Membrane protein structure determination using cryo-electron tomography and 3D image averaging.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The vast majority of membrane protein complexes of biological interest cannot be purified to homogeneity, or removed from a physiologically relevant context without loss of function. It is therefore not possible to easily determine the 3D structures of these protein complexes using X-ray crystallography or conventional cryo-electron microscopy. Newly emerging methods that combine cryo-electron tomography with 3D image classification and averaging are, however, beginning to provide unique opportunities for in situ determination of the structures of membrane protein assemblies in intact cells and nonsymmetric viruses. Here we review recent progress in this field and assess the potential of these methods to describe the conformation of membrane proteins in their native environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bartesaghi, A; Subramaniam, S

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 402 - 407

PubMed ID

  • 19646859

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2752674

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-033X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-440X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/


  • eng