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Title: Determination of Hydrogen Bond Structure in Water versus Aprotic Environments To Test the Relationship Between Length and Stability

Hydrogen bonds profoundly influence the architecture and activity of biological macromolecules. Deep appreciation of hydrogen bond contributions to biomolecular function thus requires a detailed understanding of hydrogen bond structure and energetics and the relationship between these properties. Hydrogen bond formation energies (Delta G(f)) are enormously more favorable in aprotic solvents than in water, and two classes of contributing factors have been proposed to explain this energetic difference, focusing respectively on the isolated and hydrogen-bonded species: (I) water stabilizes the dissociated donor and acceptor groups much better than aprotic solvents, thereby reducing the driving force for hydrogen bond formation; and (II) water lengthens hydrogen bonds compared to aprotic environments, thereby decreasing the potential energy within the hydrogen bond. Each model has been proposed to provide a dominant contribution to Delta G(f), but incisive tests that distinguish the importance of these contributions are lacking. Here we directly test the structural basis of model II. Neutron crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and quantum mechanical calculations demonstrate that O-H center dot center dot center dot O hydrogen bonds in crystals, chloroform, acetone, and water have nearly identical lengths and very similar potential energy surfaces despite Delta G(f) differences >8 kcal/mol across these solvents. These results rulemore » out a substantial contribution from solvent-dependent differences in hydrogen bond structure and potential energy after association (model II) and thus support the conclusion that differences in hydrogen bond Delta G(f) are predominantly determined by solvent interactions with the dissociated groups (model I). These findings advance our understanding of universal hydrogen-bonding interactions and have important implications for biology and engineering.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society; Journal Volume: 137; Journal Issue: 17
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Materials Sciences and Engineering Division
Country of Publication:
United States