Jennifer L. Knight

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We have used systematic fluorescence resonance energy transfer and distance-constrained docking to define the three-dimensional structures of bacterial RNA polymerase holoenzyme and the bacterial RNA polymerase-promoter open complex in solution. The structures provide a framework for understanding sigma(70)-(RNA polymerase core), sigma(70)-DNA, and(More)
The rapid emergence of drug-resistant variants of human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), has limited the efficacy of anti-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) treatments, and new lead compounds that target novel binding sites are needed. We have determined the 3.15 A resolution crystal structure of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) complexed(More)
The parametrization and validation of the OPLS3 force field for small molecules and proteins are reported. Enhancements with respect to the previous version (OPLS2.1) include the addition of off-atom charge sites to represent halogen bonding and aryl nitrogen lone pairs as well as a complete refit of peptide dihedral parameters to better model the native(More)
We introduce a toolset of program libraries collectively titled multipurpose atom-typer for CHARMM (MATCH) for the automated assignment of atom types and force field parameters for molecular mechanics simulation of organic molecules. The toolset includes utilities for the conversion of multiple chemical structure file formats into a molecular graph. A(More)
The antibacterial peptide microcin J25 (MccJ25) inhibits transcription by bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). Biochemical results indicate that inhibition of transcription occurs at the level of NTP uptake or NTP binding by RNAP. Genetic results indicate that inhibition of transcription requires an extensive determinant, comprising more than 50 amino acid(More)
Using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we have defined bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) clamp conformation at each step in transcription initiation and elongation. We find that the clamp predominantly is open in free RNAP and early intermediates in transcription initiation but closes upon formation of a catalytically competent(More)
Designing tight-binding ligands is a primary objective of small-molecule drug discovery. Over the past few decades, free-energy calculations have benefited from improved force fields and sampling algorithms, as well as the advent of low-cost parallel computing. However, it has proven to be challenging to reliably achieve the level of accuracy that would be(More)
Modeling structural variability is critical for understanding protein function and for modeling reliable targets for in silico docking experiments. Because of the time-intensive nature of manual X-ray crystallographic refinement, automated refinement methods that thoroughly explore conformational space are essential for the systematic construction of(More)
Free energy calculations are fundamental to obtaining accurate theoretical estimates of many important biological phenomena including hydration energies, protein-ligand binding affinities and energetics of conformational changes. Unlike traditional free energy perturbation and thermodynamic integration methods, lambda-dynamics treats the conventional(More)
Accurate and reliable calculation of protein-ligand binding affinities remains a hotbed of computer-aided drug design research. Despite the potentially large impact FEP (free energy perturbation) may have in drug design projects, practical applications of FEP in industrial contexts have been limited. In this work, we use a recently developed method,(More)