Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Membrane Proteins: Building Starting Structures and Example Applications

Thomas H. Schmidt, Megan O'Mara, Christian Kandt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Located at the interface between the cell and organelle interior and exterior, membrane proteins are key players in a number of fundamental biological processes. In recent years, molecular dynamics simulations have become an increasingly important tool in the study of membrane proteins. Increases in computer power and the ongoing development in atomistic and coarse-grained MD techniques now permit simulations of membrane protein systems on a size and time scale that would have been impossible only a few years ago. At the beginning of each membrane protein simulation stands the generation of a suitable starting structure which can be done by either constructing the bilayer around the protein or by inserting the protein into a pre-equilibrated membrane patch. Here we review the current state of the art of the available techniques and carry out application benchmarks using five example membrane proteins of different size and transmembrane structure. We conclude this paper reviewing recent examples of molecular dynamics studies representing three major classes of membrane proteins: G protein-coupled receptors, channels and transporters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-378
    JournalCurrent Physical Chemistry
    Volume2
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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