Pseudobond parameters for QM/MM studies involving nucleosides, nucleotides, and their analogs.
In biological systems involving nucleosides, nucleotides, or their respective analogs, the ribose sugar moiety is the most common reaction site, for example, during DNA replication and repair. However, nucleic bases, which comprise a sizable portion of nucleotide molecules, are usually unreactive during such processes. In quantum mechanical∕molecular simulations of nucleic acid reactivity, it may therefore be advantageous to describe specific ribosyl or ribosyl phosphate groups quantum mechanically and their respective nucleic bases with a molecular mechanics potential function. Here, we have extended the pseudobond approach to enable quantum mechanical∕molecular mechanical simulations involving nucleotides, nucleosides, and their analogs in which the interface between the two subsystems is located between the sugar and the base, namely, the C(sp(3))-N(sp(2)) bond. The pseudobond parameters were optimized on a training set of 10 molecules representing several nucleotide and nucleoside bases and analogs, and they were then tested on a larger test set of 20 diverse molecules. Particular emphasis was placed on providing accurate geometries and electrostatic properties, including electrostatic potential, natural bond orbital (NBO) and atoms in molecules (AIM) charges and AIM first moments. We also tested the optimized parameters on five nucleotide and nucleoside analogues of pharmaceutical relevance and a small polypeptide (triglycine). Accuracy was maintained for these systems, which highlights the generality and transferability of the pseudobond approach.
Chaudret, R; Parks, JM; Yang, W
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