The METi platform now houses a fully automated cryo-electron microscope (Talos Arctica, ThermoFisher Scientific) equipped with a direct electron detection camera coupled to an energy loss filter (K2 summit BioQuantum, Gatan). This transmission electron microscope, dedicated to high resolution/high throughput observation of biological and organic samples frozen in amorphous ice is now fully operational.
One of the major applications of cryo-electron microscopy is macromolecules 3D structure determination at a quasi-atomic scale. This approach, which recently was used to access coronaviruses structure, opens up important perspectives in structural biology, pharmacology, virology, enzymology… During the qualification tests, a first series of image acquisition led to the determination of the structure of apoferritin, a “test” enzyme well known of structural biologists, with a resolution of 2.35 Å in a few days.
This Talos Arctica will also make it possible to study the three-dimensional structure of cells or other nano-objects, biological or not, by cryo-electron tomography. With this new device, Toulouse joins the small club of French sites equipped with high-throughput / high-resolution cryo-microscopes. Installed in the new 4R4 building of the Center for Integrative Biology, the Toulouse Talos Arctica is now open to the whole sceintific community.
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