Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP

Efficient conformational sampling of peptides adsorbed onto inorganic surfaces: insights from a quartz binding peptide.

PMID 23423310


Harnessing the properties of biomolecules, such as peptides, adsorbed on inorganic surfaces is of interest to many cross-disciplinary areas of science, ranging from biomineralisation to nanomedicine. Key to advancing research in this area is determination of the peptide conformation(s) in its adsorbed state, at the aqueous interface. Molecular simulation is one such approach for accomplishing this goal. In this respect, use of temperature-based replica-exchange molecular dynamics (T-REMD) can yield enhanced sampling of the interfacial conformations, but does so at great computational expense, chiefly because of the need to include an explicit representation of water at the interface. Here, we investigate a number of more economical variations on REMD, chiefly those based on Replica Exchange with Solvent Tempering (REST), using the aqueous quartz-binding peptide S1-(100) α-quartz interfacial system as a benchmark. We also incorporate additional implementation details specifically targeted at improving sampling of biomolecules at interfaces. We find the REST-based variants yield configurational sampling of the peptide-surface system comparable with T-REMD, at a fraction of the computational time and resource. Our findings also deliver novel insights into the binding behaviour of the S1 peptide at the quartz (100) surface that are consistent with available experimental data.