Path-integral calculations of nuclear quantum effects in model systems, small molecules, and enzymes via gradient-based forward corrector algorithms

Asaf Azuri, Hamutal Engel, Dvir Doron, Dan Thomas Major

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A practical approach to treat nuclear quantum mechanical (QM) effects in simulations of condensed phases, such as enzymes, is via Feynman path integral (PI) formulations. Typically, the standard primitive approximation (PA) is employed in enzymatic PI simulations. Nonetheless, these PI simulations are computationally demanding due to the large number of discretizations, or beads, required to obtain converged results. The efficiency of PI simulations may be greatly improved if higher order factorizations of the density matrix operator are employed. Herein, we compare the results of model calculations obtained employing the standard PA, the improved operator of Takahashi and Imada (TI), and several gradient-based forward corrector algorithms due to Chin (CH). The quantum partition function is computed for the harmonic oscillator, Morse, symmetric, and asymmetric double well potentials. These potentials are simple models for nuclear quantum effects, such as zero-point energy and tunneling. It is shown that a unique set of CH parameters may be employed for a variety of systems. Additionally, the nuclear QM effects of a water molecule, treated with density functional theory, are computed. Finally, we derive a practical perturbation expression for efficient computation of isotope effects in chemical systems using the staging algorithm. This new isotope effect approach is tested in conjunction with the PA, TI, and CH methods to compute the equilibrium isotope effect in the Schiff base-oxyanion keto-enol tautomerism in the cofactor pyridoxal-5′-phosphate in the enzyme alanine racemase. The study of the different factorization methods reveals that the higher-order actions converge substantially faster than the PA approach, at a moderate computational cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1286
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 May 2011

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