Pocketome: an encyclopedia of small-molecule binding sites in 4D

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jan;40(Database issue):D535-40. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr825. Epub 2011 Nov 12.


The importance of binding site plasticity in protein-ligand interactions is well-recognized, and so are the difficulties in predicting the nature and the degree of this plasticity by computational means. To assist in understanding the flexible protein-ligand interactions, we constructed the Pocketome, an encyclopedia of about one thousand experimentally solved conformational ensembles of druggable binding sites in proteins, grouped by location and consistent chain/cofactor composition. The multiplicity of pockets within the ensembles adds an extra, fourth dimension to the Pocketome entry data. Within each ensemble, the pockets were carefully classified by the degree of their pairwise similarity and compatibility with different ligands. The core of the Pocketome is derived regularly and automatically from the current releases of the Protein Data Bank and the Uniprot Knowledgebase; this core is complemented by entries built from manually provided seed ligand locations. The Pocketome website (www.pocketome.org) allows searching for the sites of interest, analysis of conformational clusters, important residues, binding compatibility matrices and interactive visualization of the ensembles using the ActiveICM web browser plugin. The Pocketome collection can be used to build multi-conformational docking and 3D activity models as well as to design cross-docking and virtual ligand screening benchmarks.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Encyclopedias as Topic*
  • Ligands*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary*


  • Ligands