Theoretical studies of the structure and molecular dynamics of a peptide crystal.


Energy minimizations and molecular dynamics simulations have been performed on the cyclic peptide cyclo-(Ala-Pro-D-Phe)2 in both the isolated and crystal states. The results of these calculations have been analyzed, both to investigate our ability to reproduce experimental data (structure and vibrational and NMR spectra) and to investigate the effects of environment on the energy, structure, and dynamics of peptides. Comparison of the minimized and time-averaged crystal systems with the experimental peptide structure shows that the calculations have closely reproduced the experimental structure. Molecular dynamics of the isolated molecule has led to a new conformation, which is approximately equal to 8.5 kcal/mol more stable than the conformation that exists in the crystal, the latter conformation being stabilized by intermolecular (packing) forces. This illustrates the considerable effect that environment can have on the conformation of peptides. The crystal environment has also been shown to significantly reduce the dynamic conformational fluctuations seen for the isolated molecule. The behavior of the peptide during the isolated simulation also supports the experimental NMR observation of a symmetric structure that differs from the asymmetric, instantaneous structures which characterize the molecule during the dynamics. Calculations of vibrational frequencies of the peptide in the crystal and isolated states show the expected shifts in bond-stretching frequencies due to intermolecular interactions. Finally, we have calculated NMR coupling constants from the dynamics simulation of the isolated peptide and have compared these with the experimental values. This has led to a possible reinterpretation of the experimental data.

Cite this paper

@article{Kitson1988TheoreticalSO, title={Theoretical studies of the structure and molecular dynamics of a peptide crystal.}, author={David H. Kitson and Arnold T. Hagler}, journal={Biochemistry}, year={1988}, volume={27 14}, pages={5246-57} }