NMSim web server: integrated approach for normal mode-based geometric simulations of biologically relevant conformational transitions in proteins

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jul;40(Web Server issue):W310-6. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks478. Epub 2012 Jun 4.


The NMSim web server implements a three-step approach for multiscale modeling of protein conformational changes. First, the protein structure is coarse-grained using the FIRST software. Second, a rigid cluster normal-mode analysis provides low-frequency normal modes. Third, these modes are used to extend the recently introduced idea of constrained geometric simulations by biasing backbone motions of the protein, whereas side chain motions are biased toward favorable rotamer states (NMSim). The generated structures are iteratively corrected regarding steric clashes and stereochemical constraint violations. The approach allows performing three simulation types: unbiased exploration of conformational space; pathway generation by a targeted simulation; and radius of gyration-guided simulation. On a data set of proteins with experimentally observed conformational changes, the NMSim approach has been shown to be a computationally efficient alternative to molecular dynamics simulations for conformational sampling of proteins. The generated conformations and pathways of conformational transitions can serve as input to docking approaches or more sophisticated sampling techniques. The web server output is a trajectory of generated conformations, Jmol representations of the coarse-graining and a subset of the trajectory and data plots of structural analyses. The NMSim webserver, accessible at http://www.nmsim.de, is free and open to all users with no login requirement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / chemistry
  • Computer Simulation
  • Internet
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Software*


  • Adenylate Kinase