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Publication Detail
Quantification of Biomolecular Dynamics Inside Real and Synthetic Nuclear Pore Complexes Using Time-Resolved Atomic Force Microscopy.
Abstract
Over the past decades, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as an increasingly powerful tool to study the dynamics of biomolecules at nanometer length scales. However, the more stochastic the nature of such biomolecular dynamics, the harder it becomes to distinguish them from AFM measurement noise. Rapid, stochastic dynamics are inherent to biological systems comprising intrinsically disordered proteins. One role of such proteins is in the formation of the transport barrier of the nuclear pore complex (NPC): the selective gateway for macromolecular traffic entering or exiting the nucleus. Here, we use AFM to observe the dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins from two systems: the transport barrier of native NPCs and the transport barrier of a mimetic NPC made using a DNA origami scaffold. Analyzing data recorded with 50-200 ms temporal resolution, we highlight the importance of drift correction and appropriate baseline measurements in such experiments. In addition, we describe an autocorrelation analysis to quantify time scales of observed dynamics and to assess their veracity-an analysis protocol that lends itself to the quantification of stochastic fluctuations in other biomolecular systems. The results reveal the surprisingly slow rate of stochastic, collective transitions inside mimetic NPCs, highlighting the importance of FG-nup cohesive interactions.
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