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Biophys J. 1999 Apr;76(4):2249-61.

Solution x-ray scattering-based estimation of electron cryomicroscopy imaging parameters for reconstruction of virus particles.

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Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Structure factor amplitudes and phases can be computed directly from electron cryomicroscopy images. Inherent aberrations of the electromagnetic lenses and other instrumental factors affect the structure factors, however, resulting in decreased accuracy in the determined three-dimensional reconstruction. In contrast, solution x-ray scattering provides absolute and accurate measurement of spherically averaged structure factor amplitudes of particles in solution but does not provide information on the phases. In the present study, we explore the merits of using solution x-ray scattering data to estimate the imaging parameters necessary to make corrections to the structure factor amplitudes derived from electron cryomicroscopic images of icosahedral virus particles. Using 400-kV spot-scan images of the bacteriophage P22 procapsid, we have calculated an amplitude contrast of 8.0 +/- 5.2%. The amplitude decay parameter has been estimated to be 523 +/- 188 A2 with image noise compensation and 44 +/- 66 A2 without it. These results can also be used to estimate the minimum number of virus particles needed for reconstruction at different resolutions.

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