Astex PLI

PLI is a program developed at Astex Pharmaceuticals for scoring protein-ligand interactions. Interacting atoms are defined using a modified Voronoi partitioning and interaction propensities (including geometric preferences) have been derived from over 30,000 PDB entries.


  • Score protein-ligand interactions (for example docking/VS poses)
  • Fragment mapping (PLImap) as described here
  • Generate Interaction Maps for Donor/Acceptor/Lipophile etc.
  • Rich atom-typing


System Requirements

PLI is written in C and has been developed and tested on 64-bit Linux (CentOS) using the gcc compiler. It has no major external dependencies.

Obtaining the Code


  • A zip of the current repository and tagged releases (as they become available) can be found at bitbucket.

Via Git

  • You can fork the repository on bitbucket (you will need an account) or clone the repository from the command line
git clone https://bitbucket.org/AstexUK/pli.git


Once you have obtained the code (either by extracting a snapshot or cloning the repository:

  • cd to the directory <dir>
  • Type make in <dir>. This should compile the code and create a binary <dir>/bin/pli.
  • Set the environment variable PLI_DIR to <dir>, e.g. for bash:
export PLI_DIR
  • Try running one of the examples in the examples directory, e.g:
cd $PLI_DIR/examples
$PLI_DIR/bin/pli -settings $PLI_DIR/examples/1a9u_contacts.pli


To see a list of modes and command-line options run

$PLI_DIR/bin/pli -help

Get In Touch

If you have questions about PLI or have found it useful, let us know, on bitbucket or by email: "pli-at-astx-dot-com"


Apache 2.0 License, see licence.txt for details.


  • Brendan McConkey - for the capped and weighted Voronoi partitioning code (see the original publication)
  • John Burkardt - whose SPHERE_LEBEDEV_RULE program was used to calculate lebedev points.
  • The PDB - and the thousands of authors who have deposited X-ray structures of protein-ligand complexes.