Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Aqueous Solvation of Sugars
Recently, several molecular dynamics simulations of the aqueous solvation of carbohydrates have been reported. These studies represent the first theoretical picture available of the microscopic character of sugar solutions, and may provide explanations of the unusual and complex behavior of this class of molecules in solution. This paper will discuss two MD simulations of D-glucopyranose, including a free energy perturbation calculation of the anomeric free energy difference. Solvation was found to have little effect upon the mean conformational structure of the pyranoid rings, but the presence of solvent significantly affected the motions and orientations of the exocyclic groups. Adjacent functional groups of the sugar rings were found to mutually perturb one another’s hydration, depending upon the local stereochemistry, which may prove to play a part in the observed anomeric preferences of the sugars. From a component analysis of the free energy of solvation of the two anomers of D-glucopyranose, it was found that a large solvation term favors the beta anomer, which is the form found to be preferred in aqueous solution.
KeywordsMolecular Dynamic Simulation Potential Energy Function Pair Distribution Function Hydroxymethyl Group Aqueous Solvation
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