Membrane Protein Structural Dynamics Consortium (MPSDC) team members Klaus Schulten and Emad Tajkhorshid from the Computational Modeling Core recently collaborated on an publication about a new Force Field Toolkit (ffTK), which minimizes common barriers to ligand parameterization through algorithm and method development, automation of tedious and error-prone tasks, and graphical user interface design. Distributed as a VMD plugin, ffTK facilitates the traversal of a clear and organized workflow resulting in a complete set of CHARMM-compatible parameters.
The article, titled Rapid parameterization of small molecules using the Force Field Toolkit was published in the Journal of Computational Chemistry and featured as a Cover Article for Volume 34, Issue 32. The journal provided the following caption along with the cover: “The Force Field Toolkit (ffTK), a new plugin for visual molecular dynamics by Christopher G. Mayne et al. on page 2757, aids users in the development of CHARMM/CGenFF-compatible force field parameters for small molecules. The primary function of ffTK is to generate quantum mechanical target data and optimize molecular mechanics force field parameters. The cover shows water interation profiles (center left), which are computed at each iteration of the partial atomic charge optimization, and torsion scans (left to right), which are used to compute potential energy surfaces during dihedral parameter optimization. ffTK also provides a suite of analytical tools to assess optimization metrics and parameter performance using embedded plotting utilities (background).”
Click the image to view the cover, and the inset text, in more detail: