Was there actually anybody willingly missing out on Steve Block’s talk? At least, none of the single-molecule people researchers, as the auditorium was filled! Steve’s 30min-firework on the experiments carried out by Nicholas Guydosh at Stanford had as a goal nothing less, but targeting the long lasting (and highly ranked) debate about how kinesin (another subfamily than the Kip3 Volker is looking at) walks on microtubuli. The idea is straight forward: instead of binding an handle bead in an optical tweezers assay to the tail, Steve and his coworkers simply bind the bead directly to one of the walking heads. They have achieved this by the use of a 23nm-DNA linker.
As the result: Kinesin walks with one head bound, ‘it’s so simple.’ The extraordinary setup also allowed a time shared trapping assay, that even showed a directed, slight overshooting that might be related to the ADP release (around an one-nanometer structural change in direction of load). The story was great and complete, the Nature paper came in 2009.
The excellent talk by Catherine Royer on the investigation of gene regulatory networks by means of flourescence techniques was interrupted by a power failure in the lecture hall. Regular confusion turned into some new coffee, though after six minutes Catherine was back on.
Very well handling this situation, she explained the heterodimer formation between cer-ER(alpha) and mcherry-ER(beta). This nucleus data was complemented by those about the CggR and CcpnR repressor network by fluctuations of flourescently labelled proteins in E. coli. But are there any models that take anything beyond simple diffusion (even inside the cells) into account?
This is according to Catherine a very complex, very difficult task. I definitely got really interested in the presented work, looking up this group’s papers etc. will happen back in Copenhagen.
Eric Greene entered the stage just before the break, reminding us about their cool DNA curtains they do at Columbia. He looked at two pairs of dimer-forming primers (Mlh1-Pms1, Msh2-Msh6). The bigger picture he has in mind though is the bypassing of those protein complexes on nucleosome-packed DNA. Funny thing: on his acknowledgement slide, we read
YOUR NAME HERE: ______
Was that meant as a job offer? And to whom? ;-)
After the coffee break, we were reminded of the Weber prize, find more details at lfd.uci.edu/weber/prize/.
I did like both of the students talks (I might drop my notes here later, when time permits). Richard Ludescher took us on the entire history lesson to finally arrive at the difference between flourescence and phosphorescence. Or would you know by heart which one goes through the triplett state ;-)?
At the end of the first day, 1.5 really good sessions, exposure to good new ideas”, own poster put up, and a few people gathered for a good dinner thing, don’t ask for much more.