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      48-spot single-molecule FRET setup with periodic acceptor excitation

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="d6995771e243">Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) allows measuring distances between donor and acceptor fluorophores on the 3–10 nm range. Solution-based smFRET allows measurement of binding-unbinding events or conformational changes of dye-labeled biomolecules without ensemble averaging and free from surface perturbations. When employing dual (or multi) laser excitation, smFRET allows resolving the number of fluorescent labels on each molecule, greatly enhancing the ability to study heterogeneous samples. A major drawback to solution-based smFRET is the low throughput, which renders repetitive measurements expensive and hinders the ability to study kinetic phenomena in real-time. Here we demonstrate a high-throughput smFRET system that multiplexes acquisition by using 48 excitation spots and two 48-pixel single-photon avalanche diode array detectors. The system employs two excitation lasers allowing separation of species with one or two active fluorophores. The performance of the system is demonstrated on a set of doubly labeled double-stranded DNA oligonucleotides with different distances between donor and acceptor dyes along the DNA duplex. We show that the acquisition time for accurate subpopulation identification is reduced from several minutes to seconds, opening the way to high-throughput screening applications and real-time kinetics studies of enzymatic reactions such as DNA transcription by bacterial RNA polymerase. </p>

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          Most cited references36

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          A toolkit and benchmark study for FRET-restrained high-precision structural modeling.

          We present a comprehensive toolkit for Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-restrained modeling of biomolecules and their complexes for quantitative applications in structural biology. A dramatic improvement in the precision of FRET-derived structures is achieved by explicitly considering spatial distributions of dye positions, which greatly reduces uncertainties due to flexible dye linkers. The precision and confidence levels of the models are calculated by rigorous error estimation. The accuracy of this approach is demonstrated by docking a DNA primer-template to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. The derived model agrees with the known X-ray structure with an r.m.s. deviation of 0.5 Å. Furthermore, we introduce FRET-guided 'screening' of a large structural ensemble created by molecular dynamics simulations. We used this hybrid approach to determine the formerly unknown configuration of the flexible single-strand template overhang.
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            Initial transcription by RNA polymerase proceeds through a DNA-scrunching mechanism.

            Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer to monitor distances within single molecules of abortively initiating transcription initiation complexes, we show that initial transcription proceeds through a "scrunching" mechanism, in which RNA polymerase (RNAP) remains fixed on promoter DNA and pulls downstream DNA into itself and past its active center. We show further that putative alternative mechanisms for RNAP active-center translocation in initial transcription, involving "transient excursions" of RNAP relative to DNA or "inchworming" of RNAP relative to DNA, do not occur. The results support a model in which a stressed intermediate, with DNA-unwinding stress and DNA-compaction stress, is formed during initial transcription, and in which accumulated stress is used to drive breakage of interactions between RNAP and promoter DNA and between RNAP and initiation factors during promoter escape.
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              Opening and closing of the bacterial RNA polymerase clamp.

              Using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we have defined bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) clamp conformation at each step in transcription initiation and elongation. We find that the clamp predominantly is open in free RNAP and early intermediates in transcription initiation but closes upon formation of a catalytically competent transcription initiation complex and remains closed during initial transcription and transcription elongation. We show that four RNAP inhibitors interfere with clamp opening. We propose that clamp opening allows DNA to be loaded into and unwound in the RNAP active-center cleft, that DNA loading and unwinding trigger clamp closure, and that clamp closure accounts for the high stability of initiation complexes and the high stability and processivity of elongation complexes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Journal of Chemical Physics
                The Journal of Chemical Physics
                AIP Publishing
                0021-9606
                1089-7690
                March 28 2018
                March 28 2018
                : 148
                : 12
                : 123304
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
                [2 ]Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
                [3 ]Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Bologna, Italy
                Article
                10.1063/1.5000742
                5669981
                29604810
                3beb7cf6-d72f-428b-a68d-44cd22313387
                © 2018

                https://publishing.aip.org/authors/rights-and-permissions

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