Intrinsically disordered proteins that populate the so-called "Dark Proteome" offer challenging benchmarks of atomistic simulation methods to accurately model conformational transitions on a multidimensional energy landscape. This work explores the application of parallel tempering with implicit solvent models as a computational framework to capture the conformational ensemble of an intrinsically disordered peptide derived from the Ebola virus protein VP35. A recent X-ray crystallographic study reported a protein-peptide interface where the VP35 peptide underwent a folding transition from a disordered form to a helix-β-turn-helix topological fold upon molecular association with the Ebola protein NP. An assessment is provided of the accuracy of two generalized Born solvent models (GBMV2 and GBSW2) using the CHARMM force field and applied with temperature-based replica exchange dynamics to calculate the disorder propensity of the peptide and its probability density of states in a continuum solvent. A further comparison is presented of applying an explicit/implicit solvent hybrid replica exchange simulation of the peptide to determine the effect of modeling water interactions at the all-atom resolution.
Olson, M. A. (2017). On the Helix Propensity in Generalized Born Solvent Descriptions of Modeling the Dark Proteome. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2017.00003