Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy of native macromolecular complexes

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2016 Dec:41:225-232. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Sep 21.


Macromolecular complexes consisting of proteins, lipids, and/or nucleic acids are ubiquitous in biological processes. Their composition, stoichiometry, order of assembly, and conformations can be heterogeneous or can change dynamically, making single-molecule studies best suited to measure these properties accurately. Recent single-molecule pull-down and other related approaches have combined the principles of conventional co-immunoprecipitation assay with single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to probe native macromolecular complexes. In this review, we present the advances in single-molecule pull-down methods and biological systems that have been investigated in such semi vivo manner.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Genomics
  • Macromolecular Substances / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Single Molecule Imaging / methods*


  • Macromolecular Substances