June 17, 2021

Biomolecular interactions and structural rearrangements are critically important for function. Yet visualizing these processes on individual biomolecules in real-time remains a technical challenge. QCB graduate student Hugh Wilson and Lewis-Sigler fellow Quan Wang have developed a new platform called “ABEL-FRET” to provide single-molecule views of structural and interaction dynamics in solution. Their technology integrates a molecular ruler (“single-molecule Fӧrster resonance energy transfer”) with the ability to isolate a single biomolecule in solution using feedback control. They demonstrate ultrahigh resolution of structural heterogeneities (resolving 1bp differences between short DNA molecules) and real-time, simultaneous monitoring of single-molecule binding and structural changes in the context of a DNA damage and repair process. Their technology greatly expands the complexity of biochemical processes suitable for single-molecule investigations. The study is published in Nature Methods