Measuring The Physical Step-Size Of Bacteriophage T7 Dna Helicase With Dual Optical Tweezers

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Abstract

Helicases are ubiquitous molecular motors which unwind double stranded DNA into two single strands. T7gp4 is a model hexameric helicase from the replication system of bacteriophage T7. The step size of T7gp4 was probed using single molecule optical trapping experiments. To obtain sufficient resolution over experimental timescales a dual optical trap was constructed, decoupling the experiment from the surface. Numerical simulations of helicase in the experimental configuration were conducted to examine the required measurement bandwidth. A novel method of forming double tethers between the dual traps was implemented. A range of steps of the helicase were observed. In combination with structural data and biochemical measurements, this agrees with a sequential mechanism for T7gp4 translocation.

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2011-01-31
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single molecule biophysics; optical tweezers; helicase
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Wang, Michelle D
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Sethna, James Patarasp
Xu, Chunhui
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Physics
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Ph. D., Physics
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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