Thermodynamics of coupled protein adsorption and stability using hybrid monte carlo simulations

Ellen D. Zhong, Michael R. Shirts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A better understanding of changes in protein stability upon adsorption can improve the design of protein separation processes. In this study, we examine the coupling of the folding and the adsorption of a model protein, the B1 domain of streptococcal protein G, as a function of surface attraction using a hybrid Monte Carlo (HMC) approach with temperature replica exchange and umbrella sampling. In our HMC implementation, we are able to use a molecular dynamics (MD) time step that is an order of magnitude larger than in a traditional MD simulation protocol and observe a factor of 2 enhancement in the folding and unfolding rate. To demonstrate the convergence of our systems, we measure the travel of our order parameter the fraction of native contacts between folded and unfolded states throughout the length of our simulations. Thermodynamic quantities are extracted with minimum statistical variance using multistate reweighting between simulations at different temperatures and harmonic distance restraints from the surface. The resultant free energies, enthalpies, and entropies of the coupled unfolding and absorption processes are in qualitative agreement with previous experimental and computational observations, including entropic stabilization of the adsorbed, folded state relative to the bulk on surfaces with low attraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4952-4961
Number of pages10
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 6 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry


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