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Extension of the UNRES Coarse-Grained Force Field to Membrane Proteins in the Lipid Bilayer

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journal contribution
posted on 09.09.2019, 21:29 by Karolina Ziȩba, Magdalena Ślusarz, Rafał Ślusarz, Adam Liwo, Cezary Czaplewski, Adam K. Sieradzan
The physics-based UNRES coarse-grained force field for the simulations of protein structure and dynamics has been extended to treat membrane proteins. The lipid bilayer has been modeled by introducing a continuous nonpolar phase with the water-interface region of appropriate thickness. The potentials for average electrostatic and correlation interactions of the peptide groups have been rescaled to account for the reduction of the dielectric permittivity compared to the water phase and new potentials for protein side-chain–side-chain interactions inside and across the lipid phase have been introduced. The model was implemented in the UNRES package for coarse-grained simulations of proteins, and the package with the new functionality was tested for total energy conservation and thermostat behavior in microcanonical and canonical molecular dynamics simulations runs, respectively. The method was validated by running unrestricted ab initio blind-prediction tests of 10 short α-helical membrane proteins, all runs started from the extended structures. The modified UNRES force field was able to predict correctly the overall folds of the membrane proteins studied.