Abstract: Computation of the solvation free energy for chemical and biological processes has long been of significant interest. The key challenges to effective solvation modeling center on the choice of potential function and configurational sampling. Herein, an energy sampling approach termed the “Movable Type” (MT) method, and a statistical energy function for solvation modeling, “Knowledge-based and Empirical Combined Scoring Algorithm” (KECSA) are developed and utilized to create an implicit solvation model: KECSA-Movable Type Implicit Solvation Model (KMTISM) suitable for the study of chemical and biological systems. KMTISM is an implicit solvation model, but the MT method performs energy sampling at the atom pairwise level. For a specific molecular system, the MT method collects energies from prebuilt databases for the requisite atom pairs at all relevant distance ranges, which by its very construction encodes all possible molecular configurations simultaneously. Unlike traditional statistical energy functions, KECSA converts structural statistical information into categorized atom pairwise interaction energies as a function of the radial distance instead of a mean force energy function. Within the implicit solvent model approximation, aqueous solvation free energies are then obtained from the NVT ensemble partition function generated by the MT method. Validation is performed against several subsets selected from the Minnesota Solvation Database v2012. Results are compared with several solvation free energy calculation methods, including a one-to-one comparison against two commonly used classical implicit solvation models: MM-GBSA and MM-PBSA. Comparison against a quantum mechanics based polarizable continuum model is also discussed (Cramer and Truhlar’s Solvation Model 12).
Authors: Z. Zheng, T. Wang, P. Li, and K. M. Merz, Jr.