Project description:An adaptive Cartesian grid (ACG) concept is presented for the fast and robust numerical solution of the 3D Poisson-Boltzmann Equation (PBE) governing the electrostatic interactions of large-scale biomolecules and highly charged multi-biomolecular assemblies such as ribosomes and viruses. The ACG offers numerous advantages over competing grid topologies such as regular 3D lattices and unstructured grids. For very large biological molecules and multi-biomolecule assemblies, the total number of grid-points is several orders of magnitude less than that required in a conventional lattice grid used in the current PBE solvers thus allowing the end user to obtain accurate and stable nonlinear PBE solutions on a desktop computer. Compared to tetrahedral-based unstructured grids, ACG offers a simpler hierarchical grid structure, which is naturally suited to multigrid, relieves indirect addressing requirements and uses fewer neighboring nodes in the finite difference stencils. Construction of the ACG and determination of the dielectric/ionic maps are straightforward, fast and require minimal user intervention. Charge singularities are eliminated by reformulating the problem to produce the reaction field potential in the molecular interior and the total electrostatic potential in the exterior ionic solvent region. This approach minimizes grid-dependency and alleviates the need for fine grid spacing near atomic charge sites. The technical portion of this paper contains three parts. First, the ACG and its construction for general biomolecular geometries are described. Next, a discrete approximation to the PBE upon this mesh is derived. Finally, the overall solution procedure and multigrid implementation are summarized. Results obtained with the ACG-based PBE solver are presented for: (i) a low dielectric spherical cavity, containing interior point charges, embedded in a high dielectric ionic solvent - analytical solutions are available for this case, thus allowing rigorous assessment of the solution accuracy; (ii) a pair of low dielectric charged spheres embedded in a ionic solvent to compute electrostatic interaction free energies as a function of the distance between sphere centers; (iii) surface potentials of proteins, nucleic acids and their larger-scale assemblies such as ribosomes; and (iv) electrostatic solvation free energies and their salt sensitivities - obtained with both linear and nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation - for a large set of proteins. These latter results along with timings can serve as benchmarks for comparing the performance of different PBE solvers.
Project description:The Poisson-Boltzmann equation (PBE) is an established model for the electrostatic analysis of biomolecules. The development of advanced computational techniques for the solution of the PBE has been an important topic in the past two decades. This article presents a matched interface and boundary (MIB)-based PBE software package, the MIBPB solver, for electrostatic analysis. The MIBPB has a unique feature that it is the first interface technique-based PBE solver that rigorously enforces the solution and flux continuity conditions at the dielectric interface between the biomolecule and the solvent. For protein molecular surfaces, which may possess troublesome geometrical singularities, the MIB scheme makes the MIBPB by far the only existing PBE solver that is able to deliver the second-order convergence, that is, the accuracy increases four times when the mesh size is halved. The MIBPB method is also equipped with a Dirichlet-to-Neumann mapping technique that builds a Green's function approach to analytically resolve the singular charge distribution in biomolecules in order to obtain reliable solutions at meshes as coarse as 1 Å--whereas it usually takes other traditional PB solvers 0.25 Å to reach similar level of reliability. This work further accelerates the rate of convergence of linear equation systems resulting from the MIBPB by using the Krylov subspace (KS) techniques. Condition numbers of the MIBPB matrices are significantly reduced by using appropriate KS solver and preconditioner combinations. Both linear and nonlinear PBE solvers in the MIBPB package are tested by protein-solvent solvation energy calculations and analysis of salt effects on protein-protein binding energies, respectively.
