Single-molecule analysis of RNA polymerase transcription

Lu Bai, Thomas J. Santangelo, Michelle D. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The kinetics and mechanisms of transcription are now being investigated by a repertoire of single-molecule techniques, including optical and magnetic tweezers, high-sensitivity fluorescence techniques, and atomic force microscopy. Single-molecule techniques complement traditional biochemical and crystallographic approaches, are capable of detecting the motions and dynamics of individual RNAP molecules and transcription complexes in real time, and make it possible to directly measure RNAP binding to and unwinding of template DNA, as well as RNAP translocation along the DNA during transcript synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


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