimensional histogram of photon pairs, where one axis is the time interval between each pair of photons 1 and 2, and the second axis is the number of other photons detected in the time interval between photons 1 and 2. PAID is related to Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) by a collapse of this histogram onto the time interval axis. PAID extends auto- and cross-correlation FCS

  19. Photon-counting single-molecule spectroscopy for studying conformational dynamics and macromolecular interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laurence, Ted Alfred

    2002-01-01

    Single-molecule methods have the potential to provide information about conformational dynamics and molecular interactions that cannot be obtained by other methods. Removal of ensemble averaging provides several benefits, including the ability to detect heterogeneous populations and the ability to observe asynchronous reactions. Single-molecule diffusion methodologies using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) are developed to monitor conformational dynamics while minimizing perturbations introduced by interactions between molecules and surfaces. These methods are used to perform studies of the folding of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor 2, a small, single-domain protein, and of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) homopolymers. Confocal microscopy is used in combination with sensitive detectors to detect bursts of photons from fluorescently labeled biomolecules as they diffuse through the focal volume. These bursts are analyzed to extract fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency. Advances in data acquisition and analysis techniques that are providing a more complete picture of the accessible molecular information are discussed. Photon Arrival-time Interval Distribution (PAID) analysis is a new method for monitoring macromolecular interactions by fluorescence detection with simultaneous determination of coincidence, brightness, diffusion time, and occupancy (proportional to concentration) of fluorescently-labeled molecules undergoing diffusion in a confocal detection volume. This method is based on recording the time of arrival of all detected photons, and then plotting the two-dimensional histogram of photon pairs, where one axis is the time interval between each pair of photons 1 and 2, and the second axis is the number of other photons detected in the time interval between photons 1 and 2. PAID is related to Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) by a collapse of this histogram onto the time interval axis. PAID extends auto- and cross-correlation FCS

  20. Protein Frustratometer 2: a tool to localize energetic frustration in protein molecules, now with electrostatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, R Gonzalo; Schafer, Nicholas P; Radusky, Leandro G; Tsai, Min-Yeh; Guzovsky, A Brenda; Wolynes, Peter G; Ferreiro, Diego U

    2016-07-08

    The protein frustratometer is an energy landscape theory-inspired algorithm that aims at localizing and quantifying the energetic frustration present in protein molecules. Frustration is a useful concept for analyzing proteins' biological behavior. It compares the energy distributions of the native state with respect to structural decoys. The network of minimally frustrated interactions encompasses the folding core of the molecule. Sites of high local frustration often correlate with functional regions such as binding sites and regions involved in allosteric transitions. We present here an upgraded version of a webserver that measures local frustration. The new implementation that allows the inclusion of electrostatic energy terms, important to the interactions with nucleic acids, is significantly faster than the previous version enabling the analysis of large macromolecular complexes within a user-friendly interface. The webserver is freely available at URL: http://frustratometer.qb.fcen.uba.ar. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. High Throughput, Label-free Screening Small Molecule Compound Libraries for Protein-Ligands using Combination of Small Molecule Microarrays and a Special Ellipsometry-based Optical Scanner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry, James P; Fei, Yiyan; Zhu, X D

    2011-12-01

    Small-molecule compounds remain the major source of therapeutic and preventative drugs. Developing new drugs against a protein target often requires screening large collections of compounds with diverse structures for ligands or ligand fragments that exhibit sufficiently affinity and desirable inhibition effect on the target before further optimization and development. Since the number of small molecule compounds is large, high-throughput screening (HTS) methods are needed. Small-molecule microarrays (SMM) on a solid support in combination with a suitable binding assay form a viable HTS platform. We demonstrate that by combining an oblique-incidence reflectivity difference optical scanner with SMM we can screen 10,000 small-molecule compounds on a single glass slide for protein ligands without fluorescence labeling. Furthermore using such a label-free assay platform we can simultaneously acquire binding curves of a solution-phase protein to over 10,000 immobilized compounds, thus enabling full characterization of protein-ligand interactions over a wide range of affinity constants.

  2. Investigation of photobleaching and saturation of single molecules by fluorophore recrossing events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burrows, Sean M.; Reif, Randall D. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1061 (United States); Pappas, Dimitri [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1061 (United States)], E-mail: d.pappas@ttu.edu

    2007-08-15

    A method for investigation of photobleaching and saturation of single molecules by fluorophore recrossing events in a laser beam is described. The diffraction-limited probe volumes encountered in single-molecule detection (SMD) produce high excitation irradiance, which can decrease available signal. The single molecules of several dyes were detected and the data was used to extract interpeak times above a defined threshold value. The interpeak times revealed the number of fluorophore recrossing events. The number of molecules detected that were within 2 ms of each other represented a molecular recrossing for this work. Calcein, fluorescein and R-phycoerythrin were analyzed and the saturation irradiance and photobleaching effects were determined as a function of irradiance. This approach is simple and it serves as a method of optimizing experimental conditions for single-molecule detection.

  3. Modulation and Control of Charge Transport Through Single-Molecule Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kun; Xu, Bingqian

    2017-02-01

    The ability to modulate and control charge transport though single-molecule junction devices is crucial to achieving the ultimate goal of molecular electronics: constructing real-world-applicable electronic components from single molecules. This review aims to highlight the progress made in single-molecule electronics, emphasizing the development of molecular junction electronics in recent years. Among many techniques that attempt to wire a molecule to metallic electrodes, the single-molecule break junction (SMBJ) technique is one of the most reliable and tunable experimental platforms for achieving metal-molecule-metal configurations. It also provides great freedom to tune charge transport through the junction. Soon after the SMBJ technique was introduced, it was extensively used to measure the conductances of individual molecules; however, different conductances were obtained for the same molecule, and it proved difficult to interpret this wide distribution of experimental data. This phenomenon was later found to be mainly due to a lack of precise experimental control and advanced data analysis methods. In recent years, researchers have directed considerable effort into advancing the SMBJ technique by gaining a deeper physical understanding of charge transport through single molecules and thus enhancing its potential applicability in functional molecular-scale electronic devices, such as molecular diodes and molecular transistors. In parallel with that research, novel data analysis methods and approaches that enable the discovery of hidden yet important features in the data are being developed. This review discusses various aspects of molecular junction electronics, from the initial goal of molecular electronics, the development of experimental techniques for creating single-molecule junctions and determining single-molecule conductance, to the characterization of functional current-voltage features and the investigation of physical properties other than charge

  4. Single-molecule conductivity of non-redox and redox molecules at pure and gold-mined Au(111)-electrode surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Chi, Qijin; Ulstrup, Jens

    The structure, two-dimensional organization, and function of molecules immobilized on solid surfaces can be addressed in a degree of detail that has reached the level of the single-molecule. In this context redox molecules are “smart” molecules adding sophisticated electronic function. Redox meta...

  5. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  6. Quantum interference effects at room temperature in OPV-based single-molecule junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arroyo, Carlos R.; Frisenda, Riccardo; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2013-01-01

    Interference effects on charge transport through an individual molecule can lead to a notable modulation and suppression on its conductance. In this letter, we report the observation of quantum interference effects occurring at room temperature in single-molecule junctions based on oligo(3......)-phenylenevinylene (OPV3) derivatives, in which the central benzene ring is coupled to either para- or meta-positions. Using the break-junction technique, we find that the conductance for a single meta-OPV3 molecule wired between gold electrodes is one order of magnitude smaller than that of a para-OPV3 molecule...

  7. Spectrally Resolved and Functional Super-resolution Microscopy via Ultrahigh-Throughput Single-Molecule Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Rui; Moon, Seonah; Kenny, Samuel J; Xu, Ke

    2018-03-20

    As an elegant integration of the spatial and temporal dimensions of single-molecule fluorescence, single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) overcomes the diffraction-limited resolution barrier of optical microscopy by localizing single molecules that stochastically switch between fluorescent and dark states over time. While this type of super-resolution microscopy (SRM) technique readily achieves remarkable spatial resolutions of ∼10 nm, it typically provides no spectral information. Meanwhile, current scanning-based single-location approaches for mapping the positions and spectra of single molecules are limited by low throughput and are difficult to apply to densely labeled (bio)samples. In this Account, we summarize the rationale, design, and results of our recent efforts toward the integration of the spectral dimension of single-molecule fluorescence with SMLM to achieve spectrally resolved SMLM (SR-SMLM) and functional SRM ( f-SRM). By developing a wide-field scheme for spectral measurement and implementing single-molecule fluorescence on-off switching typical of SMLM, we first showed that in densely labeled (bio)samples it is possible to record the fluorescence spectra and positions of millions of single molecules synchronously within minutes, giving rise to ultrahigh-throughput single-molecule spectroscopy and SR-SMLM. This allowed us to first show statistically that for many dyes, single molecules of the same species exhibit near identical emission in fixed cells. This narrow distribution of emission wavelengths, which contrasts markedly with previous results at solid surfaces, allowed us to unambiguously identify single molecules of spectrally similar dyes. Crosstalk-free, multiplexed SRM was thus achieved for four dyes that were merely 10 nm apart in emission spectrum, with the three-dimensional SRM images of all four dyes being automatically aligned within one image channel. The ability to incorporate single-molecule fluorescence measurement with

  8. Putting prions into focus: application of single molecule detection to the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, A; Bieschke, J; Eigen, M; Kretzschmar, H A

    2000-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the cerebral deposition of an aggregated pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) which constitutes the principal component of the transmissible agent termed prion. In order to develop a highly sensitive method for the detection of PrP(Sc) aggregates in biological samples such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we used a method based on Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), a technique which allows detection of single fluorescently labeled molecules in solution. Within the FCS setup, fluorescent photons emitted by molecules passing an open volume element defined by the beam of an excitation laser focussed into a diffraction-limited spot are imaged confocally onto a single photon counting detector. Aggregates of PrP(Sc) could be labeled by co-aggregation of probe molecules such as monomeric recombinant PrP or PrP-specific antibodies tagged with a fluorescent dye. In addition to slow diffusion, labeled aggregates are characterized by high fluorescence intensity, which allows detection and quantification by analysis of fluorescence intensity distribution. To improve detection of rare target particles, the accessible volume element was increased by scanning for intensely fluorescent targets (SIFT). To further improve sensitivity and specificity, two different probes were used simultaneously in a two-color setup. In a diagnostic model system of CSF spiked with purified prion rods, dual-color SIFT was more sensitive than Western blot analysis. In addition, a PrP(Sc)-specific signal was also detected in a number of CSF samples derived from CJD patients but not in controls.

