• polarization;
  • linear interaction energy;
  • force field;
  • charge model;
  • avidin;
  • β-secretase

The reliability of the linear interaction energy (LIE) depends on the atomic charge model used to delineate the Coulomb interaction between the ligand and its environment. In this work, the polarized protein-specific charge (PPC) implementing a recently proposed fitting scheme has been examined in the LIE calculations of the binding affinities for avidin and β-secretase binding complexes. This charge fitting scheme, termed delta restrained electrostatic potential, bypasses the prevalent numerical difficulty of rank deficiency in electrostatic-potential-based charge fitting methods via a dual-step fitting strategy. A remarkable consistency between the predicted binding affinities and the experimental measurement has been observed. This work serves as a direct evidence of PPC's applicability in rational drug design. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.