Prof. dr. Gijs Wuite  

Physics of Life Processes Group

My group is part of the Physics of Living Systems Section in the faculty of Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam. The research in the group focuses on exploring DNA-proteins interactions and biophysical/biomechanical properties of viral capsids & cells. The aim is to work with increasingly more complex assemblies of proteins in order to investigate the emergent properties from these systems. This approach bridges experimental systems biology and single-molecule manipulation techniques. We use a variety of techniques such as optical tweezers, AFM and single-molecule fluorescence as well as combinations of these techniques. The data obtained are related to biochemical studies and used for theoretical modeling.

Selected Publications


Nov 12: Our FOM program was approved (see open positions)

Okt 12: Starting with a new projectruimte grant on viruses (see open positions)

Aug 11: Our Nature Physics on DNA mechanics is published

Aug 10: I obtained a ERC starting grant

May 10: Movie of my research @ & Movie of PhD student Niels Laurens in my group in a Popular Talk show “De Wereld Draait Door”, Jan 2010

Apr 10: Our Human Frontier Grant has been approved

Feb 10: Our program in the FES grant HTS&M has been granted

Jan 09: Alumni Postdoc Remus Dame starts his own group at Leiden University

Dec 08: My 1.3 MEuro VICI grant got approved

Dec 08: Two articles about our research appeared in the major Dutch newspaper, the NRC

Nov 08: Selected for The Young Academy, part of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, its 80 members are selected for scientific achievements and having received PhD <10 years ago


G. Farge, N. Laurens, O.D. Broekmans, S.M.J.L. van den Wildenberg, L.C.M. Dekker, M. Gaspari, C.M. Gustafsson, E.J.G. Peterman, M. Falkenberg, G.J.L. Wuite

Protein sliding and DNA denaturation are essential for DNA organization by human mitochondrial transcription factor A

Nature Communications 3:1013 (2012) 


W.H. Roos, I. Gertsman, E.R. May, C.L. Brooks, J.E. Johnson, G.J.L. Wuite

Mechanics of bacteriophage maturation

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 109(7):2342-2347 (2012)  


P. Gross, N. Laurens, L.B. Oddershede, U. Bockelmann, E.J.G. Peterman, G.J.L. Wuite

Quantifying how DNA stretches, melts and changes twist under tension

Nature Physics 7(9):731-736 (2011) 


W. H. Roos, R. Bruinsma G. J. L. Wuite

Physical Virology

Nature Physics 6(10):733-743 (2010)


J. van Mameren, P. Gross, G. Farge, P. Hooijman, M. Modesti, M. Falkenberg, E.J.G Peterman*, G.J.L. Wuite*

Unraveling the structure of DNA during overstretching using multicolor, single-molecule fluorescence imaging

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 106:18231-18236 (2009)


W.H. Roos, K. Radtke, E. Kniesmeijer, H. Geertsema, B. Sodeik, G.J.L. Wuite

Scaffold expulsion and genome packaging trigger stabilization of Herpes Simplex Virus capsids

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 106:9673-9678 (2009)


J. van Mameren, M. Modesti R. Kanaar, C. Wyman, E.J.G. Peterman, G.J.L. Wuite

Counting RAD51 proteins disassembling from nucleoprotein filaments under tension

Nature 457, 745 - 748 (2009)


B. van den Broek, M.A. Lomholt, S-M.J. Kalisch, R. Metzler, G.J.L. Wuite

How DNA coiling enhances target localization by proteins

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 105 (41):15738-15742 (2008)

See also Highlight: Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 15, 1137 (2008)


M.C. Noom, B van den Broek, J. van Mameren, G.J.L. Wuite

Visualizing single DNA-bound proteins using DNA as a scanning probe

Nature Methods 4, 1031-1036 (2007)









Cover by Maarten Noom


G.J.L. Wuite*, I.L. Ivanovska*, B. Jönsson, A. Evilevitch

Internal DNA pressure modifies stability of wild-type phage

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 104: 9603-9608 (2007)


R.T. Dame, M.C. Noom, G.J.L. Wuite

Bacterial chromatin organization by H-NS protein unraveled using a dual DNA assay

Nature 444:387-390 (2006)

See also exclusive review in BioEssays 29 (3), 212 - 216 (2007)


W.S. Klug, R.F. Bruinsma, J.P Michel, C.M. Knobler, I.L. Ivanovska, C.F. Schmidt, G.J.L. Wuite

Failure of Viral Shells

Physical Review Letters 97:228101 (2006)

See also News and Views; Nature Physics 3, 19 (2007)


I.L.Ivanovska, P.J. de Pablo, B. Ibarra, G. Sgalari, F.C. MacKintosh, J.L.Carrascosa, C.F. Schmidt, G.J.L. Wuite

Bacteriophage capsids: tough nano-shells with complex elastic properties

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 101:7600-7605 (2004)


N.Forde, D. Izhaky, G. Woodcock, G.J.L. Wuite, C. Bustamante

Using mechanical force to probe the mechanism of pausing and arrest during continuous elongation by E. coli RNA polymerase

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 99:11682-11687(2002)


G.J.L. Wuite, S.B. Smith, M. Young, D. Keller, C. Bustamante

Single Molecule Studies of the Effect of Template Tension on T7 DNA Polymerase Activity
Nature 404:103-106 (2000)


G.J.L. Wuite*, J. Davenport*, R. Landick, C. Bustamante
Single Molecule Study of Transcriptional Pausing and Arrest by E. coli RNA Polymerase
Science 287:2497-2500 (2000)



*Equal contributions