Electron tomography of viruses

Sriram Subramaniam*, Alberto Bartesaghi, Jun Liu, Adam E. Bennett, Rachid Sougrat

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    49 Scopus citations


    Understanding the molecular architectures of enveloped and complex viruses is a challenging frontier in structural biology. In these viruses, the structural and compositional variation from one viral particle to another generally precludes the use of either crystallization or image averaging procedures that have been successfully implemented in the past for highly symmetric viruses. While advances in cryo electron tomography of unstained specimens provide new opportunities for identification and molecular averaging of individual subcomponents such as the surface glycoprotein spikes on purified viruses, electron tomography of stained and plunge-frozen cells is being used to visualize the cellular context of viral entry and replication. Here, we review recent developments in both areas as they relate to our understanding of the biology of heterogeneous and pleiomorphic viruses.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)596-602
    Number of pages7
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Structural Biology
    • Molecular Biology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Electron tomography of viruses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this