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Carbohydr Res. 2009 Feb 17;344(3):362-73. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2008.11.017. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

DFT conformation and energies of amylose fragments at atomic resolution. Part 1: Syn forms of alpha-maltotetraose.

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Plant Polymer Research, USDA, ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604, USA.


DFT optimization studies of 90 syn alpha-maltotetraose (DP-4) amylose fragments have been carried out at the B3LYP/6-311++G** level of theory. The DP-4 fragments studied include V-helix, tightly bent conformations, a boat, and a (1)C(4) conformer. The standard hydroxymethyl rotamers (gg, gt, tg) were examined at different locations in the residue sequence, and their influence on the bridge conformations phi/psi values and conformer energy is described. Hydroxyl groups were considered to be homodromic, that is, they are either in the all clockwise, 'c', or all counterclockwise, 'r'. Energy differences between conformations are examined in order to assess the stability of the different conformations and to identify the sources of energy that dictate amylose polymer formation. A small nearly cyclic compact structure is of low energy as one would expect when these flexible molecules are studied in vacuo. Many conformations in which the only differences are a single hydroxymethyl variation in the residue sequence show similar energies and bridge conformations, with trends being a result of the hydroxymethyl as well as hydroxyl orientation. In general the 'c' structures are of lower energy than the 'r' structures, although this is only true for the in vacuo state. The solvent dependence on conformational preference of several low-energy DP-4 structures was investigated via the continuum solvation method COSMO. These results suggest that the 'r' structures may be favored for fully solvated molecules.

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