Docking rigid macrocycles using Convex-PL, AutoDock Vina, and RDKit in the D3R Grand Challenge 4

  • Maria Kadukova
  • Vladimir Chupin
  • Sergei GrudininEmail author


The D3R Grand Challenge 4 provided a brilliant opportunity to test macrocyclic docking protocols on a diverse high-quality experimental data. We participated in both pose and affinity prediction exercises. Overall, we aimed to use an automated structure-based docking pipeline built around a set of tools developed in our team. This exercise again demonstrated a crucial importance of the correct local ligand geometry for the overall success of docking. Starting from the second part of the pose prediction stage, we developed a stable pipeline for sampling macrocycle conformers. This resulted in the subangstrom average precision of our pose predictions. In the affinity prediction exercise we obtained average results. However, we could improve these when using docking poses submitted by the best predictors. Our docking tools including the Convex-PL scoring function are available at


Protein–ligand docking Ensemble docking Macrocycle modeling Convex-PL Conformer generation D3R Drug Design Data Resource Scoring function 



The authors would like to thank Ivan Gushchin from MIPT Moscow for providing his expertise in crystallography. This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Grant No. 6.3157.2017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Inria, Grenoble INP, LJKGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyDolgoprudnyRussia

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