Consensus virtual screening approaches to predict protein ligands
In order to exploit the advantages of receptor-based virtual screening, namely time/cost saving and specificity, it is important to rely on algorithms that predict a high number of active ligands at the top ranks of a small molecule database. Towards that goal consensus methods combining the results of several docking algorithms were developed and compared against the individual algorithms. Furthermore, a recently proposed rescoring method based on drug efficiency indices was evaluated. Among AutoDock Vina 1.0, AutoDock 4.2 and GemDock, AutoDock Vina was the best performing single method in predicting high affinity ligands from a database of known ligands and decoys. The rescoring of predicted binding energies with the water/octanol partition coefficient did not lead to an improvement averaged over ten receptor targets. Various consensus algorithms were investigated and a simple combination of AutoDock and AutoDock Vina results gave the most consistent performance that showed early enrichment of known ligands for all receptor targets investigated. In case a number of ligands is known for a specific target, every method proposed in this study should be evaluated.