Quantum Chemical Topology: Knowledgeable atoms in peptides
edited by: Enrico Clementi, Jean M. André, J. Andrew McCammon
The need to improve atomistic biomolecular force fields remains acute. Fortunately, the abundance of contemporary computing power enables an overhaul of the architecture of current force fields, which typically base their electrostatics on fixed atomic partial charges. We discuss the principles behind the electrostatics of a more realistic force field under construction, called QCTFF. At the heart of QCTFF lies the so-called topological atom, which is a malleable box, whose shape and electrostatics changes in response to a changing environment. This response is captured by a machine learning method called Kriging. Kriging directly predicts each multipole moment of a given atom (i.e. the output) from the coordinates of the nuclei surrounding this atom (i.e. the input). This procedure yields accurate interatomic electrostatic energies, which form the basis for future-proof progress in force field design.