Simulating GTP:Mg and GDP:Mg with a simple force field: A structural and thermodynamic analysis

Abstract : Di- and tri-phosphate nucleotides are essential cofactors for many proteins, usually in an Mg(2+) -bound form. Proteins like GTPases often detect the difference between NDP and NTP and respond by changing conformations. To study such complexes, simple, fixed charge force fields have been used, which allow long simulations and precise free energy calculations. The preference for NTP or NDP binding depends on many factors, including ligand structure and Mg(2+) coordination and the changes they undergo upon binding. Here, we use a simple force field to examine two Mg(2+) coordination modes for the unbound GDP and GTP: direct, or "Inner Sphere" (IS) coordination by one or more phosphate oxygens and indirect, "Outer Sphere" (OS) coordination involving one or more bridging waters. We compare GTP: and GDP:Mg binding with OS and IS coordination; combining the results with experimental data then indicates that GTP prefers the latter. We also examine different kinds of IS coordination and their sensitivity to a key force field parameter: the optimal Mg:oxygen van der Waals distance Rmin . Increasing Rmin improves the Mg:oxygen distances, the GTP: and GDP:Mg binding affinities, and the fraction of GTP:Mg with β + γ phosphate coordination, but does not improve or change the GTP/GDP affinity difference, which remains much larger than experiment. It has no effect on the free energy of GDP binding to a GTPase. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Thomas Simonson, Priyadarshi Satpati. Simulating GTP:Mg and GDP:Mg with a simple force field: A structural and thermodynamic analysis. Journal of Computational Chemistry, Wiley, 2013, 34 (10), pp.836-846. ⟨10.1002/jcc.23207⟩. ⟨hal-00814139⟩

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