  9. The Use of Ultrashort Picosecond Laser Pulses to Generate Quantum Optical Properties of Single Molecules in Biophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Sonny

    Generation of quantum optical states from ultrashort laser-molecule interactions have led to fascinating discoveries in physics and chemistry. In recent years, these interactions have been extended to probe phenomena in single molecule biophysics. Photons emitted from a single fluorescent molecule contains important properties about how the molecule behave and function in that particular environment. Analysis of the second order coherence function through fluorescence correlation spectroscopy plays a pivotal role in quantum optics. At very short nanosecond timescales, the coherence function predicts photon antibunching, a purely quantum optical phenomena which states that a single molecule can only emit one photon at a time. Photon antibunching is the only direct proof of single molecule emission. From the nanosecond to microsecond timescale, the coherence function gives information about rotational diffusion coefficients, and at longer millisecond timescales, gives information regarding the translational diffusion coefficients. In addition, energy transfer between molecules from dipole-dipole interaction results in FRET, a highly sensitive method to probe conformational dynamics at nanometer distances. Here I apply the quantum optical techniques of photon antibunching, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and FRET to probe how lipid nanodiscs form and function at the single molecule level. Lipid nanodiscs are particles that contain two apolipoprotein (apo) A-I circumventing a lipid bilayer in a belt conformation. From a technological point of view, nanodiscs mimics a patch of cell membrane that have recently been used to reconstitute a variety of membrane proteins including cytochrome P450 and bacteriorhodopsin. They are also potential drug transport vehicles due to its small and stable 10nm diameter size. Biologically, nanodiscs resemble to high degree, high density lipoproteins (HDL) in our body and provides a model platform to study lipid-protein interactions

  10. Force-induced chemical reactions on the metal centre in a single metalloprotein molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Peng; Arantes, Guilherme M.; Field, Martin J.; Li, Hongbin

    2015-01-01

    Metalloproteins play indispensable roles in biology owing to the versatile chemical reactivity of metal centres. However, studying their reactivity in many metalloproteins is challenging, as protein three-dimensional structure encloses labile metal centres, thus limiting their access to reactants and impeding direct measurements. Here we demonstrate the use of single-molecule atomic force microscopy to induce partial unfolding to expose metal centres in metalloproteins to aqueous solution, thus allowing for studying their chemical reactivity in aqueous solution for the first time. As a proof-of-principle, we demonstrate two chemical reactions for the FeS4 centre in rubredoxin: electrophilic protonation and nucleophilic ligand substitution. Our results show that protonation and ligand substitution result in mechanical destabilization of the FeS4 centre. Quantum chemical calculations corroborated experimental results and revealed detailed reaction mechanisms. We anticipate that this novel approach will provide insights into chemical reactivity of metal centres in metalloproteins under biologically more relevant conditions. PMID:26108369

  11. Single-molecule fluorescence polarization study of conformational change in archaeal group II chaperonin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryo Iizuka

    Full Text Available Group II chaperonins found in archaea and in eukaryotic cytosol mediate protein folding without a GroES-like cofactor. The function of the cofactor is substituted by the helical protrusion at the tip of the apical domain, which forms a built-in lid on the central cavity. Although many studies on the change in lid conformation coupled to the binding and hydrolysis of nucleotides have been conducted, the molecular mechanism of lid closure remains poorly understood. Here, we performed a single-molecule polarization modulation to probe the rotation of the helical protrusion of a chaperonin from a hyperthermophilic archaeum, Thermococcus sp. strain KS-1. We detected approximately 35° rotation of the helical protrusion immediately after photorelease of ATP. The result suggests that the conformational change from the open lid to the closed lid state is responsible for the approximately 35° rotation of the helical protrusion.

  12. Yeast cytochrome c integrated with electronic elements: a nanoscopic and spectroscopic study down to single-molecule level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delfino, I; Bonanni, B; Andolfi, L; Baldacchini, C; Bizzarri, A R; Cannistraro, S

    2007-01-01

    Various aspects of redox protein integration with nano-electronic elements are addressed by a multi-technique investigation of different yeast cytochrome c (YCC)-based hybrid systems. Three different immobilization strategies on gold via organic linkers are explored, involving either covalent bonding or electrostatic interaction. Specifically, Au surfaces are chemically modified by self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) exposing thiol-reactive groups, or by acid-oxidized single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy are employed to characterize the morphology and the electronic properties of single YCC molecules adsorbed on the modified gold surfaces. In each hybrid system, the protein molecules are stably assembled, in a native configuration. A standing-up arrangement of YCC on SAMs is suggested, together with an enhancement of the molecular conduction, as compared to YCC directly assembled on gold. The electrostatic interaction with functionalized SWNTs allows several YCC adsorption geometries, with a preferential high-spin haem configuration, as outlined by Raman spectroscopy. Moreover, the conduction properties of YCC, explored in different YCC nanojunctions by conductive atomic force microscopy, indicate the effectiveness of electrical conduction through the molecule and its dependence on the electrode material. The joint employment of several techniques confirms the key role of a well-designed immobilization strategy, for optimizing biorecognition capabilities and electrical coupling with conductive substrates at the single-molecule level, as a starting point for advanced applications in nano-biotechnology

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-21

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

  14. Small Molecules Facilitate Single Factor-Mediated Hepatic Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Tae Lim

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that defined factors could lead to the direct conversion of fibroblasts into induced hepatocyte-like cells (iHeps. However, reported conversion efficiencies are very low, and the underlying mechanism of the direct hepatic reprogramming is largely unknown. Here, we report that direct conversion into iHeps is a stepwise transition involving the erasure of somatic memory, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, and induction of hepatic cell fate in a sequential manner. Through screening for additional factors that could potentially enhance the conversion kinetics, we have found that c-Myc and Klf4 (CK dramatically accelerate conversion kinetics, resulting in remarkably improved iHep generation. Furthermore, we identified small molecules that could lead to the robust generation of iHeps without CK. Finally, we show that Hnf1α supported by small molecules is sufficient to efficiently induce direct hepatic reprogramming. This approach might help to fully elucidate the direct conversion process and also facilitate the translation of iHep into the clinic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Sotthewes

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Single-molecule conductance of redox molecules in electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haiss, W.; Albrecht, Tim; van Zalinge, H.

    2007-01-01

    of a maximum in the I-tunneling versus electrode potential relationship can be fitted by a "soft" gating concept. This arises from large configurational fluctuations of the molecular bridge linked to the gold contacts by flexible chains. This view is incorporated in a formalism that is well-suited for data...... analysis and reproduces in all important respects the 6V6 data for physically sound values of the appropriate parameters. This study demonstrates that fluctuations of isolated configurationally "soft" molecules can dominate charge transport patterns and that theoretical frameworks for compact monolayers...

  17. Repurposing a Benchtop Centrifuge for High-Throughput Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Darren; Wong, Wesley P

    2018-01-01

    We present high-throughput single-molecule manipulation using a benchtop centrifuge, overcoming limitations common in other single-molecule approaches such as high cost, low throughput, technical difficulty, and strict infrastructure requirements. An inexpensive and compact Centrifuge Force Microscope (CFM) adapted to a commercial centrifuge enables use by nonspecialists, and integration with DNA nanoswitches facilitates both reliable measurements and repeated molecular interrogation. Here, we provide detailed protocols for constructing the CFM, creating DNA nanoswitch samples, and carrying out single-molecule force measurements.

  18. Protein electrochemistry using graphene-based nano-assembly: an ultrasensitive electrochemical detection of protein molecules via nanoparticle-electrode collisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Da; Liu, Jingquan; Barrow, Colin J; Yang, Wenrong

    2014-08-04

    We describe a new electrochemical detection approach towards single protein molecules (microperoxidase-11, MP-11), which are attached to the surface of graphene nanosheets. The non-covalently functionalized graphene nanosheets exhibit enhanced electroactive surface area, where amplified redox current is produced when graphene nanosheets collide with the electrode.

  19. Monitoring single protease activities on triple-helical collagen molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harzar, Raj; Froberg, James; Srivastava, D. K.; Choi, Yongki

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a particular family of proteases, play a pivotal role in degrading the extracellular matrix (ECM). It has been known for more than 40 years that MMPs are closely involved in multiple human cancers during cell growth, invasion, and metastasis. However, the mechanisms of MMP activity are far from being understood. Here, we monitored enzymatic processing of MMPs with two complementary approaches, atomic force microscopy and nanocircuits measurements. AFM measurements demonstrated that incubation of collagen monomers with MMPs resulted in a single position cleavage, producing 3/4 and 1/4 collagen fragments. From electronic monitoring of single MMP nanocircuit measurements, we were able to capture a single cleavage event with a rate of 0.012 Hz, which were in good agreement with fluorescence assay measurements. This work was supported financially by the NIGMS/NIH (P30GM103332-02) and ND NASA EPSCoR RID Grant.

