Dynamic Heterogeneous Dielectric Generalized Born (DHDGB): An Implicit Membrane Model with a Dynamically Varying Bilayer Thickness
An extension to the heterogeneous dielectric generalized Born (HDGB) implicit membrane formalism is presented to allow dynamic membrane deformations in response to membrane-inserted biomolecules during molecular dynamic simulations. The flexible membrane is implemented through additional degrees of freedom that represent the membrane deformation at the contact points of a membrane-inserted solute with the membrane. The extra degrees of freedom determine the dielectric and nonpolar solvation free energy profiles that are used to obtain the solvation free energy in the presence of the membrane and are used to calculate membrane deformation free energies according to an elastic membrane model. With the dynamic HDGB (DHDGB) model the membrane is able to deform in response to the insertion of charged molecules, thereby avoiding the overestimation of insertion free energies with static membrane models. The DHDGB model also allows the membrane to respond to the insertion of membrane-spanning solutes with hydrophobic mismatch. The model is tested with the membrane insertion of amino acid side chain analogs, arginine-containing helices, the WALP23 peptide, and the gramicidin A channel.