University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, April 18, 2014
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex P-38

Professor Nate Derr of the Biological Sciences department, Smith College

“Coordination of Individual and Ensemble Molecular Motors Studied Using Tools From DNA Nanotechnology.”

Cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin-1 are cytoskeletal molecular motor proteins that move in opposing directions on intracellular microtubules. These motors are responsible for many functions in eukaryotic cells, including primary roles in cargo transport, cell division and the maintenance of sub-cellular spatial organization. These motors are homodimeric and move in discrete increments, averaging 8 nm perstep and outputting forces in the piconewton range. Moving processively on their microtubule tracks, they can take hundreds or thousands of consecutive steps. To better understand how individual dynein motors achieve this processive motion, we created orthogonally labeled dynein heterodimers joined by DNA base paring and observed their steps using two-color, single-molecule microscopy with high-precision, two-dimensional tracking. Additionally, to investigate thebiophysical mechanisms that govern the collective behavior of motor ensembles, we built a programmable synthetic cargo using the techniques of three-dimensional DNA origami. This allowed us to precisely control the number, spacing and type of motors within the ensemble. Refreshments will be prior to the talk at 3:00 p.m., in the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103.


Dawn Rawlinson 486-4916

Physics Department (primary)

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