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Cryo-electron microscopy: recent developments for membrane protein structure determination

Singh, S (2016) Cryo-electron microscopy: recent developments for membrane protein structure determination. Master's Thesis / Essay, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2016-2019).

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Electron Microscopy (EM) is a powerful structure determination tool for biological specimens as it allows imaging of biological molecules with dimensions spanning several orders of magnitude. Virology and cell biology have benefitted greatly from developments in EM. Molecular structural biology using electron microscopy was traditionally limited to structure determination for biological mega-molecules such as ribosome complexes and fitting of previously determined atomic structures into EM density blobs. Recent developments in cryo-EM are allowing atomic structure determination for small as well as asymmetric molecules. This certainly is a giant leap from ‘blobology’. The advent of direct electron detectors and maximum likelihood based image classification have been widely accepted as the roots of these new developments. Membrane protein research has benefitted the most from these developments. Previous difficulties in structural determination resulting from low sample concentration, non-homogeneous conformation and composition and tedious sample preparation are being bypassed. In this essay, an attempt has been made to delineate the important recent developments in EM, and their (possible) impact on membrane protein research.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2016-2019)
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:24

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