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J Chem Theory Comput. 2015 Sep 8;11(9):4273-82. doi: 10.1021/acs.jctc.5b00414. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Evaluation of CM5 Charges for Nonaqueous Condensed-Phase Modeling.

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Department of Chemistry, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8107, United States.


Partial atomic charges for neutral molecules from quantum mechanical calculations are typically scaled for use in molecular modeling of liquid-phase systems. Optimal scale factors of 1.14 for CM1A and 1.27 for CM5 charges were previously determined for minimizing errors in free energies of hydration. The adequacy of the 1.14*CM1A and 1.27*CM5 models are evaluated here in pure liquid simulations in combination with the OPLS-AA force field. For 22 organic liquids, the 1.14*CM1A and 1.27*CM5 models yield mean unsigned errors (MUEs) of ca. 1.40 kcal/mol for heats of vaporization. Not surprisingly, this reflects overpolarization with the scale factors derived for aqueous media. Prediction of pure liquid properties using CM5 charges is optimized using a scale factor of 1.14, which reduces the MUE for heats of vaporization to 0.89 kcal/mol. However, due to the impracticality of using different scale factors in different explicit-solvent condensed-phase simulations, a universal scale factor of 1.20 emerged for CM5 charges. This provides a balance between errors in computed pure liquid properties and free energies of hydration. Computation of free energies of hydration by the GB/SA method further found that 1.20 is equally suited for use in explicit or implicit treatments of aqueous solvation. With 1.20*CM5 charges, a variety of condensed-phase simulations can be pursued while maintaining average errors of 1.0 kcal/mol in key thermodynamic properties.

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