Project description:We derive a new numerical approach to solving the linearized Poisson Boltzmann equation (PBE) by representing the protein surface as a collection of spheres in which the surface charges can then be iteratively solved by new analytical multipole methods previously introduced by us [Lotan & Head-Gordon, 2006]. We show that our Poisson Boltzmann semi-analytical method, PB-SAM, realizes better accuracy, more flexible memory management, and at reduced cost relative to either finite difference or boundary element method PBE solvers. We provide two new benchmarks of PBE solution accuracy to test the numerical PBE solutions based on (1) arrays of up to hundreds of spherical low dielectric geometries with asymmetric charges in which mutual polarization is treated exactly, and (2) two overlapping spheres with increasing charge asymmetry by solving the PB-SAM method to very high pole order. We illustrate the strength of the PB-SAM approach by computing the potential profile of an array of 60 T1-particle forming monomers of the bromine mosaic virus.
Project description:Dielectric continuum or implicit solvent models provide a significant reduction in computational cost when accounting for the salt-mediated electrostatic interactions of biomolecules immersed in an ionic environment. These models, in which the solvent and ions are replaced by a dielectric continuum, seek to capture the average statistical effects of the ionic solvent, while the solute is treated at the atomic level of detail. For decades, the solution of the three-dimensional Poisson-Boltzmann equation (PBE), which has become a standard implicit-solvent tool for assessing electrostatic effects in biomolecular systems, has been based on various deterministic numerical methods. Some deterministic PBE algorithms have drawbacks, which include a lack of properly assessing their accuracy, geometrical difficulties caused by discretization, and for some problems their cost in both memory and computation time. Our original stochastic method resolves some of these difficulties by solving the PBE using the Monte Carlo method (MCM). This new approach to the PBE is capable of efficiently solving complex, multi-domain and salt-dependent problems in biomolecular continuum electrostatics to high precision. Here we improve upon our novel stochastic approach by simultaneouly computating of electrostatic potential and solvation free energies at different ionic concentrations through correlated Monte Carlo (MC) sampling. By using carefully constructed correlated random walks in our algorithm, we can actually compute the solution to a standard system including the linearized PBE (LPBE) at all salt concentrations of interest, simultaneously. This approach not only accelerates our MCPBE algorithm, but seems to have cost and accuracy advantages over deterministic methods as well. We verify the effectiveness of this technique by applying it to two common electrostatic computations: the electrostatic potential and polar solvation free energy for calcium binding proteins that are compared with similar results obtained using mature deterministic PBE methods.
Project description:The Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation is an established multiscale model for electrostatic analysis of biomolecules and other dielectric systems. PB based molecular dynamics (MD) approach has a potential to tackle large biological systems. Obstacles that hinder the current development of PB based MD methods are concerns in accuracy, stability, efficiency and reliability. The presence of complex solvent-solute interface, geometric singularities and charge singularities leads to challenges in the numerical solution of the PB equation and electrostatic force evaluation in PB based MD methods. Recently, the matched interface and boundary (MIB) method has been utilized to develop the first second order accurate PB solver that is numerically stable in dealing with discontinuous dielectric coefficients, complex geometric singularities and singular source charges. The present work develops the PB based MD approach using the MIB method. New formulation of electrostatic forces is derived to allow the use of sharp molecular surfaces. Accurate reaction field forces are obtained by directly differentiating the electrostatic potential. Dielectric boundary forces are evaluated at the solvent-solute interface using an accurate Cartesian-grid surface integration method. The electrostatic forces located at reentrant surfaces are appropriately assigned to related atoms. Extensive numerical tests are carried out to validate the accuracy and stability of the present electrostatic force calculation. The new PB based MD method is implemented in conjunction with the AMBER package. MIB based MD simulations of biomolecules are demonstrated via a few example systems.
Project description:Continuum solvent models have been widely used in biomolecular modeling applications. Recently much attention has been given to inclusion of implicit membranes into existing continuum Poisson-Boltzmann solvent models to extend their applications to membrane systems. Inclusion of an implicit membrane complicates numerical solutions of the underlining Poisson-Boltzmann equation due to the dielectric inhomogeneity on the boundary surfaces of a computation grid. This can be alleviated by the use of the periodic boundary condition, a common practice in electrostatic computations in particle simulations. The conjugate gradient and successive over-relaxation methods are relatively straightforward to be adapted to periodic calculations, but their convergence rates are quite low, limiting their applications to free energy simulations that require a large number of conformations to be processed. To accelerate convergence, the Incomplete Cholesky preconditioning and the geometric multigrid methods have been extended to incorporate periodicity for biomolecular applications. Impressive convergence behaviors were found as in the previous applications of these numerical methods to tested biomolecules and MMPBSA calculations.
