(214al) Free Energy of Solvated Salt Bridges: A Simulation and Experimental Study

White, A. D., University of Washington
Jiang, S., University of Washington
Keefe, A. J., University of Washington
Nowinski, A. K., University of Washington
Shao, Q., University of Washington
Pfaendtner, J., University of Washington

Charged amino acids are the most common on surfaces of proteins and understanding the interactions between these charged amino acids, salt bridging, is crucial for understanding protein-protein interactions. Previous simulations have been limited to implicit solvent or fixed binding geometry due to the sampling required for converged free energies. Using new accelerated sampling techniques, we have calculated salt bridge free energy surfaces in water and compared the results with NMR experiments. The simulations give binding free energies, quantitative ranking of salt bridging strength, and insights into the hydration of the salt bridges. The arginine-aspartate salt bridge was found to be the weakest and arginine-glutamate thestrongest, showing that arginine can discriminate between aspartate and glutamate, whereas the salt bridges with lysine are indistinguishable in their free energy. The salt bridging hydration is found to be complementary to salt bridge orientation with arginine having specific orientations.