Matching Items (29)

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The Database of Macromolecular Motions: new features added at the decade mark

Description

The database of molecular motions, MolMovDB (http://molmovdb.org), has been in existence for the past decade. It classifies macromolecular motions and provides tools to interpolate between two conformations (the Morph

The database of molecular motions, MolMovDB (http://molmovdb.org), has been in existence for the past decade. It classifies macromolecular motions and provides tools to interpolate between two conformations (the Morph Server) and predict possible motions in a single structure. In 2005, we expanded the services offered on MolMovDB. In particular, we further developed the Morph Server to produce improved interpolations between two submitted structures. We added support for multiple chains to the original adiabatic mapping interpolation, allowing the analysis of subunit motions. We also added the option of using FRODA interpolation, which allows for more complex pathways, potentially overcoming steric barriers. We added an interface to a hinge prediction service, which acts on single structures and predicts likely residue points for flexibility. We developed tools to relate such points of flexibility in a structure to particular key residue positions, i.e. active sites or highly conserved positions. Lastly, we began relating our motion classification scheme to function using descriptions from the Gene Ontology Consortium.

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Date Created
  • 2006-01-01

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Collective Dynamics Differentiates Functional Divergence in Protein Evolution

Description

Protein evolution is most commonly studied by analyzing related protein sequences and generating ancestral sequences through Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods, and/or by resurrecting ancestral proteins in the lab and

Protein evolution is most commonly studied by analyzing related protein sequences and generating ancestral sequences through Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods, and/or by resurrecting ancestral proteins in the lab and performing ligand binding studies to determine function. Structural and dynamic evolution have largely been left out of molecular evolution studies. Here we incorporate both structure and dynamics to elucidate the molecular principles behind the divergence in the evolutionary path of the steroid receptor proteins. We determine the likely structure of three evolutionarily diverged ancestral steroid receptor proteins using the Zipping and Assembly Method with FRODA (ZAMF). Our predictions are within ∼2.7 Å all-atom RMSD of the respective crystal structures of the ancestral steroid receptors. Beyond static structure prediction, a particular feature of ZAMF is that it generates protein dynamics information. We investigate the differences in conformational dynamics of diverged proteins by obtaining the most collective motion through essential dynamics. Strikingly, our analysis shows that evolutionarily diverged proteins of the same family do not share the same dynamic subspace, while those sharing the same function are simultaneously clustered together and distant from those, that have functionally diverged. Dynamic analysis also enables those mutations that most affect dynamics to be identified. It correctly predicts all mutations (functional and permissive) necessary to evolve new function and ∼60% of permissive mutations necessary to recover ancestral function.

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Date Created
  • 2012-03-29

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Path Similarity Analysis: A Method for Quantifying Macromolecular Pathways

Description

Diverse classes of proteins function through large-scale conformational changes and various sophisticated computational algorithms have been proposed to enhance sampling of these macromolecular transition paths. Because such paths are curves

Diverse classes of proteins function through large-scale conformational changes and various sophisticated computational algorithms have been proposed to enhance sampling of these macromolecular transition paths. Because such paths are curves in a high-dimensional space, it has been difficult to quantitatively compare multiple paths, a necessary prerequisite to, for instance, assess the quality of different algorithms. We introduce a method named Path Similarity Analysis (PSA) that enables us to quantify the similarity between two arbitrary paths and extract the atomic-scale determinants responsible for their differences. PSA utilizes the full information available in 3N-dimensional configuration space trajectories by employing the Hausdorff or Fréchet metrics (adopted from computational geometry) to quantify the degree of similarity between piecewise-linear curves. It thus completely avoids relying on projections into low dimensional spaces, as used in traditional approaches. To elucidate the principles of PSA, we quantified the effect of path roughness induced by thermal fluctuations using a toy model system. Using, as an example, the closed-to-open transitions of the enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK) in its substrate-free form, we compared a range of protein transition path-generating algorithms. Molecular dynamics-based dynamic importance sampling (DIMS) MD and targeted MD (TMD) and the purely geometric FRODA (Framework Rigidity Optimized Dynamics Algorithm) were tested along with seven other methods publicly available on servers, including several based on the popular elastic network model (ENM). PSA with clustering revealed that paths produced by a given method are more similar to each other than to those from another method and, for instance, that the ENM-based methods produced relatively similar paths. PSA applied to ensembles of DIMS MD and FRODA trajectories of the conformational transition of diphtheria toxin, a particularly challenging example, showed that the geometry-based FRODA occasionally sampled the pathway space of force field-based DIMS MD. For the AdK transition, the new concept of a Hausdorff-pair map enabled us to extract the molecular structural determinants responsible for differences in pathways, namely a set of conserved salt bridges whose charge-charge interactions are fully modelled in DIMS MD but not in FRODA. PSA has the potential to enhance our understanding of transition path sampling methods, validate them, and to provide a new approach to analyzing conformational transitions.

