Simplified molecular input line entry specification
Infobox file format
name = smiles
extension = .smi
chemical file format
container for =
contained by =
extended from =
extended to =
The simplified molecular input line entry specification or SMILES is a specification for unambiguously describing the structure of chemical
molecules using short ASCIIstrings. SMILES strings can be imported by most molecule editors for conversion back into two-dimensionaldrawings or three-dimensional models of the molecules.
The original SMILES specification was developed by
Arthur Weiningerand David Weiningerin the late 1980s. It has since been modified and extended by others, most notably by Daylight Chemical Information Systems Inc.In 2007, an open standardcalled [http://www.opensmiles.org "OpenSMILES"] was developed by the [http://www.blueobelisk.org Blue Obelisk] open-source chemistry community. Other 'linear' notations include the Wiswesser Line Notation(WLN), ROSDALand SLN (Tripos Inc).
In August 2006, the IUPAC introduced the InChI as a standard for formula representation. SMILES is generally considered to have the advantage of being slightly more human-readable than InChI; it also has a wide base of software support with extensive theoretical (e.g.,
graph theory) backing.
The term SMILES refers to a line notation for encoding molecular structures and specific instances should strictly be called SMILES strings. However the term SMILES is also commonly used to refer to both a single SMILES string and a number of SMILES strings and the exact meaning is usually apparent from the context. The terms Canonical and Isomeric can lead to some confusion when applied to SMILES. The terms describe different attributes of SMILES strings and are not mutually exclusive.
Typically, a number of equally valid SMILES can be written for a molecule. For example, CCO, OCC and C(O)C all specify the structure of
ethanol. Algorithms have been developed to ensure the same SMILES is generated for a molecule regardless of the order of atoms in the structure. This SMILES is unique for each structure, although dependent on the canonicalisation algorithm used to generate it, and is termed the Canonical SMILES. These algorithms first convert the SMILES to an internal representation of the molecular structure and do not simply manipulate strings as is sometimes thought. Algorithms for generating Canonical SMILES have been developed at [http://www.daylight.com Daylight Chemical Information Systems] , [http://www.eyesopen.com OpenEye Scientific Software] and [http://www.chemcomp.com Chemical Computing Group] . A common application of Canonical SMILES is for indexing and ensuring uniqueness of molecules in a database.
SMILES notation allows the specification of configuration at tetrahedral centers, and double bond geometry. These are structural features that cannot be specified by connectivity alone and SMILES which encode this information are termed Isomeric SMILES. A notable feature of these rules is that they allow rigorous partial specification of chirality. The term Isomeric SMILES is also applied to SMILES in which
isotopes are specified.
In terms of a graph-based computational procedure, SMILES is a string obtained by printing the symbol nodes encountered in a depth-first
tree traversalof a chemical graph. The chemical graph is first trimmed to remove hydrogen atoms and cycles are broken to turn it into a spanning tree. Where cycles have been broken, numeric suffix labels are included to indicate the connected nodes. Parentheses are used to indicate points of branching on the tree.
Atoms are represented by the standard abbreviation of the chemical elements, in square brackets, such as [Au] for gold. The hydroxide anionis [OH-] . Brackets can be omitted for the "organic subset" of B, C, N, O, P, S, F, Cl, Br, and I. All other elements must be enclosed in brackets. If the brackets are omitted, the proper number of implicit hydrogen atoms is assumed; for instance the SMILES for wateris simply O.
Bonds between aliphatic atoms are assumed to be single unless specified otherwise and are implied by adjacency in the SMILES. For example the SMILES for
ethanolcan be written as CCO. Ring closure labels are used to indicate connectivity between non-adjacent atoms in the SMILES, which for cyclohexaneand dioxanecan be written as C1CCCCC1 and O1CCOCC1 respectively. Double and triple bonds are represented by the symbols '=' and '#' respectively as illustrated by the SMILES O=C=O ( carbon dioxide) and C#N ( hydrogen cyanide).
Aromatic C, O, S and N atoms are shown in their lower case 'c', 'o', 's' and 'n' respectively.
Benzene, pyridineand furancan be represented respectively by the SMILES c1ccccc1, n1ccccc1 and o1cccc1. Bonds between aromatic atoms are, by default, aromatic although these can be specified explicitly using the ':' symbol. Aromatic atoms can be singly bonded to each other and biphenylcan be represented by c1ccccc1-c2ccccc2. Aromatic nitrogen bonded to hydrogen, as found in pyrrolemust be represented as [nH] and imidazoleis written in SMILES notation as n1c [nH] cc1.
The [http://www.daylight.com Daylight] and [http://www.eyesopen.com OpenEye] algorithms for generating canonical SMILES differ in their treatment of aromaticity.
Branches are described with parentheses, as in CCC(=O)O for
propionic acidand C(F)(F)F for fluoroform. Substituted rings can be written with the branching point in the ring as illustrated by the SMILES COc(c1)cccc1C#N ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?434f6328633129636363633143234e see depiction] ) and COc(cc1)ccc1C#N ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?434f6328636331296363633143234e see depiction] ) which encode the 3 and 4-cyanoanisole isomers. Writing SMILES for substituted rings in this way can make them more human-readable.
