Fluorescence methods provide rich and varied information on motor proteins. Indeed, due to the activity of motor proteins, fluorescence can be used to investigate all aspects of their activity.
Fluorescence provides a sensitive and rapid readout with high signals. Because emission is in the nanosecond range, compared to many molecular transitions which are in the microsecond to millisecond range, fluorescence does not limit the experimental time resolution. However, detection can be a greater limiting factor, restricting measurements to milliseconds.
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A fluorophore reports upon the molecule it is attached to and its environment. In the simplest case, this allows the motor protein, or its substrates, to be visualized or detected. More advanced assays can measure protein-track interactions, conformation changes and entire reaction cycles. This is achieved by measuring fluorescence intensity, anisotropy or Fluorescence/Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). Such measurements can be performed in an ensemble or single-molecule format.
Read more on Fluorescent Measurements.