The SAMPL6 SAMPLing challenge: Assessing the reliability and efficiency of binding free energy calculations

Andrea Rizzi, Travis Jensen, David R. Slochower, Matteo Aldeghi, Vytautas Gapsys, Dimitris Ntekoumes, Stefano Bosisio, Michail Papadourakis, Niel M. Henriksen, Bert L. de Groot, Zoe Cournia, Alex Dickson, Julien Michel, Michael K. Gilson, Michael R. Shirts, David L. Mobley, and John D. Chodera
Preprint ahead of publication. [bioRxiv] [GitHub]

To assess the relative efficiencies of alchemical binding free energy calculations, the SAMPL6 SAMPLing challenge asked participants to submit predictions as a function of computer effort for the same force field and charge model. Surprisingly, we found that most molecular simulation codes cannot agree on the binding free energy was, even for the same force field.

Overview of the SAMPL6 host-guest binding affinity prediction challenge

Andrea RizziSteven MurkliJohn N. McNeillWei YaoMatthew SullivanMichael K. Gilson, Michael W. Chiu, Lyle IsaacsBruce C. GibbDavid L. Mobley*, John D. Chodera*
* denotes co-corresponding authors
Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design special issue on SAMPL6, 32:937, 2018. [DOI] [bioRxiv] [GitHub]

We present an overview of the host-guest systems and participant performance for the SAMPL6 host-guest blind affinity prediction challenges, assessing how well various physical modeling approaches were able to predict ligand binding affinities for simple ligand recognition problems where receptor sampling and protonation state effects are eliminated due to the simplicity of supramolecular hosts. We find that progress is now stagnated likely due to force field limitations.