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J Vis Exp ; (202)2023 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38108412


Advancements in cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) techniques over the past decade have allowed structural biologists to routinely resolve macromolecular protein complexes to near-atomic resolution. The general workflow of the entire cryoEM pipeline involves iterating between sample preparation, cryoEM grid preparation, and sample/grid screening before moving on to high-resolution data collection. Iterating between sample/grid preparation and screening is typically a major bottleneck for researchers, as every iterative experiment must optimize for sample concentration, buffer conditions, grid material, grid hole size, ice thickness, and protein particle behavior in the ice, amongst other variables. Furthermore, once these variables are satisfactorily determined, grids prepared under identical conditions vary widely in whether they are ready for data collection, so additional screening sessions prior to selecting optimal grids for high-resolution data collection are recommended. This sample/grid preparation and screening process often consumes several dozen grids and days of operator time at the microscope. Furthermore, the screening process is limited to operator/microscope availability and microscope accessibility. Here, we demonstrate how to use Leginon and Smart Leginon Autoscreen to automate the majority of cryoEM grid screening. Autoscreen combines machine learning, computer vision algorithms, and microscope-handling algorithms to remove the need for constant manual operator input. Autoscreen can autonomously load and image grids with multi-scale imaging using an automated specimen-exchange cassette system, resulting in unattended grid screening for an entire cassette. As a result, operator time for screening 12 grids may be reduced to ~10 min with Autoscreen compared to ~6 h using previous methods which are hampered by their inability to account for high variability between grids. This protocol first introduces basic Leginon setup and functionality, then demonstrates Autoscreen functionality step-by-step from the creation of a template session to the end of a 12-grid automated screening session.

Sistemas Computacionais , Gelo , Microscopia Crioeletrônica , Automação , Algoritmos