Volume 240, 2022

Escaping the symmetry trap in helical reconstruction


Helical reconstruction is the method of choice for obtaining 3D structures of filaments from electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) projections. This approach relies on applying helical symmetry parameters deduced from Fourier–Bessel or real space analysis, such as sub-tomogram averaging. While helical reconstruction continues to provide invaluable structural insights into filaments, its inherent dependence on imposing a pre-defined helical symmetry can also introduce bias. The applied helical symmetry produces structures that are infinitely straight along the filament’s axis and can average out biologically important heterogeneities. Here, we describe a simple workflow aimed at overcoming these drawbacks in order to provide truer representations of filamentous structures.

Graphical abstract: Escaping the symmetry trap in helical reconstruction

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Article information

Article type
23 Feb 2022
18 Mar 2022
First published
05 Aug 2022
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Faraday Discuss., 2022,240, 303-311

Escaping the symmetry trap in helical reconstruction

L. Gambelli, Michail N. Isupov and B. Daum, Faraday Discuss., 2022, 240, 303 DOI: 10.1039/D2FD00051B

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