Unified Data Resource for CryoEM
Aug 2007: An NIH/NIGMS-funded collaboration to create a unified data resource for large complexes determined by cryo-electron microscopy has been established between the Macromolecular Structure Database Group at the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics at Rutgers, and the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging at Baylor College of Medicine.
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) is a maturing methodology in structural biology that enables the determination of 3D structures of macromolecular complexes and cells at a broad range of resolution from 2 to 100 A with information that bridges the gap between cell biology and crystallography/NMR. It is now well accepted by structural, molecular and cell biologists that a cryoEM map and its associated model can form the basis for subsequent hypothesis-driven research and knowledge discovery.
In the past four years, several independent workshops organized by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Hinxton, UK and the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA, have reached a community consensus that it is time to establish publicly supported, one-stop deposition and retrieval facilities for cryoEM density maps, atomic models and associated metadata.
The expertise and infrastructure of these three research centers will be utilized to create a global deposition and retrieval network for cryoEM maps, models and their associated metadata, as well as a web service for a number of software tools for standardized map format conversion, map segmentation and assessment, model assessment, visualization, and data integration. These tools are essential for verification of the deposited data and would also facilitate efficient use of the archived data. We will develop these tools in consultation with the major developers of cryoEM software.
An important component activity of this proposed research is to gather community input throughout the entire grant period so that the final system will be designed and implemented at the highest standards to serve the needs of both cryoEM experts and biological end-users.