Structural dynamics and processing of nucleic acids revealed by single-molecule spectroscopy

Biochemistry. 2004 Apr 13;43(14):4055-63. doi: 10.1021/bi049973s.


Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful method to observe real time movements of individual biological molecules while they are functioning without the need for synchronization. Dynamic characteristics of nucleic acids can now be easily and reliably studied, and new applications are emerging in which their recognition and processing by proteins and enzymes are being understood with unprecedented detail. The most recent examples are discussed, including the hairpin ribozyme, Holliday junction, G-quadruplex, Rep helicase, reverse transcriptase, and combination with mechanical manipulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Thermodynamics*


  • RNA
  • DNA