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Polarizable Force Field for Molecular Ions Based on the Classical Drude Oscillator

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journal contribution
posted on 06.04.2018, 00:00 by Fang-Yu Lin, Pedro E. M. Lopes, Edward Harder, Benoît Roux, Alexander D. MacKerell
Development of accurate force field parameters for molecular ions in the context of a polarizable energy function based on the classical Drude oscillator is a crucial step toward an accurate polarizable model for modeling and simulations of biological macromolecules. Toward this goal we have undertaken a hierarchical approach in which force field parameter optimization is initially performed for small molecules for which experimental data exists that serve as building blocks of macromolecular systems. Small molecules representative of the ionic moieties of biological macromolecules include the cationic ammonium and methyl substituted ammonium derivatives, imidazolium, guanidinium and methyl­guanidinium, and the anionic acetate, phenolate, and alkane­thiolates. In the present work, parameters for molecular ions in the context of the Drude polarizable force field are optimized and compared to results from the nonpolarizable additive CHARMM general force field (CGenFF). Electrostatic and Lennard-Jones parameters for the model compounds are developed in the context of the polarizable SWM4-NDP water model, with emphasis on assuring that the hydration free energies are consistent with previously reported parameters for atomic ions. The final parameters are shown to be in good agreement with the selected quantum mechanical (QM) and experimental target data. Analysis of the structure of water around the ions reveals substantial differences between the Drude and additive force fields indicating the important role of polarization in dictating the molecular details of aqueous solvation. The presented parameters represent the foundation for the charged functionalities in future generations of the Drude polarizable force field for biological macromolecules as well as for drug-like molecules.