Benchmark of Generic Shapes for Macrocycles

Atilio Reyes Romero, Angel Jonathan Ruiz-Moreno, Matthew R Groves, Marco Velasco-Velázquez, Alexander Dömling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
289 Downloads (Pure)


Macrocycles target proteins that are otherwise considered undruggable because of a lack of hydrophobic cavities and the presence of extended featureless surfaces. Increasing efforts by computational chemists have developed effective software to overcome the restrictions of torsional and conformational freedom that arise as a consequence of macrocyclization. Moloc is an efficient algorithm, with an emphasis on high interactivity, and has been constantly updated since 1986 by drug designers and crystallographers of the Roche biostructural community. In this work, we have benchmarked the shape-guided algorithm using a dataset of 208 macrocycles, carefully selected on the basis of structural complexity. We have quantified the accuracy, diversity, speed, exhaustiveness, and sampling efficiency in an automated fashion and we compared them with four commercial (Prime, MacroModel, molecular operating environment, and molecular dynamics) and four open-access (experimental-torsion distance geometry with additional "basic knowledge" alone and with Merck molecular force field minimization or universal force field minimization, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre conformer generator, and conformator) packages. With three-quarters of the database processed below the threshold of high ring accuracy, Moloc was identified as having the highest sampling efficiency and exhaustiveness without producing thousands of conformations, random ring splitting into two half-loops, and possibility to interactively produce globular or flat conformations with diversity similar to Prime, MacroModel, and molecular dynamics. The algorithm and the Python scripts for full automatization of these parameters are freely available for academic use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6298-6313
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of chemical information and modeling
Issue number12
Early online date3-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - 28-Dec-2020


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