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Author: MARIJONAS TUTKUS
Dissertation title: Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy for protein dynamics studies
Fields of science: Physics (N002)
Scientific supervisor: prof. habil. dr. Leonas Valkūnas, dr. Gediminas Trinkūnas
Defence of the dissertation: July 5, 2019
Conformational dynamics of proteins are essential for their functioning objectives, which are possible due to the inherent flexibility of protein structure. Every protein, regardless of whether it is located in lipid membranes or found in the cytosol undergoes conformational dynamics. The mentioned classes of proteins are different regarding their native environment and involved in different aspects of cellular life. In this work we chose to investigate the following representatives from two different classes – transmembrane pigment-protein complexes from photosystem II of plants and water-soluble proteins interacting with nucleic acids – DNA Restriction endonucleases. Since conformational dynamics of protein are typically hidden in an ensemble type of measurements we revealed them with the aid of the single-molecule methods. Our results on single-molecule conformational dynamics studies of protein-pigment complexes and DNA-interacting proteins provided essential insights into each field of research. Also, both of our developed methods were successfully applied and will be useful for future studies of various DNA-interacting proteins and other pigment-protein complexes or their assemblies.