The consistency of large concerted motions in proteins in molecular dynamics simulations
A detailed investigation is presented into the effect of limited sampling time and small changes in the force field on molecular dynamics simulations of a protein. Thirteen independent simulations of the B1 IgG-binding domain of streptococcal protein G were performed, with small changes in the simulation parameters in each simulation. Parameters studied included temperature, bond constraints, cut-off radius for electrostatic interactions, and initial placement of hydrogen atoms. The essential dynamics technique was used to reveal dynamic differences between the simulations. Similar essential dynamics properties were found for all simulations, indicating that the large concerted motions found in the simulations are not particularly sensitive to small changes in the force field. A thorough investigation into the stability of the essential dynamics properties as derived from a molecular dynamics simulation of a few hundred picoseconds is provided. Although the definition of the essential modes of motion has not fully converged in these short simulations, the subspace in which these modes are confined is found to be reproducible.