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Intrinsic propensities of amino acid residues in GxG peptides inferred from amide I' band profiles and NMR scalar coupling constants.

TitleIntrinsic propensities of amino acid residues in GxG peptides inferred from amide I' band profiles and NMR scalar coupling constants.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHagarman A, Measey TJ, Mathieu D, Schwalbe H, Schweitzer-Stenner R
JournalJ Am Chem Soc
Date PublishedJan
Accession Number180

A reliable intrinsic propensity scale of amino acid residues is indispensable for an assessment of how local conformational distributions in the unfolded state can affect the folding of peptides and proteins. Short host-guest peptides, such as GxG tripeptides, are suitable tools for probing such propensities. To explore the conformational distributions sampled by the central amino acid residue in these motifs, we combined vibrational (IR, Raman, and VCD) with NMR spectroscopy. The data were analyzed in terms of a superposition of two-dimensional Gaussian distribution functions in the Ramachandran space pertaining to subensembles of polyproline II, beta-strand, right- and left-handed helical, and gamma-turn-like conformations. The intrinsic propensities of eight amino acid residues (x = A, V, F, L, S, E, K, and M) in GxG peptides were determined as mole fractions of these subensembles. Our results show that alanine adopts primarily (approximately 80%) a PPII-like conformation, while valine and phenylalanine were found to sample PPII and beta-strand-like conformations equally. The centers of the respective beta-strand distributions generally do not coincide with canonical values of dihedral angles of residues in parallel or antiparallel beta-strands. In fact, the distributions for most residues found in the beta-region significantly overlap the PPII-region. A comparison with earlier reported results for trivaline reveals that the terminal valines increase the beta-strand propensity of the central valine residue even further. Of the remaining investigated amino acids, methionine preferred PPII the most (0.64), and E, S, L, and K exhibit moderate (0.56-0.45) PPII propensities. Residues V, F, S, E, and L sample, to a significant extent, a region between the canonical PPII and (antiparallel) beta-strand conformations. This region coincides with the sampling reported for L and V using theoretical predictions (Tran et al. Biochemistry 2005, 44, 11369). The distributions of all investigated residues differ from coil library and computationally predicted distributions in that they do not exhibit a substantial sampling of helical conformations. We conclude that this sampling of helical conformations arises from the context dependence, for example, neighboring residues, in proteins and longer peptides, some of which is long-range.