Effect of Charge Distribution in a Modified tRNA Substrate on Pre-Reaction Protein-tRNA Complex Geometry
ACS Omega 2021, 6 (6), 4227-4235
An important aspect of molecular mechanics simulations of a protein structure and ligand binding often involves the generation of reliable force fields for nonstandard residues and ligands. We consider the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (AaRS) system that involves nucleic acid and amino acid derivatives, obtaining force field atomic charges using the restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) approach. These charges are shown to predict observed properties of the post-transfer editing reaction in this system, in contrast to simulations performed using approximate charges conceived based upon standard charges for related systems present in force field databases. In particular, the simulations predicted key properties induced by mutation. The approach taken for generating the RESP charges retains established charges for known fragments, defining new charges only for the novel chemical features present in the modified residues. This approach is of general relevance for the design of force fields for pharmacological applications, and indeed the AaRS target system is itself relevant to antibiotics development.