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Unconventional 2D Shape Similarity Method Affords Comparable Enrichment as a 3D Shape Method in Virtual Screening Experiments

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2009, 00:00 by Jerry Osagie Ebalunode, Weifan Zheng
3D molecular shape similarity search has recently become an attractive method for virtual screening and scaffold hopping in drug discovery and chemical genomics research. Among these 3D similarity methods is ROCS (Rapid Overlay of Chemical Structures), a popular tool because of its efficiency and effectiveness. However, searching a large multiconformer molecular database remains a very challenging task because of the nature of such calculations. To simplify shape similarity calculations and potentially increase the efficiency for large scale virtual screening, we have explored an alternative shape similarity approach that does not depend on multiconformers of molecules. The hypothesis underlying this approach is that similar chemical structures tend to have similar 2D chemical depictions and that shape comparison techniques can be utilized to effectively compare the shapes between chemical depictions. We use a 2D depiction program to generate 2-D chemical drawings for both the query molecule and database molecules. We have built a 2D shape comparison program based on the OESHAPE Toolkit (OE Scientific, NM) that compares the molecular depictions and quantifies the shape similarity between the molecules. We demonstrate that this unconventional 2D shape similarity method performs fairly well in virtual screening experiments compared to the 3D Shape method ROCS, with an added advantage of its computational efficiency.