Impact Factor 3.782 | CiteScore 3.51
More on impact ›

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00709

Fast Screening of Inhibitor Binding/Unbinding using Novel Software Tool CaverDock

  • 1Masaryk University, Czechia
  • 2Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Czechia

Protein tunnels and channels are attractive targets for drug design. Drug molecules that block the access of substrates or release of products can be efficient modulators of biological activity. Here, we demonstrate the applicability of a newly developed software tool CaverDock for screening databases of drugs against pharmacologically relevant targets. First, we evaluated the effect of rigid and flexible side chains on datasets of substrates and inhibitors of seven different proteins. In order to assess the accuracy of our software, we compared the results obtained from CaverDock calculation with experimental data previously collected with heat shock protein 90α. Finally, we tested the virtual screening capabilities of CaverDock with a set of oncological and anti-inflammatory FDA-approved drugs with two molecular targets - cytochrome P450 17A1 and leukotriene A4 hydrolase/aminopeptidase. Calculation of rigid trajectories using four processors took on average 53 min per molecule with 90% successfully calculated cases. The screening identified functional tunnels based on the profile of potential energies of binding and unbinding trajectories. We concluded that CaverDock is a sufficiently fast, robust and accurate tool for screening binding/unbinding processes of pharmacologically important targets with buried functional sites. The standalone version of CaverDock is available freely at and the web version at

Keywords: binding, Docking, channel, Unbinding, Virtual Screening, inhibitors, Substrates, tunnel

Received: 16 Jun 2019; Accepted: 09 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Pinto, Vavra, Filipovic, Stourac, Bednar and Damborsky. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Jiri Damborsky, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czechia,