Prof. Dr. Werner Kühlbrandt

The “Resolution Revolution”

Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics

Membrane proteins are some of the most fascinating molecules in our cells. Whether membrane transport, respiratory chain reaction or photosynthesis – membrane protein complexes are the key of life. In fact, 20-30 % of our genome codes for membrane proteins, however only 0,5 % of those proteins are structurally clarified. When it comes to the analysis of structures, accurate to an atomic diameter, innovative technologies are essential for progress. With the arrival of a new generation of electron detectors and image processing software, cryo-EM of biological macromolecules has now entered a new era. This “resolution revolution” achieved by Prof. Werner Kühlbrandt et al. , means that cryo-EM now yields 3D structures of a quality that rivals x-ray crystallography- a great breakthrough in structural biology! Using this technique even the structure of the well known ATPSynthase was revealed differently than expected.