Scheres SH, Gao H, Valle M, Herman GT, Eggermont PP, Frank J, Carazo JM (2007) Disentangling conformational states of macromolecules in 3D-EM through likelihood optimization. Nat Methods 4:27–29
Although three-dimensional electron microscopy (3D-EM) permits structural characterization of macromolecular assemblies in distinct functional states, the inability to classify projections from structurally heterogeneous samples has severely limited its application. We present a maximum likelihood-based classification method that does not depend on prior knowledge about the structural variability, and demonstrate its effectiveness for two macromolecular assemblies with different types of conformational variability: the Escherichia coli ribosome and Simian virus 40 (SV40) large T-antigen.
Maximum Likelihood, 3D alignment, 3D reconstruction