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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;778:111-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-261-8_8.

Quantum dot labeling strategies to characterize single-molecular motors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT, USA. snelson@physiology.med.uvm.edu


Recent advances in single-molecule labeling and detection techniques allow high-resolution imaging of the motion of single molecules. Molecular motors are biological machines that convert chemical energy into mechanical work. Myosin Va (MyoVa) is a well-characterized processive molecular motor, essential for cargo transport in living organisms. Quantum dots (Qdots) are fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals that are extremely useful for single-molecule studies in biological sciences. High-resolution video microscopy and single-particle tracking of a Qdot-labeled MyoVa motor molecule allow the detection of individual steps in vitro and in live cells.

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