Monday, December 9, 2013

An Optical Trap Combined with Three-Color FRET

Sanghwa Lee and Sungchul Hohng

We developed a hybrid technique combining optical tweezers and single-molecule three-color fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). In demonstrative experiments, we observed the force-sensitive correlated motion of three helical arms of a Holliday junction and identified the independent unfolding/folding dynamics of two DNA hairpins of the same length. With 3 times the number of observable elements of single-molecule FRET, this new instrument will enable the measurement of the complex, multidimensional effects of mechanical forces in various biomolecular systems, such as RNA and proteins.

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