Fernández JJ, Luque D, Castón JR, Carrascosa JL. Sharpening high resolution information in single particle electron cryomicroscopy. J Struct Biol. 2008 164(1):170-175.
Advances in single particle electron cryomicroscopy have made possible to elucidate routinely the structure of biological specimens at subnanometer resolution. At this resolution, secondary structure elements are discernable by their signature. However, identification and interpretation of high resolution structural features are hindered by the contrast loss caused by experimental and computational factors. This contrast loss is traditionally modeled by a Gaussian decay of structure factors with a temperature factor, or B-factor. Standard restoration procedures usually sharpen the experimental maps either by applying a Gaussian function with an inverse ad hoc B-factor, or according to the amplitude decay of a reference structure. EM-BFACTOR is a program that has been designed to widely facilitate the use of the novel method for objective B-factor determination and contrast restoration introduced by Rosenthal and Henderson [Rosenthal, P.B., Henderson, R., 2003. Optimal determination of particle orientation, absolute hand, and contrast loss in single-particle electron cryomicroscopy. J. Mol. Biol. 333, 721–745]. The program has been developed to interact with the most common packages for single particle electron cryomicroscopy. This sharpening method has been further investigated via EM-BFACTOR, concluding that it helps to unravel the high resolution molecular features concealed in experimental density maps, thereby making them better suited for interpretation. Therefore, the method may facilitate the analysis of experimental data in high resolution single particle electron cryomicroscopy.
Single particle; Electron cryomicroscopy; High resolution; B-factor; Temperature factor; Sharpening; Restoration; Contrast loss; Secondary structure elements