New software helps understanding of protein-protein docking

Accelrys, Inc. have announced an exclusive agreement with Boston University under which Accelrys will distribute two new software methods for studying protein-protein docking, ZDOCK and RDOCK. These algorithms enable more efficient life science research by helping scientists to understand the action of therapeutically interesting proteins by predicting the manner in which two proteins interact at the atomic level.

Most, if not all, proteins have interacting partners in a cell. Characterization of these interactions is critical to an exact understanding of biological process and can be used to design new therapeutic agents, such as drugs, biomarkers, or diagnostics, to treat a wide variety of diseases. As the structures of many protein-protein complexes have not been experimentally determined, computational methods such as ZDOCK and RDOCK provide fast alternatives to establish the important geometric relationships.

ZDOCK and RDOCK were developed in the laboratory of Professor Zhiping Weng, an Associate Professor at Boston University. "These programs have already been used to successfully predict protein-protein interactions in a number of blind tests," said Professor Weng. "This collaboration with Accelrys will bring these tools to the desktop of more researchers and increase scientific developments based on protein-protein docking."

"As our awareness of the complexities of the human body increases, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are finding that they need to account for the multitude of interactions that a protein makes in the cell in selecting new protein targets or designing drugs", said Dr. Scott Kahn, chief science officer at Accelrys. "By providing the ability to predict what interactions a protein makes with other proteins, scientists can now prioritize in silico which of these interactions to study further experimentally, thus saving significant time to market and cost of development."


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