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J Chem Theory Comput. 2013 Aug 13;9(8). doi: 10.1021/ct4003477.

AUTOMATED FORCE FIELD PARAMETERIZATION FOR NON-POLARIZABLE AND POLARIZABLE ATOMIC MODELS BASED ON AB INITIO TARGET DATA.

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1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Chicago 929 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Abstract

Classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations based on atomistic models are increasingly used to study a wide range of biological systems. A prerequisite for meaningful results from such simulations is an accurate molecular mechanical force field. Most biomolecular simulations are currently based on the widely used AMBER and CHARMM force fields, which were parameterized and optimized to cover a small set of basic compounds corresponding to the natural amino acids and nucleic acid bases. Atomic models of additional compounds are commonly generated by analogy to the parameter set of a given force field. While this procedure yields models that are internally consistent, the accuracy of the resulting models can be limited. In this work, we propose a method, General Automated Atomic Model Parameterization (GAAMP), for generating automatically the parameters of atomic models of small molecules using the results from ab initio quantum mechanical (QM) calculations as target data. Force fields that were previously developed for a wide range of model compounds serve as initial guess, although any of the final parameter can be optimized. The electrostatic parameters (partial charges, polarizabilities and shielding) are optimized on the basis of QM electrostatic potential (ESP) and, if applicable, the interaction energies between the compound and water molecules. The soft dihedrals are automatically identified and parameterized by targeting QM dihedral scans as well as the energies of stable conformers. To validate the approach, the solvation free energy is calculated for more than 200 small molecules and MD simulations of 3 different proteins are carried out.

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