Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Pulse-shaped chopping: Eliminating and characterizing heat effects in ultrafast infrared spectroscopy. The Journal of chemical physics Hoffman, D. J., Fica-Contreras, S. M., Pan, J., Fayer, M. D. 2020; 153 (20): 204201


    The infrared pulses used to generate nonlinear signals from a vibrational probe can cause heating via solvent absorption. Solvent absorption followed by rapid vibrational relaxation produces unwanted heat signals by creating spectral shifts of the solvent and probe absorptions. The signals are often isolated by "chopping," i.e., alternately blocking one of the incident pulses. This method is standard in pump-probe transient absorption experiments. As less heat is deposited into the sample when an incident pulse is blocked, the heat-induced spectral shifts give rise to artificial signals. Here, we demonstrate a new method that eliminates heat induced signals using pulse shaping to control pulse spectra. This method is useful if the absorption spectrum of the vibrational probe is narrow compared to the laser bandwidth. By using a pulse shaper to selectively eliminate only frequencies of light resonant with the probe absorption during the "off" shot, part of the pulse energy, and the resulting heat, is delivered to the solvent without generating the nonlinear signal. This partial heating reduces the difference heat signal between the on and off shots. The remaining solvent heat signal can be eliminated by reducing the wings of the on shot spectrum while still resonantly exciting the probe; the heat deposition from the on shot can be matched with that from the off shot, eliminating the solvent heat contribution to the signal. Modification of the pulse sequence makes it possible to measure only the heat signal, permitting the kinetics of heating to be studied.

    View details for DOI 10.1063/5.0031581

    View details for PubMedID 33261482

  • NMR Structural Analysis of Isolated Shaker Voltage-Sensing Domain in LPPG Micelles BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Chen, H., Pan, J., Gandhi, D. M., Dockendorff, C., Cui, Q., Chanda, B., Henzler-Wildman, K. A. 2019; 117 (2): 388–98


    The voltage-sensing domain (VSD) is a conserved structural module that regulates the gating of voltage-dependent ion channels in response to a change in membrane potential. Although the structures of many VSD-containing ion channels are now available, our understanding of the structural dynamics associated with gating transitions remains limited. To probe dynamics with site-specific resolution, we utilized NMR spectroscopy to characterize the VSD derived from Shaker potassium channel in 1-palmitoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol) (LPPG) micelles. The backbone dihedral angles predicted based on secondary chemical shifts using torsion angle likeliness obtained from shift (TALOS+) showed that the Shaker-VSD shares many structural features with the homologous Kv1.2/2.1 chimera, including a transition from α-helix to 310 helix in the C-terminal portion of the fourth transmembrane helix. Nevertheless, there are clear differences between the Shaker-VSD and Kv1.2/2.1 chimera in the S2-S3 linker and S3 transmembrane region, where the organization of secondary structure elements in Shaker-VSD appears to more closely resemble the KvAP-VSD. Comparison of microsecond-long molecular dynamics simulations of Kv 1.2-VSD in LPPG micelles and a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayer showed that LPPG micelles do not induce significant structural distortion in the isolated voltage sensor. To assess the integrity of the tertiary fold, we directly probed the binding of BrMT analog 2-[2-({[3-(2-amino-ethyl)-6-bromo-1H-indol-2-yl]methoxy}k7methyl)-6-bromo-1H-indol-3-yl]ethan-1-amine (BrET), a gating modifier toxin, and identified the location of the putative binding site. Our results suggest that the Shaker-VSD in LPPG micelles is in a native-like fold and is likely to provide valuable insights into the dynamics of voltage-gating and its regulation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.06.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000476709900019

    View details for PubMedID 31301804

  • Specificity landscapes unmask submaximal binding site preferences of transcription factors PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bhimsaria, D., Rodriguez-Martinez, J. A., Pan, J., Roston, D., Korkmaz, E., Cui, Q., Ramanathan, P., Ansari, A. Z. 2018; 115 (45): E10586–E10595


    We have developed Differential Specificity and Energy Landscape (DiSEL) analysis to comprehensively compare DNA-protein interactomes (DPIs) obtained by high-throughput experimental platforms and cutting edge computational methods. While high-affinity DNA binding sites are identified by most methods, DiSEL uncovered nuanced sequence preferences displayed by homologous transcription factors. Pairwise analysis of 726 DPIs uncovered homolog-specific differences at moderate- to low-affinity binding sites (submaximal sites). DiSEL analysis of variants of 41 transcription factors revealed that many disease-causing mutations result in allele-specific changes in binding site preferences. We focused on a set of highly homologous factors that have different biological roles but "read" DNA using identical amino acid side chains. Rather than direct readout, our results indicate that DNA noncontacting side chains allosterically contribute to sculpt distinct sequence preferences among closely related members of transcription factor families.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1811431115

    View details for Web of Science ID 000449459000011

    View details for PubMedID 30341220

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6233140