Leapin' enzymes! Discovery, enabled by single-photon camera, to aid genomics

DECEMBER 2, 2008--Using a combination of technologies--a scientific digital camera with single photon sensitivity and a total internal reflection microscope (TIRFM)--researchers in Paris, France have proven that EcoRV enzymes can jump and slide along strands of DNA. They hope the discovery will shed light on how site-specific proteins rapidly find very short DNA sequences in order to preserve cellular integrity and protect cells against viral attacks, and lead to better genetics research and grasp of certain genetic disorders.

The research group, led by Dr. Pierre Desbiolles at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, CRNS and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, needed high resolution detection because each EcoRV enzyme was tagged with only one of two Cy3 labels and imaging had be undertaken dynamically. So they developed a system based on an Andor Technology iXon860 EMCCD able to detect single detect single photons with a frame rate that allows them to follow the rapidly changing events associated with DNA proof reading and repair.

By acquiring extended time series of individual DNA binding events, the team was able to confirm an earlier suggestion that EcoRV could slide along a DNA strand in order to access areas nearby. However, it was unclear whether EcoRV could also jump along DNA between fragments which are spaced further apart. The clear images obtained with their direct microscopic observation technique allowed the researchers to confirm, for the first time, that long-distance excursions of enzyme on DNA were, indeed, possible.

According to Dr. Desbiolles, "To make this breakthrough, we needed a detection system with an ultra high level of sensitivity. We chose to base it on an Andor Technology iXon860 back-illuminated EMCCD camera because it combined the ability to detect single photons with a frame rate that allowed us to follow the rapidly changing events associated with DNA proof reading and repair."

More information:
Further details on the study
The team's original paper in the journal Nucleic Acids Research

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

NANOTECHNOLOGY/LIGHT ACTIVATION: IR light method turns blood clotting on (like drugs) and off (like nothing else)

Gold nanoparticles, controlled by infrared (IR) light from a pulsed femtosecond laser, promise to promote wound healing and help doctors control blood clotting in patients undergoing surgery.

Microscopy helps discover potential new drug target for cystic fibrosis

An international team of scientists, using automated microscopy and genetics, have discovered a promising potential drug target for cystic fibrosis.

Next-gen DNA sequencing helps provide new genetic clue to anorexia

The largest next-generation DNA sequencing study of anorexia nervosa to date has linked the eating disorder to variants in a gene coding for an enzyme that regulates cholesterol metabolism.

Synchrotron light identifies RNA double helix structure

Scientists at McGill University have crystallized a short RNA sequence, poly (rA)11, and used data collected at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron to confirm th...

BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS