He, Jiahua / Li, Tao / Huang, Sheng-You. Improvement of cryo-EM maps by simultaneous local and non-local deep learning. 2023. Nature Communications, Vol. 14, No. 1, p. 3217
Cryo-EM has emerged as the most important technique for structure determination of macromolecular complexes. However, raw cryo-EM maps often exhibit loss of contrast at high resolution and heterogeneity over the entire map. As such, various post-processing methods have been proposed to improve cryo-EM maps. Nevertheless, it is still challenging to improve both the quality and interpretability of EMmaps. Addressing the challenge,we present a three-dimensional Swin-Conv-UNet-based deep learning framework to improve cryo-EM maps, named EMReady, by not only implementing both local and non-local modeling modules in a multiscale UNet architecture but also simultaneously minimizing the local smooth L1 distance and maximizing the non-local structural similarity between processed experimental and simulated target maps in the loss function. EMReady was extensively evaluated on diverse test sets of 110 primary cryo-EM maps and 25 pairs of half-maps at 3.0–6.0 Å resolutions, and compared with five state-of-the-art map postprocessing methods. It is shown that EMReady can not only robustly enhance the quality of cryo-EM maps in terms of map-model correlations, but also improve the interpretability of the maps in automatic de novo model building.