Molecular interaction fingerprint approaches for GPCR drug discovery

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2016 Oct:30:59-68. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2016.07.007. Epub 2016 Jul 29.


Protein-ligand interaction fingerprints (IFPs) are binary 1D representations of the 3D structure of protein-ligand complexes encoding the presence or absence of specific interactions between the binding pocket amino acids and the ligand. Various implementations of IFPs have been developed and successfully applied for post-processing molecular docking results for G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) ligand binding mode prediction and virtual ligand screening. Novel interaction fingerprint methods enable structural chemogenomics and polypharmacology predictions by complementing the increasing amount of GPCR structural data. Machine learning methods are increasingly used to derive relationships between bioactivity data and fingerprint descriptors of chemical and structural information of binding sites, ligands, and protein-ligand interactions. Factors that influence the application of IFPs include structure preparation, binding site definition, fingerprint similarity assessment, and data processing and these factors pose challenges as well possibilities to optimize interaction fingerprint methods for GPCR drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Machine Learning
  • Molecular Docking Simulation*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Ligands
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled