Nonlinear Infrared Spectroscopy as a Tool for the Measurement of Protein Flexibility
Newly arrived faculty member Megan Thielges is developing nonlinear infrared spectroscopy as a tool for the measurement of protein flexibility, i.e. the fast wiggling of the protein's amino acids. To generate a picture of the structural fluctuations of proteins with both high spatial and temporal resolution, the ultrafast spectroscopic methods are combined with methods of biochemistry and chemical biology for placing vibrational probe groups at specific sites throughout proteins. This approach will not only enable the testing of the contribution of motion to protein function, but also will permit characterization of many proteins that play key roles in biology that are difficult to study because of their high mobility in solution.