AMOEBA Polarizable Atomic Multipole Force Field for Nucleic Acids

Changsheng Zhang, Chao Lu, Zhifeng Jing, Chuanjie Wu, Jean Philip Piquemal, Jay W. Ponder, Pengyu Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The AMOEBA polarizable atomic multipole force field for nucleic acids is presented. Valence and electrostatic parameters were determined from high-level quantum mechanical data, including structures, conformational energy, and electrostatic potentials, of nucleotide model compounds. Previously derived parameters for the phosphate group and nucleobases were incorporated. A total of over 35 μs of condensed-phase molecular dynamics simulations of DNA and RNA molecules in aqueous solution and crystal lattice were performed to validate and refine the force field. The solution and/or crystal structures of DNA B-form duplexes, RNA duplexes, and hairpins were captured with an average root-mean-squared deviation from NMR structures below or around 2.0 Å. Structural details, such as base pairing and stacking, sugar puckering, backbone and χ-torsion angles, groove geometries, and crystal packing interfaces, agreed well with NMR and/or X-ray. The interconversion between A- and B-form DNAs was observed in ethanol-water mixtures at 328 K. Crystal lattices of B- and Z-form DNA and A-form RNA were examined with simulations. For the RNA tetraloop, single strand tetramers, and HIV TAR with 29 residues, the simulated conformational states, 3J-coupling, nuclear Overhauser effect, and residual dipolar coupling data were compared with NMR results. Starting from a totally unstacked/unfolding state, the rCAAU tetranucleotide was folded into A-form-like structures during ∼1 μs molecular dynamics simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2108
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018


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