All-atom normal mode dynamics of HIV-1 capsid

Hyuntae Na, Guang Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Dynamics of biomolecular assemblies offer invaluable insights into their functional mechanisms. For extremely large biomolecular systems, such as HIV-1 capsid that has nearly 5 millions atoms, obtaining its normal mode dynamics using even coarse-grained models can be a challenging task. In this work, we have successfully carried out a normal mode analysis of an entire HIV-1 capsid in full all-atom details. This is made possible through our newly developed BOSE (Block of Selected Elasticity) model that is founded on the principle of resonance discovered in our recent work. The resonance principle makes it possible to most efficiently compute the vibrations of a whole capsid at any given frequency by projecting the motions of component capsomeres into a narrow subspace. We have conducted also assessments of the quality of the BOSE modes by comparing them with benchmark modes obtained directly from the original Hessian matrix. Our all-atom normal mode dynamics study of the HIV-1 capsid reveals the dynamic role of the pentamers in stabilizing the capsid structure and is in agreement with experimental findings that suggest capsid disassembly and uncoating start when the pentamers become destabilized. Our results on the dynamics of hexamer pores suggest that nucleotide transport should take place mostly at hexamers near pentamers, especially at the larger hemispherical end.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006456
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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