A Generally Applicable Computer Algorithm Based on the Group Additivity Method for the Calculation of Seven Molecular Descriptors: Heat of Combustion, LogPO/W, LogS, Refractivity, Polarizability, Toxicity and LogBB of Organic Compounds; Scope and Limits of Applicability

Molecules. 2015 Oct 7;20(10):18279-351. doi: 10.3390/molecules201018279.


A generally applicable computer algorithm for the calculation of the seven molecular descriptors heat of combustion, logPoctanol/water, logS (water solubility), molar refractivity, molecular polarizability, aqueous toxicity (protozoan growth inhibition) and logBB (log (cblood/cbrain)) is presented. The method, an extendable form of the group-additivity method, is based on the complete break-down of the molecules into their constituting atoms and their immediate neighbourhood. The contribution of the resulting atom groups to the descriptor values is calculated using the Gauss-Seidel fitting method, based on experimental data gathered from literature. The plausibility of the method was tested for each descriptor by means of a k-fold cross-validation procedure demonstrating good to excellent predictive power for the former six descriptors and low reliability of logBB predictions. The goodness of fit (Q²) and the standard deviation of the 10-fold cross-validation calculation was >0.9999 and 25.2 kJ/mol, respectively, (based on N = 1965 test compounds) for the heat of combustion, 0.9451 and 0.51 (N = 2640) for logP, 0.8838 and 0.74 (N = 1419) for logS, 0.9987 and 0.74 (N = 4045) for the molar refractivity, 0.9897 and 0.77 (N = 308) for the molecular polarizability, 0.8404 and 0.42 (N = 810) for the toxicity and 0.4709 and 0.53 (N = 383) for logBB. The latter descriptor revealing a very low Q² for the test molecules (R² was 0.7068 and standard deviation 0.38 for N = 413 training molecules) is included as an example to show the limits of the group-additivity method. An eighth molecular descriptor, the heat of formation, was indirectly calculated from the heat of combustion data and correlated with published experimental heat of formation data with a correlation coefficient R² of 0.9974 (N = 2031).

Keywords: heat of combustion, heat of formation, LogP, LogS, molar refractivity, molecular polarizability, toxicity, LogBB, group-additivity method.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / chemistry
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Models, Chemical
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry*
  • Organic Chemicals / pharmacology*
  • Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Solubility
  • Tetrahymena pyriformis / drug effects*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Organic Chemicals