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  • 2015-10-21

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Mechanism of pH-dependent activation of the sodium-proton antiporter NhaA

Description

Escherichia coli NhaA is a prototype sodium-proton antiporter, which has been extensively characterized by X-ray crystallography, biochemical and biophysical experiments. However, the identities of proton carriers and details of pH-regulated

Escherichia coli NhaA is a prototype sodium-proton antiporter, which has been extensively characterized by X-ray crystallography, biochemical and biophysical experiments. However, the identities of proton carriers and details of pH-regulated mechanism remain controversial. Here we report constant pH molecular dynamics data, which reveal that NhaA activation involves a net charge switch of a pH sensor at the entrance of the cytoplasmic funnel and opening of a hydrophobic gate at the end of the funnel. The latter is triggered by charging of Asp164, the first proton carrier. The second proton carrier Lys300 forms a salt bridge with Asp163 in the inactive state, and releases a proton when a sodium ion binds Asp163. These data reconcile current models and illustrate the power of state-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulations in providing atomic details of proton-coupled transport across membrane which is challenging to elucidate by experimental techniques.

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Date Created
  • 2016-10-06

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Quantifying Solvent Kinetics in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biomolecules

Description

The relation between water and protein physics is a topic of much interest. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of biomolecules are a common computational technique to obtain atomistic insight into the

The relation between water and protein physics is a topic of much interest. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of biomolecules are a common computational technique to obtain atomistic insight into the physical behavior of biomolecules, including the nature of the interaction between water and the protein. In order to model biomolecules at the highest level of accuracy, an explicit, atomistic representation of the water is typically necessary. The number of water molecules that need to be simulated is normally on the order of thousands. The high dimensional MD dataset is then expanded with considerably more dimensions. We describe here a set of tools which can be used to extract general features of the water behavior, which can then be utilized to build simplified models of the water kinetics which make quantitative predictions, such as the flux rate through a pore.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Sampling large conformational transitions: adenylate kinase as a testing ground

Description

A fundamental problem in computational biophysics is to deduce the function of a protein from the structure. Many biological macromolecules such as enzymes, molecular motors or membrane transport proteins perform

A fundamental problem in computational biophysics is to deduce the function of a protein from the structure. Many biological macromolecules such as enzymes, molecular motors or membrane transport proteins perform their function by cycling between multiple conformational states. Understanding such conformational transitions, which typically occur on the millisecond to second time scale, is central to understanding protein function. Molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations have become an important tool to connect molecular structure to function, but equilibrium MD simulations are rarely able to sample on time scales longer than a few microseconds – orders of magnitudes shorter than the time scales of interest. A range of different simulation methods have been proposed to overcome this time-scale limitation. These include calculations of the free energy landscape and path sampling methods to directly sample transitions between known conformations. All these methods solve the problem to sample infrequently occupied but important regions of configuration space. Many path-sampling algorithms have been applied to the closed – open transition of the enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK), which undergoes a large, clamshell-like conformational transition between an open and a closed state. Here we review approaches to sample macromolecular transitions through the lens of AdK. We focus our main discussion on the current state of knowledge – both from simulations and experiments – about the transition pathways of ligand-free AdK, its energy landscape, transition rates and interactions with substrates. We conclude with a comparison of the discussed approaches with a view towards quantitative evaluation of path-sampling methods.

