2020Kovacs Filaments

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Kovacs, J.; Song, J.; Auer, M.; He, J.; Hunter, W.; Wriggers, W. Correction of Missing-Wedge Artifacts in Filamentous Tomograms by Template-Based Constrained Deconvolution. Journal of chemical information and modeling, 2020, 60, 2626-2633


Cryo-electron tomography maps often exhibit considerable noise and anisotropic resolution, due to the low-dose requirements and the missing wedge in Fourier space. These spurious features are visually unappealing and, more importantly, prevent an automated segmentation of geometric shapes, requiring a subjective and labor-intensive manual tracing. We developed a novel computational strategy for objectively denoising and correcting missing-wedge artifacts in homogeneous specimen areas of tomograms, where it is assumed that a template repeats itself across the volume under consideration, as happens in the case of filaments. In our deconvolution approach, we use a template and a map of corresponding template locations, allowing us to compensate for the information lost in the missing wedge. We applied the method to tomograms of actin-filament bundles of inner-ear stereocilia, which are critical for the senses of hearing and balance. In addition, we demonstrate that our method can be used for cell membrane detection.




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