Salt bridge induced changes in the secondary structure of ionic polypeptides

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Journal titleBiopolymers
Pages11811186; # of pages: 6
AbstractThe carboxylate-containing homopolypeptides poly(L-glutamate) [poly(Glu)] and poly(L-aspartate) [poly(Asp)] were found to form different types of ordered structures in the presence of poly(L-lysine) [poly(Lys)]. Mixing poly(Glu) with poly(Lys) in aqueous solution at neutral pH results in the instantaneous formation of a gel-like precipitate. The secondary structure of the gel precipitate can be best described as intermolecular antiparallel β-strands, involving the backbone amide groups, as evidenced by the presence of characteristic amide I bands in the ir spectrum at 1684 and 1612 cm⁻¹. Mixing poly (Asp) with poly(Lys) under identical conditions results in the formation of a fine precipitate with a different morphology. Examination of the ir spectrum of the precipitate revealed that unlike poly(Glu), poly (Asp) did not yield any discrete secondary structure upon precipitation with poly(Lys). Addition of solutions containing Ca²⁺ or Mg²⁺ to the poly (Glu)/poly (Lys) aggregates resulted in complete dissolution of the gel, with the disappearance of the ir bands characteristic of the intermolecular hydrogen-bonded network. The results demonstrate the importance of salt bridges in establishing strong hydrogen bonds between the backbone amide groups. Reaggregation occurred upon heating the poly (Glu)/poly (Lys) mixture in the presence of Ca²⁺, but not in the presence of Mg²⁺ ions. In the presence of Ca²⁺ ions, aggregation and formation of an extended hydrogen-bonded network occurred upon heating. The aggregates formed upon heating poly (Glu)/poly (Lys) in the presence of Ca²⁺ were attributed solely to complexation of Ca²⁺ to the carboxylate groups of poly (Glu) with poly (Lys) remaining free in solution. Dissolution of the aggregate could be accomplished through addition of Mg²⁺ at room temperature.
Publication date
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
AffiliationNRC Institute for Biodiagnostics; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number41
NPARC number9148484
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Record identifier49d93870-9857-4c89-961b-74395f1d2081
Record created2009-06-25
Record modified2017-01-13
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