A comprehensive examination of the contributions to the binding entropy of protein-ligand complexes.
ABSTRACT: One of the most important requirements in computer-aided drug design is the ability to reliably evaluate the binding free energies. However, the process of ligand binding is very complex because of the intricacy of the interrelated processes that are difficult to predict and quantify. In fact, the deeper understanding of the origin of the observed binding free energies requires the ability to decompose these free energies to their contributions from different interactions. Furthermore, it is important to evaluate the relative entropic and enthalpic contributions to the overall free energy. Such an evaluation is useful for assessing temperature effects and exploring specialized options in enzyme design. Unfortunately, calculations of binding entropies have been much more challenging than calculations of binding free energies. This work is probably the first to present microscopic evaluation of all of the relevant components to the binding entropy, namely configurational, polar solvation, and hydrophobic entropies. All of these contributions are evaluated by the restraint release approach. The calculated results shed an interesting light on major compensation effects in both the solvation and hydrophobic effect and, despite some overestimate, can provide very useful insight. This study also helps in analyzing some problems with the widely used molecular mechanics/Poisson-Boltzmann surface area approach.
Project description:The anomalous binding modes of five highly similar fragments of TIE2 inhibitors, showing three distinct binding poses, are investigated. We report a quantitative rationalization for the changes in binding pose based on molecular dynamics simulations. We investigated five fragments in complex with the transforming growth factor ? receptor type 1 kinase domain. Analyses of these simulations using Grid Inhomogeneous Solvation Theory (GIST), pKA calculations, and a tool to investigate enthalpic differences upon binding unraveled the various thermodynamic contributions to the different binding modes. While one binding mode flip can be rationalized by steric repulsion, the second binding pose flip revealed a different protonation state for one of the ligands, leading to different enthalpic and entropic contributions to the binding free energy. One binding pose is stabilized by the displacement of entropically unfavored water molecules (binding pose determined by solvation entropy), ligands in the other binding pose are stabilized by strong enthalpic interactions, overcompensating the unfavorable water entropy in this pose (binding pose determined by enthalpic interactions). This analysis elucidates unprecedented details determining the flipping of the binding modes, which can elegantly explain the experimental findings for this system.
Project description:Accurate prediction of hydration free energies is a key objective of any free energy method that is applied to modeling and understanding interactions in the aqueous phase. Inhomogeneous fluid solvation theory (IFST) is a statistical mechanical method for calculating solvation free energies by quantifying the effect of a solute acting as a perturbation to bulk water. IFST has found wide application in understanding hydration phenomena in biological systems, but quantitative applications have not been comprehensively assessed. In this study, we report the hydration free energies of six simple solutes calculated using IFST and independently using free energy perturbation (FEP). This facilitates a validation of IFST that is independent of the accuracy of the force field. The results demonstrate that IFST shows good agreement with FEP, with an R(2) coefficient of determination of 0.99 and a mean unsigned difference of 0.7 kcal/mol. However, sampling is a major issue that plagues IFST calculations and the results suggest that a histogram method may require prohibitively long simulations to achieve convergence of the entropies, for bin sizes which effectively capture the underlying probability distributions. Results also highlight the sensitivity of IFST to the reference interaction energy of a water molecule in bulk, with a difference of 0.01 kcal/mol changing the predicted hydration free energies by approximately 2.4 kcal/mol for the systems studied here. One of the major advantages of IFST over perturbation methods such as FEP is that the systems are spatially decomposed to consider the contribution of specific regions to the total solvation free energies. Visualizing these contributions can yield detailed insights into solvation thermodynamics. An insight from this work is the identification and explanation of regions with unfavorable free energy density relative to bulk water. These regions contribute unfavorably to the hydration free energy. Further work is necessary before IFST can be extended to yield accurate predictions of binding free energies, but the work presented here demonstrates its potential.