  20. Nanoscale and single-molecule interfacial electron transfer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Allan Glargaard; Wackerbarth, Hainer; Nielsen, Jens Ulrik

    2003-01-01

    for comprehensive later theoretical work and data interpretation in many areas of chemistry, electrochemistry, and biology. We discuss here some new areas of theoretical electrochemical ET science, with focus on nanoscale electrochemical and bioelectrochemical sciences. Particular attention is given to in situ...... scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and single-electron tunneling (SET, or Coulomb blockade) in electrochemical. systems directly in aqueous electrolyte solution and at room temperature. We illustrate the new theoretical formalism and its perspectives by recent cases of electrochemical SET, negative...... differential resistance patterns, and by ET dynamics of organized assemblies of biological macromolecules, such as redox metalloproteins and oligonucleotides on single-crystal Au(III)-electrode surfaces....

  1. Studying Chemical Reactions, One Bond at a Time, with Single Molecule AFM Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Julio M.

    2008-03-01

    The mechanisms by which mechanical forces regulate the kinetics of a chemical reaction are unknown. In my lecture I will demonstrate how we use single molecule force-clamp spectroscopy and protein engineering to study the effect of force on the kinetics of thiol/disulfide exchange. Reduction of disulfide bond via the thiol/disulfide exchange chemical reaction is crucial in regulating protein function and is of common occurrence in mechanically stressed proteins. While reduction is thought to proceed through a substitution nucleophilic bimolecular (SN2) reaction, the role of a mechanical force in modulating this chemical reaction is unknown. We apply a constant stretching force to single engineered disulfide bonds and measure their rate of reduction by dithiothreitol (DTT). We find that while the reduction rate is linearly dependent on the concentration of DTT, it is exponentially dependent on the applied force, increasing 10-fold over a 300 pN range. This result predicts that the disulfide bond lengthens by 0.34 å at the transition state of the thiol/disulfide exchange reaction. In addition to DTT, we also study the reduction of the engineered disulfide bond by the E. coli enzyme thioredoxin (Trx). Thioredoxins are enzymes that catalyze disulfide bond reduction in all organisms. As before, we apply a mechanical force in the range of 25-450 pN to the engineered disulfide bond substrate and monitor the reduction of these bonds by individual enzymes. In sharp contrast with the data obtained with DTT, we now observe two alternative forms of the catalytic reaction, the first requiring a reorientation of the substrate disulfide bond, causing a shortening of the substrate polypeptide by 0.76±0.07 å, and the second elongating the substrate disulfide bond by 0.21±0.01 å. These results support the view that the Trx active site regulates the geometry of the participating sulfur atoms, with sub-ångström precision, in order to achieve efficient catalysis. Single molecule

  2. Free energy profiles from single-molecule pulling experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummer, Gerhard; Szabo, Attila

    2010-12-14

    Nonequilibrium pulling experiments provide detailed information about the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of molecules. We show that unperturbed free energy profiles as a function of molecular extension can be obtained rigorously from such experiments without using work-weighted position histograms. An inverse Weierstrass transform is used to relate the system free energy obtained from the Jarzynski equality directly to the underlying molecular free energy surface. An accurate approximation for the free energy surface is obtained by using the method of steepest descent to evaluate the inverse transform. The formalism is applied to simulated data obtained from a kinetic model of RNA folding, in which the dynamics consists of jumping between linker-dominated folded and unfolded free energy surfaces.

  3. Estimating single molecule conductance from spontaneous evolution of a molecular contact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, M.; Malinowski, T.; Iazykov, M.; Klein, H. R.

    2018-03-01

    We present an original method to estimate the conductivity of a single molecule anchored to nanometric-sized metallic electrodes, using a Mechanically Controlled Break Junction operated at room temperature in the liquid. We record the conductance through the metal/molecules/metal nanocontact while keeping the metallic electrodes at a fixed distance. Taking advantage of thermal diffusion and electromigration, we let the contact naturally explore the more stable configurations around a chosen conductance value. The conductance of a single molecule is estimated from a statistical analysis of raw conductance and conductance standard deviation data for molecular contacts containing up to 14 molecules. The single molecule conductance values are interpreted as time-averaged conductance of an ensemble of conformers at thermal equilibrium.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Rashid, Fahad

    2017-02-23

    Human flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) and related structure-specific 5\\'nucleases precisely identify and incise aberrant DNA structures during replication, repair and recombination to avoid genomic instability. Yet, it is unclear how the 5\\'nuclease mechanisms of DNA distortion and protein ordering robustly mediate efficient and accurate substrate recognition and catalytic selectivity. Here, single-molecule sub-millisecond and millisecond analyses of FEN1 reveal a protein-DNA induced-fit mechanism that efficiently verifies substrate and suppresses off-target cleavage. FEN1 sculpts DNA with diffusion-limited kinetics to test DNA substrate. This DNA distortion mutually \\'locks\\' protein and DNA conformation and enables substrate verification with extreme precision. Strikingly, FEN1 never 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.

  5. Design principles of natural light-harvesting as revealed by single molecule spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krüger, T.P.J., E-mail: tjaart.kruger@up.ac.za [Department of Physics, University of Pretoria, Private bag X20, Hatfield 0028 (South Africa); Grondelle, R. van [Department of Physics and Astronomy, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2016-01-01

    Biology offers a boundless source of adaptation, innovation, and inspiration. A wide range of photosynthetic organisms exist that are capable of harvesting solar light in an exceptionally efficient way, using abundant and low-cost materials. These natural light-harvesting complexes consist of proteins that strongly bind a high density of chromophores to capture solar photons and rapidly transfer the excitation energy to the photochemical reaction centre. The amount of harvested light is also delicately tuned to the level of solar radiation to maintain a constant energy throughput at the reaction centre and avoid the accumulation of the products of charge separation. In this Review, recent developments in the understanding of light-harvesting by plants will be discussed, based on results obtained from single molecule spectroscopy studies. Three design principles of the main light-harvesting antenna of plants will be highlighted: (a) fine, photoactive control over the intrinsic protein disorder to efficiently use intrinsically available thermal energy dissipation mechanisms; (b) the design of the protein microenvironment of a low-energy chromophore dimer to control the amount of shade absorption; (c) the design of the exciton manifold to ensure efficient funneling of the harvested light to the terminal emitter cluster.

  6. Organized single-molecule magnets: direct observation of new Mn12 derivatives on gold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornia, A.; Fabretti, A.C.; Pacchioni, M.; Zobbi, L.; Bonacchi, D.; Caneschi, A.; Gatteschi, D.; Biagi, R.; Del Pennino, U.; De Renzi, V.; Gurevich, L.; Zant, H.S.J. van der

    2004-01-01

    Gold adsorbates of the dodecamanganese(III,IV) single-molecule magnet (SMM) [Mn 12 O 12 (L) 16 (H 2 O) 4 ] where L=16-(acetylthio)hexadecanoate have been prepared and investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The successful imaging of Mn 12 molecules by STM represents a first step toward the magnetic addressing of individual SMMs and the development of molecule-based devices for magnetic information storage

  7. Structural studies on proton/protonation of the protein molecule

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morimoto, Yukio; Kida, Akiko; Chatake, Toshiyuki; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Hosokawa, Keiichi; Murakami, Takuto; Umino, Masaaki; Tanaka, Ichiro; Hisatome, Ichiro; Yanagisawa, Yasutake; Fujiwara, Satoshi; Hidaka, Yuji; Shimamoto, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Mitsutoshi; Nakanishi, Takeyoshi

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports three studies involved in the analysis of protons and protonation at physiologically active sites in protein molecules. (1) 'Elucidation of the higher-order structure formation and activity performing mechanism of yeast proteasome.' With an aim to apply to anti-cancer drugs, this study performed the shape analysis of the total structure of 26S proteasome using small-angle X-ray scattering to clarify the complex form where controlling elements bonded to the both ends of 20S catalyst body, and analyzed the complex structure between the active sites of 20S and inhibitor (drug). (2) 'Basic study on the neutron experiment of biomolecules such as physiologically active substances derived from Natto-bacteria.' This study conducted the purification, crystallization, and X-ray analysis experiment of nattokinase; high-grade purification and solution experiment of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7); and Z-DNA crystal structure study related to the neutron crystal analysis of DNA as another biomolecule structure study. (3) 'Functional evaluation on digestive enzymes derived from Nephila clavata.' As an Alzheimer's disease-related amyloid fibril formation model, this study carried out elucidation on the fibrosis and fiber-forming mechanism of the traction fiber of Nephila clavata, and the functional analysis of its degrading enzyme. (A.O.)

