Cryoelectron tomography of eukaryotic cells

  • Mader A
  • Elad N
  • Medalia O
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Abstract

Biological processes involve a high degree of protein dynamics resulting
in a constant remodeling of the cellular landscape at the molecular
level. Orchestrated changes lead to significant rearrangement of
the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and nuclear structures. Visualization
of the cellular landscape in the unperturbed state is essential for
understanding these processes. The development of cryoelectron tomography
(cryo-ET) and its application to eukaryotic cells has provided a
major step forward toward better realizing these processes. In conjunction
with rapid freezing techniques, that is, vitrification by plunge-freezing
and high-pressure freezing, cryo-ET is most suitable for investigating
cellular ultrastructures in a close-to-life state. Here, we review
the application of cryo-ET to the study of eukaryotic cells, with
special emphasis on sample preparation, cytoskeleton organization,
and macromolecular structures observed at a resolution of 4-6 nm.

Author-supplied keywords

  • microscopy > cryo-electron tomography

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Authors

  • Asaf Mader

  • Nadav Elad

  • Ohad Medalia

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