3D-MoRSE descriptors explained

Oleg Devinyak, Dmytro Havrylyuk, Roman Lesyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


3D-MoRSE is a very flexible 3D structure encoding framework for chemoinformatics and QSAR purposes due to the range of scattering parameter values and variety of weighting schemes used. While arising in many QSAR studies, up to this time they were considered as hardly interpreted and were treated like a "black box". This study is intended to lift the veil of mystery, providing a comprehensible way to the interpretation of 3D-MoRSE descriptors in QSAR/QSPR studies. The values of these descriptors are calculated with rather simple equation, but may vary when using differing starting geometries as optimization input. This variation increases with scattering parameter and also is higher for electronegativity weighted and unweighted descriptors. Though each 3D-MoRSE descriptor incorporates the information about the whole molecule structure, its final value is derived mostly from short-distance (up to 3 Å) atomic pairs. And, if a QSAR study covers structurally similar set of compounds, then the role of 3D-MoRSE descriptor in a model can be interpreted using just several pairs of neighbor atoms. The guide to interpretation process is discussed and illustrated with a case study. Realizing the mathematical concept behind 3D-descriptors and knowing their properties it is easy not only to interpret, but also to predict the importance of 3D-MoRSE descriptors in a QSAR study. The process of prediction is described on the practical example and its accuracy is confirmed with further QSAR modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-203
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling
StatePublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • 3D-MoRSE descriptors
  • Descriptor interpretation
  • QSAR
  • Radial basis function
  • Structure encoding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Materials Chemistry


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