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There has been exponential growth in the number of membrane protein structures determined. Nevertheless, these structures are usually resolved in the absence of their lipid environment. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations enable insertion of membrane proteins into explicit models of lipid bilayers. We have automated the CGMD methodology, enabling membrane protein structures to be identified upon their release into the PDB and embedded into a membrane. The simulations are analyzed for protein-lipid interactions, identifying lipid binding sites, and revealing local bilayer deformations plus molecular access pathways within the membrane. The coarse-grained models of membrane protein/bilayer complexes are transformed to atomistic resolution for further analysis and simulation. Using this automated simulation pipeline, we have analyzed a number of recently determined membrane protein structures to predict their locations within a membrane, their lipid/protein interactions, and the functional implications of an enhanced understanding of the local membrane environment of each protein.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.str.2015.05.006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Structure

Publication Date

07/07/2015

Volume

23

Pages

1350 - 1361

Keywords

Binding Sites, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Lipid Bilayers, Membrane Proteins, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Protein Conformation