[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The performances of several two-step scoring approaches for molecular docking were assessed for their ability to predict binding geometries and free energies. Two new scoring functions designed for "step 2 discrimination" were proposed and compared to our CHARMM implementation of the linear interaction energy (LIE) approach using the Generalized-Born with Molecular Volume (GBMV) implicit solvation model. A scoring function S1 was proposed by considering only "interacting" ligand atoms as the "effective size" of the ligand and extended to an empirical regression-based pair potential S2. The S1 and S2 scoring schemes were trained and 5-fold cross-validated on a diverse set of 259 protein-ligand complexes from the Ligand Protein Database (LPDB). The regression-based parameters for S1 and S2 also demonstrated reasonable transferability in the CSARdock 2010 benchmark using a new data set (NRC HiQ) of diverse protein-ligand complexes. The ability of the scoring functions to accurately predict ligand geometry was evaluated by calculating the discriminative power (DP) of the scoring functions to identify native poses. The parameters for the LIE scoring function with the optimal discriminative power (DP) for geometry (step 1 discrimination) were found to be very similar to the best-fit parameters for binding free energy over a large number of protein-ligand complexes (step 2 discrimination). Reasonable performance of the scoring functions in enrichment of active compounds in four different protein target classes established that the parameters for S1 and S2 provided reasonable accuracy and transferability. Additional analysis was performed to definitively separate scoring function performance from molecular weight effects. This analysis included the prediction of ligand binding efficiencies for a subset of the CSARdock NRC HiQ data set where the number of ligand heavy atoms ranged from 17 to 35. This range of ligand heavy atoms is where improved accuracy of predicted ligand efficiencies is most relevant to real-world drug design efforts.
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling 06/2011; 51(9):2047-65. · 4.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tautomerization of amino acids between the neutral form (NF) and the zwitterionic form (ZW) in water has been extensively studied, often using glycine as a model to understand this fundamental process. In spite of many advanced studies, the tautomerization reaction remains poorly understood because of the intrinsic complexities of the system, including multiple accessible reaction pathways, charge transfer, and variations of solvation structure. To establish an accurate model that can be used for molecular dynamics simulations, a ReaxFF reactive force field has been developed for glycine. A training set for the ReaxFF hydrocarbon potential was augmented with several glycine conformers and glycine-water complexes. The force field parameters were optimized to reproduce the quantum mechanically derived energies of the species in the training set. The optimized potential could accurately describe the properties of gas-phase glycine. It was applied to investigate the effect of solvation on the conformational distribution of glycine. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated significant differences in the dominant conformers in the gas phase and in water. This suggests that the tautomerization of glycine occurs through a conformational isomerization followed by the proton transfer event. The direct reaction mechanism of the NF → ZW proton transfer reaction in water, as well as mechanisms mediated by one or two water molecules, were investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The results suggest that the proton transfer reaction is most likely mediated by a single water molecule. The ReaxFF potential developed in this work provides an accurate description of proton transfer in glycine and thus provides a useful methodology for simulating proton transfer reactions in organic molecules in the aqueous environment.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 01/2011; 115(2):249-61. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To enable large-scale reactive dynamic simulations of copper oxide/water and copper ion/water interactions we have extended the ReaxFF reactive force field framework to Cu/O/H interactions. To this end, we employed a multistage force field development strategy, where the initial training set (containing metal/metal oxide/metal hydroxide condensed phase data and [Cu(H(2)O)(n)](2+) cluster structures and energies) is augmented by single-point quantum mechanices (QM) energies from [Cu(H(2)O)(n)](2+) clusters abstracted from a ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulation. This provides a convenient strategy to both enrich the training set and to validate the final force field. To further validate the force field description we performed molecular dynamics simulations on Cu(2+)/water systems. We found good agreement between our results and earlier experimental and QM-based molecular dynamics work for the average Cu/water coordination, Jahn-Teller distortion, and inversion in [Cu(H(2)O)(6)](2+) clusters and first- and second-shell O-Cu-O angular distributions, indicating that this force field gives a satisfactory description of the Cu-cation/water interactions. We believe that this force field provides a computationally convenient method for studying the solution and surface chemistry of metal cations and metal oxides and, as such, has applications for studying protein/metal cation complexes, pH-dependent crystal growth/dissolution, and surface catalysis.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 09/2010; 114(35):9507-14. · 2.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copper ions play crucial roles in many enzymatic and aqueous processes. A critical analysis of the fundamental properties of copper complexes is essential to understand their impact on a wide range of chemical interactions. However the study of copper complexes is complicated by the presence of strong polarization and charge transfer effects, multiple oxidation states, and quantum effects like Jahn-Teller distortions. These complications make the experimental observations difficult to interpret. In order to provide a computationally inexpensive yet reliable method for simulation of aqueous-phase copper chemistry, ReaxFF reactive force field parameters have been developed. The force field parameters have been trained against a large set of DFT-derived energies for condensed-phase copper-chloride clusters as well as chloride/water and copper-chloride/water clusters sampled from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The parameters were optimized by iteratively training them against configurations generated from ReaxFF MD simulations that are performed multiple times with improved sets of parameters. This cycle was repeated until the ReaxFF results were in accordance with the DFT-derived values. We have performed MD simulations on chloride/water and copper-chloride/water systems to validate the optimized force field. The structural properties of the chloride/water system are in accord with previous experimental and computational studies. The properties of copper-chloride/water agreed with the experimental observations including evidence of the Jahn-Teller distortion. The results of this study demonstrate the applicability of ReaxFF for the precise characterization of aqueous copper chloride. This force field provides a base for the design of a computationally inexpensive tool for the investigation of various properties and functions of metal ions in industrial, environmental, and biological environments.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 02/2010; 114(10):3556-68. · 2.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a polarizable force field based on the charge-equilibration formalism for molecular dynamics simulations of phospholipid bilayers. We discuss refinement of headgroup dihedral potential parameters to reproduce ab initio conformational energies of dimethylphosphate calculated at the MP2/cc-pVTZ level of theory. We also address the refinement of electrostatic and Lennard-Jones (van der Waals) parameters to reproduce ab initio polarizabilities and water interaction energies of dimethylphosphate and tetramethylammonium. We present results of molecular dynamics simulations of a solvated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer using this polarizable force field as well as the nonpolarizable, fixed-charge CHARMM27 and CHARMM27r force fields for comparison. Calculated atomic and electron-density profiles, deuterium order parameters, and headgroup orientations are found to be consistent with previous simulations and with experiment. Polarizable interaction models for solvent and lipid exhibit greater water penetration into the lipid interior; this is due to the variation of water molecular dipole moment from a bulk value of 2.6 Debye to a value of 1.9 Debye in the membrane interior. The reduction in the electrostatic component of the desolvation free-energy penalty allows for greater water density. The surface dipole potential predicted by the polarizable model is 0.95 V compared to the value of 0.8 V based on nonpolarizable force-field calculations. Effects of inclusion of explicit polarization are discussed in relation to water dipole moment and varying charge distributions. Dielectric permittivity profiles for polarizable and nonpolarizable interactions exhibit subtle differences arising from the nature of the individual component parameterizations; for the polarizable force field, we obtain a bulk dielectric permittivity of 79, whereas the nonpolarizable force field plateaus at 97 (the value for pure TIP3P water). In the membrane interior, both models predict unit permittivities, with the polarizable models contributing from one to two more units due to the optical dielectric (high-frequency dipole fluctuations). This contribution is a step toward the continuing development of a CHARMM (Chemistry at Harvard Molecular Mechanics) polarizable force field for simulations of biomacromolecular systems.