Events at Physics
Using single-molecule assays developed in my lab combining microfluidics, high-resolution optical tweezers, and simultaneous fluorescence microscopy, we obtain an unprecedented detailed view of helicase motor dynamics at the sub-nanometer scale. These techniques allow us to record single base pair-scale helicase activity simultaneously with stoichiometry and conformation, and help us decipher the mechanism by which helicases unwind DNA. Our data reveal how these nanomachines sense the DNA sequence they must unwind and how their conformational state modulates their activity. I will discuss the biological implications of our findings.