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J Chem Phys. 2012 Oct 7;137(13):134110. doi: 10.1063/1.4756796.

Maintain rigid structures in Verlet based cartesian molecular dynamics simulations.

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Laboratory of Computational Biology, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


An algorithm is presented to maintain rigid structures in Verlet based cartesian molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. After each unconstrained MD step, the coordinates of selected particles are corrected to maintain rigid structures through an iterative procedure of rotation matrix computation. This algorithm, named as SHAPE and implemented in CHARMM program suite, avoids the calculations of Lagrange multipliers, so that the complexity of computation does not increase with the number of particles in a rigid structure. The implementation of this algorithm does not require significant modification of propagation integrator, and can be plugged into any cartesian based MD integration scheme. A unique feature of the SHAPE method is that it is interchangeable with SHAKE for any object that can be constrained as a rigid structure using multiple SHAKE constraints. Unlike SHAKE, the SHAPE method can be applied to large linear (with three or more centers) and planar (with four or more centers) rigid bodies. Numerical tests with four model systems including two proteins demonstrate that the accuracy and reliability of the SHAPE method are comparable to the SHAKE method, but with much more applicability and efficiency.

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