Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can model the interactions between macromolecules with high spatiotemporal resolution but at a high computational cost. By combining high-throughput MD with Markov state models (MSMs), it is now possible to obtain long time-scale behavior of small to intermediate biomolecules and complexes. To model the interactions of many molecules at large length scales, particle-based reaction-diffusion (RD) simulations are more suitable but lack molecular detail. Thus, coupling MSMs and RD simulations (MSM/RD) would be highly desirable, as they could efficiently produce simulations at large time and length scales, while still conserving the characteristic features of the interactions observed at atomic detail. While such a coupling seems straightforward, fundamental questions are still open: Which definition of MSM states is suitable? Which protocol to merge and split RD particles in an association/dissociation reaction will conserve the correct bimolecular kinetics and thermodynamics? In this paper, we make the first step toward MSM/RD by laying out a general theory of coupling and proposing a first implementation for association/dissociation of a protein with a small ligand (A + B ⇌ C). Applications on a toy model and CO diffusion into the heme cavity of myoglobin are reported.

You do not currently have access to this content.