Aug 30, 2019

Structure Determination by Single-Particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy: Only the Sky (and Intrinsic Disorder) is the Limit

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Emeka Nwanochie, Vladimir N Uversky


Traditionally, X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy represent major workhorses of structural biologists, with the lion share of protein structures reported in protein data bank (PDB) being generated by these powerful techniques. Despite their wide utilization in protein structure determination, these two techniques have logical limitations, with X-ray crystallography being unsuitable for the analysis of highly dynamic structures and with NMR spectroscopy being restricted to the analysis of relatively small proteins. In recent years, we have witnessed an explosive development of the techniques based on Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) for structural characterization of biological molecules. In fact, single-particle Cryo-EM is a special niche as it is a technique of choice for the structural analysis of large, structurally heterogeneous, and dynamic complexes. Here, sub-nanometer atomic resolution can be achieved (i.e., resolution below 10 Å) via single-particle imaging of non-crystalline specimens, with accurate 3D reconstruction being generated based on the computational averaging of multiple 2D projection images of the same particle that was frozen rapidly in solution. We provide here a brief overview of single-particl...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
Complex (molecular entity)
Determination Aspects
Crystallography, X-Ray
Electron Microscopy
Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic
Membrane Proteins
Crystal Structure

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