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J Phys Chem Lett. 2018 Jun 21;9(12):3328-3332. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b01284. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Predicting Binding Free Energies in a Large Combinatorial Chemical Space Using Multisite λ Dynamics.

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Department of Chemistry , University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , Michigan 48109 , United States.
Biophysics Program , University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , Michigan 48109 , United States.


In this study, we demonstrate the extensive scalability of the biasing potential replica exchange multisite λ dynamics (BP-REX MSλD) free energy method by calculating binding affinities for 512 inhibitors to HIV Reverse Transcriptase (HIV-RT). This is the largest exploration of chemical space using free energy methods known to date, requires only a few simulations, and identifies 55 new inhibitor designs against HIV-RT predicted to be at least as potent as a tight binding reference compound (i.e., as potent as 56 nM). We highlight that BP-REX MSλD requires an order of magnitude less computational resources than conventional free energy methods while maintaining a similar level of precision, overcomes the inherent poor scalability of conventional free energy methods, and enables the exploration of combinatorially large chemical spaces in the context of in silico drug discovery.

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