Protein-protein docking is a molecular modeling strategy to predict biomolecular complexes and assemblies. Traditional protein-protein docking is performed at atomic resolution, which relies on X-ray and NMR experiments to provide structural information. When dealing with biomolecular assemblies of millions of atoms, atomic description of molecular objects becomes very computational inefficient. This article describes a development work that introduces map objects to molecular modeling studies to efficiently derive complex structures through map-map conformational search. This method has been implemented into CHARMM as the EMAP command and into AMBER in its SANDER program. This development enables molecular modeling and simulation to manipulate map objects, including map input, output, comparison, docking, etc. Through map objects, users can efficiently construct complex structures through protein-protein docking as well as from electron microscopy maps according to low map energies. Using a T-cell receptor (TCR) variable domain and acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) as example systems, we showed the application to model an energetic optimized complex structure according to a complex map. The map objects serve as a bridge between high-resolution atomic structures and low-resolution image data.
Part of the book: Molecular Docking and Molecular Dynamics