How do I define my own residue types, such as D-amino acids, special ligands, and unnatural amino-acids?
This is a painful area in all molecular modeling programs. However, CHARMM and X-PLOR provide a reasonably straightforward solution via the residue topology and parameter libraries. MODELLER uses CHARMM topology and parameter library format and also extends the options by allowing for a generic “BLK” residue type (Section 5.2.1). This BLK residue type circumvents the need for editing any library files, but it is not always possible to use it. Due to its conformational rigidity, it is also not as accurate as a normal residue type. In order to define a new residue type in the MODELLER libraries, you have to follow the series of steps described below. As an example, we will define the ALA residue without any hydrogen atoms. You can add an entry to the MODELLER topology or parameter file; you can also use your own topology or parameter files. For more information, please see the CHARMM manual.