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, 72 (6), 2395-7

Effect of Periodic Box Size on Aqueous Molecular Dynamics Simulation of a DNA Dodecamer With Particle-Mesh Ewald Method

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Effect of Periodic Box Size on Aqueous Molecular Dynamics Simulation of a DNA Dodecamer With Particle-Mesh Ewald Method

O N de Souza et al. Biophys J.

Abstract

The particle-mesh Ewald (PME) method is considered to be both efficient and accurate for the evaluation of long-range electrostatic interactions in large macromolecular systems being studied by molecular dynamics simulations. This method assumes "infinite" periodic boundary conditions resembling the symmetry of a crystal environment. Can such a "solid-state" method accurately portray a macromolecular solute such as DNA in solution? To address this issue, we have performed three 1500-ps PME molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, each with a different box size, on the d(CGCGA6CG)-(CGT6CGCG) DNA dodecamer. The smallest box had the DNA solvated by a layer of water molecules of at least 5 A along each orthogonal direction. The intermediate size box and the largest box had the DNA solvated by a layer of water molecules of at least 10 A and 15 A, respectively, along each orthogonal direction. The intermediate size box in the present study is similar to the box size currently chosen by most workers in the field. Based on a comparison of RMSDs and curvature for this single DNA dodecamer sequence, the larger two box sizes do not appear to afford any extra benefit over the smallest box. The implications of this finding are briefly discussed.

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