epitope3D: a machine learning method for conformational B-cell epitope prediction

The ability to identify antigenic determinants of pathogens, or epitopes, is fundamental to guide rational vaccine development and immunotherapies, which are particularly relevant for rapid pandemic response. A range of computational tools has been developed over the past two decades to assist in epitope prediction, however they have presented limited performance and generalisation, particularly for the identification of conformational B-cell epitopes.

epitope3D, a novel scalable machine learning method capable of accurately identifying conformational epitopes trained and evaluated on the largest curated epitope data set to date. Our method uses the concept of graph-based signatures to model epitope and non-epitope regions as graphs and extract distance patterns that are used as evidence to train and test predictive models.
epitope3D outperforms available alternative approaches, achieving Mathew’s Correlation Coefficient and F1-scores of 0.55 and 0.57 on cross-validation and 0.45 and 0.36 during independent blind tests, respectively.