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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jun 18;584(12):2510-5. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.03.027. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Imaging of organelles by electron microscopy reveals protein-protein interactions in mitochondria and chloroplasts.

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Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Ongoing progress in electron microscopy (EM) offers now an opening to visualize cells at the nanoscale by cryo-electron tomography (ET). Large protein complexes can be resolved at near-atomic resolution by single particle averaging. Some examples from mitochondria and chloroplasts illustrate the possibilities with an emphasis on the membrane organization. Cryo-ET performed on non-chemically fixed, unstained, ice-embedded material can visualize specific large membrane protein complexes. In combination with averaging methods, 3D structures were calculated of mitochondrial ATP synthase at 6 nm resolution and of chloroplast photosystem II at 3.5 nm.

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