Computational protein binding affinity prediction can play an important role in drug research but performing efficient and accurate binding free energy calculations is still challenging. In the context of phase 2 of the Drug Design Data Resource (D3R) Grand Challenge 2 we used our automated eTOX ALLIES approach to apply the (iterative) linear interaction energy (LIE) method and we evaluated its performance in predicting binding affinities for farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists. Efficiency was obtained by our pre-calibrated LIE models and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations at the nanosecond scale, while predictive accuracy was obtained for a small subset of compounds. Using our recently introduced reliability estimation metrics, we could classify predictions with higher confidence by featuring an applicability domain (AD) analysis in combination with protein-ligand interaction profiling. The outcomes of and agreement between our AD and interaction-profile analyses to distinguish and rationalize the performance of our predictions highlighted the relevance of sufficiently exploring protein-ligand interactions during training and it demonstrated the possibility to quantitatively and efficiently evaluate if this is achieved by using simulation data only.
VU Research Profile
- Human Health and Life Sciences
- Science for Sustainability