Project description:Hydrophobic hydration plays a key role in a vast variety of biological processes, ranging from the formation of cells to protein folding and ligand binding. Hydrophobicity scales simplify the complex process of hydration by assigning a value describing the averaged hydrophobic character to each amino acid. Previously published scales were not able to calculate the enthalpic and entropic contributions to the hydrophobicity directly. We present a new method, based on Molecular Dynamics simulations and Grid Inhomogeneous Solvation Theory, that calculates hydrophobicity from enthalpic and entropic contributions. Instead of deriving these quantities from the temperature dependence of the free energy of hydration or as residual of the free energy and the enthalpy, we directly obtain these values from the phase space occupied by water molecules. Additionally, our method is able to identify regions with specific enthalpic and entropic properties, allowing to identify so-called "unhappy water" molecules, which are characterized by weak enthalpic interactions and unfavorable entropic constraints.
Project description:Reliable information on partition coefficients plays a key role in drug development, as solubility decisively affects bioavailability. In a physicochemical context, the partition coefficient of a solute between two different solvents can be described as a function of solvation free energies. Hence, substantial scientific efforts have been made toward accurate predictions of solvation free energies in various solvents. The grid inhomogeneous solvation theory (GIST) facilitates the calculation of solvation free energies. In this study, we introduce an extended version of the GIST algorithm, which enables the calculation for chloroform in addition to water. Furthermore, GIST allows localization of enthalpic and entropic contributions. We test our approach by calculating partition coefficients between water and chloroform for a set of eight small molecules. We report a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.96 between experimentally determined and calculated partition coefficients. The capability to reliably predict partition coefficients between water and chloroform and the possibility to localize their contributions allow the optimization of a compound's partition coefficient. Therefore, we presume that this methodology will be of great benefit for the efficient development of pharmaceuticals.
Project description:This study explores the thermodynamic and vibrational properties of water in the three-dimensional environment of solvated ions and small molecules using molecular simulations. The spectrum of intermolecular vibrations in liquid solvents provides detailed information on the shape of the local potential energy surface, which in turn determines local thermodynamic properties such as the entropy. Here, we extract this information using a spatially resolved extension of the two-phase thermodynamics method to estimate hydration water entropies based on the local vibrational density of states (3D-2PT). Combined with an analysis of solute-water and water-water interaction energies, this allows us to resolve local contributions to the solvation enthalpy, entropy, and free energy. We use this approach to study effects of ions on their surrounding water hydrogen bond network, its spectrum of intermolecular vibrations, and resulting thermodynamic properties. In the three-dimensional environment of polar and nonpolar functional groups of molecular solutes, we identify distinct hydration water species and classify them by their characteristic vibrational density of states and molecular entropies. In each case, we are able to assign variations in local hydration water entropies to specific changes in the spectrum of intermolecular vibrations. This provides an important link for the thermodynamic interpretation of vibrational spectra that are accessible to far-infrared absorption and Raman spectroscopy experiments. Our analysis provides unique microscopic details regarding the hydration of hydrophobic and hydrophilic functional groups, which enable us to identify interactions and molecular degrees of freedom that determine relevant contributions to the solvation entropy and consequently the free energy.
Project description:Protein structural analysis demonstrates that water molecules are commonly found in the internal cavities of proteins. Analysis of experimental data on the entropies of inorganic crystals suggests that the entropic cost of transferring such a water molecule to a protein cavity will not typically be greater than 7.0 cal/mol/K per water molecule, corresponding to a contribution of approximately +2.0 kcal/mol to the free energy. In this study, we employ the statistical mechanical method of inhomogeneous fluid solvation theory to quantify the enthalpic and entropic contributions of individual water molecules in 19 protein cavities across five different proteins. We utilize information theory to develop a rigorous estimate of the total two-particle entropy, yielding a complete framework to calculate hydration free energies. We show that predictions from inhomogeneous fluid solvation theory are in excellent agreement with predictions from free energy perturbation (FEP) and that these predictions are consistent with experimental estimates. However, the results suggest that water molecules in protein cavities containing charged residues may be subject to entropy changes that contribute more than +2.0 kcal/mol to the free energy. In all cases, these unfavorable entropy changes are predicted to be dominated by highly favorable enthalpy changes. These findings are relevant to the study of bridging water molecules at protein-protein interfaces as well as in complexes with cognate ligands and small-molecule inhibitors.
