Systematic Validation of Protein Force Fields against Experimental Data

Kresten Lindorff-Larsen, Paul Maragakis, Stefano Piana, Michael P. Eastwood, Ron O. Dror, David E. Shaw, Daniel J. Muller
2012 PLoS ONE  
Molecular dynamics simulations provide a vehicle for capturing the structures, motions, and interactions of biological macromolecules in full atomic detail. The accuracy of such simulations, however, is critically dependent on the force fieldthe mathematical model used to approximate the atomic-level forces acting on the simulated molecular system. Here we present a systematic and extensive evaluation of eight different protein force fields based on comparisons of experimental data with
more » ... r dynamics simulations that reach a previously inaccessible timescale. First, through extensive comparisons with experimental NMR data, we examined the force fields' abilities to describe the structure and fluctuations of folded proteins. Second, we quantified potential biases towards different secondary structure types by comparing experimental and simulation data for small peptides that preferentially populate either helical or sheet-like structures. Third, we tested the force fields' abilities to fold two small proteins-one a-helical, the other with b-sheet structure. The results suggest that force fields have improved over time, and that the most recent versions, while not perfect, provide an accurate description of many structural and dynamical properties of proteins.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032131 pmid:22384157 pmcid:PMC3285199 fatcat:bh5onbdi3bdotdez54pttjl2vy