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Hybrid QM/MM vs Pure MM Molecular Dynamics for Evaluating Water Distribution within p21 N-ras and the Resulting GTP Electronic Density

Abstract : p21ras protein activity, regulated by GTP hydrolysis, constitutes an active field of research for the development of cancer targeted therapies that would concern ∼30% of human tumors to which specific mutations have been associated. Indeed, the catalyzing mechanisms provided by the protein environment during GTP hydrolysis and how they are impaired by specific mutations remain to be fully elucidated. In this article, we present results from molecular mechanics (MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and density functional theory (DFT) calculations carried out for wild-type p21N-ras and six Gln 61 mutants. In the first part, we present the water distribution within the active site of the wild-type protein according to MM MD. Significant differences are observed when comparing the results to the previous distribution assessed through quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) MD. Such method-dependent results highlight the importance of accounting for the electrostatic coupling between the protein complex and the solvent molecules in identifying hydration sites. In the second part, we present the results from DFT calculations performed to determine the electronic distribution of the GTP ligand, considering the wild-type active site arrangement according to both classical and hybrid approaches. Only in the QM/MM-based configuration is the ligand electronic density similar to that of a GDP-like state observed experimentally. For this reason, in the last set of calculations carried out for p21N-ras Gln 61 mutants, only the active site structural conformations obtained through hybrid MD are considered. Through the analysis of the GTP electronic density, we conclude that the wild-type active site arrangement according to QM/MM MD is closer to a catalytically efficient conformation of the protein than the arrangement according to MM MD. Hence, water distribution according to the hybrid approach must correspond to the optimal placement of solvent in the active site. Within all of the studied Gln 61 substituted proteins, p21ras major catalyzing effect, which consists of stabilizing a more GDP-like state, is lost.
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Contributor : Marie Brut <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 2:35:56 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 3:03:43 AM



Ruth Elena Tichauer, Gilles Favre, Stéphanie Cabantous, Marie Brut. Hybrid QM/MM vs Pure MM Molecular Dynamics for Evaluating Water Distribution within p21 N-ras and the Resulting GTP Electronic Density. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2019, 123 (18), pp.3935-3944. ⟨10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b02660⟩. ⟨hal-02634170⟩



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