Extensive Evaluation of Force Fields for G-Quadruplexes



G-Quadruplexes (GQs), folded by guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences, involve in gene expression processes and closely associated with the formation of tumors. So far, GQ has drawn widespread attention for its notable application of serving as potential anti-cancer target. Recently, theoretical studies for GQs have achieved significant progress, most of which are inseparable from molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. As a necessary tool to explore dynamics behavior of molecules, MD simulations strictly depend on force field parameters, which is a sticking point to obtain accurate results. Currently, many force fields for nucleic acids have been developed, but none of them have been accepted widely for GQs. In this paper, we selected five popular force fields, which are parmbsc0, parmbsc1, OL15, Drude2017 and AMOEBANUC17, and conducted explicit-solvent MD simulations on two DNA GQs respectively. We evaluated these force fields from many aspects in detail. Meanwhile, we compared conformational energy using quantum chemistry calculations. With the comprehensive evaluation, Drude2017 achieved better description for GQs, which we suggest that using Drude2017 force field should be taken into account first when investigating GQs by MD simulation.

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