Deciphering the Complexity of Ligand-Protein Recognition Pathways Using Supervised Molecular Dynamics (SuMD) Simulations

A. Cuzzolin, M. Sturlese, G. Deganutti, V. Salmaso, D. Sabbadin, A. Ciancetta, S. Moro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular recognition is a crucial issue when aiming to interpret the mechanism of known active substances as well as to develop novel active candidates. Unfortunately, simulating the binding process is still a challenging task because it requires classical MD experiments in a long microsecond time scale that are affordable only with a high-level computational capacity. In order to overcome this limiting factor, we have recently implemented an alternative MD approach, named supervised molecular dynamics (SuMD), and successfully applied it to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). SuMD enables the investigation of ligand–receptor binding events independently from the starting position, chemical structure of the ligand, and also from its receptor binding affinity. In this article, we present an extension of the SuMD application domain including different types of proteins in comparison with GPCRs. In particular, we have deeply analyzed the ligand–protein recognition pathways of six different case studies that we grouped into two different classes: globular and membrane proteins. Moreover, we introduce the SuMD-Analyzer tool that we have specifically implemented to help the user in the analysis of the SuMD trajectories. Finally, we emphasize the limit of the SuMD applicability domain as well as its strengths in analyzing the complexity of ligand–protein recognition pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687–705
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Issue number4
Early online date14 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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