DockoMatic: Automated Peptide Analog Creation for High Throughput Virtual Screening

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The purpose of this manuscript is threefold: (1) to describe an update to DockoMatic that allows the user to generate cyclic peptide analog structure files based on protein database (pdb) files, (2) to test the accuracy of the peptide analog structure generation utility, and (3) to evaluate the high throughput capacity of DockoMatic. The DockoMatic graphical user interface interfaces with the software program Treepack to create user defined peptide analogs. To validate this approach, DockoMatic produced cyclic peptide analogs were tested for three-dimensional structure consistency and binding affinity against four experimentally determined peptide structure files available in the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics database. The peptides used to evaluate this new functionality were alpha-conotoxins ImI, PnIA, and their published analogs. Peptide analogs were generated by DockoMatic and tested for their ability to bind to X-ray crystal structure models of the acetylcholine binding protein originating from Aplysia californica. The results, consisting of more than 300 simulations, demonstrate that DockoMatic predicts the binding energy of peptide structures to within 3.5 kcal mol−1, and the orientation of bound ligand compares to within 1.8 Å root mean square deviation for ligand structures as compared to experimental data. Evaluation of high throughput virtual screening capacity demonstrated that Dockomatic can collect, evaluate, and summarize the output of 10,000 AutoDock jobs in less than 2 hours of computational time, while 100,000 jobs requires approximately 15 hours and 1,000,000 jobs is estimated to take up to a week.