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Biopolymers. 1995;37(4):251-63.

The conformational analysis of peptides using Fourier transform IR spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Protein and Molecular Biology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom.


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) can be used for conformational analysis of peptides in a wide range of environments. Measurements can be performed in aqueous solution, organic solvents, detergent micelles as well as in phospholipid membranes. Information on the secondary structure of peptides can be derived from the analysis of the strong amide I band. Orientation of secondary structural elements within a lipid bilayer matrix can be determined by means of polarized attenuated total reflectance-FTIR spectroscopy. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange can be monitored by the analysis of the amide II band. This review gives some example of peptide systems studied by FTIR spectroscopy. Studies on alamethicin and alpha-aminoisobutyric acid containing peptides have shown that FTIR spectroscopy is a sensitive tool for identifying 3(10)-helical structures. Changes in the structure of the magainins upon interaction with charged lipids were detected using FTIR spectroscopy. Tachyplesin is an example of a beta-sheet containing membrane active peptide. Polarized ir spectroscopy reveals that the antiparallel beta-sheet structures of tachyplesin are oriented parallel to the membrane surface. Synthesis of peptides corresponding to functionally/structurally important regions of large proteins is becoming increasingly popular. FTIR spectroscopy has been used to analyze the structure of synthetic peptides corresponding to the ion-selective pore of the voltage-gated potassium channel. In biomembrane systems these peptides adopt a highly helical structure. Under conditions, where these peptides are aggregated the presence of some intermolecular beta-sheet structure can also be detected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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