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Hybrid technique uses Ni-NTA-Nanogold®
to elucidate subprotein architecture,
reveals key gene transcription mechanism

Scientists working in Taiwan and Germany have found a method to map tiny protein structures to an unprecedented level of detail; their first revelations have demystified a key mechanism in gene expression.

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Jen-Wei Chang, Yi-Min Wua, Zi-Yun Chen, Shih-Hsin Huang, Chun-Hsiung Wanga, Pei-lun Wua, Yi-ping Wenga, Changjiang You, Jacob Piehler, Wei-hau Chang. Hybrid electron microscopy-FRET imaging localizes the dynamical C-terminus of Tfg2 in RNA polymerase II–TFIIF with nanometer precision. J. Struct. Biol. (2013).

A new, hybrid technique combines Ni-NTA-Nanogold® labeling, innovative dual-defocus imaging for single particle analysis with cryo-EM, and FRET-- achieving nanometer precision in protein architecture mapping. The group has used this powerful method to elucidate the structure and function of key components of the DNA transcription mechanism, even revealing the movement of these parts as they interact with DNA to physically initiate transcription.

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