Advances in cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging and classification.
Cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) can provide 3D reconstructions, or tomograms, of pleomorphic objects such as organelles or cells in their close-to-native states. Subtomograms that contain repetitive structures can be further extracted and subjected to averaging and classification to improve resolution, and this process has become an emerging structural biology method referred to as cryoET subtomogram averaging and classification (cryoSTAC). Recent technical advances in cryoSTAC have had a profound impact on many fields in biology. Here, I review recent exciting work on several macromolecular assemblies demonstrating the power of cryoSTAC for in situ structure analysis and discuss challenges and future directions.