The protein–membrane interactions that mediate viral infection occur via loosely ordered, transient assemblies, creating challenges for high-resolution structure determination. Computational methods and in particular molecular dynamics simulation have thus become important adjuncts for integrating experimental data, developing mechanistic models, and suggesting testable hypotheses regarding viral function. However, the large molecular scales of virus–host interaction also create challenges for detailed molecular simulation. For this reason, continuum membrane models have played a large historical role, although they have become less favored for high-resolution models of protein assemblies and lipid organization. Here, we review recent progress in the field, with an emphasis on the insight that has been gained using a mixture of coarse-grained and atomic-resolution molecular dynamics simulations. Based on successes and challenges to date, we suggest a multiresolution strategy that should yield the best mixture of computational efficiency and physical fidelity. This strategy may facilitate further simulations of viral entry by a broader range of viruses, helping illuminate the diversity of viral entry strategies and the essential common elements that can be targeted for antiviral therapies.
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Review Article| November 16 2021
Computational methods to study enveloped viral entry
Peter M. Kasson
1Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala 75124, Sweden
2Departments of Molecular Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, U.S.A.
Correspondence: Peter M. Kasson (email@example.com)
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Alzbeta Tuerkova, Peter M. Kasson; Computational methods to study enveloped viral entry. Biochem Soc Trans 17 December 2021; 49 (6): 2527–2537. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20210190
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