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J Chem Phys. 2013 Sep 28;139(12):121912. doi: 10.1063/1.4816375.

Global motions exhibited by proteins in micro- to milliseconds simulations concur with anisotropic network model predictions.

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Department of Computational and Systems Biology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3501 Fifth Ave, Suite 3064 BST3, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


The Anton supercomputing technology recently developed for efficient molecular dynamics simulations permits us to examine micro- to milli-second events at full atomic resolution for proteins in explicit water and lipid bilayer. It also permits us to investigate to what extent the collective motions predicted by network models (that have found broad use in molecular biophysics) agree with those exhibited by full-atomic long simulations. The present study focuses on Anton trajectories generated for two systems: the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, and an archaeal aspartate transporter, GltPh. The former, a thoroughly studied system, helps benchmark the method of comparative analysis, and the latter provides new insights into the mechanism of function of glutamate transporters. The principal modes of motion derived from both simulations closely overlap with those predicted for each system by the anisotropic network model (ANM). Notably, the ANM modes define the collective mechanisms, or the pathways on conformational energy landscape, that underlie the passage between the crystal structure and substates visited in simulations. In particular, the lowest frequency ANM modes facilitate the conversion between the most probable substates, lending support to the view that easy access to functional substates is a robust determinant of evolutionarily selected native contact topology.

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