Analysis of factors influencing hydration site prediction based on molecular dynamics simulations.
ABSTRACT: Water contributes significantly to the binding of small molecules to proteins in biochemical systems. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation based programs such as WaterMap and WATsite have been used to probe the locations and thermodynamic properties of hydration sites at the surface or in the binding site of proteins generating important information for structure-based drug design. However, questions associated with the influence of the simulation protocol on hydration site analysis remain. In this study, we use WATsite to investigate the influence of factors such as simulation length and variations in initial protein conformations on hydration site prediction. We find that 4 ns MD simulation is appropriate to obtain a reliable prediction of the locations and thermodynamic properties of hydration sites. In addition, hydration site prediction can be largely affected by the initial protein conformations used for MD simulations. Here, we provide a first quantification of this effect and further indicate that similar conformations of binding site residues (RMSD < 0.5 Å) are required to obtain consistent hydration site predictions.
Project description:Explicit water molecules in the binding site of proteins play a crucial role for protein-ligand association. Recent advances in computer-aided drug discovery methodology allow for an accurate prediction of the localized position and thermodynamic profile of water molecules (i.e., hydration sites) in the binding site. The underlying calculations are based on MD simulations of explicit water molecules in a restrained protein structure. However, the ligand-binding process is typically associated with protein conformational change that influences the position and thermodynamic properties of the hydration site. In this manuscript, we present the developments of two methods to incorporate the influence of protein conformational change on hydration sites either by following the conformational transition step-by-step (method I) or to match the hydration sites of the two transition end states using local coordinate systems (method II). Using these methods, we highlight the difference in the estimated protein desolvation free energy with and without inclusion of protein flexibility. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that explicitly studies the influence of protein conformational change on the position and thermodynamic profiles of water molecules and provides methodology to incorporate protein flexibility into the estimation of the desolvation free energy.
Project description:Water plays a major role in ligand binding and is attracting increasing attention in structure-based drug design. Water molecules can make large contributions to binding affinity by bridging protein-ligand interactions or by being displaced upon complex formation, but these phenomena are challenging to model at the molecular level. Herein, networks of ordered water molecules in protein binding sites were analyzed by clustering of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories. Locations of ordered waters (hydration sites) were first identified from simulations of high resolution crystal structures of 13 protein-ligand complexes. The MD-derived hydration sites reproduced 73% of the binding site water molecules observed in the crystal structures. If the simulations were repeated without the cocrystallized ligands, a majority (58%) of the crystal waters in the binding sites were still predicted. In addition, comparison of the hydration sites obtained from simulations carried out in the absence of ligands to those identified for the complexes revealed that the networks of ordered water molecules were preserved to a large extent, suggesting that the locations of waters in a protein-ligand interface are mainly dictated by the protein. Analysis of >1000 crystal structures showed that hydration sites bridged protein-ligand interactions in complexes with different ligands, and those with high MD-derived occupancies were more likely to correspond to experimentally observed ordered water molecules. The results demonstrate that ordered water molecules relevant for modeling of protein-ligand complexes can be identified from MD simulations. Our findings could contribute to development of improved methods for structure-based virtual screening and lead optimization.
