SAMPL5: 3D-RISM partition coefficient calculations with partial molar volume corrections and solute conformational sampling

Implicit solvent methods for classical molecular modeling are frequently used to provide fast, physics-based hydration free energies of macromolecules. Less commonly considered is the transferability of these methods to other solvents. The Statistical Assessment of Modeling of Proteins and Ligands 5 (SAMPL5) distribution coefficient dataset and the accompanying explicit solvent partition coefficient reference calculations provide a direct test of solvent model transferability. Here we use the 3D reference interaction site model (3D-RISM) statistical-mechanical solvation theory, with a well tested water model and a new united atom cyclohexane model, to calculate partition coefficients for the SAMPL5 dataset. The cyclohexane model performed well in training and testing ([Formula: see text] for amino acid neutral side chain analogues) but only if a parameterized solvation free energy correction was used. In contrast, the same protocol, using single solute conformations, performed poorly on the SAMPL5 dataset, obtaining [Formula: see text] compared to the reference partition coefficients, likely due to the much larger solute sizes. Including solute conformational sampling through molecular dynamics coupled with 3D-RISM (MD/3D-RISM) improved agreement with the reference calculation to [Formula: see text]. Since our initial calculations only considered partition coefficients and not distribution coefficients, solute sampling provided little benefit comparing against experiment, where ionized and tautomer states are more important. Applying a simple [Formula: see text] correction improved agreement with experiment from [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text], despite a small number of outliers. Better agreement is possible by accounting for tautomers and improving the ionization correction.