Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2010, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (07): 1976-1987.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20100740

• BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enzyme Catalysis and Gene Expression Studies at Single Molecule Level

SU Xiao-Dong, JIN Jian-Shi, XIE Sunney Xiaoliang   

  1. Biodynamics Optical Imaging Center (BIOPIC), Peking University, Beijing 100871
    School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  • Received:2010-05-14 Revised:2010-06-11 Published:2010-07-02
  • Contact: SU Xiao-Dong, XIE Sunney Xiaoliang;


Over the last half century, the overwhelming advances in biological sciences have been greatly aided by the physical and technological innovations, such as X-ray diffraction methods, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy, etc. In recent years, single-molecule experiments have changed the way many biological problems are addressed. Knowledge fromthese experiments continues to emerge.We are nowable to followbiochemical reactions of a single enzyme molecule in real time, and monitor gene expression in a living cell on a single molecule basis. These new methodologies will likely revolutionize our understanding of biological systems for many years to come. In this review, we highlight the achievements in the past decade in the fields of single molecule enzymology, live cell studies of gene expression and DNA protein interactions, emphasizing on the work of Sunney Xie's laboratory.

Key words: Single-molecule enzymology, Michaelis-Menten equation, Fluorescent protein, Lac operon, Gene expression, Repressor