Journal of computational chemistry

Trypsin-ligand binding free energies from explicit and implicit solvent simulations with polarizable potential.

PMID 19399779


We have calculated the binding free energies of a series of benzamidine-like inhibitors to trypsin with a polarizable force field using both explicit and implicit solvent approaches. Free energy perturbation has been performed for the ligands in bulk water and in protein complex with molecular dynamics simulations. The binding free energies calculated from explicit solvent simulations are well within the accuracy of experimental measurement and the direction of change is predicted correctly in all cases. We analyzed the molecular dipole moments of the ligands in gas, water and protein environments. Neither binding affinity nor ligand solvation free energy in bulk water shows much dependence on the molecular dipole moments of the ligands. Substitution of the aromatic or the charged group in the ligand results in considerable change in the solvation energy in bulk water and protein whereas the binding affinity varies insignificantly due to cancellation. The effect of chemical modification on ligand charge distribution is mostly local. Replacing benzene with diazine has minimal impact on the atomic multipoles at the amidinium group. We have also utilized an implicit solvent based end-state approach to evaluate the binding free energies of these inhibitors. In this approach, the polarizable multipole model combined with Poisson-Boltzmann/surface area (PMPB/SA) provides the electrostatic interaction energy and the polar solvation free energy. Overall the relative binding free energies obtained from the MM-PMPB/SA model are in good agreement with the experimental data.

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Benzamidine hydrochloride 1 M solution