Apr 21, 2020

Ligand Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics (LiGaMD): Characterization of ligand binding thermodynamics and kinetics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yinglong MiaoJ. Wang


Calculations of ligand binding free energies and kinetic rates are important for drug design. However, such tasks have proven challenging in computational chemistry and biophysics. To address this challenge, we have developed a new computational method "LiGaMD", which selectively boosts the ligand non-bonded interaction potential energy based on the Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics (GaMD) enhanced sampling technique. Another boost potential could be applied to the remaining potential energy of the entire system in a dual-boost algorithm (LiGaMD_Dual) to facilitate ligand binding. LiGaMD has been demonstrated on host-guest and protein-ligand binding model systems. Repetitive guest binding and unbinding in the {beta}-cyclodextrin host were observed in hundreds-of-nanosecond LiGaMD simulations. The calculated binding free energies of guest molecules with sufficient sampling agreed excellently with experimental data (< 1.0 kcal/mol error). In comparison with previous microsecond-timescale conventional molecular dynamics simulations, accelerations of ligand kinetic rate constants in LiGaMD simulations were properly estimated using Kramers' rate theory. Furthermore, LiGaMD allowed us to capture repetitive dissociation and bind...Continue Reading

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