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Structure. 2005 Mar;13(3):389-400.

Fitting of high-resolution structures into electron microscopy reconstruction images.

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Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306, USA.


Dynamic macromolecular assemblies, such as ribosomes, viruses, and muscle protein complexes, are often more amenable to visualization by electron microscopy than by high-resolution X-ray crystallography or NMR. When high-resolution structures of component structures are available, it is possible to build an atomic model that gives information about the molecular interactions at greater detail than the experimental resolution, due to constraints of modeling placed upon the interpretation. There are now several competing computational methods to search systematically for orientations and positions of components that match the experimental image density, and continuing developments will be reviewed. Attention is now also moving toward the related task of optimization, with flexible and/or multifragment models and sometimes with stereochemically restrained refinement methods. This paper will review the various approaches and describe advances in the authors' methods and applications of real-space refinement.

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