Article

Applications of the molecular dynamics flexible fitting method.

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
Journal of Structural Biology (Impact Factor: 3.37). 10/2010; 173(3):420-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsb.2010.09.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In recent years, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has established itself as a key method in structural biology, permitting the structural characterization of large biomolecular complexes in various functional states. The data obtained through single-particle cryo-EM has recently seen a leap in resolution thanks to landmark advances in experimental and computational techniques, resulting in sub-nanometer resolution structures being obtained routinely. The remaining gap between these data and revealing the mechanisms of molecular function can be closed through hybrid modeling tools that incorporate known atomic structures into the cryo-EM data. One such tool, molecular dynamics flexible fitting (MDFF), uses molecular dynamics simulations to combine structures from X-ray crystallography with cryo-EM density maps to derive atomic models of large biomolecular complexes. The structures furnished by MDFF can be used subsequently in computational investigations aimed at revealing the dynamics of the complexes under study. In the present work, recent applications of MDFF are presented, including the interpretation of cryo-EM data of the ribosome at different stages of translation and the structure of a membrane-curvature-inducing photosynthetic complex.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
145 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Data reporting on structure and dynamics of cellular constituents are growing with increasing pace enabling, as never before, the understanding of fine mechanistic aspects of biological systems and providing the possibility to affect them in controlled ways. Nonetheless, experimental techniques do not yet allow for an arbitrary level of resolution on cellular processes in situ. By consistently integrating a variety of diverse experimental data, molecular modeling is optimally poised to enhance to near-atomistic resolution our understanding of molecular recognition in large assemblies. Within this integrative modeling context, we briefly review in this chapter the recent progresses of molecular simulations at the atomistic and coarse-grained level of resolution to explore protein-protein interactions. In particular, we discuss our recent contributions in this field, which aim at providing a robust bridge between novel optimization algorithms and multiscale molecular simulations for a consistent integration of experimental inputs. We expect that, with the ever-growing sampling ability of molecular simulations and the tireless progress of experimental methods, the impact of such dynamic-based approach could only be more effective with time, contributing to provide detailed description of cellular organization. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology 01/2014; 96:77-111. · 3.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insulin binding to the insulin receptor (IR) is the first key step in initiating downstream signaling cascades for glucose homeostasis in higher organisms. The molecular details of insulin recognition by IR are not yet completely understood, but a picture of hormone/receptor interactions at one of the epitopes (Site 1) is beginning to emerge from recent structural evidence. However, insulin-bound structures of truncated IR suggest that crystallographic conformation of insulin cannot be accommodated in the full IR ectodomain due to steric overlap of insulin with the first two type III fibronectin domains (F1 and F2), which are contributed to the insulin binding-pocket by the second subunit in the IR homodimer. A conformational change in the F1-F2 pair has thus been suggested. In this work, we present an all-atom structural model of complex of insulin and the IR ectodomain, where no structural overlap of insulin with the receptor domains (F1 and F2) is observed. This structural model was arrived at by flexibly fitting parts of our earlier insulin/IR all-atom model into the simulated density maps of crystallized constructs combined with conformational sampling from apo-IR solution conformations. Importantly, our experimentally-consistent model helps rationalize yet unresolved Site.
    Membranes. 01/2014; 4(4):730-746.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many excellent methods exist that incorporate cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) data to constrain computational protein structure prediction and refinement. Previously, it was shown that iteration of two such orthogonal sampling and scoring methods - Rosetta and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations - facilitated exploration of conformational space in principle. Here, we go beyond a proof-of-concept study and address significant remaining limitations of the iterative MD-Rosetta protein structure refinement protocol. Specifically, all parts of the iterative refinement protocol are now guided by medium-resolution cryoEM density maps, and previous knowledge about the native structure of the protein is no longer necessary. Models are identified solely based on score or simulation time. All four benchmark proteins showed substantial improvement through three rounds of the iterative refinement protocol. The best-scoring final models of two proteins had sub-Ångstrom RMSD to the native structure over residues in secondary structure elements. Molecular dynamics was most efficient in refining secondary structure elements and was thus highly complementary to the Rosetta refinement which is most powerful in refining side chains and loop regions.
    Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 02/2015; · 5.31 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
60 Downloads
Available from
May 31, 2014