In recent years the trend in combinatorial library design has shifted to include target class focusing along with diversity and drug-likeness criteria. In this manuscript we review the computational tools available for target class library design and highlight the areas where they have proven useful in our work. The protein kinase family is used to illustrated structure-based target class focused library design, and the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family is used to illustrate ligand-based target class focused library design. Most of the tools discussed are those designed for libraries targeted to a single protein and are simply applied “bruteforce” to a large number of targets within the family. The tools that have proven to be the most useful in our work are those that can extract trends from the computational data such as docking and clustering or data mining large amounts of structure activity or high throughput screening data. Finally, areas where improvements are needed in the computational tools available for target class focusing are highlighted. These areas include tools to extract the relevant patterns from all available information for a family of targets, tools to efficiently apply models for all targets in the family rather than just a small subset, mining tools to extract the relevant information from the computational absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) and targeting data, and tools to allow interactive exploration of the virtual space around a library to facilitate the selection of the library that best suits the needs of the design team.
Keywords: combinatorial library design, interaction pattern, kinase, g-protein coupled receptor, multi-objective optimization
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