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Annu Rev Biochem. 2009;78:723-42. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.78.070507.140543.

The advent of near-atomic resolution in single-particle electron microscopy.

Author information

1
The W.M. Keck Advanced Microscopy Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California-San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. ycheng@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Single-particle electron microscopy (EM) can provide structural information for a large variety of biological molecules, ranging from small proteins to large macromolecular assemblies, without the need to produce crystals. The year 2008 has become a landmark year for single-particle EM as for the first time density maps have been produced at a resolution that made it possible to trace protein backbones or even to build atomic models. In this review, we highlight some of the recent successes achieved by single-particle EM and describe the individual steps involved in producing a density map by this technique. We also discuss some of the remaining challenges and areas, in which further advances would have a great impact on the results that can be achieved by single-particle EM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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