Wang, Zhe / Patwardhan, Ardan / Kleywegt, Gerard J. Validation analysis of EMDB entries. 2022. Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology, Vol. 78, p. 542-552
The Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) is the central archive of the electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) community for storing and disseminating volume maps and tomograms. With input from the community, EMDB has developed new resources for the validation of cryo-EM structures, focusing on the quality of the volume data alone and that of the fit of any models, themselves archived in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), to the volume data. Based on recommendations from community experts, the validation resources are developed in a three-tiered system. Tier 1 covers an extensive and evolving set of validation metrics, including tried and tested metrics as well as more experimental ones, which are calculated for all EMDB entries and presented in the Validation Analysis (VA) web resource. This system is particularly useful for cryo-EM experts, both to validate individual structures and to assess the utility of new validation metrics. Tier 2 comprises a subset of the validation metrics covered by the VA resource that have been subjected to extensive testing and are considered to be useful for specialists as well as nonspecialists. These metrics are presented on the entry-specific web pages for the entire archive on the EMDB website. As more experience is gained with the metrics included in the VA resource, it is expected that consensus will emerge in the community regarding a subset that is suitable for inclusion in the tier 2 system. Tier 3, finally, consists of the validation reports and servers that are produced by the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) Consortium. Successful metrics from tier 2 will be proposed for inclusion in the wwPDB validation pipeline and reports. The details of the new resource are described, with an emphasis on the tier 1 system. The output of all three tiers is publicly available, either through the EMDB website (tiers 1 and 2) or through the wwPDB ftp sites (tier 3), although the content of all three will evolve over time (fastest for tier 1 and slowest for tier 3). It is our hope that these validation resources will help the cryo-EM community to obtain a better understanding of the quality and of the best ways to assess the quality of cryo-EM structures in EMDB and PDB.