ParmBSC1 force-field

ParmBSC1 forcefield, a refined force-field for the atomistic simulation of DNA.

Parmbsc1: a refined force field for DNA simulations, Nature Methods, Brief Communication

The set of parameters defined in parmBSC1 forcefield can be found in the next download section. Also, instructions to use it with Amber package are described in the next instructions section.

Download files:

ParmBSC1 forcefield consists of two different files:

Library Parameters
Frcmod Parameters

Download ParmBSC1 forcefield parameters


Loading the parmBSC1 force-field using AmberTools14 (free at

  1. Source leaprc.ff14SB, default parm99bsc0 parameters for DNA ($AMBERHOME/dat/leap/cmd/leaprc.ff14SB).
  2. Load parmBSC1.lib, a library that has all DNA nucleotides but having changed the following atom types:
    • atom name C5' is changed from CT to CI (parmbsc0)
    • atom name C3' is changed from CT to CE.
    • atom name C8 is changed from CK to C1 (adenine).
    • atom name C5 and C6 are changed from CM to C2 (thymine).
  3. Load an extra parameters file (parmBSC1.frcmod) that includes all the new parameters needed due to the new atom types definition and the new QM-fitted parameters.
  4. Load the pdb of the structure that you want to simulate.
  5. Perform any additional command (addions, solvate, saveamberparm, etc.).


Example using Ambertools Leap program:

source $AMBERHOME/dat/leap/cmd/leaprc.ff14SB
addAtomTypes {
  { "C1" "C" "sp2" }
  { "C2" "C" "sp2" }
  { "CI" "C" "sp3" }
  { "CE" "C" "sp3" }
 loadoff parmBSC1.lib
 loadamberparams parmBSC1.frcmod


Loading the parmBSC1 force-field using Gromacs (free at

The recommended option is using the native porting developed by Berg Hess (Gromacs Developer) for Gromacs. It can be found here:

GROMACS Force Fields: User contributions with the name amber99bsc1.ff.tgz