Electron crystallography - The waking beauty of structural biology

Christopher R. Pope, Vinzenz M. Unger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Since its debut in the mid 1970s, electron crystallography has been a valuable alternative in the structure determination of biological macromolecules. Its reliance on single-layered or double-layered two-dimensionally ordered arrays and the ability to obtain structural information from small and disordered crystals make this approach particularly useful for the study of membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer environment. Despite its unique advantages, technological hurdles have kept electron crystallography from reaching its full potential. Addressing the issues, recent initiatives developed high-throughput pipelines for crystallization and screening. Adding progress in automating data collection, image analysis and phase extension methods, electron crystallography is poised to raise its profile and may lead the way in exploring the structural biology of macromolecular complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-519
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Electron crystallography - The waking beauty of structural biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this