A Decapeptide Hydrated by Two Waters: Conformers Determined by Theory and Validated by Cold Ion Spectroscopy

The intrinsic structures of biomolecules in the gas phase may not reflect their native solution geometries. Microsolvation of the molecules bridges the two environments, enabling a tracking of molecular structural changes upon hydration at the atomistic level. We employ density functional calculations to compute a large pool of structures and vibrational spectra for a gas-phase complex, in which a doubly protonated decapeptide, gramicidin S, is solvated by two water molecules. Though most vibrations of this large complex are treated in a harmonic approximation, the water molecules and the vibrations of the host ion coupled to them are locally described by a quantum mechanical vibrational self-consistent field theory with second-order perturbation correction (VSCF-PT2). Guided and validated by the available cold ion spectroscopy data, the computational analysis identifies structures of the three experimentally observed conformers of the complex. They, mainly, differ by the hydration sites, of which the one at the Orn side chain is the most important for reshaping the peptide toward its native structure. The study demonstrates the ability of a quantum chemistry approach that intelligently combines the semiempirical and ab initio computations to disentangle a complex interplay of intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonds in large molecular systems.

Published in:
Journal Of Physical Chemistry A, 121, 48, 9401-9408
Washington, American Chemical Society

 Record created 2018-01-15, last modified 2020-08-28

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)