Project description:Although it is now commonly accepted that the highly crowded conditions encountered inside biological cells have the potential to significantly alter the thermodynamic properties of biomolecules, it is not known to what extent the thermodynamics of fundamental types of interactions such as salt bridges and hydrophobic interactions are strengthened or weakened by high biomolecular concentrations. As one way of addressing this question we have performed a series of all-atom explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the effect of increasing solute concentration on the behavior of four types of zwitterionic amino acids in aqueous solution. We have simulated systems containing glycine, valine, phenylalanine or asparagine at concentrations of 50, 100, 200 and 300 mg/ml. Each molecular system has been simulated for 1 ?s in order to obtain statistically converged estimates of thermodynamic parameters, and each has been conducted with 8 different force fields and water models; the combined simulation time is 128 ?s. The density, viscosity, and dielectric increments of the four amino acids calculated from the simulations have been compared to corresponding experimental measurements. While all of the force fields perform well at reproducing the density increments, discrepancies for the viscosity and dielectric increments raise questions both about the accuracy of the simulation force fields and, in certain cases, the experimental data. We also observe large differences between the various force fields' descriptions of the interaction thermodynamics of salt bridges and, surprisingly, these differences also lead to qualitatively different predictions of their dependences on solute concentration. For the aliphatic interactions of valine sidechains, fewer differences are observed between the force fields, but significant differences are again observed for aromatic interactions of phenylalanine sidechains. Taken together, the results highlight the potential power of using explicit-solvent simulation methods to understand behavior in concentrated systems but also hint at potential difficulties in using these methods to obtain consistent views of behavior in intracellular environments.
Project description:Continuum solvation modeling based upon the Poisson-Boltzmann equation (PBE) is widely used in structural and functional analysis of biomolecules. In this work, we propose a charge-central interpretation of the full nonlinear PBE electrostatic interactions. The validity of the charge-central view or simply charge view, as formulated as a vacuum Poisson equation with effective charges, was first demonstrated by reproducing both electrostatic potentials and energies from the original solvated full nonlinear PBE. There are at least two benefits when the charge-central framework is applied. First the convergence analyses show that the use of polarization charges allows a much faster converging numerical procedure for electrostatic energy and forces calculation for the full nonlinear PBE. Second, the formulation of the solvated electrostatic interactions as effective charges in vacuum allows scalable algorithms to be deployed for large biomolecular systems. Here, we exploited the charge-view interpretation and developed a particle-particle particle-mesh (P3M) strategy for the full nonlinear PBE systems. We also studied the accuracy and convergence of solvation forces with the charge-view and the P3M methods. It is interesting to note that the convergence of both the charge-view and the P3M methods is more rapid than the original full nonlinear PBE method. Given the developments and validations documented here, we are working to adapt the P3M treatment of the full nonlinear PBE model to molecular dynamics simulations.
Project description:We incorporate the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) theory of electrostatics into our variational implicit-solvent model (VISM) for the solvation of charged molecules in an aqueous solvent. In order to numerically relax the VISM free-energy functional by our level-set method, we develop highly accurate methods for solving the dielectric PB equation and for computing the dielectric boundary force. We also apply our VISM-PB theory to analyze the solvent potentials of mean force and the effect of charges on the hydrophobic hydration for some selected molecular systems. These include some single ions, two charged particles, two charged plates, and the host-guest system Cucurbituril and Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane. Our computational results show that VISM with PB theory can capture well the sensitive response of capillary evaporation to the charge in hydrophobic confinement and the polymodal hydration behavior and can provide accurate estimates of binding affinity of the host-guest system. We finally discuss several issues for further improvement of VISM.