24 February 2007


Membrane protein structure quality in molecular dynamics simulation

Richard J. Law1,2,*, Charlotte Capener 2, Marc Baaden 3,2, Peter J. Bond 2, Jeff Campbell 2, George Patargias 2, Yalini Arinaminpathy 2, Mark S. P. Sansom 2


Our goal was to assess the relationship between membrane protein quality, output from protein quality checkers and output from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Membrane transport proteins are essential for a wide range of cellular processes. Structural features of integral membrane proteins are still under-explored due to experimental limitations in structure determination. Computational techniques can be used to exploit biochemical and medium resolution structural data, as well as sequence homology to known structures, and enable us to explore the structure?function relationships in several transmembrane proteins. The quality of the models produced is vitally important to obtain reliable predictions. An examination of the relationship between model stability in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations derived from RMSD (root mean squared deviation) and structure quality assessment from various protein quality checkers was undertaken. The results were compared to membrane protein structures, solved at various resolution, by either X-ray or electron diffraction techniques. The checking programs could predict the potential success of MD in making functional conclusions. MD stability was shown to be a good indicator for the quality of structures. The quality was also shown to be dependent on the resolution at which the structures were determined.


Correspondence should be addressed to Richard J. Law.

  1. Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0365.
  2. Univ of Oxford, Lab. of Molecular Biophysics, South Parks Road, OX1 3QU Oxford, United Kingdom.
  3. Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Laboratoire de Biochimie Théorique, 13, rue Pierre et Marie Curie, F-75005 Paris, France.

© 2001-2006    Marc Baaden, baaden@smplinux.de