Project description:By using molecular dynamics simulations with an efficient enhanced sampling technique and in combination with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy quantitative structural information on ? -2,8-linked sialic acids is presented. We used a bottom-up approach to obtain a set of larger ensembles for tetra- and deca-sialic acid from model dimer and trimer systems that are in agreement with the available J-coupling constants and nuclear Overhauser effects. The molecular dynamic (MD) simulations with enhanced sampling are used to validate the force field used in this study for its further use. This empowered us to couple NMR observables in the MD framework via J-coupling and distance restraining simulations to obtain conformations that are supported by experimental data. We used these conformations in thermodynamic integration and one-step perturbation simulations to calculate the free-energy of suggested helical conformations. This study brings most of the available NMR experiments together and supplies information to resolve the conflict on the structures of poly- ? -2,8-linked sialic acid.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Three-dimensional RNA structure prediction and folding is of significant interest in the biological research community. Here, we present iFoldRNA, a novel web-based methodology for RNA structure prediction with near atomic resolution accuracy and analysis of RNA folding thermodynamics. iFoldRNA rapidly explores RNA conformations using discrete molecular dynamics simulations of input RNA sequences. Starting from simplified linear-chain conformations, RNA molecules (<50 nt) fold to native-like structures within half an hour of simulation, facilitating rapid RNA structure prediction. All-atom reconstruction of energetically stable conformations generates iFoldRNA predicted RNA structures. The predicted RNA structures are within 2-5 A root mean squre deviations (RMSDs) from corresponding experimentally derived structures. RNA folding parameters including specific heat, contact maps, simulation trajectories, gyration radii, RMSDs from native state, fraction of native-like contacts are accessible from iFoldRNA. We expect iFoldRNA will serve as a useful resource for RNA structure prediction and folding thermodynamic analyses.<h4>Availability</h4>http://iFoldRNA.dokhlab.org.
Project description:Incoherent neutron scattering (INS) is one of the useful experimental methods for studying protein dynamics at the pico-nanosecond timescale. At this timescale, protein dynamics is highly coupled with hydration, which is observed as protein dynamical transition (PDT). INS is very sensitive to hydrogen atomic dynamics because of the large incoherent scattering cross section of hydrogen atom, and thus, the INS of a hydrated protein provides overall dynamic information about the protein, including hydration water. Separation of hydration water dynamics is essential for understanding hydration-related protein dynamics. H2O/D2O exchange is an effective method in the context of INS experiments for observing the dynamics of protein and hydration water separately. Neutron scattering is directly related to the van Hove space-time correlation function, which can be calculated quantitatively by performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Diffusion and hydrogen bond dynamics of hydration water can be analyzed by performing MD simulation. MD simulation is useful for analyzing the dynamic coupling mechanism in hydration-related protein dynamics from the viewpoint of interpreting INS data because PDT is induced by hydration. In the present work, we demonstrate the methodological advantages of the H2O/D2O exchange technique in INS and the compatibility of INS and MD simulation as tools for studying protein dynamics and hydration water.
Project description:Crystal structures of acetylcholinesterase complexed with ligands are compared with side-chain conformations accessed by native acetylcholinesterase in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Several crystallographic conformations of a key residue in a specific binding site are accessed in a simulation of native acetylcholinesterase, although not seen in rotomer plots. Conformational changes upon ligand binding thus involve preexisting equilibrium dynamics. Consequently, rational drug design could benefit significantly from conformations monitored by MD simulations of native targets.
Project description:Free Energy Perturbation with Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics (FEP/REMD) offers a powerful strategy to improve the convergence of free energy computations. In particular, it has been shown previously that a FEP/REMD scheme allowing random moves within an extended replica ensemble of thermodynamic coupling parameters "lambda" can improve the statistical convergence in calculations of absolute binding free energy of ligands to proteins [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2009, 5, 2583]. In the present study, FEP/REMD is extended and combined with an accelerated MD simulations method based on Hamiltonian replica-exchange MD (H-REMD) to overcome the additional problems arising from the existence of kinetically trapped conformations within the protein receptor. In the combined strategy, each system with a given thermodynamic coupling factor lambda in the extended ensemble is further coupled with a set of replicas evolving on a biased energy surface with boosting potentials used to accelerate the inter-conversion among different rotameric states of the side chains in the neighborhood of the binding site. Exchanges are allowed to occur alternatively along the axes corresponding to the thermodynamic coupling parameter lambda and the boosting potential, in an extended dual array of coupled lambda- and H-REMD simulations. The method is implemented on the basis of new extensions to the REPDSTR module of the biomolecular simulation program CHARMM. As an illustrative example, the absolute binding free energy of p-xylene to the nonpolar cavity of the L99A mutant of T4 lysozyme was calculated. The tests demonstrate that the dual lambda-REMD and H-REMD simulation scheme greatly accelerates the configurational sampling of the rotameric states of the side chains around the binding pocket, thereby improving the convergence of the FEP computations.
