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FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 7;579(4):933-7.

From proteomic inventory to architecture.

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Department of Structural Biology, Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.


Electron tomography can provide three-dimensional reconstructions of large pleomorphic structures at molecular resolution. While the principles of electron tomography have been known for decades, its use has gathered momentum only in recent years. Technological advances have made it possible to apply it to ice-embedded biological material (cryotomography), thereby ensuring a close-to-life preservation of the samples. In combination with advanced computational methods, such as molecular identification based on pattern recognition, it is a promising approach to comprehensively map macromolecular architecture inside organelles and cells and to visualize macromolecules at work in their natural environment.

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