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Conformation-Specific Infrared and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Cold [YAPAA+H]+ and [YGPAA+H]+ Ions: A Stereochemical “Twist” on the β‑Hairpin Turn

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journal contribution
posted on 29.03.2017, 00:00 by Andrew F. DeBlase, Christopher P. Harrilal, John T. Lawler, Nicole L. Burke, Scott A. McLuckey, Timothy S. Zwier
Incorporation of the unnatural d-proline (DP) stereoisomer into a polypeptide sequence is a typical strategy to encourage formation of β-hairpin loops because natural sequences are often unstructured in solution. Using conformation-specific IR and UV spectroscopy of cold (≈10 K) gas-phase ions, we probe the inherent conformational preferences of the DP and LP diastereomers in the protonated peptide [YAPAA+H]+, where only intramolecular interactions are possible. Consistent with the solution-phase studies, one of the conformers of [YADPAA+H]+ is folded into a charge-stabilized β-hairpin turn. However, a second predominant conformer family containing two sequential γ-turns is also identified, with similar energetic stability. A single conformational isomer of the LP diastereomer, [YALPAA+H]+, is found and assigned to a structure that is not the anticipated “mirror image” β-turn. Instead, the LP stereocenter promotes a cis-alanine–proline amide bond. The assigned structures contain clues that the preference of the DP diastereomer to support a trans-amide bond and the proclivity of LP for a cis-amide bond is sterically driven and can be reversed by substituting glycine for alanine in position 2, forming [YGLPAA+H]+. These results provide a basis for understanding the residue-specific and stereospecific alterations in the potential energy surface that underlie these changing preferences, providing insights to the origin of β-hairpin formation.