S. Jonic, J. Vargas, R. Melero, J. Gómez-Blanco, J.M.Carazo, C.O.S. Sorzano. Denoising of high-resolution single-particle electron-microscopy density maps by their approximation using three-dimensional Gaussian functions. J. Structural Biology 194: 423-433 (2016)
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) of frozen-hydrated preparations of isolated macromolecular complexes is the method of choice to obtain the structure of complexes that cannot be easily studied by other experimental methods due to their flexibility or large size. An increasing number of macromolecular structures are currently being obtained at subnanometer resolution but the interpretation of structural details in such EM-derived maps is often difficult because of noise at these high-frequency signal components that reduces their contrast. In this paper, we show that the method for EM density-map approximation using Gaussian functions can be used for denoising of single-particle EM maps of high (typically subnanometer) resolution. We show its denoising performance using simulated and experimental EM density maps of several complexes.