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J Phys Chem B. 2015 Jan 22;119(3):1062-82. doi: 10.1021/jp506557r. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Parametrization of DFTB3/3OB for magnesium and zinc for chemical and biological applications.

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Department of Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison , 1101 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, United States.


We report the parametrization of the approximate density functional theory, DFTB3, for magnesium and zinc for chemical and biological applications. The parametrization strategy follows that established in previous work that parametrized several key main group elements (O, N, C, H, P, and S). This 3OB set of parameters can thus be used to study many chemical and biochemical systems. The parameters are benchmarked using both gas-phase and condensed-phase systems. The gas-phase results are compared to DFT (mostly B3LYP), ab initio (MP2 and G3B3), and PM6, as well as to a previous DFTB parametrization (MIO). The results indicate that DFTB3/3OB is particularly successful at predicting structures, including rather complex dinuclear metalloenzyme active sites, while being semiquantitative (with a typical mean absolute deviation (MAD) of ∼3-5 kcal/mol) for energetics. Single-point calculations with high-level quantum mechanics (QM) methods generally lead to very satisfying (a typical MAD of ∼1 kcal/mol) energetic properties. DFTB3/MM simulations for solution and two enzyme systems also lead to encouraging structural and energetic properties in comparison to available experimental data. The remaining limitations of DFTB3, such as the treatment of interaction between metal ions and highly charged/polarizable ligands, are also discussed.

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