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Unfolding of an alpha-Helix in Peptide Crystals by Solvation: Conformational Fragility in a Heptapeptide

Karle, Isabella L and Flippen-Anderson, Judith L and Uma, K and Balaram, P (1993) Unfolding of an alpha-Helix in Peptide Crystals by Solvation: Conformational Fragility in a Heptapeptide. In: Biopolymers, 33 (5). pp. 827-837.

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The structure of the peptide Boc-Val-Ala-Leu-Aib-Val-Ala-Leu-OMe has been determined in crystals obtained from a dimethylsulfoxide-isopropanol mixture. Crystal parameters are as follows: C38H69N7O10.H20.2C3H7OH, space group P21, a = 10.350 (2) Å, b = 26.084 ( 4 ) Å, c = 10.395 ( 2 ) Å, beta = 96.87 (12), 2 = 2, R = 8.7% for 2686 reflections observed > 3.0 sigma( F) . A single 5 - 1 hydrogen bond is observed at the N-terminus, while two 4 – 1 hydrogen bonds characteristic of a 310-helix are seen in the central segment. The C-terminus residues, Ala ( 6 ) and Leu ( 7) are extended, while Val (5 ) is considerably distorted from a helical conformation. Two isopropanol molecules make hydrogen bonds to the C-terminal segment, while a water molecule interacts with the N-terminus. The structure is in contrast to that obtained for the same peptide in crystals from methanol-water [I. L. Karle, J. L. Flippen-Anderson, K. Uma, and P. Balaram ( 1990) Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics, Vol. 7, pp. 62-73] in which two independent molecules reveal an almost perfect alpha-helix and a helix penetrated by a water molecule. A comparison of the three structures provides a snapshot of the progressive effects of solvation leading to helix unwinding. The fragility of the heptapeptide helix in solution is demonstrated by nmr studies in CDC13 and ( CD3)2SO. A helical conformation is supported in the apolar solvent CDCl3, whereas almost complete unfolding is observed in the strongly solvating medium ( CD3)2SO.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Biopolymers
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2004
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/2364

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