Evaluating Force Fields for the Computational Prediction of Ionized Arginine and Lysine Side-Chains Partitioning into Lipid Bilayers and Octanol

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Abundant peptides and proteins containing arginine (Arg) and lysine (Lys) amino acids can apparently permeate cell membranes with ease. However, the mechanisms by which these peptides and proteins succeed in traversing the free energy barrier imposed by cell membranes remain largely unestablished. Precise thermodynamic studies (both theoretical and experimental) on the interactions of Arg and Lys residues with model lipid bilayers can provide valuable clues to the efficacy of these cationic peptides and proteins. We have carried out molecular dynamics simulations to calculate the interactions of ionized Arg and Lys side-chains with the zwitterionic 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) lipid bilayer for 10 widely used lipid/protein force fields: CHARMM36/CHARMM36, SLIPID/AMBER99SB-ILDN, OPLS-AA/OPLS-AA, Berger/OPLS-AA, Berger/GROMOS87, Berger/GROMOS53A6, GROMOS53A6/GROMOS53A6, nonpolarizable MARTINI, polarizable MARTINI, and BMW MARTINI. We performed umbrella sampling simulations to obtain the potential of mean force for Arg and Lys side-chains partitioning from water to the bilayer interior. We found significant differences between the force fields, both for the interactions between side-chains and bilayer surface, as well as the free energy cost for placing the side-chain at the center of the bilayer. These simulation results were compared with the WimleyWhite interfacial scale. We also calculated the free energy cost for transferring ionized Arg and Lys side-chains from water to both dry and wet octanol. Our simulations reveal rapid diffusion of water molecules into octanol whereby the equilibrium mole fraction of water in the wet octanol phase was similar to 25%. Surprisingly, our free energy calculations found that the high water content in wet octanol lowered the water-to-octanol partitioning free energies for cationic residues by only 0.6 to 0.7 kcal/mol.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Teoretisk kemi
Sidor (från-till)1775-1791
TidskriftJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
StatusPublished - 2015
Peer review utfördJa


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