Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Noncrystalline Macromolecular Assemblies

  • Terence Wagenknecht


At present the only method available for determining the 3D molecular structure of most biological macromolecules is x-ray crystallography. However, some macro-molecules associate to form large multisubunit complexes (e.g., viruses, ribosomes, multisubunit enzymes) for which crystals suitable for crystallographic studies are not easily obtained. Even in those cases where suitable crystals are available, there remain additional technical problems that will have to be solved before detailed structures can be determined (Yonath and Wittman, 1989). In this chapter I will describe recent structural determinations of noncrystalline biomacromolecular complexes by the technique of electron microscopy in conjunction with 3D recon-struction (electron tomography).


Electron Tomography Ribosomal Subunit Immunoelectron Microscopy Tomographic Reconstruction Large Ribosomal Subunit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Wagenknecht
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and ResearchNew York State Department of HealthAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public HealthState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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