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In neurons, synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is thought to mediate the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane when presynaptic Ca2+ levels rise. However, in vitro reconstitution experiments have failed to recapitulate key characteristics of Ca2+-triggered membrane fusion. Using an in vitro single-vesicle fusion assay, we found that membrane-anchored(More)
During intracellular membrane trafficking, N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) and alpha-soluble NSF attachment protein (α-SNAP) disassemble the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex for recycling of the SNARE proteins. The molecular mechanism by which NSF disassembles the SNARE complex is largely unknown. Using single-molecule(More)
In the presence of ATP, kinesin proceeds along the protofilament of microtubule by alternated binding of two motor domains on the tubulin binding sites. Because the processivity of kinesin is much higher than other motor proteins, it has been speculated that there exists a mechanism for allosteric regulation between the two monomers. Recent experiments(More)
Determination of sizes and flexibilities of RNA molecules is important in understanding the nature of packing in folded structures and in elucidating interactions between RNA and DNA or proteins. Using the coordinates of the structures of RNA in the Protein Data Bank we find that the size of the folded RNA structures, measured using the radius of gyration(More)
Understanding how monomeric proteins fold under in vitro conditions is crucial to describing their functions in the cellular context. Significant advances in theory and experiments have resulted in a conceptual framework for describing the folding mechanisms of globular proteins. The sizes of proteins in the denatured and folded states, cooperativity of the(More)
The chaperonin GroEL-GroES, a machine that helps proteins to fold, cycles through a number of allosteric states, the T state, with high affinity for substrate proteins, the ATP-bound R state, and the R" (GroEL-ADP-GroES) complex. Here, we use a self-organized polymer model for the GroEL allosteric states and a general structure-based technique to simulate(More)
By considering temperature effects on the mechanical unfolding rates of proteins and RNA, whose energy landscape is rugged, the question posed in the title is answered in the affirmative. Adopting a theory by Zwanzig [Zwanzig, R. (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 2029-2030], we show that, because of roughness characterized by an energy scale epsilon,(More)
We show that the folding rates (k(F)s) of RNA are determined by N, the number of nucleotides. By assuming that the distribution of free-energy barriers separating the folded and the unfolded states is Gaussian, which follows from central limit theorem arguments and polymer physics concepts, we show that k(F)≈k(0)exp(-αN(0.5)). Remarkably, the theory fits(More)
Visualizing the navigation of an ensemble of unfolded molecules through the bumpy energy landscape in search of the native state gives a pictorial view of biomolecular folding. This picture, when combined with concepts in polymer theory, provides a unified theory of RNA and protein folding. Just as for proteins, the major folding free energy barrier for RNA(More)
Among the multiple steps constituting the kinesin mechanochemical cycle, one of the most interesting events is observed when kinesins move an 8-nm step from one microtubule (MT)-binding site to another. The stepping motion that occurs within a relatively short time scale ( approximately 100 mus) is, however, beyond the resolution of current experiments.(More)