Folding and stability of helical bundle proteins from coarse-grained models


Correspondence to: Abhijeet Kapoor; A530 Zaffarano Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. E-mail:


We develop a coarse-grained model where solvent is considered implicitly, electrostatics are included as short-range interactions, and side-chains are coarse-grained to a single bead. The model depends on three main parameters: hydrophobic, electrostatic, and side-chain hydrogen bond strength. The parameters are determined by considering three level of approximations and characterizing the folding for three selected proteins (training set). Nine additional proteins (containing up to 126 residues) as well as mutated versions (test set) are folded with the given parameters. In all folding simulations, the initial state is a random coil configuration. Besides the native state, some proteins fold into an additional state differing in the topology (structure of the helical bundle). We discuss the stability of the native states, and compare the dynamics of our model to all atom molecular dynamics simulations as well as some general properties on the interactions governing folding dynamics. Proteins 2013; 81:1200–1211. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.