Carroni, M. & Saibil, H. R. Cryo electron microscopy to determine the structure of macromolecular complexes. Methods, 2016, 95, 78-85
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a structural molecular and cellular biology technique that has experienced major advances in recent years. Technological developments in image recording as well as in processing software make it possible to obtain three-dimensional reconstructions of macromolecular assemblies at near-atomic resolution that were formerly obtained only by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. In parallel, cryo-electron tomography has also benefitted from these technological advances, so that visualization of irregular complexes, organelles or whole cells with their molecular machines in situ has reached subnanometre resolution. Cryo-EM can therefore address a broad range of biological questions. The aim of this review is to provide a brief overview of the principles and current state of the cryo-EM field.