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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 31, Number 9
BKCSDE 31(9)
September 20, 2010 

Force Field Parameters for 3-Nitrotyrosine and 6-Nitrotryptophan
Yoochan Myung, Sanghwa Han*
Force field, Nitrotyrosine, Nitrotryptophan, Molecular mechanics, Molecular dynamics simulation
Nitration of tyrosine and tryptophan residues is common in cells under nitrative stress. However, physiological consequences of protein nitration are not well characterized on a molecular level due to limited availability of the 3D structures of nitrated proteins. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation can be an alternative tool to probe the structural perturbations induced by nitration. In this study we developed molecular mechanics parameters for 3-nitrotyrosine (NIY) and 6-nitrotryptophan (NIW) that are compatible with the AMBER-99 force field. Partial atomic charges were derived by using a multi-conformational restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) methodology that included the geometry optimized structures of both α- and β-conformers of a capped tripeptide ACE-NIY-NME or ACE-NIW-NME. Force constants for bonds and angles were adopted from the generalized AMBER force field. Torsional force constants for the proper dihedral C-C-N-O and improper dihedral C-O-N-O of the nitro group in NIY were determined by fitting the torsional energy profiles obtained from quantum mechanical (QM) geometry optimization with those from molecular mechanical (MM) energy minimization. Force field parameters obtained for NIY were transferable to NIW so that they reproduced the QM torsional energy profiles of ACE-NIW-NME accurately. Moreover, the QM optimized structures of the tripeptides containing NIY and NIW were almost identical to the corresponding structures obtained from MM energy minimization, attesting the validity of the current parameter set. Molecular dynamics simulations of thioredoxin nitrated at the single tyrosine and tryptophan yielded well-behaved trajectories suggesting that the parameters are suitable for molecular dynamics simulations of a nitrated protein.
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