Hybrid Approach for Highly Coarse-Grained Lipid Bilayer Models
We present a systematic methodology to develop highly coarse-grained (CG) lipid models for large scale biomembrane simulations, in which we derive CG interactions using a powerful combination of the multiscale coarse-graining (MS-CG) method, and an analytical form of the CG potential to model interactions at short-range. The resulting hybrid coarse-graining (HCG) methodology is used to develop a three-site solvent-free model for 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLPC), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC), and a 1:1 mixture of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-l-serine (DOPS) and DOPC. In addition, we developed a four-site model of DOPC, demonstrating the capability of the HCG methodology in designing model lipid systems of a desired resolution. We carried out microsecond-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of large vesicles, highlighting the ability of the model to study systems at mesoscopic length and time scales. The models of DLPC, DOPC, and DOPC/DOPS have elastic properties consistent with experiment and structural properties such as the radial distribution functions (RDF), bond and angle distributions, and the z-density distributions that compare well with reference all-atom systems.