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PockDrug: A Model for Predicting Pocket Druggability That Overcomes Pocket Estimation Uncertainties

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posted on 27.04.2015, 00:00 by Alexandre Borrel, Leslie Regad, Henri Xhaard, Michel Petitjean, Anne-Claude Camproux
Predicting protein druggability is a key interest in the target identification phase of drug discovery. Here, we assess the pocket estimation methods’ influence on druggability predictions by comparing statistical models constructed from pockets estimated using different pocket estimation methods: a proximity of either 4 or 5.5 Å to a cocrystallized ligand or DoGSite and fpocket estimation methods. We developed PockDrug, a robust pocket druggability model that copes with uncertainties in pocket boundaries. It is based on a linear discriminant analysis from a pool of 52 descriptors combined with a selection of the most stable and efficient models using different pocket estimation methods. PockDrug retains the best combinations of three pocket properties which impact druggability: geometry, hydrophobicity, and aromaticity. It results in an average accuracy of 87.9% ± 4.7% using a test set and exhibits higher accuracy (∼5–10%) than previous studies that used an identical apo set. In conclusion, this study confirms the influence of pocket estimation on pocket druggability prediction and proposes PockDrug as a new model that overcomes pocket estimation variability.