Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling | VOL. 62

KiSSim: Predicting Off-Targets from Structural Similarities in the Kinome

Publication Date May 10, 2022


Protein kinases are among the most important drug targets because their dysregulation can cause cancer, inflammatory and degenerative diseases, and many more. Developing selective inhibitors is challenging due to the highly conserved binding sites across the roughly 500 human kinases. Thus, detecting subtle similarities on a structural level can help explain and predict off-targets among the kinase family. Here, we present the kinase-focused, subpocket-enhanced KiSSim fingerprint (Kinase Structural Similarity). The fingerprint builds on the KLIFS pocket definition, composed of 85 residues aligned across all available protein kinase structures, which enables residue-by-residue comparison without a computationally expensive alignment. The residues' physicochemical and spatial properties are encoded within their structural context including key subpockets at the hinge region, the DFG motif, and the front pocket. Since structure was found to contain information complementary to sequence, we used the fingerprint to calculate all-against-all similarities within the structurally covered kinome. We could identify off-targets that are unexpected if solely considering the sequence-based kinome tree grouping; for example, Erlobinib's known kinase off-targets SLK and LOK show high similarities to the key target EGFR (TK group), although belonging to the STE group. KiSSim reflects profiling data better or at least as well as other approaches such as KLIFS pocket sequence identity, KLIFS interaction fingerprints (IFPs), or SiteAlign. To r...

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Open-source Python Package
TK Group
Front Pocket
DFG Motif
Interaction Fingerprints
Important Drug Targets
Feature Resolution
Hinge Region
Spatial Properties
Kinase Family

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