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Single-Molecule Measurement of Protein Folding Kinetics

Science  29 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5637, pp. 1233-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085399

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Abstract

In order to investigate the behavior of single molecules under conditions far from equilibrium, we have coupled a microfabricated laminar-flow mixer to a confocal optical system. This combination enables time-resolved measurement of Förster resonance energy transfer after an abrupt change in solution conditions. Observations of a small protein show the evolution of the intramolecular distance distribution as folding progresses. This technique can expose subpopulations, such as unfolded protein under conditions favoring the native structure, that would be obscured in equilibrium experiments.

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