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Ambit-Tautomer: An Open Source Tool for Tautomer Generation

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Abstract

We present a new open source tool for automatic generation of all tautomeric forms of a given organic compound. Ambit-Tautomer is a part of the open source software package Ambit2. It implements three tautomer generation algorithms: combinatorial method, improved combinatorial method and incremental depth-first search algorithm. All algorithms utilize a set of fully customizable rules for tautomeric transformations. The predefined knowledge base covers 1–3, 1–5 and 1–7 proton tautomeric shifts. Some typical supported tautomerism rules are keto-enol, imin-amin, nitroso-oxime, azo-hydrazone, thioketo-thioenol, thionitroso-thiooxime, amidine-imidine, diazoamino-diazoamino, thioamide-iminothiol and nitrosamine-diazohydroxide. Ambit-Tautomer uses a simple energy based system for tautomer ranking implemented by a set of empirically derived rules. A fine-grained output control is achieved by a set of post-generation filters. We performed an exhaustive comparison of the Ambit-Tautomer Incremental algorithm against several other software packages which offer tautomer generation: ChemAxon Marvin, Molecular Networks MN.TAUTOMER, ACDLabs, CACTVS and the CDK implementation of the algorithm, based on the mobile H atoms listed in the InChI. According to the presented test results, Ambit-Tautomer’s performance is either comparable to or better than the competing algorithms. Ambit-Tautomer module is available for download as a Java library, a command line application, a demo web page or OpenTox API compatible Web service.

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