Source:The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 116:7026–32, 2012
Atomic-level molecular dynamics simulations are widely used for the characterization of the structural dynamics of proteins; however, they are limited to shorter time scales than the duration of most of the relevant biological processes. Properly designed coarse-grained models that trade atomic resolution for efficient sampling allow access to much longer time-scales. In-depth understanding of the structural dynamics, however, must involve atomic details. In this study, we tested a method for the rapid reconstruction of all-atom models from $\alpha$ carbon atom positions in the application to convert a coarse-grained folding trajectory of a well described model system: the B domain of protein A. The results show that the method and the spatial resolution of the resulting coarse-grained models enable computationally inexpensive reconstruction of realistic all-atom models. Additionally, by means of structural clustering, we determined the most persistent ensembles of the key folding step, the transition state. Importantly, the analysis of the overall structural topologies suggests a dominant folding pathway. This, together with the all-atom characterization of the obtained ensembles, in the form of contact maps, matches the experimental results well.