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J Chem Inf Model. 2011 Jul 25;51(7):1528-38. doi: 10.1021/ci2000924. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Mining for bioactive scaffolds with scaffold networks: improved compound set enrichment from primary screening data.

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Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Forum 1, Novartis Campus, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Identification of meaningful chemical patterns in the increasing amounts of high-throughput-generated bioactivity data available today is an increasingly important challenge for successful drug discovery. Herein, we present the scaffold network as a novel approach for mapping and navigation of chemical and biological space. A scaffold network represents the chemical space of a library of molecules consisting of all molecular scaffolds and smaller "parent" scaffolds generated therefrom by the pruning of rings, effectively leading to a network of common scaffold substructure relationships. This algorithm provides an extension of the scaffold tree algorithm that, instead of a network, generates a tree relationship between a heuristically rule-based selected subset of parent scaffolds. The approach was evaluated for the identification of statistically significantly active scaffolds from primary screening data for which the scaffold tree approach has already been shown to be successful. Because of the exhaustive enumeration of smaller scaffolds and the full enumeration of relationships between them, about twice as many statistically significantly active scaffolds were identified compared to the scaffold-tree-based approach. We suggest visualizing scaffold networks as islands of active scaffolds.

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