Making Protein-Protein Interfaces Look (decently) Good

This is a little PyMOL script that I’ve used to draw antibody-antigen interfaces. If you’d like a commented version on what each and every line does, contact me! This is a slight modification of what has been done in PyMOL Wiki.

load FILENAME
set_name FILENAME, complex	

set bg_rgb, [1,1,1]  	

color white 	     		

hide lines
show cartoon

select antibody, chain a
select antigen, chain b

select paratopeAtoms, antibody within 4.5 of antigen 
select epitopeAtoms, antigen within 4.5 of antibody

select paratopeRes, byres paratopeAtoms
select epitopeRes, byres epitopeAtoms

distance interactions, paratopeAtoms, epitopeAtoms, 4.5, 0

color red, interactions
hide labels, interactions

show sticks, paratopeRes
show sticks, epitopeRes

set cartoon_side_chain_helper, on

set sphere_quality, 2
set sphere_scale, 0.3
show spheres, paratopeAtoms
show spheres, epitopeAtoms
color tv_blue, paratopeAtoms
color tv_yellow, epitopeAtoms

set ray_trace_mode, 3
unset depth_cue
set specular, 0.5

Once you orient it to where you’d like it and ray it, you should get something like this.
contacts

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