Tama F, Miyashita O, Brooks CL 3rd (2004b) Normal mode based flexible fitting of high-resolution structure into low-resolution experimental data from cryo-EM. J Struct Biol 147:315–326
A new method for the flexible fitting of high-resolution structures into low-resolution maps of macromolecular complexes from electron microscopy has been recently described in applications to simulated electron density maps. This method uses a linear combination of low-frequency normal modes in an iterative manner to deform the structure optimally to conform to the low-resolution electron density map. Gradient-following techniques in the coordinate space of collective normal modes are used to optimize the overall correlation coefficient between computed and measured electron densities. With this approach, multi-scale flexible fitting can be performed using all-atoms or Calpha atoms. In this paper, illustrative studies of normal mode based flexible fitting to experimental cryo-EM maps are presented for three different systems. Large, functionally relevant conformational changes for elongation factor G bound to the ribosome, Escherichia coli RNA polymerase and cowpea chlorotic mottle virus are elucidated as the result of the application of NMFF from high-resolution structures to cryo-electron microscopy maps.
NMA, normal modes, flexible fitting