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Single molecules of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) were stretched with force-measuring laser tweezers. Under a longitudinal stress of approximately 65 piconewtons (pN), dsDNA molecules in aqueous buffer undergo a highly cooperative transition into a stable form with 5.8 angstroms rise per base pair, that is, 70% longer than B form dsDNA. When the stress was(More)
Here we use mechanical force to induce the unfolding and refolding of single RNA molecules: a simple RNA hairpin, a molecule containing a three-helix junction, and the P5abc domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme. All three molecules (P5abc only in the absence of Mg2+) can be mechanically unfolded at equilibrium, and when kept at constant force(More)
Titin, a giant filamentous polypeptide, is believed to play a fundamental role in maintaining sarcomeric structural integrity and developing what is known as passive force in muscle. Measurements of the force required to stretch a single molecule revealed that titin behaves as a highly nonlinear entropic spring. The molecule unfolds in a high-force(More)
Single DNA molecules were chemically attached by one end to a glass surface and by their other end to a magnetic bead. Equilibrium positions of the beads were observed in an optical microscope while the beads were acted on by known magnetic and hydrodynamic forces. Extension versus force curves were obtained for individual DNA molecules at three different(More)
Supplemental figure Ia Velocity vs. time for a packaging complex held under a constant load of ~5 pN. Velocity was determined by linear fitting in a 1 s sliding window. These data correspond to the black line shown in Fig. 1b. b, To determine the experimental noise, velocity vs. time was also obtained for a 15 kb long DNA molecule that was directly attached(More)
The ribosome translates the genetic information encoded in messenger RNA into protein. Folded structures in the coding region of an mRNA represent a kinetic barrier that lowers the peptide elongation rate, as the ribosome must disrupt structures it encounters in the mRNA at its entry site to allow translocation to the next codon. Such structures are(More)
Single chicken erythrocyte chromatin fibers were stretched and released at room temperature with force-measuring laser tweezers. In low ionic strength, the stretch-release curves reveal a process of continuous deformation with little or no internucleosomal attraction. A persistence length of 30 nm and a stretch modulus of approximately 5 pN is determined(More)
We present a single molecule method for counting proteins within a diffraction-limited area when using photoactivated localization microscopy. The intrinsic blinking of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins mEos2 and Dendra2 leads to an overcounting error, which constitutes a major obstacle for their use as molecular counting tags. Here, we introduce a(More)
Helicases are a ubiquitous class of enzymes involved in nearly all aspects of DNA and RNA metabolism. Despite recent progress in understanding their mechanism of action, limited resolution has left inaccessible the detailed mechanisms by which these enzymes couple the rearrangement of nucleic acid structures to the binding and hydrolysis of ATP. Observing(More)