Advances in tomography: Probing the molecular architecture of cells

Karen Fridman, Asaf Mader, Monika Zwerger, Natalie Elia, Ohad Medalia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Visualizing the dynamic molecular architecture of cells is instrumental for answering fundamental questions in cellular and structural biology. Although modern microscopy techniques, including fluorescence and conventional electron microscopy, have allowed us to gain insights into the molecular organization of cells, they are limited in their ability to visualize multicomponent complexes in their native environment. Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) allows cells, and the macromolecular assemblies contained within, to be reconstructed in situ, at a resolution of 2-6 nm. By combining cryo-ET with super-resolution fluorescence microscopy approaches, it should be possible to localize proteins with high precision inside cells and so elucidate a more realistic view of cellular processes. Thus, cryo-ET may bridge the resolution gap between cellular and structural biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-742
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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