A conformational dynamics study of alpha-l-Rhap-(1-->2)[alpha-l-Rhap-(1-->3)]-alpha-l-Rhap-OMe in solution by NMR experiments and molecular simulations.

Research paper by Robert R Eklund, Kristina K Lycknert, Peter P Söderman, Göran G Widmalm

Indexed on: 21 Jul '06Published on: 21 Jul '06Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B


The conformational preference of alpha-l-Rhap-(1-->2)[alpha-l-Rhap-(1-->3)]-alpha-l-Rhap-OMe in solution has been studied by NMR spectroscopy using one-dimensional (1)H,(1)H T-ROESY experiments and measurement of trans-glycosidic (3)J(C,H) coupling constants. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with a CHARMM22 type of force field modified for carbohydrates were performed with water as the explicit solvent. The homonuclear cross-relaxation rates, interpreted as effective proton-proton distances, were compared to those obtained from simulation. Via a Karplus torsional relationship, (3)J(C,H) values were calculated from simulation and compared to experimental data. Good agreement was observed between experimental data and the MD simulation, except for one inter-residue T-ROE between protons in the terminal sugar residues. The results show that the trisaccharide exhibits substantial conformational flexibility, in particular along the psi glycosidic torsion angles. Notably, for these torsions, a high degree of correlation (77%) was observed in the MD simulation revealing either psi(2)(+) psi(3)(+) or psi(2)(-)psi(3)(-) states. The simulations also showed that non-exoanomeric conformations were present at the phi torsion angles, but to a limited extent, with the phi(3) state populated to a larger extent than the phi(2) state. Further NMR analysis of the trisaccharide by translational diffusion measurements and (13)C T(1) relaxation experiments quantified global reorientation using an anisotropic model together with interpretation of the internal dynamics via the "model-free" approach. Fitting of the dynamically averaged states to experimental data showed that the psi(2)(+)psi(3)(+) state is present to approximately 49%, psi(2)(-) psi(3)(-) to approximately 39%, and phi(3) (non-exo) to approximately 12%. Finally, using a dynamic and population-averaged model, (1)H,(1)H T-ROE buildup curves were calculated using a full relaxation matrix approach and were found to be in excellent agreement with experimental data, in particular for the above inter-residue proton-proton interaction between the terminal residues.