The structure of ferritin cores determined by electron nanodiffraction

J. M. Cowley, Dawn E. Janney, Richard Gerkin, P R Buseck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Electron nanodiffraction, with a 100-keV electron beam less than 1 nm in diameter, has been used to obtain single-crystal diffraction patterns from individual iron-containing cores of ferritin molecules. We show that, while a majority of the cores have a hexagonal structure somewhat similar to the major phase in the mineral ferrihydrite, as previously assumed, several minor phases are present including some that are similar in structure to the iron oxides magnetite and hematite and also some composed of highly disordered material. In general, each core consists of one single crystal of one phase. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Electron nanodiffraction
  • Ferrihydrite
  • Ferritin cores
  • Iron oxides
  • Scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • Structural disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology


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