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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33829. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033829. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Prediction of promiscuous p-glycoprotein inhibition using a novel machine learning scheme.

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Department of Chemistry, National Dong Hwa University, Shoufeng, Hualien, Taiwan.



P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an ATP-dependent membrane transporter that plays a pivotal role in eliminating xenobiotics by active extrusion of xenobiotics from the cell. Multidrug resistance (MDR) is highly associated with the over-expression of P-gp by cells, resulting in increased efflux of chemotherapeutical agents and reduction of intracellular drug accumulation. It is of clinical importance to develop a P-gp inhibition predictive model in the process of drug discovery and development.


An in silico model was derived to predict the inhibition of P-gp using the newly invented pharmacophore ensemble/support vector machine (PhE/SVM) scheme based on the data compiled from the literature. The predictions by the PhE/SVM model were found to be in good agreement with the observed values for those structurally diverse molecules in the training set (n = 31, r(2) = 0.89, q(2) = 0.86, RMSE = 0.40, s = 0.28), the test set (n = 88, r(2) = 0.87, RMSE = 0.39, s = 0.25) and the outlier set (n = 11, r(2) = 0.96, RMSE = 0.10, s = 0.05). The generated PhE/SVM model also showed high accuracy when subjected to those validation criteria generally adopted to gauge the predictivity of a theoretical model.


This accurate, fast and robust PhE/SVM model that can take into account the promiscuous nature of P-gp can be applied to predict the P-gp inhibition of structurally diverse compounds that otherwise cannot be done by any other methods in a high-throughput fashion to facilitate drug discovery and development by designing drug candidates with better metabolism profile.

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