Project description:Biological processes often depend on protein-ligand binding events, yet accurate calculation of the associated energetics remains as a significant challenge of central importance to structure-based drug design. Recently, we have proposed that the displacement of unfavorable waters by the ligand, replacing them with groups complementary to the protein surface, is the principal driving force for protein-ligand binding, and we have introduced the WaterMap method to account this effect. However, in spite of the adage "nature abhors vacuum," one can occasionally observe situations in which a portion of the receptor active site is so unfavorable for water molecules that a void is formed there. In this paper, we demonstrate that the presence of dry regions in the receptor has a nontrivial effect on ligand binding affinity, and suggest that such regions may represent a general motif for molecular recognition between the dry region in the receptor and the hydrophobic groups in the ligands. With the introduction of a term attributable to the occupation of the dry regions by ligand atoms, combined with the WaterMap calculation, we obtain excellent agreement with experiment for the prediction of relative binding affinities for a number of congeneric ligand series binding to the major urinary protein receptor. In addition, WaterMap when combined with the cavity contribution is more predictive than at least one specific implementation [Abel R, Young T, Farid R, Berne BJ, Friesner RA (2008) J Am Chem Soc 130:2817-2831] of the popular MM-GBSA approach to binding affinity calculation.
Project description:Hydration water on the surface of a protein is thought to mediate the thermodynamics of protein-ligand interactions. For hydration water to play a role beyond modulating global protein solubility or stability, the thermodynamic properties of hydration water must reflect on the properties of the heterogeneous protein surface and thus spatially vary over the protein surface. A potent read-out of local variations in thermodynamic properties of hydration water is its equilibrium dynamics spanning picosecond to nanosecond time scales. In this study, we employ Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP) to probe the equilibrium hydration water dynamics at select sites on the surface of Chemotaxis Y (CheY) in dilute solution. ODNP reports on site-specific hydration water dynamics within 5-10 Å of a label tethered to the biomolecular surface on two separate time scales of motion, corresponding to diffusive water (DW) and protein-water coupled motions, referred to as bound water (BW). We find DW dynamics to be highly heterogeneous across the surface of CheY. We identify a significant correlation between DW dynamics and the local hydropathy of the CheY protein surface, empirically determined by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and find the more hydrophobic sites to be hydrated with slower diffusing water. Furthermore, we compare the hydration water dynamics on different polypeptides and liposome surfaces and find the DW dynamics on globular proteins to be significantly more heterogeneous than on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), peptides, and liposomes. The heterogeneity in the hydration water dynamics suggests that structured proteins have the capacity to encode information into the surrounding hydration shell.
Project description:Peptide toxins isolated from venomous creatures, long prized as research tools due to their innate potency for ion channels, are emerging as drugs as well. However, it remains challenging to understand why peptide toxins bind with high potency to ion channels, to identify residues that are key for activity, and to improve their affinities via mutagenesis. We use WaterMap, a molecular dynamics simulation-based method, to gain computational insight into these three questions by calculating the locations and thermodynamic properties of water molecules in the peptide toxin binding sites of five ion channels. These include an acid-sensing ion channel, voltage-gated potassium channel, sodium channel in activated and deactivated states, transient-receptor potential channel, and a nicotinic receptor whose structures were recently determined by crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). All channels had water sites in the peptide toxin binding site, and an average of 75% of these sites were stable (low-energy), and 25% were unstable (medium or high energy). For the sodium channel, more unstable water sites were present in the deactivated state structure than the activated. Additionally, for each channel, unstable water sites coincided with the positions of peptide toxin residues that previous mutagenesis experiments had shown were important for activity. Finally, for the sodium channel in the deactivated state, unstable water sites were present in the peptide toxin binding pocket but did not overlap with the peptide toxin, suggesting that future experimental efforts could focus on targeting these sites to optimize potency.