López-Blanco, J. R. & Chacón, P. Structural modeling from electron microscopy data WIREs Comput Mol Sci, 2015, 62-81
Cryo-electron microscopy is a powerful technique for the determination of three-dimensional (3D) structures of macromolecular machines, as it provides functional snapshots of biologically relevant complexes under near-physiological in vitro conditions. In this study,we review the computational algorithms developed to build macromolecular models from the information encoded in cryo-electron microscopy (EM) density maps. These modeling tools include fitting strategies to localize atomic structures into 3D maps, de novo methods to identify structural elements, and hybrid methods for the combination of multiple structural data from complementary biophysical techniques and other experimental sources. We also illustrate the power of EM-derivedmodels in the atomic-level interpretation of the conformational changes of relevant macromolecular assemblies.