Single-particle reconstruction from EM images of helical filaments.

Edward H Egelman


Helical filaments were the first structures to be reconstructed in three dimensions from electron microscopic images, and continue to be extensively studied due to the large number of such helical polymers found in biology. In principle, a single image of a helical polymer provides all of the different projections needed to reconstruct the three-dimensional structure. Unfortunately, many helical filaments have been refractory to the application of traditional (Fourier-Bessel) methods due to variability, heterogeneity, and weak scattering. Over the past several years, many of these problems have been surmounted using single-particle type approaches that can do substantially better than Fourier-Bessel approaches. Applications of these new methods to viruses, actin filaments, pili and many other polymers show the great advantages of the new methods.