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Haptic-assisted interactive docking tools immerse the user in an environment where intuition and knowledge can be used to help guide the docking process. Here we present such a tool where the user "holds" a rigid ligand via a haptic device through which they feel interaction forces with a flexible receptor biomolecule. To ensure forces transmitted through the haptic device are smooth and stable, they must be updated at a rate greater than 500 Hz. Due to this time constraint, the majority of haptic docking tools do not attempt to model the conformational changes that would occur when molecules interact during binding. Our haptic-assisted docking tool, "Haptimol Flexidock", models a receptor's conformational response to forces of interaction with a ligand whilst maintaining the required haptic refresh rate. In order to model receptor flexibility we use the method of linear response for which we determine the variance-covariance matrix of atomic fluctuations from the trajectory of an explicit-solvent Molecular Dynamics simulation of the ligand-free receptor molecule. Key to satisfying the time constraint is an eigenvector decomposition of the variance-covariance matrix which enables a good approximation to the conformational response of the receptor to be calculated rapidly. This exploits a feature of protein dynamics whereby most fluctuation occurs within a relatively small subspace. The method is demonstrated on Glutamine Binding Protein in interaction with glutamine, and Maltose Binding Protein in interaction with maltose. For both proteins, the movement that occurs when the ligand is docked near to its binding site matches the experimentally determined movement well. It is thought that this tool will be particularly useful for structure-based drug design.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of chemical information and modeling
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A computer simulation technique that is used to model the interaction between two molecules. Typically the docking simulation measures the interactions of a small molecule or ligand with a part of a larger molecule such as a protein.
Use of an interactive computer system designed to assist the physician or other health professional in choosing between certain relationships or variables for the purpose of making a diagnostic or therapeutic decision.
The molecular designing of drugs for specific purposes (such as DNA-binding, enzyme inhibition, anti-cancer efficacy, etc.) based on knowledge of molecular properties such as activity of functional groups, molecular geometry, and electronic structure, and also on information cataloged on analogous molecules. Drug design is generally computer-assisted molecular modeling and does not include pharmacokinetics, dosage analysis, or drug administration analysis.
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