Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25888251
BMC Bioinformatics 2015 Mar;16:93
BACKGROUND: Identifying druggable cavities on a protein surface is a crucial step in structure based drug design. The cavities have to present suitable size and shape, as well as appropriate chemical complementarity with ligands.
RESULTS: We present a novel cavity prediction method that analyzes results of virtual screening of specific ligands or fragment libraries by means of Self-Organizing Maps. We demonstrate the method with two thoroughly studied proteins where it successfully identified their active sites (AS) and relevant secondary binding sites (BS). Moreover, known active ligands mapped the AS better than inactive ones. Interestingly, docking a naive fragment library brought even more insight. We then systematically applied the method to the 102 targets from the DUD-E database, where it showed a 90% identification rate of the AS among the first three consensual clusters of the SOM, and in 82% of the cases as the first one. Further analysis by chemical decomposition of the fragments improved BS prediction. Chemical substructures that are representative of the active ligands preferentially mapped in the AS.
CONCLUSION: The new approach provides valuable information both on relevant BSs and on chemical features promoting bioactivity.