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Biopolymers. 2011 Jun;95(6):401-9. doi: 10.1002/bip.21593.

Free energy simulation to investigate the effect of amino acid sequence environment on the severity of osteogenesis imperfecta by glycine mutations in collagen.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Michigan Nanotechnology Institute in Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Molecular dynamics simulations were carried out to calculate the free energy change difference of two collagen-like peptide models for Gly --> Ser mutations causing two different osteogenesis imperfecta phenotypes. These simulations were performed to investigate the impact of local amino acid sequence environment adjacent to a mutation site on the stability of the collagen. The average free energy differences for a Gly --> Ser mutant relative to a wild type are 3.4 kcal/mol and 8.2 kcal/mol for a nonlethal site and a lethal site, respectively. The free energy change differences of mutant containing two Ser residues relative to the wild type at the nonlethal and lethal mutation sites are 4.6 and 9.8 kcal/mol, respectively. Although electrostatic interactions stabilize mutants containing one or two Ser residues at both mutation sites, van der Waals interactions are of sufficient magnitude to cause a net destabilization. The presence of Gln and Arg near the mutation site, which contain large and polar side chains, provide more destabilization than amino acids containing small and nonpolar side chains.

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