Keywords: Variational Autoencoder, Molecular Dynamics, Adaptive Sampling
TL;DR: We proposed an adaptive sampling method with variational autoencoder to accelerate the exploration of protein conformational space.
Abstract: Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is widely used to study protein conformations and dynamics. However, conventional simulation suffers from being trapped in some local energy minima that are hard to escape. Thus, most computational time is spent sampling in the already visited regions. This leads to an inefficient sampling process and further hinders the exploration of protein movements in affordable simulation time. The advancement of deep learning provides new opportunities for protein sampling. Variational autoencoders are a class of deep learning models to learn a low-dimensional representation (referred to as the latent space) that can capture the key features of the input data. Based on this characteristic, we proposed a new adaptive sampling method, latent space assisted adaptive sampling for protein trajectories (LAST), to accelerate the exploration of protein conformational space. This method comprises cycles of (i) variational autoencoders training, (ii) seed structure selection on the latent space and (iii) conformational sampling through additional MD simulations. The proposed approach is validated through the sampling of four structures of two protein systems: two metastable states of E. Coli adenosine kinase (ADK) and two native states of Vivid (VVD). In all four conformations, seed structures were shown to lie on the boundary of conformation distributions. Moreover, large conformational changes were observed in a shorter simulation time when compared with conventional MD (cMD) simulations in both systems. In metastable ADK simulations, LAST explored two transition paths toward two stable states while cMD became trapped in an energy basin. In VVD light state simulations, LAST was three times faster than cMD simulation with a similar conformational space.
Track: Original Research Track