Project description:Solvation free energies can now be calculated precisely from molecular simulations, providing a valuable test of the energy functions underlying these simulations. Here, we briefly review "alchemical" approaches for calculating the solvation free energies of small, neutral organic molecules from molecular simulations, and illustrate by applying them to calculate aqueous solvation free energies (hydration free energies). These approaches use a non-physical pathway to compute free energy differences from a simulation or set of simulations and appear to be a particularly robust and general-purpose approach for this task. We also present an update (version 0.5) to our FreeSolv database of experimental and calculated hydration free energies of neutral compounds and provide input files in formats for several simulation packages. This revision to FreeSolv provides calculated values generated with a single protocol and software version, rather than the heterogeneous protocols used in the prior version of the database. We also further update the database to provide calculated enthalpies and entropies of hydration and some experimental enthalpies and entropies, as well as electrostatic and nonpolar components of solvation free energies.
Project description:The Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation is widely used for modeling solvation effects. The computational cost of PB has restricted its applications largely to single-conformation calculations. The generalized Born (GB) model provides an approximation at substantially reduced cost. Currently the best GB methods reproduce PB results for electrostatic solvation energies with errors at ~5 kcal/mol. When two proteins form a complex, the net electrostatic contributions to the binding free energy are typically of the order of 5 to 10 kcal/mol. Similarly, the net contributions of individual residues to protein folding free energy are < 5 kcal/mol. Clearly in these applications the accuracy of current GB methods is insufficient. Here we present a simple scaling scheme that allows our GB method, GBr(6), to reproduce PB results for binding, folding, and transfer free energies with high accuracy. From an ensemble of conformations sampled from molecular dynamics simulations, five were judiciously selected for PB calculations. These PB results were used for scaling GBr(6). Tests on the binding free energies of the barnase-barstar, GTPase-WASp, and U1A-U1hpII complexes and on the folding free energy of FKBP show that the effects of point mutations calculated by scaled GBr(6) are accurate to within 0.3 kcal/mol of PB results. Similar accuracy was also achieved for the free energies of transfer for ribonuclease Sa and insulin from the crystalline phase to the solution phase at various pH's. This method makes it possible to thoroughly sample the transient-complex ensemble in predicting protein binding rate constants and to incorporate conformational sampling in electrostatic modeling (such as done in the MM-GBSA approach) without loss of accuracy.
Project description:Evaluating solvation entropies directly and combining with direct energy calculations is one way of calculating free energies of solvation and is used by Inhomogeneous Fluid Solvation Theory (IFST). The configurational entropy of a fluid is a function of the interatomic correlations and can thus be expressed in terms of correlation functions. The entropies in this work are directly calculated from a truncated series of integrals over these correlation functions. Many studies truncate all terms higher than the solvent-solute correlations. This study includes an additional solvent-solvent correlation term and assesses the associated free energy when IFST is applied to a fixed Lennard-Jones particle solvated in neon. The strength of the central potential is varied to imitate larger solutes. Average free energy estimates with both levels of IFST are able to reproduce the estimate made using the Free energy Perturbation (FEP) to within 0.16 kcal/mol. We find that the signal from the solvent-solvent correlations is very weak. Our conclusion is that for monatomic fluids simulated by pairwise classical potentials the correction term is relatively small in magnitude. This study shows it is possible to reproduce the free energy from a path based method like FEP, by only considering the endpoints of the path. This method can be directly applied to more complex solutes which break the spherical symmetry of this study.
Project description:Decomposition of activation free energies of chemical reactions, into enthalpic and entropic components, can provide invaluable signatures of mechanistic pathways both in solution and in enzymes. Owing to the large number of degrees of freedom involved in such condensed-phase reactions, the extensive configurational sampling needed for reliable entropy estimates is still beyond the scope of quantum chemical calculations. Here we show, for the hydrolytic deamination of cytidine and dihydrocytidine in water, how direct computer simulations of the temperature dependence of free energy profiles can be used to extract very accurate thermodynamic activation parameters. The simulations are based on empirical valence bond models, and we demonstrate that the energetics obtained is insensitive to whether these are calibrated by quantum mechanical calculations or experimental data. The thermodynamic activation parameters are in remarkable agreement with experiment results and allow discrimination among alternative mechanisms, as well as rationalization of their different activation enthalpies and entropies.