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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structure of keyhole limpet hemocyanin type 1 (KLH1) at 15 A resolution by electron cryomicroscopy and angular reconstitution.

A three-dimensional reconstruction of keyhole limpet hemocyanin type 1 (KLH1) has been obtained using electron cryomicroscopy at liquid helium temperatures and single particle image processing. The use of a high-contrast embedding medium, 1% (w/v) glucose and 2% (w/v) ammonium molybdate (pH 7.0), enables high-resolution electron micrographs to be recorded close to focus, i.e. with excellent transfer of high-resolution information, while maintaining enough image contrast to localise the individual macromolecules in the images. When low-pass filtered to approximately 45 A resolution, the new 15 A resolution reconstruction is very similar to the earlier reconstructions of gastropodan hemocyanins of specimens embedded in vitreous ice. The map shows much detail and reveals many new symmetry elements in this very large cylindrical molluscan hemocyanin. The full KLH1 didecamer has D5 pointgroup symmetry, yet within the KLH1 decameric half-molecules local 2-fold axes have emerged that make the wall of the KLH1 decamer, in spite of its having an exact C5 symmetry only, resemble the D5-symmetric wall of the decameric cephalopod hemocyanins. In fact, the outside of each tier of this six-tiered gastropodan hemocyanin was found to have an approximate D5 symmetry. Local 2-fold axes also relate the "functional units" within the dimeric "morphological units" of the wall and the collar areas of the 8 MDa KLH1 molecule. Certain local-symmetry-related surface motifs may be present up to 60 times on the outside wall of this highly symmetric cylindrical hemocyanin. Keyhole limpet hemocyanin is used clinically as an immunostimulant. The very strong immune reaction elicited by this hemocyanin may be associated with its intricate hierarchy of local-symmetry components.[1]


  1. Structure of keyhole limpet hemocyanin type 1 (KLH1) at 15 A resolution by electron cryomicroscopy and angular reconstitution. Orlova, E.V., Dube, P., Harris, J.R., Beckman, E., Zemlin, F., Markl, J., van Heel, M. J. Mol. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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