Configuration around double bonds is specified using the characters "/" and "". For example, F/C=C/F ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?462f433d432f46 see depiction] ) is one representation of "
trans"- difluoroethene, in which the fluorine atoms are on opposite sides of the double bond, whereas F/C=CF ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?462f433d435c46 see depiction] ) is one possible representation of " cis"-difluoroethene, in which the Fs are on the same side of the double bond, as shown in the figure.
Configuration at tetrahedral carbon is specified by @ or @@. L-Alanine, the more common
enantiomerof the amino acid alaninecan be written as N [C@@H] (C)C(=O)O ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?4e5b434040485d28432943283d4f294f see depiction] ). The @@ specifier indicates that, when viewed from nitrogen along the bond to the chiral center, the sequence of substituents hydrogen (H), methyl (C) and carboxylate (C(=O)O) appear clockwise. D-Alanine can be written as N [C@H] (C)C(=O)O ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?4e5b4340485d28432943283d4f294f see depiction] ). The order of the substituents in the SMILES string is very important and D-alanine can also be encoded as N [C@@H] (C(=O)O)C ( [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict?4e5b434040485d2843283d4f294f2943 see depiction] ).
Isotopesare specified with a number equal to the integer isotopic mass preceding the atomic symbol. Benzenein which one atom is carbon-14is written as [14c] 1ccccc1 and deuterochloroformis [2H] C(Cl)(Cl)Cl.
Other examples of SMILES
The SMILES notation is described extensively in the [http://www.daylight.com/dayhtml/doc/theory/theory.smiles.html SMILES theory manual] provided by [http://www.daylight.com/ Daylight Chemical Information Systems] and a number of illustrative examples are presented. Daylight's [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict depict utility] provides users with the means to check their own examples of SMILES and is a valuable educational tool.
SMARTS is a line notation for specification of substructural patterns in molecules. While it uses many of the same symbols as SMILES, it also allows specification of wildcard atoms and bonds, which can be used to define substructural queries for
chemical databasesearching. One common misconception is that SMARTS-based subtructural searching involves matching of SMILES and SMARTS strings. In fact, both SMILES and SMARTS strings are first converted to internal graph representations which are searched for subgraph isomorphism. [http://www.daylight.com/dayhtml/doc/theory/theory.smirks.html SMIRKS] is a line notation for specifying reaction transforms.
SMILES can be converted back to 2-dimensional representations using Structure Diagram Generation algorithms (Helson, 1999). This conversion is not always unambiguous. Conversion to 3-dimensional representation is achieved by energy minimization approaches. There are many downloadable and web-based conversion utilities.
Smiles arbitrary target specificationSMARTS language for specification of substructural queries.
SYBYL Line Notation(another line notation)
Molecular Query Language- query languageallowing also numerical properties, e.g. physicochemical values or distances
Chemistry Development Kit(2D layout and conversion)
International Chemical Identifier(InChI), the free and open alternative to SMILES by the IUPAC.
OpenBabel, JOELib, OELib(conversion)
* Anderson, E.; Veith, G.D; Weininger, D. (1987) SMILES: A line notation and computerized interpreter for chemical structures. Report No. EPA/600/M-87/021. U.S. EPA, Environmental Research Laboratory-Duluth, Duluth, MN 55804
* Weininger, D. (1988), SMILES, a chemical language and information system. 1. Introduction to methodology and encoding rules, [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ci00057a005 "J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci." 28, 31-36.]
* Weininger, D.; Weininger, A.; Weininger, J.L. (1989) SMILES. 2. Algorithm for generation of unique SMILES notation [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ci00062a008 "J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci." 29, 97-101.]
* Helson, H.E. (1999) Structure Diagram Generation In Rev. Comput. Chem. edited by Lipkowitz, K. B. and Boyd, D. B. Wiley-VCH, New York, pages 313-398.
* [http://www.daylight.com/dayhtml/doc/theory/theory.smiles.html "SMILES - A Simplified Chemical Language"]
* [http://www.opensmiles.org The OpenSMILES home page]
* [http://www.daylight.com/dayhtml/doc/theory/theory.smarts.html "SMARTS - SMILES Extension"]
* [http://www.daylight.com/dayhtml_tutorials/languages/smiles/index.html Daylight SMILES tutorial]
* [http://www.dalkescientific.com/writings/diary/archive/2004/01/05/tokens.html Parsing SMILES]
MILES related software utilities
* [http://www.chembiogrid.org/cheminfo/smi23d/ smi23d] – 3D Coordinate Generation
* [http://www.daylight.com/daycgi/depict Daylight Depict]
* [http://cactus.nci.nih.gov/services/gifcreator/ CACTVS at NCI]
* [http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/edit/index.html PubChem] – online molecule editor
* [http://www.molinspiration.com/jme/index.html JME molecule editor]
* [http://www.acdlabs.com/download/chemsk.html ACD/ChemSketch]
* [http://www.chemaxon.com/product/live_examples.html ChemAxon/Marvin] – online chemical editor/viewer and SMILES generator/converter
* [http://www.chemaxon.com/product/ijc.html ChemAxon/Instant JChem] – desktop application for storing/generating/converting/visualizing/searching SMILES structures, particularly batch processing; personal edition free
* [http://www.hungry.com/~alves/smormoed/ Smormo-Ed] – a molecule editor for Linux which can read and write SMILES
* [http://inchi.info/ InChI.info] – an unofficial InChI website featuring on-line converter from InChI and SMILES to molecular drawings
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