iOptics Seminar Series Lecture 3: Single Molecule Investigation of Nucleic Acid Motor Proteins

By Su-A Myong

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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When looking down on streets of Chicago from the 30th floor of a skyscraper, one would see a high density of cars and people buzzing around all over the place. It would appear as if everyone was everywhere at any given time. When observed at an individual level, however, one would exhibit a unique pattern of movement characterized by speed of walking or driving, direction of travel, and pauses taken en route. Such a heterogeneous behavior is hidden when taken at an average. Likely, molecules which constitute a cell of our body have unique pattern of location, movement and interactions with neighboring molecules. The main tool of my research is single molecule fluorescence assay which enables us to observe such molecular dynamics one molecule at a time. Our main research interest is investigating mechanism of nucleic acid interacting proteins. I will present our previous studies on an e. coli protein, Rep helicase[1] and a human antiviral receptor, RIG-I[2] enabled by two different single molecule fluorescence techniques, FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) and a newly developed assay, PIFE (Protein Induced Fluorescence Enhancement) respectively. I will also discuss about our current effort in systematically characterizing PIFE method and some preliminary result obtained from fluorescent cell imaging.


Research Statement:
SARS, Avian flu and H1N1 are the recent viral strains which posed serious threat to public health worldwide. Our research effort is dedicated to investigate and improve the antiviral immunity. When a virus infects a human cell, it releases its genome to the cell's interior space called cytosol. The infected cell faces a great task of recognizing this as a foreign pathogen and mustering up immunity against it. We study the host molecules which participate in this antiviral immune pathway using single molecule fluorescence and cell imaging techniques. Recently identified key antiviral receptor is RIG-I (retinoic acid inducible gene-I) which distinguishes viral RNA by recognizing viral specific motives

Teaching Statement:
Cellular Bioengineering (BIOE 298) is about learning molecular and cellular biology and applying it to the current biomedical problems. We touch upon various biophysical, biotechnlological, pharmaceutical and biomedical development as we learn about the underlying principles of cellular biology.

Research Interests:

* Single molecule fluorescence detection of DNA and RNA interacting motor proteins
* Super resolution cell imaging of antiviral pathway mediated by RIG-I


Breezed and posted by AbderRahman N. Sobh

Sponsored by

NCN @ Illinois

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Su-A Myong (2010), "iOptics Seminar Series Lecture 3: Single Molecule Investigation of Nucleic Acid Motor Proteins,"

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