  8. New tools to study biophysical properties of single molecules and single cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio S. Rocha

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a review on two new tools to study biophysical properties of single molecules and single cells. A laser incident through a high numerical aperture microscope objective can trap small dielectric particles near the focus. This arrangement is named optical tweezers. This technique has the advantage to permit manipulation of a single individual object. We use optical tweezers to measure the entropic elasticity of a single DNA molecule and its interaction with the drug Psoralen. Optical tweezers are also used to hold a kidney cell MDCK away from the substrate to allow precise volume measurements of this single cell during an osmotic shock. This procedure allows us to obtain information about membrane water permeability and regulatory volume increase. Defocusing microscopy is a recent technique invented in our laboratory, which allows the observation of transparent objects, by simply defocusing the microscope in a controlled way. Our physical model of a defocused microscope shows that the image contrast observed in this case is proportional to the defocus distance and to the curvature of the transparent object. Defocusing microscopy is very useful to study motility and mechanical properties of cells. We show here the application of defocusing microscopy to measurements of macrophage surface fluctuations and their influence on phagocytosis.Apresentamos uma revisão de duas novas técnicas para estudar propriedades biofísicas de moléculas únicas e células únicas. Um laser incidindo em uma objetiva de microscópio de grande abertura numérica é capaz de aprisionar pequenas partículas dielétricas na região próxima ao foco. Este aparato é chamado de pinça óptica. Esta técnica tem a grande vantagem de permitir a manipulação de um objeto individual. Usamos a pinça óptica para medir a elasticidade entrópica de uma molécula única de DNA em sua interação com o fármaco Psoralen. A pinça óptica também é usada para segurar

  9. Dipolar molecules inside C-70: an electric field-driven room-temperature single-molecule switch

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Foroutan-Nejad, C.; Andrushchenko, Valery; Straka, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 48 (2016), s. 32673-32677 ISSN 1463-9076 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-03564S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : room-temperature single-molecule switch * electric field * endohedral fullerene * density functional calculations Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 4.123, year: 2016 http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2016/cp/c6cp06986j

  10. Relaxation in Thin Polymer Films Mapped across the Film Thickness by Astigmatic Single-Molecule Imaging

    KAUST Repository

    Oba, Tatsuya

    2012-06-19

    We have studied relaxation processes in thin supported films of poly(methyl acrylate) at the temperature corresponding to 13 K above the glass transition by monitoring the reorientation of single perylenediimide molecules doped into the films. The axial position of the dye molecules across the thickness of the film was determined with a resolution of 12 nm by analyzing astigmatic fluorescence images. The average relaxation times of the rotating molecules do not depend on the overall thickness of the film between 20 and 110 nm. The relaxation times also do not show any dependence on the axial position within the films for the film thickness between 70 and 110 nm. In addition to the rotating molecules we observed a fraction of spatially diffusing molecules and completely immobile molecules. These molecules indicate the presence of thin (<5 nm) high-mobility surface layer and low-mobility layer at the interface with the substrate. (Figure presented) © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  11. Biological Evaluation of Single Cell Protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasan, I.A.; Mohamed, N.E.; El-Sayed, E.A.; Younis, N.A.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the nutritional value of single cell protein (SCP) was evaluated as a non conventional protein source produced by fermenting fungal local strains of Trichoderma longibrachiatum, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus and Penicillium funiculosum with alkali treated sugar cane bagasse. Amino acid analysis revealed that the produced SCP contains essential and non essential amino acids. Male mice were fed on normal (basal) diet which contains 18% conventional protein and served as control group. In the second (T1) and the third (T2) group, the animals were fed on a diet in which 15% and 30% of conventional protein source were replaced by SCP, respectively. At intervals of 15, 30, 45 and 60 days, mice were sacrificed and the blood samples were collected for the biochemical evaluation. The daily averages of body weight were significantly higher with group T2 than group T1. Where as, the kidney weights in groups (T1) and (T2) were significantly increased as compared with control. A non significant difference between the tested groups in the enzyme activities of AST, ALT and GSH content of liver tissue were recorded. While, cholesterol and triglycerides contents showed a significant decrease in both (T1) and (T2) groups as compared with control. The recorded values of the serum hormone (T4), ALP activities, albumin and A/G ratio did not changed by the previous treatments. Serum levels of total protein, urea, creatinine and uric acid were higher for groups (T1) and (T2) than the control group. In conclusion, partial substitution of soy bean protein in mice diet with single cell protein (15%) improved the mice growth without any adverse effects on some of the physiological functions tested

  12. Detection of kinetic change points in piece-wise linear single molecule motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Flynn R.; van Oijen, Antoine M.; Duderstadt, Karl E.

    2018-03-01

    Single-molecule approaches present a powerful way to obtain detailed kinetic information at the molecular level. However, the identification of small rate changes is often hindered by the considerable noise present in such single-molecule kinetic data. We present a general method to detect such kinetic change points in trajectories of motion of processive single molecules having Gaussian noise, with a minimum number of parameters and without the need of an assumed kinetic model beyond piece-wise linearity of motion. Kinetic change points are detected using a likelihood ratio test in which the probability of no change is compared to the probability of a change occurring, given the experimental noise. A predetermined confidence interval minimizes the occurrence of false detections. Applying the method recursively to all sub-regions of a single molecule trajectory ensures that all kinetic change points are located. The algorithm presented allows rigorous and quantitative determination of kinetic change points in noisy single molecule observations without the need for filtering or binning, which reduce temporal resolution and obscure dynamics. The statistical framework for the approach and implementation details are discussed. The detection power of the algorithm is assessed using simulations with both single kinetic changes and multiple kinetic changes that typically arise in observations of single-molecule DNA-replication reactions. Implementations of the algorithm are provided in ImageJ plugin format written in Java and in the Julia language for numeric computing, with accompanying Jupyter Notebooks to allow reproduction of the analysis presented here.

  13. The spontaneous formation of single-molecule junctions via terminal alkynes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pla-Vilanova, Pepita; Aragonès, Albert C; Sanz, Fausto; Darwish, Nadim; Diez-Perez, Ismael; Ciampi, Simone

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we report the spontaneous formation of single-molecule junctions via terminal alkyne contact groups. Self-assembled monolayers that form spontaneously from diluted solutions of 1, 4-diethynylbenzene (DEB) were used to build single-molecule contacts and assessed using the scanning tunneling microscopy-break junction technique (STM-BJ). The STM-BJ technique in both its dynamic and static approaches was used to characterize the lifetime (stability) and the conductivity of a single-DEB wire. It is demonstrated that single-molecule junctions form spontaneously with terminal alkynes and require no electrochemical control or chemical deprotonation. The alkyne anchoring group was compared against typical contact groups exploited in single-molecule studies, i.e. amine (benzenediamine) and thiol (benzendithiol) contact groups. The alkyne contact showed a conductance magnitude comparable to that observed with amine and thiol groups. The lifetime of the junctions formed from alkynes were only slightly less than that of thiols and greater than that observed for amines. These findings are important as (a) they extend the repertoire of chemical contacts used in single-molecule measurements to 1-alkynes, which are synthetically accessible and stable and (b) alkynes have a remarkable affinity toward silicon surfaces, hence opening the door for the study of single-molecule transport on a semiconducting electronic platform. (fast track communication)

  14. Electron-vibron coupling effects on electron transport via a single-molecule magnet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McCaskey, A.; Yamamoto, Y.; Warnock, M.; Burzuri, E.; Van der Zant, H.S.J.; Park, K.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate how the electron-vibron coupling influences electron transport via an anisotropic magnetic molecule, such as a single-molecule magnet (SMM) Fe4, by using a model Hamiltonian with parameter values obtained from density-functional theory (DFT). The magnetic anisotropy parameters,

  15. Single-molecule force spectroscopy: optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman, Keir C.; Nagy, Attila

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to investigate the forces and motions associated with biological molecules and enzymatic activity. The most common force spectroscopy techniques are optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy. These techniques are described and illustrated with examples highlighting current capabilities and limitations. PMID:18511917

  16. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Reveals the Oligomerization and Folding Steps Driving the Prion-like Behavior of ASC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambin, Yann; Giles, Nichole; O'Carroll, Ailís; Polinkovsky, Mark; Hunter, Dominic; Sierecki, Emma

    2018-02-16

    Single-molecule fluorescence has the unique ability to quantify small oligomers and track conformational changes at a single-protein level. Here we tackled one of the most extreme protein behaviors, found recently in an inflammation pathway. Upon danger recognition in the cytosol, NLRP3 recruits its signaling adaptor, ASC. ASC start polymerizing in a prion-like manner and the system goes in "overdrive" by producing a single micron-sized "speck." By precisely controlling protein expression levels in an in vitro translation system, we could trigger the polymerization of ASC and mimic formation of specks in the absence of inflammasome nucleators. We utilized single-molecule spectroscopy to fully characterize prion-like behaviors and self-propagation of ASC fibrils. We next used our controlled system to monitor the conformational changes of ASC upon fibrillation. Indeed, ASC consists of a PYD and CARD domains, separated by a flexible linker. Individually, both domains have been found to form fibrils, but the structure of the polymers formed by the full-length ASC proteins remains elusive. For the first time, using single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer, we studied the relative positions of the CARD and PYD domains of full-length ASC. An unexpectedly large conformational change occurred upon ASC fibrillation, suggesting that the CARD domain folds back onto the PYD domain. However, contradicting current models, the "prion-like" conformer was not initiated by binding of ASC to the NLRP3 platform. Rather, using a new method, hybrid between Photon Counting Histogram and Number and Brightness analysis, we showed that NLRP3 forms hexamers with self-binding affinities around 300nM. Overall our data suggest a new mechanism, where NLRP3 can initiate ASC polymerization simply by increasing the local concentration of ASC above a supercritical level. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Unified Model of Dynamic Forced Barrier Crossing in Single Molecules

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friddle, R W

    2007-06-21

    Thermally activated barrier crossing in the presence of an increasing load can reveal kinetic rate constants and energy barrier parameters when repeated over a range of loading rates. Here we derive a model of the mean escape force for all relevant loading rates--the complete force spectrum. Two well-known approximations emerge as limiting cases; one of which confirms predictions that single-barrier spectra should converge to a phenomenological description in the slow loading limit.

