Toward observing transition paths in protein folding from single molecule photon trajectories

Speaker: 
William A. Eaton
Event Type: 
Colloquia
Location: 
Aula A
File: 

Protein folding is theoretically predicted to be a very heterogeneous process, with a wide distribution of microscopic pathways connecting the folded and unfolded states.

Single molecule experiments are required to observe this heterogeneity, but the experiments are challenging because the sought after mechanistic information is contained in the transition path, which is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium trajectory when the molecule makes successful transitions between the unfolded and folded states.

Even the duration of a transition path has not yet been measured for any molecular process in solution. As a first step toward observing transtion paths in protein folding, we are using maximum likehood methods to analyze photon trajectories in a single molecule fluorescence experiments in order to obtain at least an upper bound for the transition path time.

Contact address

Dipartimento di Fisica
Università degli Studi di Milano
Via Celoria, 16 I-20133 Milano (Italy)
Tel. +39 02 503 17279 - Fax. 17480

Unimi

INFN Milano