The resolution of subtomogram averages calculated from cryo-electron tomograms (cryo-ET) of crowded cellular environments is often limited due to signal loss in, and misalignment of the subtomograms. In contrast, single-particle cryo-electron microcopy (SP-cryo-EM) routinely reaches near-atomic resolution of isolated complexes. We developed a novel hybrid-method called “TomographY-Guided 3D REconstruction of Subcellular Structures” (TYGRESS) that combines cryo-ET with SP-cryo-EM to achieve close-to-nanometer resolution of complexes inside crowded environments. Using TYGRESS, we determined the native 3D structures of the intact ciliary axoneme with up to 12 Å resolution. These results reveal many structures and details that were not visible by cryo-ET. TYGRESS is generally applicable to cellular complexes that are amenable to subtomogram averaging, bringing us a step closer to (pseudo-)atomic models of cells. One Sentence Summary A hybrid cryo-electron microscopy method reveals subcellular structures at unprecedented resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)