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Development of a quantum mechanics-based free-energy perturbation method: use in the calculation of relative solvation free energies



Development of a quantum mechanics-based free-energy perturbation method: use in the calculation of relative solvation free energies



Journal of the American Chemical Society 126(20): 6224-6225



Free-energy perturbation (FEP) is considered the most accurate computational method for calculating relative solvation and binding free-energy differences. Despite some success in applying FEP methods to both drug design and lead optimization, FEP calculations are rarely used in the pharmaceutical industry. One factor limiting the use of FEP is its low throughput, which is attributed in part to the dependence of conventional methods on the user's ability to develop accurate molecular mechanics (MM) force field parameters for individual drug candidates and the time required to complete the process. In an attempt to find an FEP method that could eventually be automated, we developed a method that uses quantum mechanics (QM) for treating the solute, MM for treating the solute surroundings, and the FEP method for computing free-energy differences. The thread technique was used in all transformations and proved to be essential for the successful completion of the calculations. Relative solvation free energies for 10 structurally diverse molecular pairs were calculated, and the results were in close agreement with both the calculated results generated by conventional FEP methods and the experimentally derived values. While considerably more CPU demanding than conventional FEP methods, this method (QM/MM-based FEP) alleviates the need for development of molecule-specific MM force field parameters and therefore may enable future automation of FEP-based calculations. Moreover, calculation accuracy should be improved over conventional methods, especially for calculations reliant on MM parameters derived in the absence of experimental data.

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Accession: 034715060

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15149207

DOI: 10.1021/ja049281r


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