Molecular docking and high-throughput screening for novel inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B

J Med Chem. 2002 May 23;45(11):2213-21. doi: 10.1021/jm010548w.


High-throughput screening (HTS) of compound libraries is used to discover novel leads for drug development. When a structure is available for the target, computer-based screening using molecular docking may also be considered. The two techniques have rarely been used together on the same target. The opportunity to do so presented itself in a project to discover novel inhibitors for the enzyme protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B (PTP1B), a tyrosine phosphatase that has been implicated as a key target for type II diabetes. A corporate library of approximately 400 000 compounds was screened using high-throughput experimental techniques for compounds that inhibited PTP1B. Concurrently, molecular docking was used to screen approximately 235 000 commercially available compounds against the X-ray crystallographic structure of PTP1B, and 365 high-scoring molecules were tested as inhibitors of the enzyme. Of approximately 400 000 molecules tested in the high-throughput experimental assay, 85 (0.021%) inhibited the enzyme with IC50 values less than 100 microM; the most active had an IC50 value of 4.2 microM. Of the 365 molecules suggested by molecular docking, 127 (34.8%) inhibited PTP1B with IC50 values less than 100 microM; the most active of these had an IC50 of 1.7 microM. Structure-based docking therefore enriched the hit rate by 1700-fold over random screening. The hits from both the high-throughput and docking screens were dissimilar from phosphotyrosine, the canonical substrate group for PTP1B; the two hit lists were also very different from each other. Surprisingly, the docking hits were judged to be more druglike than the HTS hits. The diversity of both hit lists and their dissimilarity from each other suggest that docking and HTS may be complementary techniques for lead discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Benzene Derivatives / chemistry*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Databases, Factual
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 1
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / chemistry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Benzene Derivatives
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Ligands
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 1
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases