Structural characterization of large multi-subunit protein complexes often requires integrating various experimental techniques. Cross-linking mass spectrometry (XL-MS) identifies proximal protein residues and thus is increasingly used to map protein interactions and determine the relative orientation of subunits within the structure of protein complexes. To fully adapt XL-MS as a structure characterization technique, we developed Xlink Analyzer, a software tool for visualization and analysis of XL-MS data in the context of the three-dimensional structures. Xlink Analyzer enables automatic visualization of cross-links, identifies cross-links violating spatial restraints, calculates violation statistics, maps chemically modified surfaces, and allows interactive manipulations that facilitate analysis of XL-MS data and aid designing new experiments. We demonstrate these features by mapping interaction sites within RNA polymerase I and the Rvb1/2 complex. Xlink Analyzer is implemented as a plugin to UCSF Chimera, a standard structural biology software tool, and thus enables seamless integration of XL-MS data with, e.g. fitting of X-ray structures to EM maps. Xlink Analyzer is available for download at http://www.beck.embl.de/XlinkAnalyzer.html.
Keywords: Analysis; Cross-linking; Integrative modeling; Mass spectrometry; Visualization; XL-MS.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.