Calculations of solute and solvent entropies from molecular dynamics simulations.
The translational, rotational and conformational (vibrational) entropy contributions to ligand-receptor binding free energies are analyzed within the standard formulation of statistical thermodynamics. It is shown that the partitioning of the binding entropy into different components is to some extent arbitrary, but an appropriate method to calculate both translational and rotational entropy contributions to noncovalent association is by estimating the configurational volumes of the ligand in the bound and free states. Different approaches to calculating solute entropies using free energy perturbation calculations, configurational volumes based on root-mean-square fluctuations and covariance matrix based quasiharmonic analysis are illustrated for some simple molecular systems. Numerical examples for the different contributions demonstrate that theoretically derived results are well reproduced by the approximations. Calculation of solvent entropies, either using total potential energy averages or van't Hoff plots, are carried out for the case of ion solvation in water. Although convergence problems will persist for large and complex simulation systems, good agreement with experiment is obtained here for relative and absolute ion hydration entropies. We also outline how solvent and solute entropic contributions are taken into account in empirical binding free energy calculations using the linear interaction energy method. In particular it is shown that empirical scaling of the nonpolar intermolecular ligand interaction energy effectively takes into account size dependent contributions to the binding free energy.