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Browsing by Author "Paajanen, Santeri"

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  • Paajanen, Santeri (2022)
    NMDA receptors are ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), tetrameric proteins, mediating synaptic transmission in the brain and the whole nervous system. Together with another type of iGluRs, AMPA receptors, they are considered essential for neuronal plasticity and memory. Understanding their dynamics and different kinetics is vital for studying various neurological diseases. The relatively slow dynamics, where the time scales of related processes range up to hundreds of milliseconds, make studying them with Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations challenging. We developed the Functional Sampling Tool (FST), a novel method for enhancing the sampling of a function of interest. Compared to existing enhanced sampling schemes it strikes a balance between generality and simplicity, minimising the need of user input, while allowing for maximal customisability. Using FST, we studied two processes of the NMDA receptor. By keeping all four ligands bound we simulated a desensitisation pathway, and by removing all four we simulated an inactivation pathway. The tool sampled both, giving a good distribution between open and closed states. The tool also allowed us to change the function in the middle of sampling. With the new function we were able to produce more data, focusing on a certain value range.