Comparison & Combination of X-ray Crystallography and cryo-Electron Microscopy Methods
Tsinghua Center for Structural Biology
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and macromolecular crystallography (MX) both allow the creation of three-dimensional images of biological macromolecules. EM data usually provide access to three-dimensional reconstructions of large biological complexes at low resolution, whereas MX usually delivers atomic or quasi-atomic resolution structures (1-3 Å). Two limiting factors of MX, which are not encountered in EM, are the production of high diffraction-quality crystals and the “phase problem”. Therefore, these two methods can be utilized in combination to determine the structure of biological macromolecules, especially of very large and complicated assemblies. In this talk, I will present the possible methodological development in the cryo-EM data analysis field by learning from the well-established X-ray crystallographic structural solution methods.