2021 DOCK tutorial 1 with PDBID 1HW9

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Revision as of 18:01, 27 February 2021 by Stonybrook (talk | contribs) (Downloading and Opening 1HW9)
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DOCK 6 is one of the many tools available to computational biologists that predicts ligand binding geometries and interactions. The functions of DOCK 6 are diverse and have several general applications. A primary use of the program involves a virtual screening of thousands of molecules for an intended purpose. These purposes can include database screenings for molecules that inhibit enzyme activity, bind a particular protein, or even bind to larger complexes. As more versions of the program are released, new features are added such as the inclusion of solvation and receptor flexibility considerations in its calculations.


IHW9 is the PDB code for the catalytic complex between human HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) and Simvastatin. HMGR is considered a rate-controlling enzyme in the metabolic pathway responsible for the biosynthesis of cholesterol. Inhibitors of HMGR, known as statins, are often prescribed as treatment therapies for high cholesterol patients. While statins inhibit the catalytic effect of HMGR, they also provide other positive biochemical effects such as the stimulation of bone growth and anti-inflammatory responses. Studying statin binding using this complex can potentially aid in the discovery of drugs capable of producing these off-target effects.

Directory Preparation

Before even beginning the DOCK prep, it's much easier to create the directories we'll be using throughout the calculation now rather than later. To begin, make a directory using the PDB code provided on the website. This makes organizing the files cleaner and easier to follow.

  mkdir 1HW9

Once the directory is made, enter it as we will be creating several more directories within this directory.

  cd 1HW9

Inside the 1HW9 directory, you should make several additional directories with the following titles. You do not have to follow the same nomenclature provided here as these are simply examples. However, the names you ultimately choose should be indicative of the information you will be keeping in them. This makes finding files much easier later on in the DOCK process.

  001_structure  002_surface_spheres  003_gridbox  004_dock  005_virtual_screen  006_virtual_screen_mpi  007_cartesianmin  008_rescore

You can confirm the presence of these directories within 1HW9 by using the "ls" command.

Receptor Preparation

Downloading and Opening 1HW9

The first file we need to get started is the 1HW9 PDB file from the website. If you head over to the Protein Data Base website, you'll notice a search bar located at the top of the page. Simply type in "1HW9" into that search bar and it will take you to the corresponding page. You can also search using the name of the complex, but since we already have the corresponding code, this makes things much easier.

Once on the webpage, you'll notice a breadth of information regarding the protein complex. Take note of the information you see and where you can access this information such as relevant literature links and images. At the right of your screen, you'll see a "Download Files" tab which you should click on.

  Download Files -> PDB format -> (Your_Specified_Folder)

Since you are now the proud owner of the 1HW9 PDB file, you can begin opening it up in Chimera. Once Chimera is open, go to the top left and click:

  File -> Open -> (Path_to_Specified Folder) -> 1HW9.pdb


Once open, the program should show you something that looks like the above image. This is known as a ribbon diagram and visualizes several properties of HMGR-Sim complex. Using the ribbon diagram and Chimera, we can ascertain several defining characteristics such as specific residues, rotatable bonds, and protein chains. The image at the moment looks like a lot, but you would never run a calculation with all this information at once. We need to isolate several components first to make the image easier to follow and calculations easier to perform.