Kiyohio KAWAI

The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University

Single molecule RNA imaging triggered by weak transient association

Many biological macromolecules function in response to a trigger—rather than being constantly in motion—through some type of transient interaction that occurs at a very low frequency (i.e., the probability of occurrence is very low and the duration is short), which induces structural transition.

Therefore, such a phenomenon is very difficult to follow. This project aims to characterize weak transient interactions that induce RNA structural transition with a time resolution of sub-microseconds, through the improvement of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and the use of a technique that allows for observation of a transient interaction as a flashing (“blinking”) of fluorescence. Based on obtained findings, attempts will be made to control the blinking process associated with transient RNA structural transition, with the goal of achieving single-molecule RNA imaging and providing tools that will allow researchers in this research area to explore optimal molecular specifications required for super-resolution microscopy.