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We have discussed in some detail a variety of experimental studies which were designed to elucidate the conformational and dynamic properties of gramicidin and alamethicin. Although the behavior of these peptides is by no means fully characterized, these studies have already permitted aspects of ion channel activity to be understood in molecular terms.(More)
The alpha-helix is a key structural element in a wide range of peptides and proteins. We report here the design, synthesis, and characterization of a modified peptide in which the helix content can be reversibly photoregulated. The peptide contains two cysteine residues that are cross-linked by an azobenzene derivative in an intramolecular fashion. In(More)
Photo-control of protein conformation could prove useful for probing function in diverse biological systems. Recently, we reported photo-switching of helix content in a short peptide containing an azobenzene cross-linker between cysteine residues at positions i and i + 7 in the sequence. In the original sequence, underlying residues at positions i + 3 and i(More)
The photoisomerization of azobenzene has been known for almost 75 years but only recently has this process been widely applied to biological systems. The central challenge of how to productively couple the isomerization process to a large functional change in a biomolecule has been met in a number of instances and it appears that effective photocontrol of a(More)
The unfolding dynamics of a 16 amino acid peptide (Ac-EACAREAAAREAACRQ-NH(2), FK-11-X) was followed using nanosecond time-resolved optical rotatory dispersion (ORD). The peptide was coupled to an azobenzene linker that undergoes subnanosecond photoisomerization and reisomerizes on a time scale of minutes. When the linker is in the trans form, the peptide(More)
The behavior of a number of 16 residue polypeptides with a sequence Acetyl-EACARXZAACEAAARQ-amide, where X = V or A and Z = A or Aib, is studied under aqueous conditions. It is shown that the substitution of a single alanine residue by alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) completely alters both the conformation and the aggregation properties of the peptides.(More)
The channel-forming properties of two analogs of gramicidin, gramicidin-ethylenediamine (gram-EDA), and gramicidin-N,N-dimethylethylenediamine (gram-DMEDA) were studied in planar lipid bilayers, using protons as the permeant ion. These peptides have positively charged amino groups tethered to their C-terminal ends via a linker containing a carbamate group.(More)
Control of DNA binding of HDH-3, a 18-residue polypeptide based on the recognition helix of the Q50K engrailed homeodomain, has been achieved. HDH-3 was linked to an azobenzene cross-linker through two cysteine residues in an i, i + 11 spacing. For the thermodynamically stable trans configuration of the cross-linker, the dark-adapted peptide (dad-HDH-3)(More)
We have investigated the site-specific folding kinetics of a photoswitchable cross-linked alpha-helical peptide by using single (13)C = (18)O isotope labeling together with time-resolved IR spectroscopy. We observe that the folding times differ from site to site by a factor of eight at low temperatures (6 degrees C), whereas at high temperatures (45 degrees(More)