Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 13, 2010
Previous Article Next Article

Revealing the base pair stepping dynamics of nucleic acid motor proteins with optical traps

Author affiliations

Abstract

Nearly all aspects of nucleic acid metabolism involve motor proteins. This diverse group of enzymes, which includes DNA and RNA polymerases, the ribosome, helicases, and other translocases, converts chemical energy in the form of bond hydrolysis into concerted motion along nucleic acid filaments. The direct observation of this motion at its fundamental distance scale of one base pair has required the development of new ultrasensitive techniques. Recent advances in optical traps have now made these length scales, once the exclusive realm of crystallographic techniques, accessible. Several new studies using optical traps have revealed for the first time how motor proteins translocate along their substrates in a stepwise fashion. Though these techniques have only begun to be applied to biological problems, the unprecedented access into nucleic acid motor protein movement has already provided important insights into their mechanism. In this perspective, we review these advances and offer our view on the future of this exciting development.

Graphical abstract: Revealing the base pair stepping dynamics of nucleic acid motor proteins with optical traps

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 30 Sep 2009, accepted on 27 Jan 2010 and first published on 19 Feb 2010


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B920234J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 3080-3095
  •   Request permissions

    Revealing the base pair stepping dynamics of nucleic acid motor proteins with optical traps

    Y. R. Chemla, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 3080
    DOI: 10.1039/B920234J

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements