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Journal Article

Absolute binding free energies for octa-acids and guests in SAMPL5


König,  Gerhard
Research Department Thiel, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Tofoleanu, F., Lee, J., Pickard, F. C., König, G., Huang, J., Baek, M., et al. (2017). Absolute binding free energies for octa-acids and guests in SAMPL5. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design, 31(1), 107-118. doi:10.1007/s10822-016-9965-5.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-A428-C
As part of the SAMPL5 blind prediction challenge, we calculate the absolute binding free energies of six guest molecules to an octa-acid (OAH) and to a methylated octa-acid (OAMe). We use the double decoupling method via thermodynamic integration (TI) or Hamiltonian replica exchange in connection with the Bennett acceptance ratio (HREM-BAR). We produce the binding poses either through manual docking or by using GalaxyDock-HG, a docking software developed specifically for this study. The root mean square deviations for our most accurate predictions are 1.4 kcal mol−1 for OAH with TI and 1.9 kcal mol−1 for OAMe with HREM-BAR. Our best results for OAMe were obtained for systems with ionic concentrations corresponding to the ionic strength of the experimental solution. The most problematic system contains a halogenated guest. Our attempt to model the σ-hole of the bromine using a constrained off-site point charge, does not improve results. We use results from molecular dynamics simulations to argue that the distinct binding affinities of this guest to OAH and OAMe are due to a difference in the flexibility of the host. We believe that the results of this extensive analysis of host-guest complexes will help improve the protocol used in predicting binding affinities for larger systems, such as protein-substrate compounds.