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J Chem Phys. 2015 Feb 28;142(8):084101. doi: 10.1063/1.4909549.

Dynamic properties of force fields.

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Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 6, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.
Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin, Takustraße 3, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.


Molecular-dynamics simulations are increasingly used to study dynamic properties of biological systems. With this development, the ability of force fields to successfully predict relaxation timescales and the associated conformational exchange processes moves into focus. We assess to what extent the dynamic properties of model peptides (Ac-A-NHMe, Ac-V-NHMe, AVAVA, A10) differ when simulated with different force fields (AMBER ff99SB-ILDN, AMBER ff03, OPLS-AA/L, CHARMM27, and GROMOS43a1). The dynamic properties are extracted using Markov state models. For single-residue models (Ac-A-NHMe, Ac-V-NHMe), the slow conformational exchange processes are similar in all force fields, but the associated relaxation timescales differ by up to an order of magnitude. For the peptide systems, not only the relaxation timescales, but also the conformational exchange processes differ considerably across force fields. This finding calls the significance of dynamic interpretations of molecular-dynamics simulations into question.


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