A cell-centered database for electron tomographic data

J Struct Biol. Apr-May 2002;138(1-2):145-55. doi: 10.1016/s1047-8477(02)00006-0.


Electron tomography is providing a wealth of 3D structural data on biological components ranging from molecules to cells. We are developing a web-accessible database tailored to high-resolution cellular level structural and protein localization data derived from electron tomography. The Cell Centered Database or CCDB is built on an object-relational framework using Oracle 8i and is housed on a server at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego. Data can be deposited and accessed via a web interface. Each volume reconstruction is stored with a full set of descriptors along with tilt images and any derived products such as segmented objects and animations. Tomographic data are supplemented by high-resolution light microscopic data in order to provide correlated data on higher-order cellular and tissue structure. Every object segmented from a reconstruction is included as a distinct entity in the database along with measurements such as volume, surface area, diameter, and length and amount of protein labeling, allowing the querying of image-specific attributes. Data sets obtained in response to a CCDB query are retrieved via the Storage Resource Broker, a data management system for transparent access to local and distributed data collections. The CCDB is designed to provide a resource for structural biologists and to make tomographic data sets available to the scientific community at large.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Structures / ultrastructure*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Proteins
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Proteins