Quantitative structure–activity relationships in a series of 37 substituted indoles with endocrine disruptor potential were performed using the structural indices FTe (electronic) and FTc (charge), in conjunction with a clustering technique, to relate substitution patterns to reported relative binding affinities for the calf estrogen receptor. Data clusters were generated by a primary numerically descending sort of the structure indices with a concurrent secondary numerically descending sort of the binding data. Reversal of the numerical descent of the latter served to delineate cluster boundaries. Analysis within the clusters defined the effect of substituents and their molecular positions on the pharmacological data. These results confirmed in detail a similar previous study in the same series using the more general FTm index and again suggested the same structure of a molecule with greater receptor binding ability than any in the database. The methodology used in these studies permits a rational presentation and subsequent interpretation of data that initially appear to be totally random and devoid of recoverable information content. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2003
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