Galaz-Montoya, J. G. & Ludtke, S. J. The advent of structural biology in situ by single particle cryo-electron tomography Biophysics Reports, Springer, 2017, 1-19
Single particle tomography (SPT), also known as subtomogram averaging, is a powerful technique uniquely poised to address questions in structural biology that are not amenable to more traditional approaches like X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and conventional cryoEM single particle analysis. Owing to its potential for in situ structural biology at subnanometer resolution, SPT has been gaining enormous momentum in the last five years and is becoming a prominent, widely used technique. This method can be applied to unambiguously determine the structures of macromolecular complexes that exhibit compositional and conformational heterogeneity, both in vitro and in situ. Here we review the development of SPT, highlighting its applications and identifying areas of ongoing development.