Matching Items (3)

128621-Thumbnail Image.png

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-21

129650-Thumbnail Image.png

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-09-18

153130-Thumbnail Image.png

Structural modeling of two dimensional amorphous materials

Description

The continuous random network (CRN) model of network glasses is widely accepted as a model for materials such as vitreous silica and amorphous silicon. Although it

has been more than eighty

The continuous random network (CRN) model of network glasses is widely accepted as a model for materials such as vitreous silica and amorphous silicon. Although it

has been more than eighty years since the proposal of the CRN, there has not been conclusive experimental evidence of the structure of glasses and amorphous

materials. This has now changed with the advent of two-dimensional amorphous materials. Now, not only the distribution of rings but the actual atomic ring

structure can be imaged in real space, allowing for greater charicterization of these types of networks. This dissertation reports the first work done

on the modelling of amorphous graphene and vitreous silica bilayers. Models of amorphous graphene have been created using a Monte Carlo bond-switching method

and MD method. Vitreous silica bilayers have been constructed using models of amorphous graphene and the ring statistics of silica bilayers has been studied.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014