Identification of conformational B-cell Epitopes in an antigen from its primary sequence
Background: One of the major challenges in the field of vaccine design is to predict conformational B-cell epitopes in an antigen. In the past, several methods have been developed for predicting conformational B-cell epitopes in an antigen from its tertiary structure. This is the first attempt in this area to predict conformational B-cell epitope in an antigen from its amino acid sequence. Results: All Support vector machine (SVM) models were trained and tested on 187 non-redundant protein chains consisting of 2261 antibody interacting residues of B-cell epitopes. Models have been developed using binary profile of pattern (BPP) and physiochemical profile of patterns (PPP) and achieved a maximum MCC of 0.22 and 0.17 respectively. In this study, for the first time SVM model has been developed using composition profile of patterns (CPP) and achieved a maximum MCC of 0.73 with accuracy 86.59%. We compare our CPP based model with existing structure based methods and observed that our sequence based model is as good as structure based methods. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that prediction of conformational B-cell epitope in an antigen is possible from is primary sequence. This study will be very useful in predicting conformational B-cell epitopes in antigens whose tertiary structures are not available. A web server CBTOPE has been developed for predicting B-cell epitope https://www.imtech.res.in/raghava/cbtope/.