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The structures of three bacterial outer membrane proteins (OmpA, OmpX and PagP) have been determined by both X-ray diffraction and NMR. We have used multiple (7 x 15 ns) MD simulations to compare the conformational dynamics resulting from the X-ray versus the NMR structures, each protein being simulated in a lipid (DMPC) bilayer. Conformational drift was assessed via calculation of the root mean square deviation as a function of time. On this basis the 'quality' of the starting structure seems mainly to influence the simulation stability of the transmembrane beta-barrel domain. Root mean square fluctuations were used to compare simulation mobility as a function of residue number. The resultant residue mobility profiles were qualitatively similar for the corresponding X-ray and NMR structure-based simulations. However, all three proteins were generally more mobile in the NMR-based than in the X-ray simulations. Principal components analysis was used to identify the dominant motions within each simulation. The first two eigenvectors (which account for >50% of the protein motion) reveal that such motions are concentrated in the extracellular loops and, in the case of PagP, in the N-terminal alpha-helix. Residue profiles of the magnitude of motions corresponding to the first two eigenvectors are similar for the corresponding X-ray and NMR simulations, but the directions of these motions correlate poorly reflecting incomplete sampling on a approximately 10 ns timescale.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Biophys J

Publication Date





131 - 141


Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Crystallography, X-Ray, Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, Lipid Bilayers, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Molecular, Porosity, Principal Component Analysis, Protein Structure, Secondary