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Bioinformatics. 2019 Jun 1;35(11):1870-1876. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty918.

Antibody interface prediction with 3D Zernike descriptors and SVM.

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Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padova, Legnaro, Italy.
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.



Antibodies are a class of proteins capable of specifically recognizing and binding to a virtually infinite number of antigens. This binding malleability makes them the most valuable category of biopharmaceuticals for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The correct identification of the antigen-binding residues in the antibody is crucial for all antibody design and engineering techniques and could also help to understand the complex antigen binding mechanisms. However, the antibody-binding interface prediction field appears to be still rather underdeveloped.


We present a novel method for antibody interface prediction from their experimentally solved structures based on 3D Zernike Descriptors. Roto-translationally invariant descriptors are computed from circular patches of the antibody surface enriched with a chosen subset of physico-chemical properties from the AAindex1 amino acid index set, and are used as samples for a binary classification problem. An SVM classifier is used to distinguish interface surface patches from non-interface ones. The proposed method was shown to outperform other antigen-binding interface prediction software.


Linux binaries and Python scripts are available at The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available at


Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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