Combination of Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics to Determine Internal Motions in Biomolecules

Abstract : The forms and frequencies of atomic dynamics on the pico- and nanosecond timescales are accessible experimentally using incoherent neutron scattering. Molecular dynamics simulations cover the same space and time domains and neutron scattering intensities can be calculated from the simulations for direct comparison with experiment. To illustrate the complementarity of neutron scattering and molecular dynamics we examine measured and simulation-derived elastic incoherent scattering profiles from myoglobin and from the crystalline alanine dipeptide. Elastic incoherent scattering gives information on the geometry of the volume accessible to the atoms in the samples. The simulation-derived dipeptide elastic scattering profiles are in reasonable accord with experiment, deviations being due to the sampling limitations in the simulations and experimental detector normalisation procedures. The simulated dynamics is decomposed, revealing characteristic profiles due to rotational diffusional and translational vibrational motions of the methyl groups. In myoglobin, for which the timescale of the simulation matches more closely that accessible to the experiment, good agreement is seen for the elastic incoherent structure factor. This indicates that the space sampled by the hydrogen atoms in the protein on the timescale
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J. Smith, G. Kneller. Combination of Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics to Determine Internal Motions in Biomolecules. Molecular Simulation, Taylor & Francis, 1993, 10 (2-6), pp.363-375. ⟨10.1080/08927029308022173⟩. ⟨hal-02155958⟩



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