A Monte Carlo method for conformational analysis of saccharides

Thomas Peters*, Bernd Meyer, Rainer Stuike-Prill, Ray Somorjai, Jean Robert Brisson

*Corresponding author for this work
116 Citations (Scopus)


A Metropolis Monte Carlo (MMC) algorithm was applied to explore conformational spaces spanned by the exocyclic dihedral angles of four disaccharides α-d-Man(1 → 3)α-d-Man(1 → O)Me (1), α-d-Man(1 → 2)-α-d-Man(1 → O)Me (2), methyl β-cellobioside (3), and methyl β-maltoside (4). The simulation method uses the HSEA force field and randomly samples the conformational space with an automatic preference for low-energy states. In comparison to a systematic grid search, MMC offers a much more convenient and efficient protocol for the computation of ensemble average values of experimentally accessible NMR parameters such as NOE effects or 3J coupling constants. Energy barriers of a few kcal/mol were found to be surmounted easily when running the simulations with the temperature parameter set at room temperature, whereas passing significantly higher barriers required elevated temperature parameters. Ensemble average NOE values were calculated using the MMC technique and a conventional systematic grid search showing that the MMC method adequately samples the conformational spaces of 1-4. Theoretical NOEs derived for global or local minimum conformations are different from ensemble average values, and it is shown that averaged NOEs agree significantly better with experimental data. Ensemble average NOEs for 1 derived from MMC/HSEA, and previously reported MM2CARB and AMBER calculations all showed good agreement with experimental data, with MMC/HSEA giving the closest fit.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Issue numberC
Pages (from-to)49-73
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 15.01.1993


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