Molecular dynamics simulations of proteins: can the explicit water model be varied?
Nutt, D. R. and Smith, J. C. (2007) Molecular dynamics simulations of proteins: can the explicit water model be varied? Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 3 (4). pp. 1550-1560. ISSN 1549-9618
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/ct700053u
In molecular mechanics simulations of biological systems, the solvation water is typically represented by a default water model which is an integral part of the force field. Indeed, protein nonbonding parameters are chosen in order to obtain a balance between water-water and protein-water interactions and hence a reliable description of protein solvation. However, less attention has been paid to the question of whether the water model provides a reliable description of the water properties under the chosen simulation conditions, for which more accurate water models often exist. Here we consider the case of the CHARMM protein force field, which was parametrized for use with a modified TIP3P model. Using quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical calculations, we investigate whether the CHARMM force field can be used with other water models: TIP4P and TIP5P. Solvation properties of N-methylacetamide (NMA), other small solute molecules, and a small protein are examined. The results indicate differences in binding energies and minimum energy geometries, especially for TIP5P, but the overall description of solvation is found to be similar for all models tested. The results provide an indication that molecular mechanics simulations with the CHARMM force field can be performed with water models other than TIP3P, thus enabling an improved description of the solvent water properties.