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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Roy J. Carver Department of, Computer Science, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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Journal of Molecular Biology





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The dynamics of proteins are important for understanding their functions. In recent years, the simple coarse-grained Gaussian Network Model (GNM) has been fairly successful in interpreting crystallographic B-factors. However, the model clearly ignores the contribution of the rigid body motions and the effect of crystal packing. The model cannot explain the fact that the same protein may have significantly different B-factors under different crystal packing conditions. In this work, we propose a new Gaussian network model, called vGNM, which takes into account both the contribution of the rigid body motions and the effect of crystal packing, by allowing the amplitude of the internal modes to be variables. It hypothesizes that the effect of crystal packing should cause some modes to be amplified, and others to become less feasible. In doing so, vGNM is able to resolve the apparent discrepancy in experimental B-factors among structures of the same protein but with different crystal packing conditions, which GNM cannot explain. With a small number of parameters, vGNM is able to reproduce experimental B-factors for a large set of proteins with significantly better correlations (having a mean value of 0.81 as compared to 0.59 by GNM). The results of applying vGNM also show that the rigid body motions account for nearly 60% of the total fluctuations, in good agreement with previous findings.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Song, Guang, and Robert L. Jernigan. "vGNM: a better model for understanding the dynamics of proteins in crystals." Journal of molecular biology 369, no. 3 (2007): 880-893. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2007.03.059. Posted with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Elsevier Ltd



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