Comparative Binding Energy (COMBINE) analysis is an approach for deriving a target-specific scoring function to compute binding free energy, drug-binding kinetics, or a related property by exploiting the information contained in the three-dimensional structures of receptor-ligand complexes. Here, we describe the process of setting up and running COMBINE analysis to derive a Quantitative Structure-Kinetics Relationship (QSKR) for the dissociation rate constants (koff) of inhibitors of a drug target. The derived QSKR model can be used to estimate residence times (τ, τ=1/koff) for similar inhibitors binding to the same target, and it can also help to identify key receptor-ligand interactions that distinguish inhibitors with short and long residence times. Herein, we demonstrate the protocol for the application of COMBINE analysis on a dataset of 70 inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) belonging to 11 different chemical classes. The procedure is generally applicable to any drug target with known structural information on its complexes with inhibitors.
This example uses the following methods: