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Single-molecule electrometry


Ruggeri, Francesca; Zosel, Franziska; Mutter, Natalie; Różycka, Mirosława; Wojtas, Magdalena; Ożyhar, Andrzej; Schuler, Benjamin; Krishnan, Madhavi (2017). Single-molecule electrometry. Nature Nanotechnology, 12(5):488-495.

Abstract

Mass and electrical charge are fundamental properties of biological macromolecules. Although molecular mass has long been determined with atomic precision, a direct and precise determination of molecular charge remains an outstanding challenge. Here we report high-precision (<1e) measurements of the electrical charge of molecules such as nucleic acids, and globular and disordered proteins in solution. The measurement is based on parallel external field-free trapping of single macromolecules, permits the estimation of a dielectric coefficient of the molecular interior and can be performed in real time. Further, we demonstrate the direct detection of single amino acid substitution and chemical modifications in proteins. As the electrical charge of a macromolecule strongly depends on its three-dimensional conformation, this kind of high-precision electrometry offers an approach to probe the structure, fluctuations and interactions of a single molecule in solution.

Abstract

Mass and electrical charge are fundamental properties of biological macromolecules. Although molecular mass has long been determined with atomic precision, a direct and precise determination of molecular charge remains an outstanding challenge. Here we report high-precision (<1e) measurements of the electrical charge of molecules such as nucleic acids, and globular and disordered proteins in solution. The measurement is based on parallel external field-free trapping of single macromolecules, permits the estimation of a dielectric coefficient of the molecular interior and can be performed in real time. Further, we demonstrate the direct detection of single amino acid substitution and chemical modifications in proteins. As the electrical charge of a macromolecule strongly depends on its three-dimensional conformation, this kind of high-precision electrometry offers an approach to probe the structure, fluctuations and interactions of a single molecule in solution.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 2017
Deposited On:23 Jun 2017 10:19
Last Modified:24 Jun 2017 07:54
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1748-3387
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.26
PubMed ID:28288117

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