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Front Mol Biosci. 2017 Mar 22;4:15. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2017.00015. eCollection 2017.

Bayesian Modeling of Biomolecular Assemblies with Cryo-EM Maps.

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Statistical Inverse Problems in Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical ChemistryGöttingen, Germany; Felix Bernstein Institute for Mathematical Statistics in the Biosciences, University of GöttingenGöttingen, Germany.


A growing array of experimental techniques allows us to characterize the three-dimensional structure of large biological assemblies at increasingly higher resolution. In addition to X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance in solution, new structure determination methods such cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), crosslinking/mass spectrometry and solid-state NMR have emerged. Often it is not sufficient to use a single experimental method, but complementary data need to be collected by using multiple techniques. The integration of all datasets can only be achieved by computational means. This article describes Inferential structure determination, a Bayesian approach to integrative modeling of biomolecular complexes with hybrid structural data. I will introduce probabilistic models for cryo-EM maps and outline Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for sampling model structures from the posterior distribution. I will focus on rigid and flexible modeling with cryo-EM data and discuss some of the computational challenges of Bayesian inference in the context of biomolecular modeling.


Bayesian inference; Markov chain Monte Carlo; cryo-EM; inferential structure determination; modeling

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