Coarse-grained models to study dynamics of nanoscale biomolecules and their applications to the ribosome

J Trylska, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 22, 453101 (2010).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/45/453101

Biopolymers are of dynamic nature and undergo functional motions spanning a large spectrum of timescales. To study the internal dynamics of nano-sized molecular complexes that exceed hundred thousands of atoms with atomic detail is computationally inefficient. Therefore, to achieve both the spatial and temporal scales of biological interest coarse- grained models of macromolecules are often used. By uniting groups of atoms into single interacting centers one decreases the resolution of the system and gets rid of the irrelevant degrees of freedom. This simplification, even though it requires parameterization, makes the studies of biomolecular dynamics computationally tractable and allows us to reach beyond the microsecond time frame. Here, I review the coarse- grained models of macromolecules composed of proteins and nucleic acids. I give examples of one-bead models that were developed to investigate the internal dynamics and focus on their applications to the ribosome- the nanoscale protein synthesis machine.

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