Three-dimensional reconstruction of biological macromolecular complexes from in-lens scanning electron micrographs

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Two helical samples: F-actin and the bacteriophage T4 tail sheath were reconstructed in three dimensions from contrast enhanced (rotational shadowing and negatively stained) in-lens cryo-field emission scanning electron micrographs, using the iterative real-space helical reconstruction method. The F-actin - and bacteriophage T4 reconstructions compare favourably to an atomic model refined against fibre diffraction data and a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction, respectively. These results show that single-particle methods, developed for macromolecules imaged in the transmission electron microscope can be applied to cryo-field emission scanning electron micrographs data with appropriate symmetry.

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