Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

Using support vector classification for SAR of fentanyl derivatives

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To discriminate between fentanyl derivatives with high and low activities.


The support vector classification (SVC) method, a novel approach, was employed to investigate structure-activity relationship (SAR) of fentanyl derivatives based on the molecular descriptors, which were quantum parameters including ΔE [energy difference between highest occupied molecular orbital energy (HOMO) and lowest empty molecular orbital energy (LUMO)], MR (molecular refractivity) and Mr (molecular weight).


By using leave-one-out cross-validation test, the accuracies of prediction for activities of fentanyl derivatives in SVC, principal component analysis (PCA), artificial neural network (ANN) and K-nearest neighbor (KNN) models were 93%, 86%, 57%, and 71%, respectively. The results indicated that the performance of the SVC model was better than those of PCA, ANN, and KNN models for this data.


SVC can be used to investigate SAR of fentanyl derivatives and could be a promising tool in the field of SAR research.


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Author information

Correspondence to Wen-cong Lu.

Additional information

Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 20373040).

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About this article


  • structure-activity relationship
  • support vector machine
  • fentanyl derivatives
  • support vector classification

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