  18. Relaxation in Thin Polymer Films Mapped across the Film Thickness by Astigmatic Single-Molecule Imaging

    KAUST Repository

    Oba, Tatsuya; Vacha, Martin

    2012-01-01

    We have studied relaxation processes in thin supported films of poly(methyl acrylate) at the temperature corresponding to 13 K above the glass transition by monitoring the reorientation of single perylenediimide molecules doped into the films

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Influence of quantum dot labels on single molecule movement in the plasma membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Mathias P.; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer

    2011-01-01

    Single particle tracking results are very dependent on the probe that is used. In this study we have investigated the influence that functionalized quantum dots (QDs) have on the recorded movement in single molecule tracking experiments of plasma membrane species in live cells. Potential issues...... for simultaneous investigations of different plasma membrane species in order to discriminate the effect of the label from differences in movement of the target molecules....

  1. Studying DNA Looping by Single-Molecule FRET

    OpenAIRE

    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 als...

  2. Multispot single-molecule FRET: High-throughput analysis of freely diffusing molecules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino Ingargiola

    Full Text Available We describe an 8-spot confocal setup for high-throughput smFRET assays and illustrate its performance with two characteristic experiments. First, measurements on a series of freely diffusing doubly-labeled dsDNA samples allow us to demonstrate that data acquired in multiple spots in parallel can be properly corrected and result in measured sample characteristics consistent with those obtained with a standard single-spot setup. We then take advantage of the higher throughput provided by parallel acquisition to address an outstanding question about the kinetics of the initial steps of bacterial RNA transcription. Our real-time kinetic analysis of promoter escape by bacterial RNA polymerase confirms results obtained by a more indirect route, shedding additional light on the initial steps of transcription. Finally, we discuss the advantages of our multispot setup, while pointing potential limitations of the current single laser excitation design, as well as analysis challenges and their solutions.

  3. Magnetization relaxation of single molecule magnets after field cooling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Julio F.; Alonso, Juan J.

    2004-03-01

    Magnetic clusters, such as Fe8 and Mn_12, behave at low temperatures as large single spins S. In crystals, anisotropy energies U allow magnetic relaxation only through tunneling at k_BTstackrelspins with dipolar interactions. To mimic tunneling effects, a spin on a lattice site where h is within some tunnel window -h_w

  4. Extracting physics of life at the molecular level: A review of single-molecule data analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colomb, Warren; Sarkar, Susanta K

    2015-06-01

    Studying individual biomolecules at the single-molecule level has proved very insightful recently. Single-molecule experiments allow us to probe both the equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties as well as make quantitative connections with ensemble experiments and equilibrium thermodynamics. However, it is important to be careful about the analysis of single-molecule data because of the noise present and the lack of theoretical framework for processes far away from equilibrium. Biomolecular motion, whether it is free in solution, on a substrate, or under force, involves thermal fluctuations in varying degrees, which makes the motion noisy. In addition, the noise from the experimental setup makes it even more complex. The details of biologically relevant interactions, conformational dynamics, and activities are hidden in the noisy single-molecule data. As such, extracting biological insights from noisy data is still an active area of research. In this review, we will focus on analyzing both fluorescence-based and force-based single-molecule experiments and gaining biological insights at the single-molecule level. Inherently nonequilibrium nature of biological processes will be highlighted. Simulated trajectories of biomolecular diffusion will be used to compare and validate various analysis techniques. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Linker-dependent Junction Formation Probability in Single-Molecule Junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Pil Sun; Kim, Taekyeong [HankukUniversity of Foreign Studies, Yongin (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-01-15

    We compare the junction formation probabilities of single-molecule junctions with different linker molecules by using a scanning tunneling microscope-based break-junction technique. We found that the junction formation probability varies as SH > SMe > NH2 for the benzene backbone molecule with different types of anchoring groups, through quantitative statistical analysis. These results are attributed to different bonding forces according to the linker groups formed with Au atoms in the electrodes, which is consistent with previous works. Our work allows a better understanding of the contact chemistry in the metal.molecule junction for future molecular electronic devices.

  7. Molecular Processes Studied at a Single-Molecule Level Using DNA Origami Nanostructures and Atomic Force Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilko Bald

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available DNA origami nanostructures allow for the arrangement of different functionalities such as proteins, specific DNA structures, nanoparticles, and various chemical modifications with unprecedented precision. The arranged functional entities can be visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM which enables the study of molecular processes at a single-molecular level. Examples comprise the investigation of chemical reactions, electron-induced bond breaking, enzymatic binding and cleavage events, and conformational transitions in DNA. In this paper, we provide an overview of the advances achieved in the field of single-molecule investigations by applying atomic force microscopy to functionalized DNA origami substrates.

  8. Evaluation of the Electronic Structure of Single-Molecule Junctions Based on Current-Voltage and Thermopower Measurements: Application to C60 Single-Molecule Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komoto, Yuki; Isshiki, Yuji; Fujii, Shintaro; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2017-02-16

    The electronic structure of molecular junctions has a significant impact on their transport properties. Despite the decisive role of the electronic structure, a complete characterization of the electronic structure remains a challenge. This is because there is no straightforward way of measuring electron spectroscopy for an individual molecule trapped in a nanoscale gap between two metal electrodes. Herein, a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the electronic structure in single-molecule junctions based on the analysis of current-voltage (I-V) and thermoelectric characteristics is described. It is shown that the electronic structure of the prototypical C 60 single-molecule junction can be resolved by analyzing complementary results of the I-V and thermoelectric measurement. This combined approach confirmed that the C 60 single-molecule junction was highly conductive with molecular electronic conductances of 0.033 and 0.003 G 0 and a molecular Seebeck coefficient of -12 μV K -1 . In addition, we revealed that charge transport was mediated by a LUMO whose energy level was located 0.5≈0.6 eV above the Fermi level of the Au electrode. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Thermal deposition of intact tetrairon(III) single-molecule magnets in high-vacuum conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margheriti, Ludovica; Mannini, Matteo; Sorace, Lorenzo; Gorini, Lapo; Gatteschi, Dante; Caneschi, Andrea; Chiappe, Daniele; Moroni, Riccardo; de Mongeot, Francesco Buatier; Cornia, Andrea; Piras, Federica M; Magnani, Agnese; Sessoli, Roberta

    2009-06-01

    A tetrairon(III) single-molecule magnet is deposited using a thermal evaporation technique in high vacuum. The chemical integrity is demonstrated by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry on a film deposited on Al foil, while superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry and alternating current susceptometry of a film deposited on a kapton substrate show magnetic properties identical to the pristine powder. High-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance spectra confirm the characteristic behavior for a system with S = 5 and a large Ising-type magnetic anisotropy. All these results indicate that the molecules are not damaged during the deposition procedure keeping intact the single-molecule magnet behavior.

  10. Dye molecules as single-photon sources and large optical nonlinearities on a chip

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, J; Hinds, E A

    2011-01-01

    We point out that individual organic dye molecules, deposited close to optical waveguides on a photonic chip, can act as single-photon sources. A thin silicon nitride strip waveguide is expected to collect 28% of the photons from a single dibenzoterrylene molecule. These molecules can also provide large, localized optical nonlinearities, which are enough to discriminate between one photon or two through a differential phase shift of 2 0 per photon. This new atom-photon interface may be used as a resource for processing quantum information.

  11. Electric-Field Control of Interfering Transport Pathways in a Single-Molecule Anthraquinone Transistor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koole, Max; Thijssen, Jos M.; Valkenier, Hennie; Hummelen, Jan C.; Zant, Herre S. J. van der

    2015-08-01

    It is understood that molecular conjugation plays an important role in charge transport through single-molecule junctions. Here, we investigate electron transport through an anthraquinone based single-molecule three-terminal device. With the use of an electric-field induced by a gate electrode, the molecule is reduced resulting into a ten-fold increase in the off-resonant differential conductance. Theoretical calculations link the change in differential conductance to a reduction-induced change in conjugation, thereby lifting destructive interference of transport pathways.

