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Montréal, Canada

Feher M.,Campbell University | Williams C.I.,Chemical Computing Group
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling | Year: 2012

This work examines the effect of small input perturbations on binding energies computed from differences between energy minimized structures, such as the Prime MM-GBSA and MOE MM-GB/VI methods. The applied perturbations include translations of the cognate ligand in the binding site by a maximum of 0.1 Å along each coordinate or the permutation of the order of atoms of the cognate ligand without any changes to the atom coordinates. These seemingly inconsequential input changes can lead to as much as 17 kcal/mol differences in the computed binding energy. The calculated binding energies cluster around discrete values, which correspond to specific ligand poses. It appears that the largest variations are observed for target-ligand systems in which there is a possibility for multiple poses with strong hydrogen bonds. The barriers between different poses can appear fractal-like, making it difficult to predict which solution will be produced from a given input. Including protein flexibility in MM-GBSA calculations further increases numerical instability, and the protein strain terms seem to be the major factor contributing to this sensitivity. In such calculations it appears unwise to extend the flexible region beyond 6 Å. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source


Leonard J.A.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Sobel Leonard A.,Duke University | Chang D.T.,Chemical Computing Group | Edwards S.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2016

The toxicity-testing paradigm has evolved to include high-throughput (HT) methods for addressing the increasing need to screen hundreds to thousands of chemicals rapidly. Approaches that involve in vitro screening assays, in silico predictions of exposure concentrations, and pharmacokinetic (PK) characteristics provide the foundation for HT risk prioritization. Underlying uncertainties in predicted exposure concentrations or PK behaviors can significantly influence the prioritization of chemicals, though the impact of such influences is unclear. In the current study, a framework was developed to incorporate absorbed doses, PK properties, and in vitro dose-response data into a PK/pharmacodynamic (PD) model to allow for placement of chemicals into discrete priority bins. Literature-reported or predicted values for clearance rates and absorbed doses were used in the PK/PD model to evaluate the impact of their uncertainties on chemical prioritization. Scenarios using predicted absorbed doses resulted in a larger number of bin misassignments than those scenarios using predicted clearance rates, when comparing to bin placement using literature-reported values. Sensitivity of parameters on the model output of toxicological activity was examined across possible ranges for those parameters to provide insight into how uncertainty in their predicted values might impact uncertainty in activity. © 2016 American Chemical Society. Source


Feher M.,Campbell University | Williams C.I.,Chemical Computing Group
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling | Year: 2012

This work examines the sensitivity of docking programs to tiny changes in ligand input files. The results show that nearly identical ligand input structures can produce dramatically different top-scoring docked poses. Even changing the atom order in a ligand input file can produce significantly different poses and scores. In well-behaved cases the docking variations are small and follow a normal distribution around a central pose and score, but in many cases the variations are large and reflect wildly different top scores and binding modes. The docking variations are characterized by statistical methods, and the sensitivity of high-throughput and more precise docking methods are compared. The results demonstrate that part of docking variation is due to numerical sensitivity and potentially chaotic effects in current docking algorithms and not solely due to incomplete ligand conformation and pose searching. These results have major implications for the way docking is currently used for pose prediction, ranking, and virtual screening. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source


Wright J.S.,Carleton University | Anderson J.M.,Carleton University | Shadnia H.,Chemical Computing Group | Durst T.,University of Ottawa | Katzenellenbogen J.A.,Urbana University
Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design | Year: 2013

The computational determination of binding modes for a ligand into a protein receptor is much more successful than the prediction of relative binding affinities (RBAs) for a set of ligands. Here we consider the binding of a set of 26 synthetic A-CD ligands into the estrogen receptor ERα. We show that the MOE default scoring function (London dG) used to rank the docked poses leads to a negligible correlation with experimental RBAs. However, switching to an energy-based scoring function, using a multiple linear regression to fit experimental RBAs, selecting top-ranked poses and then iteratively repeating this process leads to exponential convergence in 4-7 iterations and a very strong correlation. The method is robust, as shown by various validation tests. This approach may be of general use in improving the quality of predicted binding affinities. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source


Lu J.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Goldsmith M.-R.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Goldsmith M.-R.,Chemical Computing Group | Grulke C.M.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 15 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2016

Developing physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for chemicals can be resource-intensive, as neither chemical-specific parameters nor in vivo pharmacokinetic data are easily available for model construction. Previously developed, well-parameterized, and thoroughly-vetted models can be a great resource for the construction of models pertaining to new chemicals. A PBPK knowledgebase was compiled and developed from existing PBPK-related articles and used to develop new models. From 2,039 PBPK-related articles published between 1977 and 2013, 307 unique chemicals were identified for use as the basis of our knowledgebase. Keywords related to species, gender, developmental stages, and organs were analyzed from the articles within the PBPK knowledgebase. A correlation matrix of the 307 chemicals in the PBPK knowledgebase was calculated based on pharmacokinetic-relevant molecular descriptors. Chemicals in the PBPK knowledgebase were ranked based on their correlation toward ethylbenzene and gefitinib. Next, multiple chemicals were selected to represent exact matches, close analogues, or non-analogues of the target case study chemicals. Parameters, equations, or experimental data relevant to existing models for these chemicals and their analogues were used to construct new models, and model predictions were compared to observed values. This compiled knowledgebase provides a chemical structure-based approach for identifying PBPK models relevant to other chemical entities. Using suitable correlation metrics, we demonstrated that models of chemical analogues in the PBPK knowledgebase can guide the construction of PBPK models for other chemicals. © 2016 Public Library of Science. All Rights reserved. Source

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