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Electrostatic Effects on the Stability of Peptide Radicals

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posted on 10.09.2018, 00:00 by Harish Jangra, Hendrik Zipse
We explored the influence of external electric fields (EEFs) on the stability of a glycine dipeptide model radical using high-level quantum chemical methods. Remotely located ions (Cl/Na+) are used to implement EEF effects. The effects of these ions are reproduced using background point charges and oriented EEFs. Remote charges as far as 900 pm from the Cα radical center can be significantly stabilizing or destabilizing as a function of their relative orientation. The magnitude of these effects is also strongly dependent on the distance between the radical center and the charge location. After examining the strengths and weaknesses of some frequently used quantum mechanics methods in describing these effects properly, a comparison is made on the stability of dipeptide radicals bearing protonable or deprotonable side chains. In this group, the stability of the respective Cα radicals mainly depends on the preferred orientation of the charge-carrying side chain.