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In Situ Cryo-Electron Tomography: A Post-Reductionist Approach to Structural Biology

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Asano,  Shoh
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Engel,  Benjamin D.
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Baumeister,  Wolfgang
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Asano, S., Engel, B. D., & Baumeister, W. (2016). In Situ Cryo-Electron Tomography: A Post-Reductionist Approach to Structural Biology. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 428(2, Part A. Special Issue: Study of biomolecules and biological systems: Proteins), 332-343. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2015.09.030.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-266C-A
Abstract
Cryo-electron tomography is a powerful technique that can faithfully image the native cellular environment at nanometer resolution. Unlike many other imaging approaches, cryo-electron tomography provides a label-free method of detecting biological structures, relying on the intrinsic contrast of frozen cellular material for direct identification of macromolecules. Recent advances in sample preparation, detector technology, and phase plate imaging have enabled the structural characterization of protein complexes within intact cells. Here, we review these technical developments and outline a detailed computational workflow for in situ structural analysis. Two recent studies are described to illustrate how this workflow can be adapted to examine both known and unknown cellular complexes. The stage is now set to realize the promise of visual proteomics a complete structural description of the cell's native molecular landscape. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.