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J Med Chem. 2017 May 25;60(10):4245-4257. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00101. Epub 2017 May 12.

Large-Scale Analysis of Hydrogen Bond Interaction Patterns in Protein-Ligand Interfaces.

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Universität Hamburg , ZBH-Center for Bioinformatics, Bundesstraße 43, 20146 Hamburg, Germany.
Bayer CropScience AG , Industriepark Hoechst, G836, 65926 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Protein-ligand interactions are the fundamental basis for molecular design in pharmaceutical research, biocatalysis, and agrochemical development. Especially hydrogen bonds are known to have special geometric requirements and therefore deserve a detailed analysis. In modeling approaches a more general description of hydrogen bond geometries, using distance and directionality, is applied. A first study of their geometries was performed based on 15 protein structures in 1982. Currently there are about 95 000 protein-ligand structures available in the PDB, providing a solid foundation for a new large-scale statistical analysis. Here, we report a comprehensive investigation of geometric and functional properties of hydrogen bonds. Out of 22 defined functional groups, eight are fully in accordance with theoretical predictions while 14 show variations from expected values. On the basis of these results, we derived interaction geometries to improve current computational models. It is expected that these observations will be useful in designing new chemical structures for biological applications.

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