Dimorphite-DL: an open-source program for enumerating the ionization states of drug-like small molecules

J Cheminform. 2019 Feb 14;11(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13321-019-0336-9.


Small-molecule protonation can promote or discourage protein binding by altering hydrogen-bond, electrostatic, and van-der-Waals interactions. To improve virtual-screen pose and affinity predictions, researchers must account for all major small-molecule ionization states. But existing programs for calculating these states have notable limitations such as high cost, restrictive licenses, slow execution times, and poor modularity. Here, we present dimorphite-DL 1.0, a fast, accurate, accessible, and modular open-source program for enumerating small-molecule ionization states. Dimorphite-DL uses a straightforward empirical algorithm that leverages substructure searching and draws on a database of experimentally characterized ionizable molecules. We have tested dimorphite-DL using several versions of Python and RDKit on all major operating systems. We release it under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0. A copy is available free of charge from http://durrantlab.com/dimorphite-dl/ .

Keywords: Drug discovery; Ionization; Modeling; Protonation; Virtual screening; pH.