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Publication Detail
Nanomechanical recognition measurements of individual DNA molecules reveal epigenetic methylation patterns
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Zhu R, Howorka S, Proll J, Kienberger F, Preiner J, Hesse J, Ebner A, Pastushenko VP, Gruber HJ, Hinterdorfer P
  • Publisher:
    NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
  • Publication date:
    11/2010
  • Pagination:
    788, 791
  • Journal:
    NAT NANOTECHNOL
  • Volume:
    5
  • Issue:
    11
  • Print ISSN:
    1748-3387
  • Language:
    EN
  • Keywords:
    ATOMIC-FORCE MICROSCOPY, SINGLE-MOLECULE, OLIGONUCLEOTIDE MICROARRAYS, COMPLEMENTARY STRANDS, REAL-TIME, SPECTROSCOPY, ANTIBODIES, 5-METHYLCYTOSINE, POLYMERASE, PROTEIN
Abstract
Atomic force microscopy(1) (AFM) is a powerful tool for analysing the shapes of individual molecules and the forces acting on them. AFM-based force spectroscopy provides insights into the structural and energetic dynamics(2-4) of biomolecules by probing the interactions within individual molecules(5,6), or between a surface-bound molecule and a cantilever that carries a complementary binding partner(7-9). Here, we show that an AFM cantilever with an antibody tether can measure the distances between 5-methylcytidine bases in individual DNA strands with a resolution of 4 angstrom, thereby revealing the DNA methylation pattern, which has an important role in the epigenetic control of gene expression. The antibody is able to bind two 5-methylcytidine bases of a surface-immobilized DNA strand, and retracting the cantilever results in a unique rupture signature reflecting the spacing between two tagged bases. This nanomechanical approach might also allow related chemical patterns to be retrieved from biopolymers at the single-molecule level.
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