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Date Created
  • 2013-11-30

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Modeling vitreous silica bilayers

Description

Theoretical modeling is presented for a freestanding vitreous silica bilayer which has recently been synthesized and characterized experimentally in landmark work. While such two-dimensional continuous random covalent networks should likely

Theoretical modeling is presented for a freestanding vitreous silica bilayer which has recently been synthesized and characterized experimentally in landmark work. While such two-dimensional continuous random covalent networks should likely occur on energetic grounds, no synthetic pathway had been discovered previously. Here the bilayer is modeled using a computer assembly procedure initiated from a single layer of a model of amorphous graphene, generated using a bond-switching algorithm from an initially crystalline graphene structure. Each bond is decorated with an oxygen atom and the carbon atoms are relabeled as silicon, generating a two-dimensional network of corner-sharing triangles. Each triangle is transformed into a tetrahedron, by raising the silicon atom above each triangular base and adding an additional singly coordinated oxygen atom at the apex. The final step in this construction is to mirror-reflect this layer to form a second layer and attach the two layers to form the bilayer. We show that this vitreous silica bilayer has the additional macroscopic degrees of freedom to form easily a network of identical corner-sharing tetrahedra if there is a symmetry plane through the center of the bilayer going through the layer of oxygen ions that join the upper and lower monolayers. This has the consequence that the upper rings lie exactly above the lower rings, which are tilted in general. The assumption of a network of perfect corner-sharing tetrahedra leads to a range of possible densities that we characterize as a flexibility window, with some similarity to flexibility windows in three dimensional zeolites. Finally, using a realistic potential, we have relaxed the bilayer to determine the density and other structural characteristics such as the Si-Si pair distribution functions and the Si-O-Si bond angle distribution, which are compared with experimental results obtained by direct imaging.

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Date Created
  • 2013-09-18

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Influence of lipids on protein-mediated transmembrane transport

Description

Transmembrane proteins are responsible for transporting ions and small molecules across the hydrophobic region of the cell membrane. We are reviewing the evidence for regulation of these transport processes by

Transmembrane proteins are responsible for transporting ions and small molecules across the hydrophobic region of the cell membrane. We are reviewing the evidence for regulation of these transport processes by interactions with the lipids of the membrane. We focus on ion channels, including potassium channels, mechanosensitive and pentameric ligand gated ion channels, and active transporters, including pumps, sodium or proton driven secondary transporters and ABC transporters. For ion channels it has been convincingly shown that specific lipid-protein interactions can directly affect their function. In some cases, a combined approach of molecular and structural biology together with computer simulations has revealed the molecular mechanisms. There are also many transporters whose activity depends on lipids but understanding of the molecular mechanisms is only beginning.

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Date Created
  • 2013-08-12

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On the rigidity of disordered networks

Description

The rigidity of a material is the property that enables it to preserve its structure when deformed. In a rigid body, no internal motion is possible since the degrees of

The rigidity of a material is the property that enables it to preserve its structure when deformed. In a rigid body, no internal motion is possible since the degrees of freedom of the system are limited to translations and rotations only. In the macroscopic scale, the rigidity and response of a material to external load can be studied using continuum elasticity theory. But when it comes to the microscopic scale, a simple yet powerful approach is to model the structure of the material and its interparticle interactions as a ball$-$and$-$spring network. This model allows a full description of rigidity in terms of the vibrational modes and the balance between degrees of freedom and constraints in the system.

In the present work, we aim to establish a microscopic description of rigidity in \emph{disordered} networks. The studied networks can be designed to have a specific number of degrees of freedom and/or elastic properties. We first look into the rigidity transition in three types of networks including randomly diluted triangular networks, stress diluted triangular networks and jammed networks. It appears that the rigidity and linear response of these three types of systems are significantly different. In particular, jammed networks display higher levels of self-organization and a non-zero bulk modulus near the transition point. This is a unique set of properties that have not been observed in any other types of disordered networks. We incorporate these properties into a new definition of jamming that requires a network to hold one extra constraint in excess of isostaticity and have a finite non-zero bulk modulus. We then follow this definition by using a tuning by pruning algorithm to build spring networks that have both these properties and show that they behave exactly like jammed networks. We finally step into designing new disordered materials with desired elastic properties and show how disordered auxetic materials with a fully convex geometry can be produced.

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Date Created
  • 2018