Studies on Molecular Dynamics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Their Fuzzy Complexes: A Mini-Review

Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2019 Jun 13:17:712-720. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2019.06.009. eCollection 2019.


The molecular dynamics (MD) method is a promising approach toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins and their fuzzy complexes. This mini-review introduces recent studies that apply MD simulations to investigate the molecular recognition of IDRs. Firstly, methodological issues by which MD simulations treat IDRs, such as developing force fields, treating periodic boundary conditions, and enhanced sampling approaches, are discussed. Then, several examples of the applications of MD to investigate molecular interactions of IDRs in terms of the two kinds of complex formations; coupled-folding and binding and fuzzy complex. MD simulations provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of these binding processes by sampling conformational ensembles of flexible IDRs. In particular, we focused on all-atom explicit-solvent MD simulations except for studies of higher-order assembly of IDRs. Recent advances in MD methods, and computational power make it possible to dissect the molecular details of realistic molecular systems involving the dynamic behavior of IDRs.

Publication types

  • Review