Experimental force spectroscopy has been effectively utilized for measuring structural characterization of biomolecules and mechanical properties of biomaterials. Specifically, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been widely used to portray biomolecular characterization in single-molecule experiment by observing the unfolding behavior of the proteins. Not only the experimental techniques enable us to characterize globular protein, but computational methods like molecular dynamics (MD) also gives insight into understanding biomolecular structures. To better comprehend the behavior of biomolecules, conditions such as pulling velocities and loading rates are put to the test, yet there are still limitations in understanding the unfolding behavior of biomolecules with the effect of different loading devices. In this study, we performed an all-atom MD and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations considering different loading device effects such as “soft” and “stiff” to characterize the anisotropic unfolding behavior of ubiquitin protein. We found out the anisotropic unfolding pathways of the protein through the broken number of hydrogen bonds and geometric secondary structures of the biomolecule. Our study provides the importance for usage of various loading-devices on biomolecules when analyzing the structural compositions and the characteristics of globular biomolecules.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) (No. 2014R1A2A1A11052389 ).
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Anisotropic unfolding pathway
- Globular protein
- Loading device effects
- Steered molecular dynamics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Materials Chemistry