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Structure. 2004 Jul;12(7):1129-36.

Seeing GroEL at 6 A resolution by single particle electron cryomicroscopy.

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National Center for Macromolecular Imaging, Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030 USA.


We present a reconstruction of native GroEL by electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and single particle analysis at 6 A resolution. alpha helices are clearly visible and beta sheet density is also visible at this resolution. While the overall conformation of this structure is quite consistent with the published X-ray data, a measurable shift in the positions of three alpha helices in the intermediate domain is observed, not consistent with any of the 7 monomeric structures in the Protein Data Bank model (1OEL). In addition, there is evidence for slight rearrangement or flexibility in parts of the apical domain. The 6 A resolution cryo-EM GroEL structure clearly demonstrates the veracity and expanding scope of cryo-EM and the single particle reconstruction technique for macromolecular machines.

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