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Directing peptide conformation with centrally positioned pre-organized dipeptide segments: studies of a 12-residue helix and β-hairpin

Chandrappa, Siddappa, Madhusudana Reddy, M. B., Sonti, Rajesh, Basuroy, Krishnayan, Raghothama, Srinivasarao, Balaram, Padmanabhan
Amino acids 2015 v.47 no.2 pp. 291-301
crystals, hydrogen bonding, methanol, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, oligopeptides
Secondary structure formation in oligopeptides can be induced by short nucleating segments with a high propensity to form hydrogen bonded turn conformations. Type I/III turns facilitate helical folding while type II′/I′ turns favour hairpin formation. This principle is experimentally verified by studies of two designed dodecapeptides, Boc-Val-Phe-Leu-Phe-Val-Aib-Aib-Val-Phe-Leu-Phe-Val-OMe 1 and Boc-Val-Phe-Leu-Phe-Val- ᴰ Pro- ᴸ Pro-Val-Phe-Leu-Phe-Val-OMe 2. The N- and C-terminal flanking pentapeptide sequences in both cases are identical. Peptide 1 adopts a largely α-helical conformation in crystals, with a small 3₁₀helical segment at the N-terminus. The overall helical fold is maintained in methanol solution as evidenced by NMR studies. Peptide 2 adopts an antiparallel β-hairpin conformation stabilized by 6 interstrand hydrogen bonds. Key nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs) provide evidence for the antiparallel β-hairpin structure. Aromatic proton chemical shifts provide a clear distinction between the conformation of peptides 1 (helical) and 2 (β-hairpin). The proximity of facing aromatic residues positioned at non-hydrogen bonding positions in the hairpin results in extensively ring current shifted proton resonances in peptide 2.