Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations of DNA in Complex 3D Arrangements for Comparison with Lower Resolution Structural Experiments

George Watson, Victor Velasco-Berrelleza, Agnes Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atomic-level computer simulations are a very useful tool for describing the structure and dynamics of complex biomolecules such as DNA and for providing detail at a resolution where experimental techniques cannot arrive. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of mechanically distorted DNA caused by agents like supercoiling and protein binding are computationally challenging due to the large size of the associated systems and timescales. However, nowadays they are achievable thanks to the efficient usage of GPU and to the improvements of continuum solvation models. This together with the concurrent improvements in the resolution of single-molecule experiments, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), makes possible the convergence between the two. Here we present detailed protocols for doing so: for performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of DNA adopting complex three-dimensional arrangements and for comparing the outcome of the calculations with single-molecule experimental data with a lower resolution than atomic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


  • DNA/chemistry
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Protein Binding

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