Orientational and dynamical heterogeneity of rhodamine 6G terminally attached to a DNA helix revealed by NMR and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy

  • Neubauer H
  • Gaiko N
  • Berger S
 et al. 
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Abstract

The comparison of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiencies between two fluorophores covalently attached to a single protein or DNA molecule is an elegant approach for deducing information about their structural and dynamical heterogeneity. For a more detailed structural interpretation of single-molecule FRET assays, information about the positions as well as the dynamics of the dye labels attached to the biomolecule is important. In this work, Rhodamine 6G (2-[3'-(ethylamino)-6'-(ethylimino)-2',7'-dimethyl-6'H-xanthen-9'-yl]-benzoic acid) bound to the 5'-end of a 20 base pair long DNA duplex is investigated by both single-molecule multiparameter fluorescence detection (MFD) experiments and NMR spectroscopy. Rhodamine 6G is commonly employed in nucleic acid research as a FRET dye. MFD experiments directly reveal the equilibrium of the dye bound to DNA between three heterogeneous environments, which are characterized by distinct fluorescence lifetime and intensity distributions as a result of different guanine-dye excited-state electron transfer interactions. Sub-ensemble fluorescence autocorrelation analysis shows the highly dynamic character of the dye-DNA interactions ranging from nano- to milliseconds and species-specific triplet relaxation times. Two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy corroborates this information by the determination of the detailed geometric structures of the dye-nucleobase complex and their assignment to each population observed in the single-molecule fluorescence experiments. From both methods, a consistent and detailed molecular description of the structural and dynamical heterogeneity is obtained.

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Authors

  • Heike Neubauer

  • Natalia Gaiko

  • Sylvia Berger

  • Jörg Schaffer

  • Christian Eggeling

  • Jennifer Tuma

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