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Indian J Biochem Biophys. 1999 Jun;36(3):195-203.

Designing of peptides with left handed helical structure by incorporating the unusual amino acids.

Indian journal of biochemistry & biophysics

F S Nandel, N Malik, M Virdi, B Singh


  1. Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

PMID: 10650718


The conformational behaviour of delta Ala has been investigated by quantum mechanical method PCILO in the model dipeptide Ac-delta Ala-NHMe and in the model tripeptides Ac-X-delta Ala-NHMe with X = Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Abu and Phe and is found to be quite different. The computational results suggest that in the model tripeptides the most stable conformation corresponds to phi 1 = -30 degrees, psi 1 = 120 degrees and phi 2 = psi 2 = 30 degrees in which the > C = 0 of the acetyl group is involved in hydrogen bond formation with N-H of the amide group. Similar results were obtained for the conformational behaviour of D-Ala in Ac-D-Ala-NHMe and Ac-Ala-D-Ala-NHMe. The conformational behaviour of the amino acids delta Ala, D-Ala, Val and Aib in model tripeptides have been utilized in the designing of left handed helical peptides. It is shown that the peptide HCO-(Ala-D-Ala)3-NHMe can adopt both left and right handed helix whereas in the peptide Ac-(Ala-delta Ala)3-NHMe the lowest energy conformer is beta-bend ribbon structure. Left handed helical structure with phi = 30 degrees, psi = 60 degrees for D-Ala residues and phi = psi = 30 degrees for delta Ala is found to be more stable by 4 kcal mole-1 than the corresponding right handed helical structure for the peptide Ac-(D-Ala-delta Ala)3-NHMe. In both the peptides Ac-(Val-delta Ala)3-NHMe and Ac-(D-Val-delta Ala)3-NHMe the most stable conformer is the left handed helix. Comparisons of results for Ac-(Ala-delta Ala)3-NHMe and Ac(Val-delta Ala)3-NHMe and Ac-(D-Ala-delta Ala)3-NHMe and Ac-(D-Val-delta Ala)3-NHMe also reveal that the Val residues facilitate the population of 3(10) left handed helix over the other conformers. It is also shown that the conformational behaviour of Aib residue depends on the chirality of neighbouring amino acids, i.e. Ac-(Aib-Ala)3-NHMe adopts right handed helical structure whereas Ac-(Aib-D-Ala)3-NHMe is found to be in left handed helical structure.


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