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Method to Predict Crowding Effects by Postprocessing Molecular Dynamics Trajectories: Application to the Flap Dynamics of HIV-1 Protease

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The internal dynamics of proteins inside of cells may be affected by the crowded intracellular environments. Here, we test a novel approach to simulations of crowding, in which simulations in the absence of crowders are postprocessed to predict crowding effects, against the direct approach of simulations in the presence of crowders. The effects of crowding on the flap dynamics of HIV-1 protease predicted by the postprocessing approach are found to agree well with those calculated by the direct approach. The postprocessing approach presents distinct advantages over the direct approach in terms of accuracy and speed and is expected to have broad impact on atomistic simulations of macromolecular crowding.

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