Single molecule transcription elongation

Eric A. Galburt, Stephan W. Grill, Carlos Bustamante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Single molecule optical trapping assays have now been applied to a great number of macromolecular systems including DNA, RNA, cargo motors, restriction enzymes, DNA helicases, chromosome remodelers, DNA polymerases and both viral and bacterial RNA polymerases. The advantages of the technique are the ability to observe dynamic, unsynchronized molecular processes, to determine the distributions of experimental quantities and to apply force to the system while monitoring the response over time. Here, we describe the application of these powerful techniques to study the dynamics of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Backtracking
  • Diffusion
  • Molecular motor
  • Optical trapping
  • RNA polymerase II
  • Single molecule
  • Transcriptional pausing


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