Regensburg 2010 – wissenschaftliches Programm
BP 23.1: Hauptvortrag
Donnerstag, 25. März 2010, 10:00–10:30, H43
Single-molecule Fluorescence Studies of RNA Folding and Function — •Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus — Institute of Applied Physics and Center for Functional Nanostructures, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
RNA is a versatile biopolymer involved in various key biological functions, including storage and transfer of information, structural scaffolding and gene expression and regulation. RNA folds into compact three-dimensional structures, and RNA self-assembly and dynamics within the functionally competent, folded structure can be visualized by transitions in a highly complex energy landscape. We study these dynamic processes in small RNAs by using single-molecule Förster (fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET). The free energies of the folded, intermediate and unfolded states can be changed by varying the Mg2+ counterion concentration, which allows one to selectively enhance the population of various states in thermal equilibrium and to analyze the equilibrium energetics as well as the kinetics and structural properties of these states.