Molecular simulation of ab initio protein folding for a millisecond folder NTL9(1-39)

Vincent A. Voelz, Gregory R. Bowman, Kyle Beauchamp, Vijay S. Pande

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(Figure Presented) To date, the slowest-folding proteins folded ab initio by all-atom molecular dynamics simulations have had folding times in the range of nanoseconds to microseconds. We report simulations of several folding trajectories of NTL9(1-39), a protein which has a folding time of ∼1.5 ms. Distributed molecular dynamics simulations in implicit solvent on GPU processors were used to generate ensembles of trajectories out to ∼40 μs for several temperatures and starting states. At a temperature less than the melting point of the force field, we observe a small number of productive folding events, consistent with predictions from a model of parallel uncoupled two-state simulations. The posterior distribution of the folding rate predicted from the data agrees well with the experimental folding rate ( ∼640/s). Markov State Models (MSMs) built from the data show a gap in the implied time scales indicative of two-state folding and heterogeneous pathways connecting diffuse mesoscopic substates. Structural analysis of the 14 out of 2000 macrostates transited by the top 10 folding pathways reveals that native-like pairing between strands 1 and 2 only occurs for macrostates with pfold > 0.5, suggesting P12 hairpin formation may be rate-limiting. We believe that using simulation data such as these to seed adaptive resampling simulations will be a promising new method for achieving statistically converged descriptions of folding landscapes at longer time scales than ever before.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1526-1528
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 10 2010


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