  12. Antidiabetic effects of glucokinase regulatory protein small-molecule disruptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, David J.; St Jean, David J.; Kurzeja, Robert J. M.; Wahl, Robert C.; Michelsen, Klaus; Cupples, Rod; Chen, Michelle; Wu, John; Sivits, Glenn; Helmering, Joan; Komorowski, Renée; Ashton, Kate S.; Pennington, Lewis D.; Fotsch, Christopher; Vazir, Mukta; Chen, Kui; Chmait, Samer; Zhang, Jiandong; Liu, Longbin; Norman, Mark H.; Andrews, Kristin L.; Bartberger, Michael D.; van, Gwyneth; Galbreath, Elizabeth J.; Vonderfecht, Steven L.; Wang, Minghan; Jordan, Steven R.; Véniant, Murielle M.; Hale, Clarence

    2013-12-01

    Glucose homeostasis is a vital and complex process, and its disruption can cause hyperglycaemia and type II diabetes mellitus. Glucokinase (GK), a key enzyme that regulates glucose homeostasis, converts glucose to glucose-6-phosphate in pancreatic β-cells, liver hepatocytes, specific hypothalamic neurons, and gut enterocytes. In hepatocytes, GK regulates glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, suppresses glucose production, and is subject to the endogenous inhibitor GK regulatory protein (GKRP). During fasting, GKRP binds, inactivates and sequesters GK in the nucleus, which removes GK from the gluconeogenic process and prevents a futile cycle of glucose phosphorylation. Compounds that directly hyperactivate GK (GK activators) lower blood glucose levels and are being evaluated clinically as potential therapeutics for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. However, initial reports indicate that an increased risk of hypoglycaemia is associated with some GK activators. To mitigate the risk of hypoglycaemia, we sought to increase GK activity by blocking GKRP. Here we describe the identification of two potent small-molecule GK-GKRP disruptors (AMG-1694 and AMG-3969) that normalized blood glucose levels in several rodent models of diabetes. These compounds potently reversed the inhibitory effect of GKRP on GK activity and promoted GK translocation both in vitro (isolated hepatocytes) and in vivo (liver). A co-crystal structure of full-length human GKRP in complex with AMG-1694 revealed a previously unknown binding pocket in GKRP distinct from that of the phosphofructose-binding site. Furthermore, with AMG-1694 and AMG-3969 (but not GK activators), blood glucose lowering was restricted to diabetic and not normoglycaemic animals. These findings exploit a new cellular mechanism for lowering blood glucose levels with reduced potential for hypoglycaemic risk in patients with type II diabetes mellitus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-24

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

  14. Chemical Principles and Interference in the Electrical Conductance of Single Molecules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borges, Anders Christian

    , the conductance of molecules can vary orders of magnitude and the concept of interference is believed to play a major role in this. This thesis investigates the links between single molecule conductance, chemistry and interference effects in short organic molecules. It is investigated to which extent...... the conductance can be understood in terms of separate contributions and when the effects of interference are important. Links between chemical principles and constructive- and destructive interference effects are demonstrated using a combination of simple models, atomistic calculations and Scanning......-Tunneling Microscope Break-Junction experiments (STM-BJ). It is demonstrated that these links can be used to design molecules exhibiting surprising interference effects and to interpret and predict the trends in the characteristic conductance of single molecules without resorting to numerical computational methods...

  15. Surface single-molecule dynamics controlled by entropy at low temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehrig, J. C.; Penedo, M.; Parschau, M.; Schwenk, J.; Marioni, M. A.; Hudson, E. W.; Hug, H. J.

    2017-02-01

    Configuration transitions of individual molecules and atoms on surfaces are traditionally described using an Arrhenius equation with energy barrier and pre-exponential factor (attempt rate) parameters. Characteristic parameters can vary even for identical systems, and pre-exponential factors sometimes differ by orders of magnitude. Using low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) to measure an individual dibutyl sulfide molecule on Au(111), we show that the differences arise when the relative position of tip apex and molecule changes by a fraction of the molecule size. Altering the tip position on that scale modifies the transition's barrier and attempt rate in a highly correlated fashion, which results in a single-molecular enthalpy-entropy compensation. Conversely, appropriately positioning the STM tip allows selecting the operating point on the compensation line and modifying the transition rates. The results highlight the need to consider entropy in transition rates of single molecules, even at low temperatures.

  16. Atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy to probe single membrane proteins in lipid bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapra, K Tanuj

    2013-01-01

    The atomic force microscope (AFM) has opened vast avenues hitherto inaccessible to the biological scientist. The high temporal (millisecond) and spatial (nanometer) resolutions of the AFM are suited for studying many biological processes in their native conditions. The AFM cantilever stylus is aptly termed as a "lab on a tip" owing to its versatility as an imaging tool as well as a handle to manipulate single bonds and proteins. Recent examples assert that the AFM can be used to study the mechanical properties and monitor processes of single proteins and single cells, thus affording insight into important mechanistic details. This chapter specifically focuses on practical and analytical protocols of single-molecule AFM methodologies related to high-resolution imaging and single-molecule force spectroscopy of membrane proteins. Both these techniques are operator oriented, and require specialized working knowledge of the instrument, theoretical, and practical skills.

  17. Single molecule detection on the cell membrane with Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Bakker, B.I.

    2004-01-01

    In this research we have developed a dedicated near- field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) for molecular biology and applied it to study the spatial organization of (fluorescently labeled) proteins at the cell surface. For the first time, protein clusters and individual molecules are resolved at

  18. Single-Molecule Analysis of the Rotation of F1-ATPase under High Hydrostatic Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuno, Daichi; Nishiyama, Masayoshi; Noji, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    F1-ATPase is the water-soluble part of ATP synthase and is an ATP-driven rotary molecular motor that rotates the rotary shaft against the surrounding stator ring, hydrolyzing ATP. Although the mechanochemical coupling mechanism of F1-ATPase has been well studied, the molecular details of individual reaction steps remain unclear. In this study, we conducted a single-molecule rotation assay of F1 from thermophilic bacteria under various pressures from 0.1 to 140 MPa. Even at 140 MPa, F1 actively rotated with regular 120° steps in a counterclockwise direction, showing high conformational stability and retention of native properties. Rotational torque was also not affected. However, high hydrostatic pressure induced a distinct intervening pause at the ATP-binding angles during continuous rotation. The pause was observed under both ATP-limiting and ATP-saturating conditions, suggesting that F1 has two pressure-sensitive reactions, one of which is evidently ATP binding. The rotation assay using a mutant F1(βE190D) suggested that the other pressure-sensitive reaction occurs at the same angle at which ATP binding occurs. The activation volumes were determined from the pressure dependence of the rate constants to be +100 Å3 and +88 Å3 for ATP binding and the other pressure-sensitive reaction, respectively. These results are discussed in relation to recent single-molecule studies of F1 and pressure-induced protein unfolding. PMID:24094404

  19. A Single-Molecule Barcoding System using Nanoslits for DNA Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Kyubong; Schramm, Timothy M.; Schwartz, David C.

    Single DNA molecule approaches are playing an increasingly central role in the analytical genomic sciences because single molecule techniques intrinsically provide individualized measurements of selected molecules, free from the constraints of bulk techniques, which blindly average noise and mask the presence of minor analyte components. Accordingly, a principal challenge that must be addressed by all single molecule approaches aimed at genome analysis is how to immobilize and manipulate DNA molecules for measurements that foster construction of large, biologically relevant data sets. For meeting this challenge, this chapter discusses an integrated approach for microfabricated and nanofabricated devices for the manipulation of elongated DNA molecules within nanoscale geometries. Ideally, large DNA coils stretch via nanoconfinement when channel dimensions are within tens of nanometers. Importantly, stretched, often immobilized, DNA molecules spanning hundreds of kilobase pairs are required by all analytical platforms working with large genomic substrates because imaging techniques acquire sequence information from molecules that normally exist in free solution as unrevealing random coils resembling floppy balls of yarn. However, nanoscale devices fabricated with sufficiently small dimensions fostering molecular stretching make these devices impractical because of the requirement of exotic fabrication technologies, costly materials, and poor operational efficiencies. In this chapter, such problems are addressed by discussion of a new approach to DNA presentation and analysis that establishes scaleable nanoconfinement conditions through reduction of ionic strength; stiffening DNA molecules thus enabling their arraying for analysis using easily fabricated devices that can also be mass produced. This new approach to DNA nanoconfinement is complemented by the development of a novel labeling scheme for reliable marking of individual molecules with fluorochrome labels

  20. Single-molecule conductance with nitrile and amino contacts with Ag or Cu electrodes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Dong-Fang; Mao, Jin-Chuan; Chen, De-Li; Chen, Fang; Ze-Wen, Hong; Zhou, Xiao-Yi; Wang, Ya-Hao; Zhou, Xiao-Shun; Niu, Zhen-Jiang; Maisonhaute, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    The single-molecule conductance of 1,4-dicyanobenzene (DCB), 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA) and 4,4'-biphenyldicarbonitrile (BPDC) with Ag and/or Cu electrodes is measured by electrochemical jump-to-contact STM-break junction. All single-molecule junctions present three sets of conductance values revealing different contact geometries. We observe that the single-molecule conductance of Ag-BDA-Ag junction is larger that of Ag-DCB-Ag junction, and DCB with Ag contacts are more conductive than that with Cu ones. This is related to a different electronic coupling between the molecules and the electrodes. Tunneling decay constants of 1.70 and 1.68 per phenyl group were found for Ag and Cu electrodes, respectively. The present study therefore shows that nitrile and amino groups can also be used as effective anchors for other metals than gold

  1. Single molecule tracking fluorescence microscopy in mitochondria reveals highly dynamic but confined movement of Tom40

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmenko, Anton; Tankov, Stoyan; English, Brian P.; Tarassov, Ivan; Tenson, Tanel; Kamenski, Piotr; Elf, Johan; Hauryliuk, Vasili

    2011-12-01

    Tom40 is an integral protein of the mitochondrial outer membrane, which as the central component of the Translocase of the Outer Membrane (TOM) complex forms a channel for protein import. We characterize the diffusion properties of individual Tom40 molecules fused to the photoconvertable fluorescent protein Dendra2 with millisecond temporal resolution. By imaging individual Tom40 molecules in intact isolated yeast mitochondria using photoactivated localization microscopy with sub-diffraction limited spatial precision, we demonstrate that Tom40 movement in the outer mitochondrial membrane is highly dynamic but confined in nature, suggesting anchoring of the TOM complex as a whole.

