Starting-Condition Dependence of Order Parameters Derived from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

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We have studied how backbone N-H S-2 order parameters calculated from molecular dynamics simulations depend on the method used to calculate them, the starting conditions, and the length of the simulations. Using the carbohydrate binding domain of galectin-3 in the free and lactose-bound states as a test case, we compared the calculated order parameters with experimental data from NMR relaxation. The results indicate that the sampling can be improved by using several starting structures, taking into account conformational heterogeneity reported in crystal structures. However, the improvement is rather limited, and for 93% of the dihedrals that have alternative conformations in the crystal structures, the conformational space is well sampled even if a single conformation is used as the starting structure. Moreover, the agreement with experimental data is improved when using several short simulations, rather than a single long simulation. In the present case, we find that similar to 10 independent simulations provide sufficient sampling, and the ideal length of the simulations is similar to 10 ns, which is similar to 25% longer than the global correlation time for rotational diffusion. On the other hand, the equilibration time appears to be less important, and our results suggest that an equilibration time of 0.25 ns is sufficient. We have also compared four different methods to extract the order parameters from the simulations, namely, the autocorrelation function and isotropic reorientational eigenmode dynamics using three different window sizes. Overall, the four methods yield comparable results, but large differences between the methods may serve to pinpoint cases for which the calculated parameters are unreliable.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Teoretisk kemi
  • Fysikalisk kemi
Sidor (från-till)2176-2190
TidskriftJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
StatusPublished - 2010
Peer review utfördJa