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Multi-reference-based multiple alignment statistics enables accurate protein-particle pickup from noisy images

Multi-reference-based multiple alignment statistics enables accurate protein-particle pickup from noisy images

Microscopy 62(2): 303-315

Data mining from noisy data/images is one of the most important themes in modern science and technology. Statistical image processing is a promising technique for analysing such data. Automation of particle pickup from noisy electron micrographs is essential, especially when improvement of the resolution of single particle analysis requires a huge number of particle images. For such a purpose, reference-based matching using primary three-dimensional (3D) model projections is mainly adopted. In the matching, however, the highest peaks of the correlation may not accurately indicate particles when the image is very noisy. In contrast, the density and the heights of the peaks should reflect the probability distribution of the particles. To statistically determine the particle positions from the peak distributions, we have developed a density-based peak search followed by a peak selection based on average peak height, using multi-reference alignment (MRA). Its extension, using multi-reference multiple alignment (MRMA), was found to enable particle pickup at higher accuracy even from extremely noisy images with a signal-to-noise ratio of 0.001. We refer to these new methods as stochastic pickup with MRA (MRA-StoPICK) or with MRMA (MRMA-StoPICK). MRMA-StoPICK has a higher pickup accuracy and furthermore, is almost independent of parameter settings. They were successfully applied to cryo-electron micrographs of Rice dwarf virus. Because current computational resources and parallel data processing environments allow somewhat CPU-intensive MRA-StoPICK and MRMA-StoPICK to be performed in a short period, these methods are expected to allow high-resolution analysis of the 3D structure of particles.

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Accession: 054484855

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23172700

DOI: 10.1093/jmicro/dfs075

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