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Biopolymers. 1996 Jun;38(6):673-82.

Isomerization of the Xaa-Pro peptide bond induced by ionic interactions of arginine.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, Greece.


Inclusion of Arg or Pro residues in proteins and peptides has been proved to play an essential role in biochemical functions through ionic interactions, conformational transitions, and formation of turns as well. In this study we present the conformational properties of the Ac-Arg-Ala-Pro (1), Ac-Arg-Ala-Pro-NH2 (2), Ac-Arg-Pro-Asp-NH2 (3), and Ac-Arg-Pro-Asp (4) tripeptides, using 1H-nmr spectroscopy and molecular dynamics. These peptides were modeled with the aim of studying the role of the Arg-guanidinium to carboxylate ionic interactions on the Xaa-Pro peptide bond isomerization. It was found with 1 and 4 that arginine preferentially interacts with the C-terminal carboxylate group, even though the beta-carboxylate is also accessible. This tendency of the Arg moiety was found to induce the cis disposition of the Ala-Pro peptide bond in 1. It was also confirmed that the Arg...Asp side chain-side chain ionic interaction in 3 plays a key role in backbone folding and structural stabilization through a type I beta-turn. The nmr pattern for 3 showed a remarkable similarity with that for various Arg-Tyr-Asp containing peptides, a sequence that is crucial for the adhesion properties of the Leishmania gp63 glycoprotein.

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