Improved Interaction Potentials for Charged Residues in Proteins

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Electrostatic interactions dominate the structure and free energy of biomolecules. To obtain accurate free energies involving charged groups from molecular simulations, OPLS-AA parameters have been reoptimized using Monte Carlo free energy perturbation. New parameters fit a self-consistent, experimental set of hydration free energies for acetate (Asp), propionate (Glu), 4-methylimidazolium (Hip), n-butylammonium (Lys), and n-propylguanidinium (Arg), all resembling charged residue side chains, including -carbons. It is shown that OPLS-AA free energies depend critically on the type of water model, TIP4P or TIP3P; i.e., each water model requires specific water-charged molecule interaction potentials. New models (models 1 and 3) are thus described for both water models. Uncertainties in relative free energies of charged residues are ~2 kcal/mol with the new parameters, due to variations in system setup (MAEs of ca. 1 kcal/mol) and noise from simulations (ca. 1 kcal/mol). The latter error of ~1 kcal/mol contrasts MAEs from standard OPLS-AA of up to 13 kcal/mol for the entire series of charged residues or up to 5 kcal/mol for the cationic series Lys, Arg, and Hip. The new parameters can be used directly in molecular simulations with no modification of neutral residues needed and are envisioned to be particular important in simulations where charged residues change environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical, The
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1820-1827
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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