Original Article

Amino Acids

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 177-186

First online:

Proline-glutamate chimera’s side chain conformation directs the type of β-hairpin structure

  • Jyotirmoy MaityAffiliated withInstitut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , Ulla I. M. GerlingAffiliated withInstitut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , Stella VukelićAffiliated withInstitut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , Andreas SchäferAffiliated withGerätezentrum BioSupraMol, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , Beate KokschAffiliated withInstitut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin Email author 

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Our aim was to study the impact of two proline chimeras, containing a glutamic acid side chain in cis- or trans-configuration, on secondary structure formation. We further investigated to what extent the configuration of the side chain contributes to the overall peptide conformation. We used a 10 residue peptide (IYSNPDGTWT) that forms a β-hairpin in water. The turn-forming proline was substituted with either a cis- or trans-proline-glutamic acid chimera, resulting in the peptides IYSNP cis -E DGTWT (P1_P cis-E ) and IYSNP trans -E DGTWT (P1_P trans-E ). We studied the conformation of the modified peptides by circular dichroism (CD) and NMR-spectroscopy, and SEC/static light scattering (SLS) analysis. NMR analysis reveals that the modified peptides maintain the β-hairpin conformation in aqueous solution. At 5 °C and pH 4.3, the peptide (P1_P cis-E ) was found to adopt two coexisting β-hairpin conformations (2:2 β-hairpin, and 3:5 β-hairpin). In contrast to that, the peptide (P1_P trans-E ) adopts a 2:2 β-hairpin that exists in equilibrium with a 4:4 β-hairpin conformation. The adoption of ordered β-hairpin structures for both modified peptides could be confirmed by CD spectroscopy, while SEC/SLS analysis showed a monomeric oligomerization state for all three investigated peptides. With the combination of several NMR methods, we were able to elucidate that even small alterations in the side chain conformation of the proline-glutamate chimera (cis or trans) can significantly influence the conformation of the adopted β-hairpin.


Proline chimera β-Hairpin conformation β-Turn Conformational analysis CD NMR