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VASCo is a program pipeline including a visualization tool to calculate and visualize annotated surfaces with special emphasis on surface contact regions and protein-protein interactions. Crystal contacts and biological contacts can be calculated based on surface points. Molecular properties such as electrostatic potential or hydrophobicity can be calculated and mapped on those surface points. The molecular surfaces and properties are calculated using existing established programs, which are integrated into the package, as well as using own developed programs. The modular pipeline can easily be extended to include new properties for annotation. The output of this pipeline is most conveniently displayed in PyMOL as Compiled Graphics Objects (CGO) using a custom-made plug-in.


  Steinkellner G, Rader R, Thallinger GG, Kratky C, Gruber K.
  VASCo: computation and visualization of annotated protein surface contacts
  BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(1):32

The VASCo pipeline utilizes MSMS (Sanner et al., 1996) to calculate the surface points of the protein and DelPhi (Honig and Nicholls, 1995) to determine the electrostatic potential at a given surface point. Cite them as follows:

  Sanner MF, Olson AJ, Spehner JC.
  Reduced surface: an efficient way to compute molecular surfaces.
  Biopolymers 1996, 38(3):305-320.

  Honig B. and Nicholls A.
  Classical electrostatics in biology and chemistry.
  Science 1995, 268(5214):1144-1149.
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