Using AutoDock for ligand-receptor docking

Curr Protoc Bioinformatics. 2008 Dec;Chapter 8:Unit 8.14. doi: 10.1002/0471250953.bi0814s24.


This unit describes how to set up and analyze ligand-protein docking calculations using AutoDock and the graphical user interface, AutoDockTools (ADT). The AutoDock scoring function is a subset of the AMBER force field that treats molecules using the United Atom model. The unit uses an X-ray crystal structure of Indinavir bound to HIV-1 protease taken from the Protein Data Bank (UNIT 1.9) and shows how to prepare the ligand and receptor for AutoGrid, which computes grid maps needed by AutoDock. Indinavir is prepared for AutoDock, adding the polar hydrogens, and partial charges, and defining the rotatable bonds that will be explored during the docking. The input files for AutoGrid and AutoDock are created, and then the grid map calculation run, followed by the docking calculation in AutoDock. Finally, this unit describes some of the ways the results can be analyzed using AutoDockTools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Drug Design*
  • HIV Protease / chemistry
  • HIV Protease / metabolism
  • Indinavir / chemistry
  • Indinavir / metabolism
  • Internet
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Software
  • Thermodynamics
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Ligands
  • Proteins
  • Indinavir
  • HIV Protease
  • p16 protease, Human immunodeficiency virus 1