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10 September 2004 Studying conformational fluctuations in single biomolecules using electron transfer reactions
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We demonstrate how photoinduced electron transfer (PET) reactions can be successfully applied to monitor conformational dynamics in individual biopolymers. We present data about structural changes of single biomolecules like peptides by using quenching electron transfer reactions between tryptophan residues in close proximity to fluorescent dyes. Our results demonstrate that selective PET-reactions between fluorophores and amino acids represent a versatile tool to measure small-scale conformational dynamics in biopolymers on a wide range of time scales, extending from nanoseconds to seconds, at the single-molecule level under equilibrium conditions. That is, the monitoring of conformational dynamics of biopolymers with temporal resolutions comparable to those within reach using new techniques of molecular dynamic simulations. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the strong distance dependence of charge separation reactions on the sub-nanometer scale can be used to develop conformationally flexible PET-biosensors. These sensors enable the detection of specific target molecules in the sub-picomolar range and allow one to follow their molecular binding dynamics with temporal resolution.
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Hannes Neuweiler and Markus Sauer "Studying conformational fluctuations in single biomolecules using electron transfer reactions", Proc. SPIE 5462, Biophotonics Micro- and Nano-Imaging, (10 September 2004);

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