Recently, we reported the parametrization of a set of coarse-grained (CG) nonbonded potential functions, derived from all-atom explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of amino acid pairs and designed for use in (implicit- solvent) Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations of proteins; this force field was named COFFDROP (COarse-grained Force Field for Dynamic Representations Of Proteins). Here, we describe the extension of COFFDROP to include bonded backbone terms derived from fitting to results of explicit-solvent MD simulations of all possible two-residue peptides containing the 20 standard amino acids, with histidine modeled in both its protonated and neutral forms. The iterative Boltzmann inversion (IBI) method was used to optimize new CG potential functions for backbone-related terms by attempting to reproduce angle, dihedral, and distance probability distributions generated by the MD simulations. In a simple test of the transferability of the extended force field, the angle, dihedral, and distance probability distributions obtained from BD simulations of 56 three-residue peptides were compared to results from corresponding explicit-solvent MD simulations. In a more challenging test of the COFFDROP force field, it was used to simulate eight intrinsically disordered proteins and was shown to quite accurately reproduce the experimental hydrodynamic radii (Rhydro), provided that the favorable nonbonded interactions of the force field were uniformly scaled downward in magnitude. Overall, the results indicate that the COFFDROP force field is likely to find use in modeling the conformational behavior of intrinsically disordered proteins and multidomain proteins connected by flexible linkers.
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