Creative Biostructure

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Cryo-EM for Viral Particle Identification and Characterization

The knowledge of structures of viruses at atomic resolution is beneficial and powerful in discovery and design of vaccine and anti-viral drug. Electron cryo-Microscopy (cryo-EM) is one of the three major methods to determine 3D structures of biological samples. The rapid development of both instrument and data processing techniques has established an indispensable role for cryo-EM in studying structures and dynamics of macromolecules and viruses.

Under the protection of extremely low temperatures, virions are presented in their native forms and represent most physiologic cultures. With the help of cryo-EM, biophysical information of the viral particles is easily acquired, including viral morphology and outer-shell proteins, which supports identification and characterization of virus in a directly visualized manner. It is also possible to screen and then target important components in a viral life cycle, such as the receptors to viral entry and factors that facilitate this process.

The advantages of our service include:

  1. State-of-the-art electron microscopes and powerful software for data processing.
  2. Hight-throughput identification and characterization of viral particles.
  3. Access to the ultrastructure of viral particles.
  4. Visualization of viral particles in different states of a life cycle.

Examples of viruses determined by cryo-EMFigure 1. Examples of viruses determined by cryo-EM

Creative Biostructure demonstrates professional services and experienced operations on data collection, image selection and classification through the whole process of cryo-EM characterization. The ultrastructure information of viral particles can eventually shine light on the design and development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs. Feel free to contact us for more details.

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References

  1. Grigorieff N, Harrison SC. Near-atomic resolution reconstructions of icosahedral viruses from electron cryo-microscopy. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2011; 21:265–273.
  2. Cheng L, et al. Atomic model of a cypovirus built from cryo-EM structure provides insight into the mechanism of mRNA capping. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108:1373–1378. [PubMed: 21220303]
  3. Zhang X, et al. Structure of Sputnik, a virophage, at 3.5-A resolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; 109(45):18431–18436. [PubMed: 23091035]