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Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Energetics of Cis−Trans Proline Isomerization in Peptide Models

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journal contribution
posted on 25.05.2006, 00:00 by Olivia E. Schroeder, Emily Carper, Joshua J. Wind, Jennifer L. Poutsma, Felicia A. Etzkorn, John C. Poutsma
The energetics of cis−trans proline isomerization in small peptide models have been investigated using the hybrid density functional theory method B3LYP with a 6-31+G* basis set. The molecules studied are models for the phospho-Ser/Thr-Pro substrate for Pin-1, a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) involved in cell division. Pin-1 requires phosphorylation of a Ser or Thr residue adjacent to a Pro residue in the substrate and catalyzes cis−trans isomerization about the proline amide bond. The dihedral angle that would correspond to the reaction coordinate for isomerization of the ω peptide bond was investigated for several small models. Relaxed potential energy scans for this dihedral angle in N-methylacetamide, 1, N,N-dimethylacetamide, 2, acetylpyrrolidine, 3 and acetylproline, 4, were carried out in 20° steps using the B3LYP/6-31+G* level of theory. In addition, similar scans were carried out for 14 protonated on the acetylamide carbonyl oxygen. Optimized structures for 14 protonated on the amide nitrogen were also obtained at B3LYP/6-31+G*. Relative proton affinities were determined for each site at various angles along the reaction coordinate for isomerization. The relative proton affinities were anchored to experimental gas phase proton affinities, which were taken from the literature for 1 and 2, or determined in an electrospray ionization-quadrupole ion trap instrument using the extended kinetic method for 3 and 4. Proton affinities of 925 ± 10 and 911 ± 12 kJ/mol were determined for 3 and 4, respectively. These studies suggest that the nitrogen atom in these amides becomes the most basic site in the molecule at a dihedral angle of ca. 130°. In addition, the nitrogen atoms in 24 are predicted to attain basicities in the range 920−950 kJ/mol, making them basic enough to be the preferred site for hydrogen bonding in the Pin-1 active site, in support of the proposed mechanism for PPIases.

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