Krieger, James Michael / Sorzano, Carlos Oscar S. / Carazo, Jose Maria / Bahar, Ivet. Protein dynamics developments for the large scale and cryoEM: case study of ProDy 2.0. 2022-04. Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology, Vol. 78, p. 399-409
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) has become a well established technique with the potential to produce structures of large and dynamic supramolecular complexes that are not amenable to traditional approaches for studying structure and dynamics. The size and low resolution of such molecular systems often make structural modelling and molecular dynamics simulations challenging and computationally expensive. This, together with the growing wealth of structural data arising from cryoEM and other structural biology methods, has driven a trend in the computational biophysics community towards the development of new pipelines for analysing global dynamics using coarse-grained models and methods. At the centre of this trend has been a return to elastic network models, normal mode analysis (NMA) and ensemble analyses such as principal component analysis, and the growth of hybrid simulation methodologies that make use of them. Here, this field is reviewed with a focus on ProDy, the Python application programming interface for protein dynamics, which has been developed over the last decade. Two key developments in this area are highlighted: (i) ensemble NMA towards extracting and comparing the signature dynamics of homologous structures, aided by the recent SignDy pipeline, and (ii) pseudoatom fitting for more efficient global dynamics analyses of large and low-resolution supramolecular assemblies from cryoEM, revisited in the CryoDy pipeline. It is believed that such a renewal and extension of old models and methods in new pipelines will be critical for driving the field forward into the next cryoEM revolution.