Infoscience

Journal article

Nonstatistical UV Fragmentation of Gas-Phase Peptides Reveals Conformers and Their Structural Features

Solving the 3D structure of a biomolecule requires recognition of its conformers and measurements of their individual structural identities, which can be compared with calculations. We employ the phenomenon of nonstatistical photofragmentation, detected by a combination of UV cold ion spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry, to identify the main conformers of gas-phase peptides and to recover individual UV absorption and mass spectra of all of these conformers in a single laser scan. We first validate this approach with a benchmark dipeptide, Tyr-Ala, and then apply it to a decapeptide, gramicidin S. The revealed characteristic structural difference between the conformers of the latter identifies some of the previously calculated structures of gramicidin S as the most likely geometries of its remaining unsolved conformer.

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