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AutoDock is a molecular modeling simulation software. It is especially effective for Protein-ligand docking. AutoDock 4 is available under the GNU General Public License. AutoDock Vina is available under the Apache license.


AutoDock is one of the most cited docking software in the research community. It is a base for the FightAIDS@Home project run by World Community Grid. In February 2007, a search of the ISI Citation Index showed more than 1100 publications have been cited using the primary AutoDock method papers. As of 2009, this number surpassed 1200.

AutoDock is currently maintained by The Scripps Research Institute and Olson Laboratory.


AutoDock consists of two main programs:

  • AutoDock for docking of the ligand to a set of grids describing the target protein;
  • AutoGrid for pre-calculating these grids.

AutoDock has an improved version, AutoDock Vina which has an improved local search routine and allows the use of multicore/multi-CPU computer setups.

Usage of AutoDock has contributed to the discovery of several drugs, including HIV1 integrase inhibitors.

Third party improvements[edit]

As an open source project, AutoDock has gained several third party improved versions such as:

64 bit native compilation[edit]

Compiling application in native 64 bit mode enables faster floating point operation of the software. Please refer to:

FPGA acceleration[edit]

Using general programmable chips as coprocessor, speedups were within range 10x-100x the speed of standard Intel Dual Core 2Ghz CPU.


VSLAB is a VMD plug-in that allows the use of autodock directly from VMD. This program is very easy to use and allows almost anyone to dock a ligand into a protein. More details can be found at


AutoDock's role in developing the first clinically approved HIV integrase inhibitor

  • Schames, J.R., R.H. Henchman, J.S. Siegel, C.A. Sotriffer, H. Ni, and J.A. McCammon, Discovery of a novel binding trench in HIV integrase. J Med Chem, 2004. 47(8): 1879-81.
  • Molecules in Motion: Computer Simulations Lead to a Better Understanding of Protein Structures

Critical assessment of the automated AutoDock as a new docking tool for virtual screening.

External links[edit]