Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Continuum solvation models that estimate free energies of solvation as a function of solvent accessible surface area are computationally simple enough to be useful for predicting protein conformation. The behaviour of three such solvation models has been examined by applying them to the minimization of the conformational energy of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor.The model differ only with regard to how the constants of proportionality between free energy and surface area were derived. Each model was derived by fitting to experimentally measured equilibrium solution properties. For two models, the solution property was free energy of hydration. For the thrid, the property was NMR coupling constants. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of applying these solvation models to the nonequilibrium conformations of a protein arising in the course of global searches for conformational energy minima. Two approaches were used: (1) local energy minimization of an ensemble of conformations similar to the equilibrium conformation and (2) global search trajectories using Monte Carlo plus minimization starting from a single conformation similar to the equilibrium conformation.For the two models derived from free energy measurements, it was found that both the global searches and local minimizations yielded conformations more similar to the X-ray crystallographic structures than did searches or local minimizations carried out in the absence of a solvation component of the conformational energy. The model derived from NMR coupling constants behaved similarly to the other models in the context of a global search trajectory. For one of the models derived from measured free energies of hydration, it was found that minimization of an ensemble of near-equilibrium conformations yielded a new ensemble in which the conformation most similar to the X-ray determined structure PTI4 had the lowest total free energy.Despite the simplicity of the continuum slvation models, the final conformation generated in the trajectories for each of the models exhibited some of the characteristics that have been reported for conformations obtained from molecular dynamics simulations in the presence of a bath of explicit water molecules. They have smaller root mean square (rms) deviations from the experimentally determined conformation, fewer incorrect hydrogen bonds, and slightly larger radii of gyration than do conformations derived from search trajectories carried out in the absence of sovlent. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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