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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2007 Jan;63(Pt 1):42-9. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

EMatch: an efficient method for aligning atomic resolution subunits into intermediate-resolution cryo-EM maps of large macromolecular assemblies.

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School of Computer Science, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


Structural analysis of biological machines is essential for inferring their function and mechanism. Nevertheless, owing to their large size and instability, deciphering the atomic structure of macromolecular assemblies is still considered as a challenging task that cannot keep up with the rapid advances in the protein-identification process. In contrast, structural data at lower resolution is becoming more and more available owing to recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques. Once a cryo-EM map is acquired, one of the basic questions asked is what are the folds of the components in the assembly and what is their configuration. Here, a novel knowledge-based computational method, named EMatch, towards tackling this task for cryo-EM maps at 6-10 A resolution is presented. The method recognizes and locates possible atomic resolution structural homologues of protein domains in the assembly. The strengths of EMatch are demonstrated on a cryo-EM map of native GroEL at 6 A resolution.

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