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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2008 Jan;64(Pt 1):76-82. Epub 2007 Dec 5.

From electron microscopy to X-ray crystallography: molecular-replacement case studies.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


Multi-component molecular complexes are increasingly being tackled by structural biology, bringing X-ray crystallography into the purview of electron-microscopy (EM) studies. X-ray crystallography can utilize a low-resolution EM map for structure determination followed by phase extension to high resolution. Test studies have been conducted on five crystal structures of large molecular assemblies, in which EM maps are used as models for structure solution by molecular replacement (MR) using various standard MR packages such as AMoRe, MOLREP and Phaser. The results demonstrate that EM maps are viable models for molecular replacement. Possible difficulties in data analysis, such as the effects of the EM magnification error, and the effect of MR positional/rotational errors on phase extension are discussed.

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