Molecular recognition is a process that brings together several biological macromolecules to form a complex and one of the most important characteristics of the process is the binding free energy. Various approaches exist to model the binding free energy, provided the knowledge of the 3D structures of bound and unbound molecules. Among them, continuum approaches are quite appealing due to their computational efficiency while at the same time providing predictions with reasonable accuracy. Here we review recent developments in the field emphasizing on the importance of adopting adequate description of physical processes taking place upon the binding. In particular, we focus on the efforts aiming at capturing some of the atomistic details of the binding phenomena into the continuum framework. When possible, the energy components are reviewed independently of each other. However, it is pointed out that rigorous approaches should consider all energy contributions on the same footage. The two major schemes for utilizing the individual energy components to predict binding affinity are outlined as well.
Li, L., Wang, L., & Alexov, E. (2015). On the energy components governing molecular recognition in the framework of continuum approaches. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2015.00005