Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

Perturbation analyses of intermolecular interactions.

PMID 21929141


Conformational fluctuations of a protein molecule are important to its function, and it is known that environmental molecules, such as water molecules, ions, and ligand molecules, significantly affect the function by changing the conformational fluctuations. However, it is difficult to systematically understand the role of environmental molecules because intermolecular interactions related to the conformational fluctuations are complicated. To identify important intermolecular interactions with regard to the conformational fluctuations, we develop herein (i) distance-independent and (ii) distance-dependent perturbation analyses of the intermolecular interactions. We show that these perturbation analyses can be realized by performing (i) a principal component analysis using conditional expectations of truncated and shifted intermolecular potential energy terms and (ii) a functional principal component analysis using products of intermolecular forces and conditional cumulative densities. We refer to these analyses as intermolecular perturbation analysis (IPA) and distance-dependent intermolecular perturbation analysis (DIPA), respectively. For comparison of the IPA and the DIPA, we apply them to the alanine dipeptide isomerization in explicit water. Although the first IPA principal components discriminate two states (the α state and PPII (polyproline II) + β states) for larger cutoff length, the separation between the PPII state and the β state is unclear in the second IPA principal components. On the other hand, in the large cutoff value, DIPA eigenvalues converge faster than that for IPA and the top two DIPA principal components clearly identify the three states. By using the DIPA biplot, the contributions of the dipeptide-water interactions to each state are analyzed systematically. Since the DIPA improves the state identification and the convergence rate with retaining distance information, we conclude that the DIPA is a more practical method compared with the IPA. To test the feasibility of the DIPA for larger molecules, we apply the DIPA to the ten-residue chignolin folding in explicit water. The top three principal components identify the four states (native state, two misfolded states, and unfolded state) and their corresponding eigenfunctions identify important chignolin-water interactions to each state. Thus, the DIPA provides the practical method to identify conformational states and their corresponding important intermolecular interactions with distance information.

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