Abstract

Article info 2013 1 (1)    001  (01)   pp.  13 ~ 19
Title 3D Electron Microscopy: A Versatile and Unique Tool for Structural Biology
Authors Jae-Kyung Hyun* and Hyun Suk Jung*
Institutions Division of Electron Microscopic Research, Korea Basic Science Institute, 169-148 Gwanhak-ro, Daejeon 305-308, Korea. *Correspondence: J.K.Hyun; hjk002@kbsi.re.kr, H.S.Jung; hyunsukjung@kbsi.re.kr
Abstract Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a versatile and powerful technique that enables direct visualization of biological samples of sizes ranging from whole cell to near-atomic resolution details of a protein molecule. Thanks to numerous technical breakthroughs and monumental discoveries, 3D electron microscopy (3DEM) has become an indispensable tool in the field of structural biology. In particular, development of cryo-electron microscopy and computational image processing played pivotal role for the determination of 3D structures of complex biological systems at sub-molecular resolution. Analysis of crystalline object, single particle analysis and electron tomography are among the most widely used 3DEM approaches, and each technique has unique advantages depending on the nature of the biological specimen. While 3DEM analysis is now routinely performed using various resources that are publically available, the technique is constantly evolving in order to understand biological insights that were once considered impossible.