De novo protein structure determination from near-atomic-resolution cryo-EM maps

Nat Methods. 2015 Apr;12(4):335-8. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3287. Epub 2015 Feb 23.


We present a de novo model-building approach that combines predicted backbone conformations with side-chain fit to density to accurately assign sequence into density maps. This method yielded accurate models for six of nine experimental maps at 3.3- to 4.8-Å resolution and produced a nearly complete model for an unsolved map containing a 660-residue heterodimeric protein. This method should enable rapid and reliable protein structure determination from near-atomic-resolution cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) maps.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Physical / methods*
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Time Factors


  • Proteins