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Journal Article

Exponential consensus ranking improves the outcome in docking and receptor ensemble docking


Cossio,  Pilar       
Department of Theoretical Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Palacio-Rodríguez, K., Lans, I., Cavasotto, C. N., & Cossio, P. (2019). Exponential consensus ranking improves the outcome in docking and receptor ensemble docking. Scientific Reports, 9: 5142, pp. 1-14. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41594-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-48C9-A
Consensus-scoring methods are commonly used with molecular docking in virtual screening campaigns to filter potential ligands for a protein target. Traditional consensus methods combine results from different docking programs by averaging the score or rank of each molecule obtained from individual programs. Unfortunately, these methods fail if one of the docking programs has poor performance, which is likely to occur due to training-set dependencies and scoring-function parameterization. In this work, we introduce a novel consensus method that overcomes these limitations. We combine the results from individual docking programs using a sum of exponential distributions as a function of the molecule rank for each program. We test the method over several benchmark systems using individual and ensembles of target structures from diverse protein families with challenging decoy/ligand datasets. The results demonstrate that the novel method outperforms the best traditional consensus strategies over a wide range of systems. Moreover, because the novel method is based on the rank rather than the score, it is independent of the score units, scales and offsets, which can hinder the combination of results from different structures or programs. Our method is simple and robust, providing a theoretical basis not only for molecular docking but also for any consensus strategy in general.