c[D-pro-Pro-D-pro-N-methyl-Ala] adopts a rigid conformation that serves as a scaffold to mimic reverse-turns.

Research paper by Sage S Arbor, Jeff J Kao, Yun Y Wu, Garland R GR Marshall

Indexed on: 18 Oct '07Published on: 18 Oct '07Published in: Biopolymers


Naturally occurring cyclic tetrapeptides (CTPs) such as tentoxin (Halloin et al., Plant Physiol 1970, 45, 310-314; Saad, Phytopathology 1970, 60, 415-418), ampicidin (Darkin-Rattray, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1996, 93, 13143-13147), HC-toxin (Walton, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1987, 84, 8444-8447), and trapoxin (Yoshida and Sugita, Jpn J Cancer Res 1992, 83, 324-328; Itazaki et al., J Antibiot (Tokyo) 1990, 43, 1524-1532) have a wide range of biological activity and potential use ranging from herbicides (Walton, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1987, 84, 8444-8447; Judson, J Agric Food Chem 1987, 35, 451-456) to therapeutics (Loiseau, Biopolymers 2003, 69, 363-385) for malaria (Darkin-Rattray, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1996, 93, 13143-13147) and cancer (Yoshida and Sugita, Jpn J Cancer Res 1992, 83, 324-328). To elucidate scaffolds that have few low-energy conformations and could serve as semirigid reverse-turn mimetics, the flexibility of CTPs was determined computationally. Four analogs of cyclic tetraproline c[Pro-pro-Pro-pro] with alternating L- and D-prolines, namely c[pro-Pro-pro-NMe-Ala], c[pip-Pro-pip-Pro], c[pro-Pip-pro-Pro], and c[Ala-Pro-pip-Pro] were synthesized and characterized by NOESY NMR. Both molecular mechanics and Density Functional Theory quantum calculations found these head-to-tail CTPs to be constrained to one or two relatively stable conformations. NMR structures, while not always yielding the same lowest energy conformation as expected by in silico predictions, confirmed only one or two highly populated solution conformations for all four peptides examined. c[pro-Pro-pro-NMe-Ala] was shown to have a single all trans-amide bond conformation from both in silico predictions and NMR characterization, and to be a reverse-turn mimetic by overlapping four Calpha-Cbeta bonds with those for approximately 6.5% (Tran, J Comput Aided Mol Des 2005, 19, 551-566) of reverse-turns in the Protein Data Bank PDB with a RMSD of 0.57 A.