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QDπ: A Quantum Deep Potential Interaction Model for Drug Discovery

QDπ: A Quantum Deep Potential Interaction Model for Drug Discovery

Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation vol. 19  p. 1261–1275  DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.2c01172  Published: 2023-01-25 

Jinzhe Zeng
Yujun Tao
Timothy J. Giese
Darrin M. York


We report QDπ-v1.0 for modeling the internal energy of drug molecules containing H, C, N, and O atoms. The QDπ model is in the form of a quantum mechanical/machine learning potential correction (QM/Δ-MLP) that uses a fast third-order self-consistent density-functional tight-binding (DFTB3/3OB) model that is corrected to a quantitatively high-level of accuracy through a deep-learning potential (DeepPot-SE). The model has the advantage that it is able to properly treat electrostatic interactions and handle changes in charge/protonation states. The model is trained against reference data computed at the ωB97X/6-31G* level (as in the ANI-1x data set) and compared to several other approximate semiempirical and machine learning potentials (ANI-1x, ANI-2x, DFTB3, MNDO/d, AM1, PM6, GFN1-xTB, and GFN2-xTB). The QDπ model is demonstrated to be accurate for a wide range of intra- and intermolecular interactions (despite its intended use as an internal energy model) and has shown to perform exceptionally well for relative protonation/deprotonation energies and tautomers. An example application to model reactions involved in RNA strand cleavage catalyzed by protein and nucleic acid enzymes illustrates QDπ has average errors less than 0.5 kcal/mol, whereas the other models compared have errors over an order of magnitude greater. Taken together, this makes QDπ highly attractive as a potential force field model for drug discovery.