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ACS Nano. 2011 Jan 25;5(1):399-407. doi: 10.1021/nn101839t. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Enhancement of single-molecule fluorescence signals by colloidal silver nanoparticles in studies of protein translation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology, UNTHSC, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, United States.


Metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) increased total photon emission of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled ribosomal initiation complexes near 50 nm silver particles 4- and 5.5-fold, respectively. Fluorescence intensity fluctuations above shot noise, at 0.1-5 Hz, were greater on silver particles. Overall signal-to-noise ratio was similar or slightly improved near the particles. Proximity to silver particles did not compromise ribosome function, as measured by codon-dependent binding of fluorescent tRNA, dynamics of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between adjacent tRNAs in the ribosome, and tRNA translocation induced by elongation factor G.

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