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Soft X-ray cryo-microscopy/tomography of vitreous samples is becoming a valuable tool in structural cell biology. Within the 'water-window' wavelength region (2.34-4.37nm), it provides absorption contrast images with high signal to noise ratio and resolution of a few tens of nanometer. Soft X-rays with wavelengths close to the K-absorption edge of oxygen penetrate biological samples with thicknesses in the micrometer range. Here, we report on the application of a recently established extension of the transmission soft X-ray cryo-microscope (HZB TXM) at the beamline U41-XM of the BESSY II electron storage ring by an in-column epi-fluorescence and reflected light cryo-microscope. We demonstrate the new capability for correlative fluorescence and soft X-ray cryo-microscopy/tomography of this instrument along a typical life science experimental approach - the correlation of a fluorophore-tagged protein (pUL34-GFP of pseudorabies virus, PrV, the nuclear membrane-anchored component of the nuclear egress complex of the Herpesviridae which interacts with viral pUL31) in PrV pUL34-GFP/pUL31 coexpressing mammalian cells, with virus-induced vesicular structures in the nucleus, expanding the nucleoplasmic reticulum. Taken together, our results demonstrate new possibilities to study the role of specific proteins in substructures of adherent cells, especially of the nucleus in toto, accessible to electron microscopy in thinned samples only.

Original publication




Journal article


J Struct Biol

Publication Date





193 - 201


Animals, Artifacts, Cell Adhesion, Cells, Cultured, Cryopreservation, Fourier Analysis, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Single-Cell Analysis, Swine, Tomography, X-Ray, Viral Proteins, Vitrification