Lu, Yonggang / Liu, Jiaxuan / Zhu, Li / Zhang, Bianlan / He, Jing. 3D reconstruction from cryo-EM projection images using two spherical embeddings. 2022. Communications biology, Vol. 5, p. 304
Single-particle analysis (SPA) in cryo-electron microscopy has become a powerful tool for determining and studying the macromolecular structure at an atomic level. However, since the SPA problem is a non-convex optimization problem with enormous search space and there is high level of noise in the input images, the existing methods may produce biased or even wrong final models. In this work, to deal with the problem, consistent constraints from the input data are explored in an embedding space, a 3D spherical surface. More specifically, the orientation of a projection image is represented by two intersection points of the normal vector and the local X-axis vector of the projection image on the unit spherical surface. To determine the orientations of the projection images, the global consistency constraints of the relative orientations of all the projection images are satisfied by two spherical embeddings which estimate the normal vectors and the local X-axis vectors of the projection images respectively. Compared to the traditional methods, the proposed method is shown to be able to rectify the initial computation errors and produce a more accurate estimation of the projection angles, which results in a better final model reconstruction from the noisy image data.