  2. From isolated light-harvesting complexes to the thylakoid membrane: a single-molecule perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, J. Michael; Malý, Pavel; Krüger, Tjaart P. J.; Grondelle, Rienk van

    2018-01-01

    The conversion of solar radiation to chemical energy in plants and green algae takes place in the thylakoid membrane. This amphiphilic environment hosts a complex arrangement of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes that absorb light and transfer the excitation energy to photochemically active reaction centers. This efficient light-harvesting capacity is moreover tightly regulated by a photoprotective mechanism called non-photochemical quenching to avoid the stress-induced destruction of the catalytic reaction center. In this review we provide an overview of single-molecule fluorescence measurements on plant light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) of varying sizes with the aim of bridging the gap between the smallest isolated complexes, which have been well-characterized, and the native photosystem. The smallest complexes contain only a small number (10-20) of interacting chlorophylls, while the native photosystem contains dozens of protein subunits and many hundreds of connected pigments. We discuss the functional significance of conformational dynamics, the lipid environment, and the structural arrangement of this fascinating nano-machinery. The described experimental results can be utilized to build mathematical-physical models in a bottom-up approach, which can then be tested on larger in vivo systems. The results also clearly showcase the general property of biological systems to utilize the same system properties for different purposes. In this case it is the regulated conformational flexibility that allows LHCs to switch between efficient light-harvesting and a photoprotective function.

  3. Single molecule study of the intrinsically disordered FG-repeat nucleoporin 153.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Sigrid; Lemke, Edward A

    2011-10-05

    Nucleoporins (Nups), which are intrinsically disordered, form a selectivity filter inside the nuclear pore complex, taking a central role in the vital nucleocytoplasmic transport mechanism. These Nups display a complex and nonrandom amino-acid architecture of phenylalanine glycine (FG)-repeat clusters and intra-FG linkers. How such heterogeneous sequence composition relates to function and could give rise to a transport mechanism is still unclear. Here we describe a combined chemical biology and single-molecule fluorescence approach to study the large human Nup153 FG-domain. In order to obtain insights into the properties of this domain beyond the average behavior, we probed the end-to-end distance (R(E)) of several ∼50-residues long FG-repeat clusters in the context of the whole protein domain. Despite the sequence heterogeneity of these FG-clusters, we detected a reoccurring and consistent compaction from a relaxed coil behavior under denaturing conditions (R(E)/R(E,RC) = 0.99 ± 0.15 with R(E,RC) corresponding to ideal relaxed coil behavior) to a collapsed state under native conditions (R(E)/R(E,RC) = 0.79 ± 0.09). We then analyzed the properties of this protein on the supramolecular level, and determined that this human FG-domain was in fact able to form a hydrogel with physiological permeability barrier properties. Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Targeting the OB-Folds of Replication Protein A with Small Molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor J. Anciano Granadillo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Replication protein A (RPA is the main eukaryotic single-strand (ss DNA-binding protein involved in DNA replication and repair. We have identified and developed two classes of small molecule inhibitors (SMIs that show in vitro inhibition of the RPA-DNA interaction. We present further characterization of these SMIs with respect to their target binding, mechanism of action, and specificity. Both reversible and irreversible modes of inhibition are observed for the different classes of SMIs with one class found to specifically interact with DNA-binding domains A and B (DBD-A/B of RPA. In comparison with other oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding-fold (OB-fold containing ssDNA-binding proteins, one class of SMIs displayed specificity for the RPA protein. Together these data demonstrate that the specific targeting of a protein-DNA interaction can be exploited towards interrogating the cellular activity of RPA as well as increasing the efficacy of DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics used in cancer treatment.

  5. Development of new photon-counting detectors for single-molecule fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalet, X.; Colyer, R. A.; Scalia, G.; Ingargiola, A.; Lin, R.; Millaud, J. E.; Weiss, S.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.; Tremsin, Anton S.; Vallerga, John V.; Cheng, A.; Levi, M.; Aharoni, D.; Arisaka, K.; Villa, F.; Guerrieri, F.; Panzeri, F.; Rech, I.; Gulinatti, A.; Zappa, F.; Ghioni, M.; Cova, S.

    2013-01-01

    Two optical configurations are commonly used in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy: point-like excitation and detection to study freely diffusing molecules, and wide field illumination and detection to study surface immobilized or slowly diffusing molecules. Both approaches have common features, but also differ in significant aspects. In particular, they use different detectors, which share some requirements but also have major technical differences. Currently, two types of detectors best fulfil the needs of each approach: single-photon-counting avalanche diodes (SPADs) for point-like detection, and electron-multiplying charge-coupled devices (EMCCDs) for wide field detection. However, there is room for improvements in both cases. The first configuration suffers from low throughput owing to the analysis of data from a single location. The second, on the other hand, is limited to relatively low frame rates and loses the benefit of single-photon-counting approaches. During the past few years, new developments in point-like and wide field detectors have started addressing some of these issues. Here, we describe our recent progresses towards increasing the throughput of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in solution using parallel arrays of SPADs. We also discuss our development of large area photon-counting cameras achieving subnanosecond resolution for fluorescence lifetime imaging applications at the single-molecule level. PMID:23267185

  6. Silicon photon-counting avalanche diodes for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalet, Xavier; Ingargiola, Antonino; Colyer, Ryan A.; Scalia, Giuseppe; Weiss, Shimon; Maccagnani, Piera; Gulinatti, Angelo; Rech, Ivan; Ghioni, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    Solution-based single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful experimental tool with applications in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. The basic feature of this technique is to excite and collect light from a very small volume and work in a low concentration regime resulting in rare burst-like events corresponding to the transit of a single molecule. Detecting photon bursts is a challenging task: the small number of emitted photons in each burst calls for high detector sensitivity. Bursts are very brief, requiring detectors with fast response time and capable of sustaining high count rates. Finally, many bursts need to be accumulated to achieve proper statistical accuracy, resulting in long measurement time unless parallelization strategies are implemented to speed up data acquisition. In this paper we will show that silicon single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) best meet the needs of single-molecule detection. We will review the key SPAD parameters and highlight the issues to be addressed in their design, fabrication and operation. After surveying the state-of-the-art SPAD technologies, we will describe our recent progress towards increasing the throughput of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in solution using parallel arrays of SPADs. The potential of this approach is illustrated with single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer measurements. PMID:25309114

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Radiation- and phonon-bottleneck--induced tunneling in the Fe8 single-molecule magnet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, M.; Friedman, Jonathan R.; Chen, W.; Tuominen, M. T.; Beedle, C. C.; Rumberger, E. M.; Hendrickson, D. N.

    2008-04-01

    We measure magnetization changes in a single crystal of the single-molecule magnet Fe8 when exposed to intense, short (spin dynamics, allowing observation of thermally assisted resonant tunneling between spin states at the 100 ns time scale. Detailed numerical simulations quantitatively reproduce the data and yield a spin-phonon relaxation time T1~40 ns.

  9. Ninth international conference on hole burning, single molecule and related spectroscopies: science and applications (HBSM 2006)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    This conference was organized around 9 sessions: -) single molecule, -) quantum optics, -) hole-burning materials and mechanisms, -) single nano-particle spectroscopy, -) dephasing and spectral diffusion, -) microwave photonics, -) biological systems, -) rare earth doped materials, -) novel laser sources. This document gathers only the slides of the presentations

  10. Nano- and micro-fabrication for single-molecule biological studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Z.

    2012-01-01

    Heterogeneity is a general feature in biological system. In order to avoid possible misleading effects of ensemble averaging, and to ensure a correct understanding of the biological system, it is very important to look into individuals, such as a single bio-molecule or a single cell, for details.

  11. Ninth international conference on hole burning, single molecule and related spectroscopies: science and applications (HBSM 2006)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-07-01

    This conference was organized around 9 sessions: -) single molecule, -) quantum optics, -) hole-burning materials and mechanisms, -) single nano-particle spectroscopy, -) dephasing and spectral diffusion, -) microwave photonics, -) biological systems, -) rare earth doped materials, -) novel laser sources. This document gathers only the slides of the presentations.

  12. Spectral multitude and spectral dynamics reflect changing conjugation length in single molecules of oligophenylenevinylenes

    KAUST Repository

    Kobayashi, Hiroyuki; Tsuchiya, Kousuke; Ogino, Kenji; Vacha, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule study of phenylenevinylene oligomers revealed distinct spectral forms due to different conjugation lengths which are determined by torsional defects. Large spectral jumps between different spectral forms were ascribed to torsional flips of a single phenylene ring. These spectral changes reflect the dynamic nature of electron delocalization in oligophenylenevinylenes and enable estimation of the phenylene torsional barriers. © 2012 The Owner Societies.

  13. Single cell protein from mandarin orange peel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mishio, M.; Magai, J.

    1981-01-01

    As the hydrolysis of mandarin orange peel with macerating enzyme (40 degrees C, 24 h) produced 0.59 g g-1 reducing sugar per dry peel compared to 0.36 by acid-hydrolysis (15 min at 120 degrees C with 0.8 N H2S04), the production of single cell protein (SCP) from orange peel was studied mostly using enzymatically hydrolyzed orange peel. When the enzymatically hydrolyzed peel media were used, the utilization efficiency of reducing sugars (%) and the growth yield from reducing sugars (g g-1) were: 63 and 0.51 for Saccharomyces cerevisiae; 56 and 0.48 for Candida utilis; 74 and 0.69 for Debaryomyces hansenii and 64 and 0.70 for Rhodotorula glutinis. SCP production from orange peel by D. hansenii and R. glutinis were further studied. Batch cultures for 24 h at 30 degrees C using 100g dried orange peel produced 45 g of dried cultivated peel (protein content, 33%) with D. hansenii and 34 g (protein content, 50%) with R. glutinis, and 38 g (protein content, 44%) with a mixture of both yeasts. (Refs. 12).

