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Wlodawer, A.; Li, M. & Dauter, Z. High-Resolution Cryo-EM Maps and Models: A Crystallographer's Perspective. Structure, 2017, 25, 1589-1597.e1


The appearance of ten high-resolution cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) maps of proteins, ribosomes, and viruses was compared with the experimentally phased crystallographic electron density maps of four proteins. We found that maps calculated at a similar resolution by the two techniques are quite comparable in their appearance, although cryo-EM maps, even when sharpened, seem to be a little less detailed. An analysis of models fitted to the cryo-EM maps indicated the presence of significant problems in almost all of them, including incorrect geometry, clashes between atoms, and discrepancies between the map density and the fitted models. In particular, the treatment of the atomic displacement (B) factors was meaningless in almost all analyzed cryo-EM models. Stricter cryo-EM structure deposition standards and their better enforcement are needed.




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