Navigation Links
Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins
Date:3/2/2011

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Illinois researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes.

Physics professors Taekjip Ha and Yann Chemla and combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics fluorescence microscopy and optical traps, respectively to study binding and unbinding of individual DNA segments to a larger strand. They and their joint postdoctoral researcher Matthew Comstock detail their technique in a paper published in the Feb. 20 online edition of Nature Methods.

Both professors have particularly studied proteins and enzymes that regulate DNA, such as the enzyme helicase that unwinds DNA for duplication or transcription to RNA. Fluorescent microscopy techniques allow researchers to observe proteins as they conform and move, but often lack the spatial range to track the protein's motion over distance.

Optical traps, meanwhile, enable researchers to study a protein's translocation, but not its conformation. Chemla compares traditional optical traps to fishing. A single molecule of DNA is tethered between two attachment points, and the activity of a protein bound to it is only inferred from how it tugs on the tether, much like a fish at the end of a line. This can reveal a lot about a protein's activity and motion, but the technique has glaring limitations as well. For example, it is difficult to know how many proteins or the types of proteins that are involved.

"Also, these proteins may do all sorts of things beyond tugging on our line that we may not be sensitive to," Chemla said. "Fluorescence allows you to have an additional readout to actually see these things, and the key is that we can now measure them simultaneously. This work was a real synthesis of the expertise of two groups at the Center for the Physics of Living Cells at the U. of I."

The combination allows Chemla, Ha and their group to measure both a protein's motion sensitive to translocation as small as one DNA base pair, a distance of only a few angstroms and also conformational changes as it acts. This can reveal details about its mechanism that would not have been accessible before.

"It was a major technical challenge, but the final product is a one-of-a-kind instrument with unique capabilities," Chemla said. "It's like taking a rudimentary, real-time 'movie' of what individual molecules are doing."


'/>"/>

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Newborn screening increases survival outcome for patients with severe combined immunodeficiency
2. AOptix Technologies to Show Combined Biometric Face and Iris Capture System at Biometrics Consortium Conference
3. Reading food labels, combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss
4. Combined stem cell-gene therapy approach cures human genetic disease in vitro
5. A combined tooth-venom arsenal revealed as key to Komodo dragons hunting strategy
6. Fingerprints match molecular simulations with reality
7. Designing new molecular tools to study the life and death of a cancer cell
8. Molecular network influences development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
9. Polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels that assemble themselves
10. Molecular medicine could avert predicted catastrophic vision loss in the aged
11. New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... , February 21, 2017 ... 70 Millionen US-Dollar wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr als ... einige Hindernisse zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose zu ... ... anderem die Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die Biobank, ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission ... Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy ... Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation ... 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, ... has now essentially banned the travel ban, it is ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a ... results for its quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in the same ... 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million in the ... of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 21, 2017 ... ... Life -Sciences division, Treximo will pair its $200M operational capacity with its ... and project management in areas affecting quality and operational management. With ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 21, 2017  Lexus, a returning partner of the Amgen ... and exclusive automobile partner of the men,s and women,s events for ... The 2017 Amgen Tour of California will ... of the best professional cycling teams in the world racing from ... four-day Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease TM Women,s ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Bioplastics & ... 12.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $8.9 billion by ... and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... 2017 This report analyzes the worldwide markets for ... Xylanase, Amylase, Cellulase, and Others. The report provides separate comprehensive ... Japan , Europe , ... and Rest of World. Read the full ... are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: