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Issue 36, 2014
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Fast recovery of free energy landscapes via diffusion-map-directed molecular dynamics

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Abstract

The reaction pathways characterizing macromolecular systems of biological interest are associated with high free energy barriers. Resorting to the standard all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) to explore such critical regions may be inappropriate as the time needed to observe the relevant transitions can be remarkably long. In this paper, we present a new method called Extended Diffusion-Map-directed Molecular Dynamics (extended DM-d-MD) used to enhance the sampling of MD trajectories in such a way as to rapidly cover all important regions of the free energy landscape including deep metastable states and critical transition paths. Moreover, extended DM-d-MD was combined with a reweighting scheme enabling to save on-the-fly information about the Boltzmann distribution. Our algorithm was successfully applied to two systems, alanine dipeptide and alanine-12. Due to the enhanced sampling, the Boltzmann distribution is recovered much faster than in plain MD simulations. For alanine dipeptide, we report a speedup of one order of magnitude with respect to plain MD simulations. For alanine-12, our algorithm allows us to highlight all important unfolded basins in several days of computation when one single misfolded event is barely observable within the same amount of computational time by plain MD simulations. Our method is reaction coordinate free, shows little dependence on the a priori knowledge of the system, and can be implemented in such a way that the biased steps are not computationally expensive with respect to MD simulations thus making our approach well adapted for larger complex systems from which little information is known.

Graphical abstract: Fast recovery of free energy landscapes via diffusion-map-directed molecular dynamics

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Oct 2013, accepted on 30 May 2014 and first published on 30 May 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP54520B
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Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 19181-19191
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    Fast recovery of free energy landscapes via diffusion-map-directed molecular dynamics

    J. Preto and C. Clementi, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 19181
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP54520B

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