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Proteins. 2004 Aug 1;56(2):235-49.

A detailed comparison of current docking and scoring methods on systems of pharmaceutical relevance.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


A thorough evaluation of some of the most advanced docking and scoring methods currently available is described, and guidelines for the choice of an appropriate protocol for docking and virtual screening are defined. The generation of a large and highly curated test set of pharmaceutically relevant protein-ligand complexes with known binding affinities is described, and three highly regarded docking programs (Glide, GOLD, and ICM) are evaluated on the same set with respect to their ability to reproduce crystallographic binding orientations. Glide correctly identified the crystallographic pose within 2.0 A in 61% of the cases, versus 48% for GOLD and 45% for ICM. In general Glide appears to perform most consistently with respect to diversity of binding sites and ligand flexibility, while the performance of ICM and GOLD is more binding site-dependent and it is significantly poorer when binding is predominantly driven by hydrophobic interactions. The results also show that energy minimization and reranking of the top N poses can be an effective means to overcome some of the limitations of a given docking function. The same docking programs are evaluated in conjunction with three different scoring functions for their ability to discriminate actives from inactives in virtual screening. The evaluation, performed on three different systems (HIV-1 protease, IMPDH, and p38 MAP kinase), confirms that the relative performance of different docking and scoring methods is to some extent binding site-dependent. GlideScore appears to be an effective scoring function for database screening, with consistent performance across several types of binding sites, while ChemScore appears to be most useful in sterically demanding sites since it is more forgiving of repulsive interactions. Energy minimization of docked poses can significantly improve the enrichments in systems with sterically demanding binding sites. Overall Glide appears to be a safe general choice for docking, while the choice of the best scoring tool remains to a larger extent system-dependent and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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