Conformational manifold of α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) containing alanine-based tripeptides in aqueous solution explored by vibrational spectroscopy, electronic circular dichroism spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations

Reinhard Schweitzer-Stenner, Widalys Gonzales, Gregory T. Bourne, Jianwen A. Feng, Garland R. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Replacement of the α-proton of an alanine residue to generate α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) in alanine-based oligopeptides favors the formation of a 310 helix when the length of the oligopeptide is about four to six residues. This research was aimed at experimentally identifying the structural impact of an individual Aib residue in an alanine context of short peptides in water and Aib's influence on the conformation of nearest-neighbor residues. The amide I band profile of the IR, isotropic and anisotropic Raman, and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectra of Ac-Ala-Ala-Aib-OMe, Ac-Ala-Aib-Ala-OMe, and Ac-Aib-Ala-Ala-OMe were measured and analyzed in terms of different structural models by utilizing an algorithm that exploits the excitonic coupling between amide I′ modes. The conformational search was guided by the respective 1H NMR and electronic circular dichroism spectra of the respective peptides, which were also recorded. From these analyses, all peptides adopted multiple conformations. Aib predominantly sampled the right-handed and left-handed 310-helix region and to a minor extent the bridge region between the polyproline (PPII) and the helical regions of the Ramachandran plot. Generally, alanine showed the anticipated PPII propensity, but its conformational equilibrium was shifted towards helical conformations in Ac-Aib-Ala-Ala-OMe, indicating that Aib can induce helical conformations of neighboring residues positioned towards the C-terminal direction of the peptide. An energy landscape exploration by molecular dynamics simulations corroborated the results of the spectroscopic studies. They also revealed the dynamics and pathways of potential conformational transitions of the corresponding Aib residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13095-13109
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume129
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2007

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