New strategies for the identification and enumeration of macromolecules in 3D images of cryo electron tomography

Abstract : Cryo electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an imaging technique capable of producing 3D views of biological specimens. This technology enables to capture large field of views of vitrified cells at nanometer resolution. These features allow to combine several scales of understanding of the cellular machinery, from the interactions between groups of proteins to their atomic structure. Cryo-ET therefore has the potential to act as a link between in vivo cell imaging and atomic resolution techniques. However, cryo-ET images suffer from a high amount of noise and imaging artifacts, and the interpretability of these images heavily depends on computational image analysis methods. Existing methods allow to identify large macromolecules such as ribosomes, but there is evidence that the detections are incomplete. In addition, these methods are limited when searched objects are smaller and have more structural variability. The purpose of this thesis is to propose new image analysis methods, in order to enable a more robust identification of macromolecules of interest. We propose two computational methods to achieve this goal. The first aims at reducing the noise and imaging artifacts, and operates by iteratively adding and removing artificial noise to the image. We provide both mathematical and experimental evidence that this concept allows to enhance signal in cryo-ET images. The second method builds on recent advances in machine learning to improve macromolecule localization. The method is based on a convolutional neural network, and we show how it can be adapted to achieve better detection rates than the current state-of- the-art.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 3:43:04 PM
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Emmanuel Moebel. New strategies for the identification and enumeration of macromolecules in 3D images of cryo electron tomography. Bioinformatics [q-bio.QM]. Université de Rennes 1, 2019. English. ⟨tel-02153877⟩

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