Background. Ligand-based virtual screening experiments are an important task in the early drug discovery stage. An ambitious aim in each experiment is to disclose active structures based on new scaffolds. To perform these "scaffold-hoppings" for individual problems and targets, a plethora of different similarity methods based on diverse techniques were published in the last years. The optimal assignment approach on molecular graphs, a successful method in the field of quantitative structure-activity relationships, has not been tested as a ligand-based virtual screening method so far. Results. We evaluated two already published and two new optimal assignment methods on various data sets. To emphasize the "scaffold-hopping" ability, we used the information of chemotype clustering analyses in our evaluation metrics. Comparisons with literature results show an improved early recognition performance and comparable results over the complete data set. A new method based on two different assignment steps shows an increased "scaffold-hopping" behavior together with a good early recognition performance. Conclusion. The presented methods show a good combination of chemotype discovery and enrichment of active structures. Additionally, the optimal assignment on molecular graphs has the advantage to investigate and interpret the mappings, allowing precise modifications of internal parameters of the similarity measure for specific targets. All methods have low computation times which make them applicable to screen large data sets. © 2009 Jahn et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Jahn, A., Hinselmann, G., Fechner, N., & Zell, A. (2009). Optimal assignment methods for ligand-based virtual screening. Journal of Cheminformatics, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1758-2946-1-14