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Science. 1998 Dec 4;282(5395):1877-82.

Single-molecule enzymatic dynamics.

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  • 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science 1999 Jan 1;283(5398):35.


Enzymatic turnovers of single cholesterol oxidase molecules were observed in real time by monitoring the emission from the enzyme's fluorescent active site, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Statistical analyses of single-molecule trajectories revealed a significant and slow fluctuation in the rate of cholesterol oxidation by FAD. The static disorder and dynamic disorder of reaction rates, which are essentially indistinguishable in ensemble-averaged experiments, were determined separately by the real-time single-molecule approach. A molecular memory phenomenon, in which an enzymatic turnover was not independent of its previous turnovers because of a slow fluctuation of protein conformation, was evidenced by spontaneous spectral fluctuation of FAD.

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