Sua Myong

Associate Professor, Thomas C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics

Mergenthaler 168


Sua Myong is an associate professor in the Department of Biophysics. Her research focuses on quantitative analysis of gene expression in single molecule and single cell.

Our research interests involve developing and applying single molecule and single cell approaches to acquire quantitative understanding of biology and to find ways to improve human medicine. Single molecule platform offers an exquisite capability to detect molecular interactions and dynamics in real time. We devise sequential experimental stations that measures reactions at the molecular, biophysical and cellular levels. Our laboratory consist of scientists trained in molecular biology, physics, physical chemistry, bioengineering and chemical engineering, which is an ideal team setting for carrying out a highly interdisciplinary research.

The current directions of our research include the following. (i) DNA recombination and repair in which we study proteins involved in homologous recombination and trinucleotide repeat processing (collaborate with Patrick Sung and Timothy Lohman; Nat Comms 2013); (ii) Telomere and telomerase processing where we investigate the Shelterin protein components and their interaction with telomerase (collaborate with Patricia Opresko; Structure 2012, Structure 2014, Scientific Reports 2014); (iii) RNA interference mechanism for which we devised stepwise testing platforms to quantitatively analyze RNAi silencing efficiency (collaborate with Jennifer Doudna; PNAS, 2013, NAR 2014) (iv) Ribonucleoprotein assembly and dynamics where we seek to understand the role of RNA helicases in nucleating and forming granules in vitro and in cells (collaborate with Clifford Brangwynne and Christian Eckmann;PNAS, 2015); (v) G quadruplex (GQ) DNA mediated gene regulation where we investigate the role of GQ in altering transcription and translation (NAR 2014; NAR 2015).

In technical front, we have pioneered a new method for single molecule fluorescence imaging termed PIFE for protein induced fluorescence enhancement (PNAS 2011). This method offers a unique opportunity of performing single molecule experiment without having to fluorescently label the protein under study, thus expanding the capability of the current single molecule imaging. Recently, we established a real-time single molecule assay for detecting telomerase extension activity (Scientific Report, 2015) and GQ conformation probing assay by induced fluorescence of GQ ligands (NAR, 2015) We expect the outcome of our studies to uncover molecular details that govern cellular responses. This can open a new way of drug targeting, provide drug screening platforms and help optimize drug efficiency. In addition, our capability to perform single cell measurements will lead to better understanding about the cell to cell heterogeneity, which poses a challenging problem in research and biomedicine.

Kreig, A., Calvert, J., Sanoica, J., Cullum, E., Tippana, R., and S. Myong (2015) G-quadruplex Formation in Double Strand DNA probed by NMM and CV Fluorescence. Nucleic Acid Research 43:7961-7970. (pdf)

Wang, X., Vukovic, L., Koh, H., Schulten, K., and S. Myong (2015) Dynamic profiling of double-stranded RNA binding proteins. Nucleic Acid Research 3:7566-7576. (pdf)

Bell R.J.A., Rube H.T., Kreig A., Mancini A., Fouse S.F., Nagarajan R.P., Choi S., Hong C., He D., Pekmezci M., Wiencke J.K., Wrensch M.R., Chang S.M., Walsh K.M., Myong S., Song J.S., and J.F. Costello (2015) The transcription factor GABP selectively binds and activates the mutant TERT promoter in cancer. Science 348:1036-1039. (pdf)

Elbaum-Garfinkle S., Kim Y., Szczepaniak C., Eckmann C., Myong S., and C.P. Brangwynne (2015) The disordered P granule protein LAF-1 drives phase separation into droplets with tunable viscosity and dynamics. PNAS 112:7189-7194. (pdf)

Qiu Y., Niu H., Vukovic L., Sung P., and S. Myong (2015) Molecular Mechanism of Resolving Trinucleotide Repeat Hairpin by Helicases. Structure 23:1018-1027. (pdf)

Hwang, H., Opresko, PL., and S. Myong (2014) Single-molecule real-time detection of telomerase extension activity. Scientific Reports 4:6391. (pdf)

Koh H., Xing L., Kleiman L., and S. Myong (2014) Repetitive RNA unwinding by RNA helicase A facilitates RNA annealing. Nucleic Acid Research 42:8556-8564. (pdf)

Tippana R., Xiao W., and S. Myong (2014) G-quadruplex conformation and dynamics are determined by loop length and sequence. Nucleic Acid Research 42:8106-8114. (pdf)

Hwang H., Kreig A., Calvert J., Lormand J., Kwon Y., Daley JM., Sung P., Opresko PL., and S. Myong (2014) Telomeric Overhang Length Determines Structural Dynamics and Accessibility to Telomerase and ALT-Associated Proteins. Structure 22:842-53. (pdf): Highlight Preview Hopfner, K-P., “Single Molecule Choreography between Telomere Proteins and G Quadruplexes” Structure. 2014 Jun 10;22(6):801-2.

Hwang H., and S. Myong (2014) Protein induced fluorescence enhancement (PIFE) for probing protein–nucleic acid interactions. Chem. Soc. Rev. 43:1221-9. (pdf)

Qiu Y., and S. Myong (2014) Single Molecule Imaging of proteins that recognize and repair DNA damages. Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of. 20:223-231. (pdf)

Qiu Y., Antony E., Doganay S., Koh H., Lohman T. M., and S. Myong (2013) Srs2 prevents Rad51 filament formation by repetitive motion on DNA. Nat Commun. 4:2281. (pdf)

Koh H., Kidwell M., Ragunathan K., Doudna J., and S. Myong (2013) ATP independent diffusion of double stranded RNA binding protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 110:151-156. (pdf)

Hwang H., Buncher N., Opresko P. L., and S. Myong (2012) POT1-TPP1 regulates telomeric overhang structural dynamics. Structure 20:1872-1880. (pdf)

Ha T, and S. Myong (2011) A single-molecule view of chaperonin cooperativity. Proc Natl Acad Sci. U S A. 108:16865-16866. (pdf)

Hwang H., Kim H. and S. Myong S. (2011) Protein induced fluorescence enhancement as a single molecule assay with short distance sensitivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 108:7414-7418. (pdf)

Qiu Y. and S. Myong (2011) Single molecule detection of one, two and multiplex proteins involved in DNA/RNA transaction. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 4:125-137. (pdf)

Park J., Myong S., Niedziela-Majka A., Yu J., Lohman T. M. and T. Ha (2010) Reeling in DNA One Base at a Time: PcrA translocation coupled to DNA looping dismantles RecA filaments" Cell 142:544-555. (pdf)

Myong, S., Cui S., Cornish P. V., Kirchhofer A. , Gack M. U., Jung J. U., Hopfner K. P. and T. Ha (2009) Cytosolic viral sensor RIG-I is a 5 prime - triphosphate-dependent translocase on double-stranded RNA. Science 323:1070-1074. (pdf)

Myong, S., Bruno M. M., Pyle A. M. and T. Ha (2007) Spring-loaded Mechanism of DNA Unwinding by HCV NS3 Helicase. Science 317:513-516. (pdf)

Joo, C., McKinney S. A., Nakamura M., Rasnik I., Myong S., and T. Ha (2006) Real Time Observation of RecA Filament Dynamics with Single Monomer Resolution. Cell 126:515-527. (pdf)

Myong, S., Rasnik I., Joo C., Lohman T. M., and T. Ha (2005) Repetitive Shuttling of a Motor Protein on DNA. Nature 437:1321-1325. (pdf)

PubMed Publications