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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2018 Oct;52:58-63. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Membrane protein structural biology in the era of single particle cryo-EM.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California San Francisco, CA 94143, United States; Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, CA 94143, United States. Electronic address:


In the past few years, significant technological breakthroughs in single particle cryo-electron microscopy enabled a 'resolution revolution' of this technique. It also changed structural biology in an unprecedented way. For many biological macromolecules, obtaining well-ordered crystals of suitable size is no longer a prerequisite for determining their atomic structures. One of the most impacted areas is the structural biology of integral membrane proteins. New structures are now determined at a rapid pace. Despite these advances, further technological developments are still required to overcome new technical challenges that face membrane protein structural biology. In this review, I attempt to discuss some of these challenges.

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