Strategies for picking membrane-associated particles within subtomogram averaging workflows†
Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) with subtomogram averaging (STA) has emerged as a key tool for determining macromolecular structure(s) in vitro and in situ. However, processing cryo-ET data with STA currently requires significant user expertise. Recent efforts have streamlined several steps in STA workflows; however, particle picking remains a time-consuming bottleneck for many projects and requires considerable user input. Here, we present several strategies for the time-efficient and accurate picking of membrane-associated particles using the COPII inner coat as a case study. We also discuss a range of particle cleaning solutions to remove both poor quality and false-positive particles from STA datasets. We provide a step-by-step guide and the necessary scripts for users to independently carry out the particle picking and cleaning strategies discussed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Challenges in biological cryo electron microscopy