Protein-protein interactions are fundamental to many biological processes. Experimental screens have identified tens of thousands of interactions and structural biology has provided detailed functional insight for select 3D protein complexes. An alternative rich source of information about protein interactions is the evolutionary sequence record. Building on earlier work, we show that analysis of correlated evolutionary sequence changes across proteins identifies residues that are close in space with sufficient accuracy to determine the three-dimensional structure of the protein complexes. We evaluate prediction performance in blinded tests on 76 complexes of known 3D structure, predict protein-protein contacts in 32 complexes of unknown structure, and demonstrate how evolutionary couplings can be used to distinguish between interacting and non-interacting protein pairs in a large complex. With the current growth of sequences, we expect that the method can be generalized to genome-wide elucidation of protein-protein interaction networks and used for interaction predictions at residue resolution.
- John Kuriyan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2014, Hopf et al.
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Cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) combined with subtomogram averaging, allows in situ visualization and structure determination of macromolecular complexes at subnanometre resolution. Cryogenic focused ion beam (cryo-FIB) micromachining is used to prepare a thin lamella-shaped sample out of a frozen-hydrated cell for cryo-ET imaging, but standard cryo-FIB fabrication is blind to the precise location of the structure or proteins of interest. Fluorescence-guided focused ion beam (FIB) milling at target locations requires multiple sample transfers prone to contamination, and relocation and registration accuracy is often insufficient for 3D targeting. Here, we present in situ fluorescence microscopy-guided FIB fabrication of a frozen-hydrated lamella to address this problem: we built a coincident three-beam cryogenic correlative microscope by retrofitting a compact cryogenic microcooler, custom positioning stage, and an inverted widefield fluorescence microscope (FM) on an existing FIB scanning electron microscope. We show FM controlled targeting at every milling step in the lamella fabrication process, validated with transmission electron microscope tomogram reconstructions of the target regions. The ability to check the lamella during and after the milling process results in a higher success rate in the fabrication process and will increase the throughput of fabrication for lamellae suitable for high-resolution imaging.
A major goal of biological imaging is localization of biomolecules inside a cell. Fluorescence microscopy can localize biomolecules inside whole cells and tissues, but its ability to count biomolecules and accuracy of the spatial coordinates is limited by the wavelength of visible light. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) provides highly accurate position and orientation information of biomolecules but is often confined to small fields of view inside a cell, limiting biological context. In this study, we use a new data-acquisition scheme called Defocus-Corrected Large-Area cryo-EM (DeCo-LACE) to collect high-resolution images of entire sections (100- to 250-nm-thick lamellae) of neutrophil-like mouse cells, representing 1–2% of the total cellular volume. We use 2D template matching (2DTM) to determine localization and orientation of the large ribosomal subunit in these sections. These data provide maps of ribosomes across entire sections of mammalian cells. This high-throughput cryo-EM data collection approach together with 2DTM will advance visual proteomics and provide biological insight that cannot be obtained by other methods.