Another Piece of the Membrane Puzzle: Extending Slipids Further
To be able to model complex biological membranes in a more realistic manner, the force field Slipids (Stockholm lipids) has been extended to include parameters for sphingomyelin (SM), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids, and cholesterol. Since the parametrization scheme was faithful to the scheme used in previous editions of Slipids, all parameters are consistent and fully compatible. The results of careful validation of a number of key structural properties for one and two component lipid bilayers are in excellent agreement with experiments. Potentials of mean force for transferring water across binary mixtures of lipids and cholesterol were also computed in order to compare water permeability rates to experiments. In agreement with experimental and simulation studies, it was found that the permeability and partitioning of water is affected by cholesterol in lipid bilayers made of saturated lipids to the largest extent. With the extensions of Slipids presented here, it is now possible to study complex systems containing many different lipids and proteins in a fully atomistic resolution in the isothermic?isobaric (NPT) ensemble, which is the proper ensemble for membrane simulations.