Cryo-electron tomography: An ideal method to study membrane-associated proteins

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Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is a three-dimensional imaging technique that makes it possible to analyse the structure of complex and dynamic biological assemblies in their native conditions. The latest technological and image processing developments demonstrate that it is possible to obtain structural information at nanometre resolution. The sample preparation required for the cryo-ET technique does not require the isolation of a protein and other macromolecular complexes from its native environment. Therefore, cryo-ET is emerging as an important tool to study the structure of membrane-associated proteins including pores. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Membrane pores: from structure and assembly, to medicine and technology’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160210
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1726
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2017


  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Cryo-electron tomography
  • Membraneassociated proteins
  • Structural biology
  • Sub-tomogram averaging

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