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Time-lagged independent component analysis of random walks and protein dynamics


Schultze,  S.
Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;


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

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Schultze, S., & Grubmüller, H. (2021). Time-lagged independent component analysis of random walks and protein dynamics. bioRxiv, 435940. doi:10.1101/2021.03.18.435940.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-4CDA-E
Time-lagged independent component analysis (tICA) is a widely used dimension reduction method for the analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories and has proven particularly useful for the construction of protein dynamics Markov models. It identifies those ‘slow’ collective degrees of freedom onto which the projections of a given trajectory show maximal autocorrelation for a given lag time. Here we ask how much information on the actual protein dynamics and, in particular, the free energy landscape that governs these dynamics the tICA-projections of MD-trajectories contain, as opposed to noise due to the inherently stochastic nature of each trajectory. To answer this question, we have analyzed the tICA-projections of high dimensional random walks using a combination of analytical and numerical methods. We find that the projections resemble cosine functions and strongly depend on the lag time, exhibiting strikingly complex behaviour. In particular, and contrary to previous studies of principal component projections, the projections change non-continuously with increasing lag time. The tICA-projections of selected 1 μs protein trajectories and those of random walks are strikingly similar, particularly for larger proteins, suggesting that these trajectories contain only little information on the energy landscape that governs the actual protein dynamics. Further the tICA-projections of random walks show clusters very similar to those observed for the protein trajectories, suggesting that clusters in the tICA-projections of protein trajectories do not necessarily reflect local minima in the free energy landscape. We also conclude that, in addition to the previous finding that certain ensemble properties of non-converged protein trajectories resemble those of random walks, this is also true for their time correlations. Due to the higher complexity of the latter, this result also suggests tICA analyses as a more sensitive tool to test MD simulations for proper convergence.