PyXlinkViewer: a flexible tool for visualisation of protein chemical crosslinking data within the PyMOL molecular graphics system
Chemical crosslinking-mass spectrometry (XL-MS) is a valuable technique for gaining insights into protein structure and the organization of macromolecular complexes. XL-MS data yields inter-residue restraints that can be compared with high-resolution structural data. Distances greater than the crosslinker spacer-arm can reveal lowly-populated 'excited' states of proteins/protein assemblies, or crosslinks can be used as restraints to generate structural models in the absence of structural data. Despite increasing uptake of XL-MS, there are few tools to enable rapid and facile mapping of XL-MS data onto high-resolution structures or structural models. PyXlinkViewer is a user-friendly plugin for PyMOL v2 that maps intra-protein, inter-protein and dead-end crosslinks onto protein structures/models and automates the calculation of inter-residue distances for the detected crosslinks. This enables rapid visualisation of XL-MS data, assessment of whether a set of detected crosslinks is congruent with structural data, and easy production of high-quality images for publication. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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