  14. A Structural Perspective on the Modulation of Protein-Protein Interactions with Small Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demirel, Habibe Cansu; Dogan, Tunca; Tuncbag, Nurcan

    2018-05-31

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are the key components in many cellular processes including signaling pathways, enzymatic reactions and epigenetic regulation. Abnormal interactions of some proteins may be pathogenic and cause various disorders including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Although inhibiting PPIs with small molecules is a challenging task, it gained an increasing interest because of its strong potential for drug discovery and design. The knowledge of the interface as well as the structural and chemical characteristics of the PPIs and their roles in the cellular pathways are necessary for a rational design of small molecules to modulate PPIs. In this study, we review the recent progress in the field and detail the physicochemical properties of PPIs including binding hot spots with a focus on structural methods. Then, we review recent approaches for structural prediction of PPIs. Finally, we revisit the concept of targeting PPIs in a systems biology perspective and we refer to the non-structural approaches, usually employed when the structural information is not present. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  15. Metal-Controlled Magnetoresistance at Room Temperature in Single-Molecule Devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragonès, Albert C; Aravena, Daniel; Valverde-Muñoz, Francisco J; Real, José Antonio; Sanz, Fausto; Díez-Pérez, Ismael; Ruiz, Eliseo

    2017-04-26

    The appropriate choice of the transition metal complex and metal surface electronic structure opens the possibility to control the spin of the charge carriers through the resulting hybrid molecule/metal spinterface in a single-molecule electrical contact at room temperature. The single-molecule conductance of a Au/molecule/Ni junction can be switched by flipping the magnetization direction of the ferromagnetic electrode. The requirements of the molecule include not just the presence of unpaired electrons: the electronic configuration of the metal center has to provide occupied or empty orbitals that strongly interact with the junction metal electrodes and that are close in energy to their Fermi levels for one of the electronic spins only. The key ingredient for the metal surface is to provide an efficient spin texture induced by the spin-orbit coupling in the topological surface states that results in an efficient spin-dependent interaction with the orbitals of the molecule. The strong magnetoresistance effect found in this kind of single-molecule wire opens a new approach for the design of room-temperature nanoscale devices based on spin-polarized currents controlled at molecular level.

  16. Drift correction for single-molecule imaging by molecular constraint field, a distance minimum metric

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Renmin; Wang, Liansan; Xu, Fan; Zhang, Yongdeng; Zhang, Mingshu; Liu, Zhiyong; Ren, Fei; Zhang, Fa

    2015-01-01

    The recent developments of far-field optical microscopy (single molecule imaging techniques) have overcome the diffraction barrier of light and improve image resolution by a factor of ten compared with conventional light microscopy. These techniques utilize the stochastic switching of probe molecules to overcome the diffraction limit and determine the precise localizations of molecules, which often requires a long image acquisition time. However, long acquisition times increase the risk of sample drift. In the case of high resolution microscopy, sample drift would decrease the image resolution. In this paper, we propose a novel metric based on the distance between molecules to solve the drift correction. The proposed metric directly uses the position information of molecules to estimate the frame drift. We also designed an algorithm to implement the metric for the general application of drift correction. There are two advantages of our method: First, because our method does not require space binning of positions of molecules but directly operates on the positions, it is more natural for single molecule imaging techniques. Second, our method can estimate drift with a small number of positions in each temporal bin, which may extend its potential application. The effectiveness of our method has been demonstrated by both simulated data and experiments on single molecular images

  17. Role of ICAM-1 polymorphisms (G241R, K469E) in mediating its single-molecule binding ability: Atomic force microscopy measurements on living cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bai, Rui [Chinese (301) General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100853 (China); Yi, Shaoqiong [Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, 20 Dongdajie, Fengtai, Beijing 100071 (China); Zhang, Xuejie [Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology, Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 Zhongguancun North 1st Street, Beijing 100190 (China); Liu, Huiliang, E-mail: lhl518@vip.sina.com [Department of Cardiology, The General Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces, Beijing 100039 (China); Fang, Xiaohong, E-mail: xfang@iccas.ac.cn [Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology, Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 Zhongguancun North 1st Street, Beijing 100190 (China)

    2014-06-13

    Highlights: • We evaluated both single molecule binding ability and expression level of 4 ICAM-1 mutations. • AFM was used to measure single-molecule binding ability on living cells. • The SNP of ICAM-1 may induce changes in expressions rather than single-molecule binding ability. - Abstract: Atherosclerosis (As) is characterized by chronic inflammation and is a major cause of human mortality. ICAM-1-mediated adhesion of leukocytes in vessel walls plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of human intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), G241R and K469E, are associated with a number of inflammatory diseases. SNP induced changes in ICAM-1 function rely not only on the expression level but also on the single-molecule binding ability which may be affected by single molecule conformation variations such as protein splicing and folding. Previous studies have shown associations between G241R/K469E polymorphisms and ICAM-1 gene expression. Nevertheless, few studies have been done that focus on the single-molecule forces of the above SNPs and their ligands. In the current study, we evaluated both single molecule binding ability and expression level of 4 ICAM-1 mutations – GK (G241/K469), GE (G241/E469), RK (R241/K469) and RE (R241/E469). No difference in adhesion ability was observed via cell adhesion assay or atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurement when comparing the GK, GE, RK, or RE genotypes of ICAM-1 to each other. On the other hand, flow cytometry suggested that there was significantly higher expression of GE genotype of ICAM-1 on transfected CHO cells. Thus, we concluded that genetic susceptibility to diseases related to ICAM-1 polymorphisms, G241R or K469E, might be due to the different expressions of ICAM-1 variants rather than to the single-molecule binding ability of ICAM-1.

  18. Single molecule studies of solvent-dependent diffusion and entrapment in poly(dimethylsiloxane) thin films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Jeffrey J; Culbertson, Christopher T; Higgins, Daniel A

    2008-12-15

    Single molecule microscopic and spectroscopic methods are employed to probe the mobility and physical entrapment of dye molecules in dry and solvent-loaded poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) films. PDMS films of approximately 220 nm thickness are prepared by spin casting dilute solutions of Sylgard 184 onto glass coverslips, followed by low temperature curing. A perylene diimide dye (BPPDI) is used to probe diffusion and molecule-matrix interactions. Two classes of dye-loaded samples are investigated: (i) those incorporating dye dispersed throughout the films ("in film" samples) and (ii) those in which the dye is restricted primarily to the PDMS surface ("on film" samples). Experiments are performed under dry nitrogen and at various levels of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) loading from the vapor phase. A PDMS-coated quartz-crystal microbalance is employed to monitor solvent loading and drying of the PDMS and to ensure equilibrium conditions are achieved. Single molecules are shown to be predominantly immobile under dry conditions and mostly mobile under IPA-saturated conditions. Quantitative methods for counting the fluorescent spots produced by immobile single molecules in optical images of the samples demonstrate that the population of mobile molecules increases nonlinearly with IPA loading. Even under IPA saturated conditions, the population of fixed molecules is found to be greater than zero and is greatest for "in film" samples. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy is used to measure the apparent diffusion coefficient for the mobile molecules, yielding a mean value of D = 1.4(+/-0.4) x 10(-8) cm(2)/s that is virtually independent of IPA loading and sample class. It is concluded that a nonzero population of dye molecules is physically entrapped within the PDMS matrix under all conditions. The increase in the population of mobile molecules under high IPA conditions is attributed to the filling of film micropores with solvent, rather than by incorporation of molecularly

  19. Precision analysis for standard deviation measurements of immobile single fluorescent molecule images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSantis, Michael C; DeCenzo, Shawn H; Li, Je-Luen; Wang, Y M

    2010-03-29

    Standard deviation measurements of intensity profiles of stationary single fluorescent molecules are useful for studying axial localization, molecular orientation, and a fluorescence imaging system's spatial resolution. Here we report on the analysis of the precision of standard deviation measurements of intensity profiles of single fluorescent molecules imaged using an EMCCD camera.We have developed an analytical expression for the standard deviation measurement error of a single image which is a function of the total number of detected photons, the background photon noise, and the camera pixel size. The theoretical results agree well with the experimental, simulation, and numerical integration results. Using this expression, we show that single-molecule standard deviation measurements offer nanometer precision for a large range of experimental parameters.

  20. Assembly and diploid architecture of an individual human genome via single-molecule technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Matthew; Sebra, Robert; Pang, Andy Wing Chun; Ummat, Ajay; Franzen, Oscar; Rausch, Tobias; Stütz, Adrian M; Stedman, William; Anantharaman, Thomas; Hastie, Alex; Dai, Heng; Fritz, Markus Hsi-Yang; Cao, Han; Cohain, Ariella; Deikus, Gintaras; Durrett, Russell E; Blanchard, Scott C; Altman, Roger; Chin, Chen-Shan; Guo, Yan; Paxinos, Ellen E; Korbel, Jan O; Darnell, Robert B; McCombie, W Richard; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Mason, Christopher E; Schadt, Eric E; Bashir, Ali

    2015-08-01

    We present the first comprehensive analysis of a diploid human genome that combines single-molecule sequencing with single-molecule genome maps. Our hybrid assembly markedly improves upon the contiguity observed from traditional shotgun sequencing approaches, with scaffold N50 values approaching 30 Mb, and we identified complex structural variants (SVs) missed by other high-throughput approaches. Furthermore, by combining Illumina short-read data with long reads, we phased both single-nucleotide variants and SVs, generating haplotypes with over 99% consistency with previous trio-based studies. Our work shows that it is now possible to integrate single-molecule and high-throughput sequence data to generate de novo assembled genomes that approach reference quality.