Acid-base interactions and secondary structures of poly-L-lysine probed by 15N and 13C solid state NMR and Ab initio model calculations.


The interactions of the 15N-labeled amino groups of dry solid poly-L-lysine (PLL) with various halogen and oxygen acids HX and the relation to the secondary structure have been studied using solid-state 15N and 13C CPMAS NMR spectroscopy (CP = cross polarization and MAS = magic angle spinning). For comparison, 15N NMR spectra of an aqueous solution of PLL were measured as a function of pH. In order to understand the effects of protonation and hydration on the 15N chemical shifts of the amino groups, DFT and chemical shielding calculations were performed on isolated methylamine-acid complexes and on periodic halide clusters of the type (CH3NH3(+)X(-))n. The combined experimental and computational results reveal low-field shifts of the amino nitrogens upon interaction with the oxygen acids HX = HF, H2SO4, CH3COOH, (CH3)2POOH, H3PO4, HNO3, and internal carbamic acid formed by reaction of the amino groups with gaseous CO2. Evidence is obtained that only hydrogen-bonded species of the type (Lys-NH2***H-X)n are formed in the absence of water. 15N chemical shifts are maximum when H is located in the hydrogen bond center and then decrease again upon full protonation, as found for aqueous solution at low pH. By contrast, halogen acids interact in a different way. They form internal salts of the type (Lys-NH3(+)X(-))n via the interaction of many acid-base pairs. This salt formation is possible only in the beta-sheet conformation. By contrast, the formation of hydrogen-bonded complexes can occur both in beta-sheet domains as well as in alpha-helical domains. The 15N chemical shifts of the protonated ammonium groups increase when the size of the interacting halogen anions is increased from chloride to iodide and when the number of the interacting anions is increased. Thus, the observed high-field 15N shift of ammonium groups upon hydration is the consequence of replacing interacting halogen atoms by oxygen atoms.

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@article{Dos2008AcidbaseIA, title={Acid-base interactions and secondary structures of poly-L-lysine probed by 15N and 13C solid state NMR and Ab initio model calculations.}, author={Alexandra Dos and Volkmar Schimming and Sergio Tosoni and Hans-Heinrich Limbach}, journal={The journal of physical chemistry. B}, year={2008}, volume={112 49}, pages={15604-15} }