Structural analysis of macromolecular assemblies in their physiological environment is a challenging task that is instrumental in answering fundamental questions in cellular and molecular structural biology. The continuous development of computational and analytical tools for cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) enables the study of these assemblies at a resolution of a few nanometers. Through the implementation of thinning procedures, cryo-ET can now be applied to the reconstruction of macromolecular structures located inside thick regions of vitrified cells and tissues, thus becoming a central tool for structural determinations in various biological disciplines. Here, we focus on the successful in situ applications of cryo-ET to reveal structures of macromolecular complexes within eukaryotic cells.
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