Yang, Y.-J.; Wang, S.; Zhang, B.; Shen, H.-B. Resolution Measurement from a Single Reconstructed Cryo-EM Density Map with Multiscale Spectral Analysis. Journal of chemical information and modeling, 2018, 58, 1303-1311
As a relatively new technology to solve the three-dimensional (3D) structure of a protein or protein complex, single-particle reconstruction (SPR) of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) images shows much superiority and is in a rapidly developing stage. Resolution measurement in SPR, which evaluates the quality of a reconstructed 3D density map, plays a critical role in promoting methodology development of SPR and structural biology. Because there is no benchmark map in the generation of a new structure, how to realize the resolution estimation of a new map is still an open problem. Existing approaches try to generate a hypothetical benchmark map by reconstructing two 3D models from two halves of the original 2D images for cross-reference, which may result in a premature estimation with a half-data model. In this paper, we report a new self-reference-based resolution estimation protocol, called SRes, that requires only a single reconstructed 3D map. The core idea of SRes is to perform a multiscale spectral analysis (MSSA) on the map through multiple size-variable masks segmenting the map. The MSSA-derived multiscale spectral signal-to-noise ratios (mSSNRs) reveal that their corresponding estimated resolutions will show a cliff jump phenomenon, indicating a significant change in the SSNR properties. The critical point on the cliff borderline is demonstrated to be the right estimator for the resolution of the map.