Extracellular filaments revealed by affinity capture cryo-electron tomography of lymphocytes

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2024 Feb 12:2023.08.05.552110. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.05.552110.


Cryogenic-electron tomography (cryo-ET) has provided an un-precedented glimpse into the nanoscale architecture of cells by combining cryogenic preservation of biological structures with electron tomography. Micropatterning of extracellular matrix proteins is increasingly used as a method to prepare adherent cell types for cryo-ET as it promotes optimal positioning of cells and subcellular regions of interest for vitrification, cryo-focused ion beam (cryo-FIB) milling, and data acquisition. Here we demonstrate a micropatterning workflow for capturing minimally adherent cell types, human T-cells and Jurkat cells, for cryo-FIB and cryo-ET. Our affinity capture system facilitated the nanoscale imaging of Jurkat cells, revealing extracellular filamentous structures. It improved workflow efficiency by consistently producing grids with a sufficient number of well-positioned cells for an entire cryo-FIB session. Affinity capture can be extended to facilitate high resolution imaging of other adherent and non-adherent cell types with cryo-ET.

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  • Preprint