Synergistic Application of Molecular Docking and Machine Learning for Improved Protein-Ligand Binding Pose Prediction

11 September 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Accurate prediction of protein-ligand complex structures is a crucial step in structure-based drug design. Traditional molecular docking methods exhibit limitations in terms of accuracy and sampling space, while relying on machine-learning approaches may lead to invalid conformations. In this study, we propose a novel strategy that combines molecular docking and machine learning methods. Firstly, the protein-ligand binding poses are predicted using the Uni-Mol Docking machine learning approach. Subsequently, position-restricted docking(PR Docking) on predicted binding poses is performed using Uni-Dock, generating physically constrained and valid binding poses. Finally, the binding poses are re-scored and ranked using machine learning scoring functions. This strategy harnesses the predictive power of machine learning and the physical constraints advantage of molecular docking. Evaluation experiments on multiple datasets demonstrate that, compared to using molecular docking or machine learning methods alone, our proposed strategy can significantly improve the success rate and accuracy of protein-ligand complex structure predictions. This strategy is avaliable at


Molecular Docking
Machine Learning
Binding Pose

Supplementary weblinks


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