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Microsecond simulations of DNA and ion transport in nanopores with novel ion–ion and ion–nucleotides effective potentials



We developed a novel scheme based on the grand-canonical Monte Carlo/Brownian dynamics simulations and have extended it to studies of ion currents across three nanopores with the potential for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) sequencing: solid-state nanopore Si3N4, α-hemolysin, and E111N/M113Y/K147N mutant. To describe nucleotide-specific ion dynamics compatible with ssDNA coarse-grained model, we used the inverse Monte Carlo protocol, which maps the relevant ion–nucleotide distribution functions from all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Combined with the previously developed simulation platform for Brownian dynamics simulations of ion transport, it allows for microsecond- and millisecond-long simulations of ssDNA dynamics in the nanopore with a conductance computation accuracy that equals or exceeds that of all-atom MD simulations. In spite of the simplifications, the protocol produces results that agree with the results of previous studies on ion conductance across open channels and provide direct correlations with experimentally measured blockade currents and ion conductances that have been estimated from all-atom MD simulations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.