Single-molecule Biophysics

A main focus of our laboratory is to use single-molecule imaging techniques to study protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. If we imagine proteins as a team of workers who have jobs to do on DNA, we need to understand how these players bind to specific DNA sequences and come together to bring about functions. Single-molecule techniques gather information on large populations of individual molecules. Therefore, single-molecule studies can provide additional information on biomolecules compared to that obtained from bulk biochemical and biophysical studies, which analyze the average behavior and properties of the whole population. In addition, single-molecule imaging and manipulation techniques allow us to observe and detect biologically important rare events or conformations that would not be detectable in bulk assays.

Startup provided by NC State University, NIEHS Pathway to Independence Award, Center for Human Health and the Environment and RISF at NCSU, and NIGMS.
  1. AFM images of 3-stranded RNA-DNA hybrids called R-loops
  2. AFM and TIRF image of SA1/SA2 binding to the R-loop
  3. Single-molecule processes in the context of a cell
  4. SA2 at ssDNA gap and replication fork (Countryman, JBC, 2017)
  5. MBD2 on unmethylated and methylated CpGs
    (Pan, NAR, 2017)
  6. ssDNA wrapping around histone
    (Adkin, JBC 2017)
  7. dsDNA wrapping around TRFH
    (Benarroch, Mol. Cell 2016)
  8. dsDNA loops in large TRF2 complexes
    (Kaur, Sci: Report 2016)
  9. dsDNA wrapping around histone
    (Wu, Mol Cell, 2016)
  10. Cohesin SA1 pauses at telomeres
    (Lin, NAR 2016)
  11. Cohesin SA1 and TRF1 protein tracts
    (Lin, NAR 2016)
  12. TRF2 slides in and out of telomere DNA
    (Lin, NAR 2014)
  13. TRF1 and TRF2 at telomere DNA
    (Lin, NAR 2014)
  14. UvrB-quantum dot at a DNA nick
    (Wang, Nano Letters 2006)

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