Single-molecule dynamics of biomolecular interactions

Group leader: Carlos Penedo-Esteiro

Lecturer

Research overview

We are interested in the use and development of novel biophysical techniques to study biomolecular interactions including proteins, DNA and RNA at the level of individual molecules. The advantages of single-molecule detection are many, apart from the fascination of looking at individual biomolecules at work, single-molecule techniques can measure intermediates and follow time-dependent pathways of chemical reactions and folding mechanisms that are difficult or impossible to synchronize at the ensemble level. Thus, single-molecule techniques provide novel insights into how molecules and systems behave, having the advantage that spatial and temporal averaging is avoided, temporal synchronisation is not necessary and novel phenomena, which otherwise are averaged and remain hidden in ensembles, may be discovered. Our aim is to monitor, in real-time, the behaviour of individual biological molecules and complexes, in vitro and in live cells. By combining the dynamic information obtained at the single-molecule or single-complex level with structural and biochemical analyses, we hope to create "molecular movies" of biological processes and from them obtain a deeper understanding of these processes.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~singlemol/singlemol.html

Publications

McCluskey, KA, Boudreault, J, St-Pierre, P, Perez Gonzalez, C, Chauvier, A, Rizzi, A, Beauregard, PB, Lafontaine, DA & Penedo-Esteiro, JC 2019, 'Unprecedented tunability of riboswitch structure and regulatory function by sub-millimolar variations in physiological Mg2+' Nucleic Acids Research, vol. Advance article, gkz316. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz316

Overview

Overview header image

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. The BSRC is grateful for funding from all funding agencies including the Institutional Strategic Support Fund from the Wellcome Trust.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research areas

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research by academic schools

Research in the BSRC is conducted by thirty-two independent research groups based in the Schools of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Medicine. Follow the links on the left to view groups associated with each school.