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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Apr 28;132(16):5616-8. doi: 10.1021/ja100459a.

Infrared signature and folding dynamics of a helical beta-peptide.

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Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Synthetic foldamers consisting of beta-amino acids offer excellent model systems for examining the effect of backbone flexibility on the dynamics of protein folding. Herein, we study the folding-unfolding kinetics of a beta-peptide that folds into a 14-helical structure in water. We find that the T-jump induced relaxation kinetics of this peptide occur on the nanosecond time scale and are noticeably slower than those of alanine-based alpha-helical peptides, and additionally, the relaxation rates show a weaker dependence on temperature. These differences appear to indicate that the folding energy landscapes of these peptides are different. In addition, we find that the amide I' band of this beta-peptide exhibits a sharp feature at approximately 1612 cm(-1), which we believe is a distinct infrared reporter of 14-helix.

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