The identification of small molecules with selective bioactivity, whether intended as potential therapeutics or as tools for experimental research, is central to progress in medicine and in the life sciences. To facilitate such study, we have developed a ligand-based program well-suited for effective screening of large compound collections. This package, MED-SuMoLig, combines a SMARTS-driven substructure search aiming at 3D pharmacophore profiling and computation of the local atomic density of the compared molecules. The screening utility was then investigated using 52 diverse active molecules (against CDK2, Factor Xa, HIV-1 protease, neuraminidase, ribonuclease A, and thymidine kinase) merged to a library of about 40000 putative inactive (druglike) compounds. In all cases, the program recovered more than half of the actives in the top 3% of the screened library. We also compared the performance of MED-SuMoLig with that of ChemMine or of ROCS and found that MED-SuMoLig outperformed both methods for CDK2 and Factor Xa in terms of enrichment rates or performed equally well for the other targets.
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