Collagen is an integral part of many types of connective tissue in animals, especially skin, bones, cartilage, and basement membranes. A fibrous protein, collagen has a triple-helical structure, which is comprised of strands with a repeating Xaa-Yaa-Gly sequence. l-Proline (Pro) and 4(R)-hydroxy-l-proline (4-Hyp) residues occur most often in the Xaa and Yaa positions. The 4-Hyp residue is known to increase markedly the conformational stability of a collagen triple helix. In natural collagen, a 3(S)-hydroxy-l-proline (3-Hyp) residue occurs in the sequence: 3-Hyp-4-Hyp-Gly. Its effect on collagen stability is unknown. Here, two host-guest peptides containing 3-Hyp are synthesized: (Pro-4-Hyp-Gly)(3)-3-Hyp-4-Hyp-Gly-(Pro-4-Hyp-Gly)(3) (peptide 1) and (Pro-4-Hyp-Gly)(3)-Pro-3-Hyp-Gly-(Pro-4-Hyp-Gly)(3) (peptide 2). The 3-Hyp residues in these two peptides diminish triple-helical stability in comparison to Pro. This destabilization is small when 3-Hyp is in the natural Xaa position (peptide 1). There, the inductive effect of its 3-hydroxyl group diminishes slightly the strength of the interstrand 3-HypC=O.H-NGly hydrogen bond. The destabilization is large when 3-Hyp is in the nonnatural Yaa position (peptide 2). There, its pyrrolidine ring pucker leads to inappropriate mainchain dihedral angles and interstrand steric clashes. Thus, the natural regioisomeric residues 3-Hyp and 4-Hyp have distinct effects on the conformational stability of the collagen triple helix.