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Biomolecular surface construction by PDE transform. (English) Zbl 1244.92024
Summary: This work proposes a new framework for the surface generation based on the partial differential equation (PDE) transform. The PDE transform has recently been introduced as a general approach for the mode decomposition of images, signals, and data. It relies on the use of arbitrarily high-order PDEs to achieve the time-frequency localization, control the spectral distribution, and regulate the spatial resolution. The present work provides a new variational derivation of high-order PDE transforms. The fast Fourier transform is utilized to accomplish the PDE transform so as to avoid stringent stability constraints in solving high-order PDEs. As a consequence, the time integration of high-order PDEs can be done efficiently with the fast Fourier transform.
The present approach is validated with a variety of test examples in two-dimensional and three-dimensional settings. We explore the impact of the PDE transform parameters, such as the PDE order and propagation time, on the quality of resulting surfaces. Additionally, we utilize a set of 10 proteins to compare the computational efficiency of the present surface generation method and a standard approach in Cartesian meshes. Moreover, we analyze the present method by examining some benchmark indicators of biomolecular surfaces, that is, surface area, surface-enclosed volume, solvation free energy, and surface electrostatic potential.
A test set of 13 protein molecules is used in the present investigation. The electrostatic analysis is carried out via the Poisson-Boltzmann equation model. To further demonstrate the utility of the present PDE transform-based surface method, we solve the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations with a PDE transform surface of a protein. Second-order convergence is observed for the electrostatic potential and concentrations. Finally, to test the capability and efficiency of the present PDE transform-based surface generation method, we apply it to the construction of an excessively large biomolecule, a virus surface capsid. Virus surface morphologies of different resolutions are attained by adjusting the propagation time. Therefore, the present PDE transform provides a multiresolution analysis in the surface visualization. Extensive numerical experiments and comparisons with an established surface model indicate that the present PDE transform is a robust, stable, and efficient approach for biomolecular surface generation in Cartesian meshes.

MSC:
92C40 Biochemistry, molecular biology
35Q92 PDEs in connection with biology, chemistry and other natural sciences
65T50 Numerical methods for discrete and fast Fourier transforms
92-08 Computational methods for problems pertaining to biology
Software:
PDB2PQR; MIBPB
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