Single molecule studies of protein-nucleic acid interactions shed light on molecular mechanisms and kinetics involved in protein binding, translocation, and unwinding of DNA and RNA substrates. In this review, we provide an overview of a single molecule fluorescence method, termed "protein induced fluorescence enhancement" (PIFE). Unlike FRET where two dyes are required, PIFE employs a single dye attached to DNA or RNA to which an unlabeled protein is applied. We discuss both ensemble and single molecule studies in which PIFE was utilized.
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