Cryoelectron tomography

Cryo-electron tomography (also cryo-ET or electron cryotomography) is a technique where an electron microscope is used to record a series of two-dimensional images as a biological sample held at cryogenic temperatures is tilted. Using computational methods, the two-dimensional images can be aligned to yield a three-dimensional (tomographic) reconstruction of the sample.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Here the authors visualize SARS-CoV-2 infected cells by in situ cryo-electron tomography, delineating the structural organization and conformational changes that occur during virus replication and budding; and provide insight into vRNP architecture and RNA networks in double membrane vesicles.

    • Steffen Klein
    • , Mirko Cortese
    • , Sophie L. Winter
    • , Moritz Wachsmuth-Melm
    • , Christopher J. Neufeldt
    • , Berati Cerikan
    • , Megan L. Stanifer
    • , Steeve Boulant
    • , Ralf Bartenschlager
    •  & Petr Chlanda
  • Research
    | Open Access

    The main components of the prokaryotic chemotaxis system, chemoreceptors, organize into a hexagonal (P6 symmetry) extended array. Here authors use cryo-ET and report an alternative symmetry (P2) of the chemotaxis apparatus that emerges from a strict linear organization of the histidine kinase CheA in Treponema denticola cells.

    • Alise R. Muok
    • , Davi R. Ortega
    • , Kurni Kurniyati
    • , Wen Yang
    • , Zachary A. Maschmann
    • , Adam Sidi Mabrouk
    • , Chunhao Li
    • , Brian R. Crane
    •  & Ariane Briegel
  • Research |

    Using cryo-electron tomography to detect individual GABAA receptors in hippocampal synapses, we discovered a hierarchical and mesophasic organization of inhibitory postsynaptic density proteins that enables efficient synaptic transmission.

    • Yun-Tao Liu
    • , Chang-Lu Tao
    • , Xiaokang Zhang
    • , Wenjun Xia
    • , Dong-Qing Shi
    • , Lei Qi
    • , Cheng Xu
    • , Rong Sun
    • , Xiao-Wei Li
    • , Pak-Ming Lau
    • , Z. Hong Zhou
    •  & Guo-Qiang Bi
    Nature Neuroscience 23, 1589-1596
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Oda and Yanagisawa report 3D cryo-electron tomography structures of Z-disc from porcine cardiac myofibrils in relaxed and activated states. They show that α-actinin dimers exhibit contraction dependent swinging and sliding motions in response to a global twist in the F-actin lattice. These findings provide insights into conformational changes of the Z-disc in the context of active myofibrils.

    • Toshiyuki Oda
    •  & Haruaki Yanagisawa
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Type IVa pili are bacterial surface filaments that undergo extension and retraction powered by a protein machine that spans the cell envelope. Here, Treuner-Lange et al. show that a complex formed by PilY1 and minor pilins is an integral part of this machine and is necessary for pilus extension, adhesion and retraction termination.

    • Anke Treuner-Lange
    • , Yi-Wei Chang
    • , Timo Glatter
    • , Marco Herfurth
    • , Steffi Lindow
    • , Georges Chreifi
    • , Grant J. Jensen
    •  & Lotte Søgaard-Andersen

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