A priori evaluation of aqueous polarization effects through Monte Carlo QM-MM simulations

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Science  23 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5082, pp. 631-635
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411573


A Monte Carlo quantum mechanical-molecular mechanical (QM-MM) simulation method was used to determine the contributions of the solvent polarization effect to the total interaction energies between solute and solvent for amino acid side chains and nucleotide bases in aqueous solution. In the present AM1-TIP3P approach, the solute molecule is characterized by valence electrons and nucleus cores with Hartree-Fock theory incorporating explicit solvent effects into the total Hamiltonian, while the solvent is approximated by the three-point charge TIP3P model. The polarization energy contributes 10 to 20 percent of the total electrostatic energy in these systems. The performance of the hybrid AM1-TIP3P model was further validated by consideration of bimolecular complexes with water and by computation of the free energies of solvation of organic molecules using statistical perturbation theory. Excellent agreement with ab initio 6-31G(d) results and experimental solvation free energies was obtained.