American Chemical Society
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A Stereoelectronic Effect on Turn Formation Due to Proline Substitution in Elastin-Mimetic Polypeptides

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-12-28, 00:00 authored by Wookhyun Kim, R. Andrew McMillan, James P. Snyder, Vincent P. Conticello
Stereoelectronic effects have been identified as contributing factors to the conformational stability of collagen-mimetic peptide sequences. To assess the relevance of these factors within other protein structural contexts, three polypeptide sequences were prepared in which the sequences were derived from the canonical repeat unit (Val-Pro-Gly-Val-Gly) of the protein material elastin. These elastin-mimetic polypeptides, elastin-1, elastin-2, and elastin-3, incorporate (2S)-proline, (2S,4S)-4-fluoroproline, and (2S,4R)-4-fluoroproline, respectively, at the second position of the elastin repeat. Calorimetric and spectroscopic investigations of these three polypeptides indicate that the incorporation of the substituted proline residues had a dramatic effect upon the self-assembly of the corresponding elastin peptide. The presence of (2S,4R)-4-fluoroproline in elastin-3 lowered the temperature of the phase transition and increased the type II β-turn population with respect to the parent polypeptide, while the presence of (2S,4S)-4-fluoroproline in elastin-2 had the opposite effect. These results suggest that stereoelectronic effects could either enhance or hinder the self-assembly of elastin-mimetic polypeptides, depending on the influence of the proline analogue on the energetics of the β-turn conformation that develops within the pentapeptide structural repeats above the phase transition. Density functional theory (DFT) was employed to model three possible turn types (βI-, βII-, and inverse γ-turns) derived from model peptide segments (MeCO-Xaa-Gly-NHMe) (Xaa = Pro, 4S-F-Pro, or 4R-F-Pro) corresponding to the turn-forming residues of the elastin repeat unit (Val-Pro-Gly-Val-Gly). The results of the these calculations suggested a similar outcome to the experimental data for the elastin-mimetic polypeptides, in that type II β-turn structures were stabilized for peptide segments containing (2S,4R)-fluoroproline and destabilized for segments containing (2S,4S)-fluoroproline relative to the canonical proline residue.