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Accurate three states model for amino acids with two chemically coupled titrating sites in explicit solvent atomistic constant pH simulations and pKa calculations.

MPS-Authors
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Dobrev,  P.
Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Donnini,  S.
Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Groenhof,  G.
Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Grubmüller,  H.
Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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2394858.pdf
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Supplementary Material (public)

2394858_Suppl.pdf
(Supplementary material), 25KB

Citation

Dobrev, P., Donnini, S., Groenhof, G., & Grubmüller, H. (2017). Accurate three states model for amino acids with two chemically coupled titrating sites in explicit solvent atomistic constant pH simulations and pKa calculations. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 13(1), 147-160. doi:10.1021/acs.jctc.6b00807.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-5E5D-3
Abstract
Correct protonation of titratable groups in biomolecules is crucial for their accurate description by molecular dynamics simulations. In the context of constant pH simulations, an additional protonation degree of freedom is introduced for each titratable site, allowing the protonation state to change dynamically with changing structure or electrostatics. Here, we extend previous approaches for an accurate description of chemically coupled titrating sites. A second reaction coordinate is used to switch between two tautomeric states of an amino acid with chemically coupled titratable sites, such as aspartate (Asp), glutamate (Glu), and histidine (His). To this aim, we test a scheme involving three protonation states. To facilitate charge neutrality as required for periodic boundary conditions and Particle Mesh Ewald (PME) electrostatics, titration of each respective amino acid is coupled to a “water” molecule that is charged in the opposite direction. Additionally, a force field modification for Amber99sb is introduced and tested for the description of carboxyl group protonation. Our three states model is tested by titration simulations of Asp, Glu, and His, yielding a good agreement, reproducing the correct geometry of the groups in their different protonation forms. We further show that the ion concentration change due to the neutralizing “water” molecules does not significantly affect the protonation free energies of the titratable groups, suggesting that the three states model provides a good description of biomolecular dynamics at constant pH.