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Cryo-EM in the Study of Membrane Transport Proteins

  1. Laura Yaunhee Kim,
  2. Matthew C. Johnson,
  3. Ingeborg Schmidt-Krey

Published Online: 1 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c110028

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Kim, L. Y., Johnson, M. C. and Schmidt-Krey, I. 2012. Cryo-EM in the Study of Membrane Transport Proteins. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:283–293.

Author Information

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Biology, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Atlanta, Georgia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2012


Electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) has evolved as a widely used approach to understand a range of structure-function questions, particularly of membrane proteins. Studies by both electron crystallography and single particle analysis have provided a wealth of information on membrane transport proteins. Cryo-EM methods with an emphasis on electron crystallography, which has yielded the most membrane transport protein structural information of any of the cryo-EM techniques, are described here. Two-dimensional crystallization approaches are outlined, as well as advances in cryo-EM specimen preparation, data collection, and image processing. Examples of membrane transport protein structure described serve to illustrate some of the advances in both structural understanding and methods. Further examples outline impressive results that were obtained by a combination of electron crystallography and X-ray crystallography as well as additional complementary methods. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:283-293, 2012.