Aleksij Aksimentiev

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alpha-Hemolysin of Staphylococcus aureus is a self-assembling toxin that forms a water-filled transmembrane channel upon oligomerization in a lipid membrane. Apart from being one of the best-studied toxins of bacterial origin, alpha-hemolysin is the principal component in several biotechnological applications, including systems for controlled delivery of(More)
We have previously demonstrated that a nanometer-diameter pore in a nanometer-thick metal-oxide-semiconductor-compatible membrane can be used as a molecular sensor for detecting DNA. The prospects for using this type of device for sequencing DNA are avidly being pursued. The key attribute of the sensor is the electric field-induced (voltage-driven)(More)
Each species from bacteria to human has a distinct genetic fingerprint. Therefore, a mechanism that detects a single molecule of DNA represents the ultimate analytical tool. As a first step in the development of such a tool, we have explored using a nanometer-diameter pore, sputtered in a nanometer-thick inorganic membrane with a tightly focused electron(More)
F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase is a ubiquitous membrane protein complex that efficiently converts a cell's transmembrane proton gradient into chemical energy stored as ATP. The protein is made of two molecular motors, F(o) and F(1), which are coupled by a central stalk. The membrane unit, F(o), converts the transmembrane electrochemical potential into mechanical(More)
We have explored the electromechanical properties of DNA by using an electric field to force single hairpin molecules to translocate through a synthetic pore in a silicon nitride membrane. We observe a threshold voltage for translocation of the hairpin through the pore that depends sensitively on the diameter and the secondary structure of the DNA. The(More)
We have discovered a voltage threshold for permeation through a synthetic nanopore of dsDNA bound to a restriction enzyme that depends on the sequence. Molecular dynamic simulations reveal that the threshold is associated with a nanonewton force required to rupture the DNA-protein complex. A single mutation in the recognition site for the restriction(More)
We have explored the electromechanical properties of DNA on a nanometer-length scale using an electric field to force single molecules through synthetic nanopores in ultrathin silicon nitride membranes. At low electric fields, E < 200 mV/10 nm, we observed that single-stranded DNA can permeate pores with a diameter >/=1.0 nm, whereas double-stranded DNA(More)
The biomedical sciences are enjoying a wealth of data from innovative new techniques in structure determination, DNA sequencing at the level of entire genomes, and direct manipulation and observation of single molecules. Computational biologists seek to extend and refine these experimental advances through atomic level modeling, often in direct(More)
Restriction endonucleases are used prevalently in recombinant DNA technology because they bind so stably to a specific target sequence and, in the presence of cofactors, cleave double-helical DNA specifically at a target sequence at a high rate. Using synthetic nanopores along with molecular dynamics (MD), we have analyzed with atomic resolution how a(More)
C ompartmentalization is a key principle for the functional organization of living cells (1). Transport across compartmental boundaries and, in particular, across the cell wall is controlled by membrane proteins that act as selective channels and transporters. Puncturing the boundaries leads to pathologies, e.g., in the case of toxins, but is also an(More)
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