Web-based visualisation and analysis of 3D electron-microscopy data from EMDB and PDB

J Struct Biol. 2013 Nov;184(2):173-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2013.09.021. Epub 2013 Oct 7.


The Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe) has developed web-based tools for the visualisation and analysis of 3D electron microscopy (3DEM) structures in the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) and Protein Data Bank (PDB). The tools include: (1) a volume viewer for 3D visualisation of maps, tomograms and models, (2) a slice viewer for inspecting 2D slices of tomographic reconstructions, and (3) visual analysis pages to facilitate analysis and validation of maps, tomograms and models. These tools were designed to help non-experts and experts alike to get some insight into the content and assess the quality of 3DEM structures in EMDB and PDB without the need to install specialised software or to download large amounts of data from these archives. The technical challenges encountered in developing these tools, as well as the more general considerations when making archived data available to the user community through a web interface, are discussed.

Keywords: 3DEM; EM VTC; EMDB; Electron Microscopy Data Bank; Electron Microscopy Validation Task Force; Electron microscopy; Electron tomography; FSC; Fourier Shell Correlation; Macromolecular structure; OAV; OME; OME Remote Objects; OMERO; Open Astex Viewer; Open Microscopy Environment; PDB; PDBe; Protein Data Bank; Protein Data Bank in Europe; Three-Dimensional Electron Microscopy; Visualisation; Worldwide Protein Data Bank; wwPDB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Protein*
  • Electron Microscope Tomography
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Internet
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Software*


  • Proteins