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      Computational Strategies for Protein-Surface and Protein-Nanoparticle Interactions

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          A biomolecular force field based on the free enthalpy of hydration and solvation: the GROMOS force-field parameter sets 53A5 and 53A6.

          Successive parameterizations of the GROMOS force field have been used successfully to simulate biomolecular systems over a long period of time. The continuing expansion of computational power with time makes it possible to compute ever more properties for an increasing variety of molecular systems with greater precision. This has led to recurrent parameterizations of the GROMOS force field all aimed at achieving better agreement with experimental data. Here we report the results of the latest, extensive reparameterization of the GROMOS force field. In contrast to the parameterization of other biomolecular force fields, this parameterization of the GROMOS force field is based primarily on reproducing the free enthalpies of hydration and apolar solvation for a range of compounds. This approach was chosen because the relative free enthalpy of solvation between polar and apolar environments is a key property in many biomolecular processes of interest, such as protein folding, biomolecular association, membrane formation, and transport over membranes. The newest parameter sets, 53A5 and 53A6, were optimized by first fitting to reproduce the thermodynamic properties of pure liquids of a range of small polar molecules and the solvation free enthalpies of amino acid analogs in cyclohexane (53A5). The partial charges were then adjusted to reproduce the hydration free enthalpies in water (53A6). Both parameter sets are fully documented, and the differences between these and previous parameter sets are discussed. Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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            Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology.

            Proteins, through their unique and specific interactions with other macromolecules and inorganics, control structures and functions of all biological hard and soft tissues in organisms. Molecular biomimetics is an emerging field in which hybrid technologies are developed by using the tools of molecular biology and nanotechnology. Taking lessons from biology, polypeptides can now be genetically engineered to specifically bind to selected inorganic compounds for applications in nano- and biotechnology. This review discusses combinatorial biological protocols, that is, bacterial cell surface and phage-display technologies, in the selection of short sequences that have affinity to (noble) metals, semiconducting oxides and other technological compounds. These genetically engineered proteins for inorganics (GEPIs) can be used in the assembly of functional nanostructures. Based on the three fundamental principles of molecular recognition, self-assembly and DNA manipulation, we highlight successful uses of GEPI in nanotechnology.
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              Nucleation of protein fibrillation by nanoparticles.

              Nanoparticles present enormous surface areas and are found to enhance the rate of protein fibrillation by decreasing the lag time for nucleation. Protein fibrillation is involved in many human diseases, including Alzheimer's, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, and dialysis-related amyloidosis. Fibril formation occurs by nucleation-dependent kinetics, wherein formation of a critical nucleus is the key rate-determining step, after which fibrillation proceeds rapidly. We show that nanoparticles (copolymer particles, cerium oxide particles, quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes) enhance the probability of appearance of a critical nucleus for nucleation of protein fibrils from human beta(2)-microglobulin. The observed shorter lag (nucleation) phase depends on the amount and nature of particle surface. There is an exchange of protein between solution and nanoparticle surface, and beta(2)-microglobulin forms multiple layers on the particle surface, providing a locally increased protein concentration promoting oligomer formation. This and the shortened lag phase suggest a mechanism involving surface-assisted nucleation that may increase the risk for toxic cluster and amyloid formation. It also opens the door to new routes for the controlled self-assembly of proteins and peptides into novel nanomaterials.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Self-Assembly and Molecular Electronics (SAME)
                River Publishers
                : 2
                : 1
                : 1-26
                [1 ]Center S3, CNR Institute Nanoscience, Via Campi 213/A, 41125 Modena, Italy
                © 2015

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Engineering, Life sciences, Materials science


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