One chiral fingerprint to find them all

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


Background: Molecular fingerprints are indispensable tools in cheminformatics. However, stereochemistry is generally not considered, which is problematic for large molecules which are almost all chiral. Results: Herein we report MAP4C, a chiral version of our previously reported fingerprint MAP4, which lists MinHashes computed from character strings containing the SMILES of all pairs of circular substructures up to a diameter of four bonds and the shortest topological distance between their central atoms. MAP4C includes the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog (CIP) annotation (R, S, r or s) whenever the chiral atom is the center of a circular substructure, a question mark for undefined stereocenters, and double bond cis-trans information if specified. MAP4C performs as good as the achiral MAP4, ECFP and AP fingerprints in non-stereoselective virtual screening benchmarks. Furthermore, it readily distinguishes between thousands of stereoisomers in complex natural products and peptides. Conclusion: MAP4C is recommended as a generally applicable chiral molecular fingerprint.


molecular fingerprints
virtual screening
chemical space
atom pairs


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