Center for Advanced Studies LMU (CAS)

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Dynamic Structural Biology: Two Decades of smFRET Applied to Transcription Initiation

Referent: Prof. Shimon Weiss, Ph.D.

02.08.2019 um 15:30 Uhr – 06.08.2019 um 17:15 Uhr

Classical structural biology can only provide static snapshots of bio-macromolecules. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) paved the way for studying dynamics in macromolecular structures under biologically relevant conditions. Since its first implementation in 1996, smFRET experiments have confirmed previously hypothesized mechanisms and provided new insights into many fundamental biological processes, such as DNA maintenance and repair, transcription, translation, and membrane transport. We will review two decades contributions of smFRET to our understanding of transcription initiation. Transcription by bacterial DNA-dependent RNA polymerase is a multistep process that uses genomic DNA to synthesize complementary RNA molecules. Transcription initiation is a highly regulated step in E. coli, but it has been challenging to study its mechanism because of its stochasticity and complexity. We describe how single molecule approaches have contributed to our understanding of transcription and have uncovered mechanistic details that were not observed in conventional assays because of ensemble averaging. Additionally, building on current state-of-the-art implementations of smFRET, we highlight possible future directions for smFRET in transcription and in other applications.

Shimon Weiss ist Professor am Department für Chemie und Biochemie an der UCLA und derzeit Visiting Fellow am CAS.

Ort und Anmeldung

2. August 2019, 15.30 Uhr: Center for NanoScience (CeNS), Schellingstraße 4 // Kleiner Physikhörsaal, 80799 München

6. August 2019, 17.15 Uhr: Biozentrum, Großhaderner Straße 2 // Raum B01.019, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried

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