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Chemically Transferable Generative Backmapping of Coarse-Grained Proteins

Soojung Yang · Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli

Exhibit Hall 1 #628
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Coarse-graining (CG) accelerates molecular simulations of protein dynamics by simulating sets of atoms as singular beads. Backmapping is the opposite operation of bringing lost atomistic details back from the CG representation. While machine learning (ML) has produced accurate and efficient CG simulations of proteins, fast and reliable backmapping remains a challenge. Rule-based methods produce poor all-atom geometries, needing computationally costly refinement through additional simulations. Recently proposed ML approaches outperform traditional baselines but are not transferable between proteins and sometimes generate unphysical atom placements with steric clashes and implausible torsion angles. This work addresses both issues to build a fast, transferable, and reliable generative backmapping tool for CG protein representations. We achieve generalization and reliability through a combined set of innovations: representation based on internal coordinates; an equivariant encoder/prior; a custom loss function that helps ensure local structure, global structure, and physical constraints; and expert curation of high-quality out-of-equilibrium protein data for training. Our results pave the way for out-of-the-box backmapping of coarse-grained simulations for arbitrary proteins.

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