A Parametric Rosetta Energy Function Analysis with LK Peptides on SAM Surfaces

Joseph H. Lubin, Michael S. Pacella, Jeffrey J. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although structures have been determined for many soluble proteins and an increasing number of membrane proteins, experimental structure determination methods are limited for complexes of proteins and solid surfaces. An economical alternative or complement to experimental structure determination is molecular simulation. Rosetta is one software suite that models protein-surface interactions, but Rosetta is normally benchmarked on soluble proteins. For surface interactions, the validity of the energy function is uncertain because it is a combination of independent parameters from energy functions developed separately for solution proteins and mineral surfaces. Here, we assess the performance of the RosettaSurface algorithm and test the accuracy of its energy function by modeling the adsorption of leucine/lysine (LK)-repeat peptides on methyl- and carboxy-terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). We investigated how RosettaSurface predictions for this system compare with the experimental results, which showed that on both surfaces, LK-α peptides folded into helices and LK-β peptides held extended structures. Utilizing this model system, we performed a parametric analysis of Rosetta's Talaris energy function and determined that adjusting solvation parameters offered improved predictive accuracy. Simultaneously increasing lysine carbon hydrophilicity and the hydrophobicity of the surface methyl head groups yielded computational predictions most closely matching the experimental results. De novo models still should be interpreted skeptically unless bolstered in an integrative approach with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5279-5289
Number of pages11
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 8 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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