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Quantitative mass imaging of single biological macromolecules

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Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 423-427
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5839

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Watching proteins' weight

Careful measurements of light scattering can provide information on individual macromolecules and complexes. Young et al. used a light-scattering approach for accurate mass determination of proteins as small as 20 kDa (see the Perspective by Lee and Klenerman). Movies of protein complex association and dissociation were analyzed to extract biophysical parameters from single molecules and assemblies without labeling. Using this approach, the authors determined in vitro kinetics of fibril and aggregate growth and association constants for a complex protein-glycoprotein assembly.

Science, this issue p. 423; see also p. 378