Best C, Nickell S, Baumeister W. Localization of protein complexes by pattern recognition. Methods Cell Biol. 2007;79:615-38.
As cryo-electron tomography of whole cells or cell sections approaches molecular resolution, it becomes feasible to locate protein complexes in cells by their distinctive three-dimensional (3D) structures alone, without the need of markers. This opens the way to creating a molecular map of the cellular proteome and its interactions under near-life conditions. However, the process requires sophisticated computational methods to create large libraries of molecular templates and search for them in cellular tomograms, taking into account the low signal-to-noise ratio and limited resolution of cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET), as well as the problem of the missing wedge.