, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 293-304

Distributed automated docking of flexible ligands to proteins: Parallel applications of AutoDock 2.4

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AutoDock 2.4 predicts the bound conformations of a small, flexible ligand to a nonflexible macromolecular target of known structure. The technique combines simulated annealing for conformation searching with a rapid grid-based method of energy evaluation based on the AMBER force field. AutoDock has been optimized in performance without sacrificing accuracy; it incorporates many enhancements and additions, including an intuitive interface. We have developed a set of tools for launching and analyzing many independent docking jobs in parallel on a heterogeneous network of UNIX-based workstations. This paper describes the current release, and the results of a suite of diverse test systems. We also present the results of a systematic investigation into the effects of varying simulated-annealing parameters on molecular docking. We show that even for ligands with a large number of degrees of freedom, root-mean-square deviations of less than 1 Å from the crystallographic conformation are obtained for the lowest-energy dockings, although fewer dockings find the crystallographic conformation when there are more degrees of freedom.

The AutoDock 2.4 suite is written in ANSI C, and is supplied with Makefiles for the following platforms: Convex, DEC Alpha OSF/1, Hewlett-Packard Precision Architecture, Silicon Graphics, and Sun. The AutoDock suite of programs is freely available to the noncommercial scientific community and to educational establishments. Further information, including additional figures and MPEG animations showing all docked conformations for each test system, can be found at the following URL: http://www.scripps.edu/pub/olson-web/doc/autodock.