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Cellular structural biology as revealed by cryo-electron tomography


Irobalieva, Rossitza N; Martins, Bruno; Medalia, Ohad (2016). Cellular structural biology as revealed by cryo-electron tomography. Journal of Cell Science, 129(3):469-476.

Abstract

Understanding the function of cellular machines requires a thorough analysis of the structural elements that underline their function. Electron microscopy (EM) has been pivotal in providing information about cellular ultrastructure, as well as macromolecular organization. Biological materials can be physically fixed by vitrification and imaged with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) in a close-to-native condition. Using this technique, one can acquire three-dimensional (3D) information about the macromolecular architecture of cells, depict unique cellular states and reconstruct molecular networks. Technical advances over the last few years, such as improved sample preparation and electron detection methods, have been instrumental in obtaining data with unprecedented structural details. This presents an exciting opportunity to explore the molecular architecture of both individual cells and multicellular organisms at nanometer to subnanometer resolution. In this Commentary, we focus on the recent developments and in situ applications of cryo-ET to cell and structural biology.

Abstract

Understanding the function of cellular machines requires a thorough analysis of the structural elements that underline their function. Electron microscopy (EM) has been pivotal in providing information about cellular ultrastructure, as well as macromolecular organization. Biological materials can be physically fixed by vitrification and imaged with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) in a close-to-native condition. Using this technique, one can acquire three-dimensional (3D) information about the macromolecular architecture of cells, depict unique cellular states and reconstruct molecular networks. Technical advances over the last few years, such as improved sample preparation and electron detection methods, have been instrumental in obtaining data with unprecedented structural details. This presents an exciting opportunity to explore the molecular architecture of both individual cells and multicellular organisms at nanometer to subnanometer resolution. In this Commentary, we focus on the recent developments and in situ applications of cryo-ET to cell and structural biology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 February 2016
Deposited On:14 Jul 2016 07:07
Last Modified:01 Feb 2017 01:02
Publisher:The Company of Biologists
ISSN:0021-9533
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.171967
PubMed ID:26787742

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