Epitome: database of structure-inferred antigenic epitopes.

Avner Schlessinger, Yanay Ofran, Guy Yachdav, Burkhard Rost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Immunoglobulin molecules specifically recognize particular areas on the surface of proteins. These areas are commonly dubbed B-cell epitopes. The identification of epitopes in proteins is important both for the design of experiments and vaccines. Additionally, the interactions between epitopes and antibodies have often served as a model for protein-protein interactions. One of the main obstacles in creating a database of antigen-antibody interactions is the difficulty in distinguishing between antigenic and non-antigenic interactions. Antigenic interactions involve specific recognition sites on the antibody's surface, while non-antigenic interactions are between a protein and any other site on the antibody. To solve this problem, we performed a comparative analysis of all protein-antibody complexes for which structures have been experimentally determined. Additionally, we developed a semi-automated tool that identified the antigenic interactions within the known antigen-antibody complex structures. We compiled those interactions into Epitome, a database of structure-inferred antigenic residues in proteins. Epitome consists of all known antigen/antibody complex structures, a detailed description of the residues that are involved in the interactions, and their sequence/structure environments. Interactions can be visualized using an interface to Jmol. The database is available at http://www.rostlab.org/services/epitome/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)D777-780
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue numberDatabase issue
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


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