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Accuracy of Molecular Simulation-Based Predictions of koff Values: A Metadynamics Study

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journal contribution
posted on 24.07.2020 by Riccardo Capelli, Wenping Lyu, Viacheslav Bolnykh, Simone Meloni, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard Olsen, Ursula Rothlisberger, Michele Parrinello, Paolo Carloni
The koff values of ligands unbinding to proteins are key parameters for drug discovery. Their predictions based on molecular simulation may under- or overestimate experiment in a system- and/or technique-dependent way. Here we use an established methodinfrequent metadynamics, based on the AMBER force fieldto compute the koff of the ligand iperoxo (in clinical use) targeting the muscarinic receptor M2. The ligand charges are calculated by either (i) the Amber standard procedure or (ii) B3LYP-DFT. The calculations using (i) turn out not to provide a reasonable estimation of the transition-state free energy. Those using (ii) differ from experiment by 2 orders of magnitude. On the basis of B3LYP DFT QM/MM simulations, we suggest that the observed discrepancy in (ii) arises, at least in part, from the lack of electronic polarization and/or charge transfer in biomolecular force fields. These issues might be present in other systems, such as DNA–protein complexes.