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Virtual screening is used in biomedical research to predict the binding affinity of a large set of small organic molecules to protein receptor targets. This report shows the development and evaluation of a novel yet straightforward attempt to improve this ranking in receptor-based molecular docking using a receptor-decoy strategy. This strategy includes defining a decoy binding site on the receptor and adjusting the ranking of the true binding-site virtual screen based on the decoy-site screen. The results show that by docking against a receptor-decoy site with Autodock Vina, improved Receiver Operator Characteristic Enrichment (ROCE) was achieved for 5 out of fifteen receptor targets investigated, when up to 15 % of a decoy site rank list was considered. No improved enrichment was seen for 7 targets, while for 3 targets the ROCE was reduced. The extent to which this strategy can effectively improve ligand prediction is dependent on the target receptor investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Negative Results in BioMedicine
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2016


  • virtual screening
  • docking
  • receptor-decoy
  • enrichment
  • adjusted ranking
  • Autodock Vina


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