Probing Structural Perturbation of Biomolecules by Extracting Cryo-EM Data Heterogeneity

Kira Devore, Po Lin Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has become an indispensable tool to probe high-resolution structural detail of biomolecules. It enables direct visualization of the biomolecules and opens a possibility for averaging molecular images to reconstruct a three-dimensional Coulomb potential density map. Newly developed algorithms for data analysis allow for the extraction of structural heterogeneity from a massive and low signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) cryo-EM dataset, expanding our understanding of multiple conformational states, or further implications in dynamics, of the target biomolecule. This review provides an overview that briefly describes the workflow of single-particle cryo-EM, including imaging and data processing, and new methods developed for analyzing the data heterogeneity to understand the structural variability of biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number628
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • deep learning
  • heterogeneity
  • image classification
  • molecular dynamics
  • molecular dynamics flexible fitting
  • single-particle cryo-EM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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