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Biophys J. 2006 Oct 15;91(8):2798-814. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Absolute binding free energy calculations using molecular dynamics simulations with restraining potentials.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular Pediatric Sciences, Gordon Center for Integrative Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

The absolute (standard) binding free energy of eight FK506-related ligands to FKBP12 is calculated using free energy perturbation molecular dynamics (FEP/MD) simulations with explicit solvent. A number of features are implemented to improve the accuracy and enhance the convergence of the calculations. First, the absolute binding free energy is decomposed into sequential steps during which the ligand-surrounding interactions as well as various biasing potentials restraining the translation, orientation, and conformation of the ligand are turned "on" and "off." Second, sampling of the ligand conformation is enforced by a restraining potential based on the root mean-square deviation relative to the bound state conformation. The effect of all the restraining potentials is rigorously unbiased, and it is shown explicitly that the final results are independent of all artificial restraints. Third, the repulsive and dispersive free energy contribution arising from the Lennard-Jones interactions of the ligand with its surrounding (protein and solvent) is calculated using the Weeks-Chandler-Andersen separation. This separation also improves convergence of the FEP/MD calculations. Fourth, to decrease the computational cost, only a small number of atoms in the vicinity of the binding site are simulated explicitly, while all the influence of the remaining atoms is incorporated implicitly using the generalized solvent boundary potential (GSBP) method. With GSBP, the size of the simulated FKBP12/ligand systems is significantly reduced, from approximately 25,000 to 2500. The computations are very efficient and the statistical error is small ( approximately 1 kcal/mol). The calculated binding free energies are generally in good agreement with available experimental data and previous calculations (within approximately 2 kcal/mol). The present results indicate that a strategy based on FEP/MD simulations of a reduced GSBP atomic model sampled with conformational, translational, and orientational restraining potentials can be computationally inexpensive and accurate.

PMID:
16844742
PMCID:
PMC1578458
DOI:
10.1529/biophysj.106.084301
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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