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Acc Chem Res. 2000 Dec;33(12):889-97.

Calculating structures and free energies of complex molecules: combining molecular mechanics and continuum models.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


A historical perspective on the application of molecular dynamics (MD) to biological macromolecules is presented. Recent developments combining state-of-the-art force fields with continuum solvation calculations have allowed us to reach the fourth era of MD applications in which one can often derive both accurate structure and accurate relative free energies from molecular dynamics trajectories. We illustrate such applications on nucleic acid duplexes, RNA hairpins, protein folding trajectories, and protein-ligand, protein-protein, and protein-nucleic acid interactions.

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