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Title: An Experimental and Computational Investigation into the Gas-Phase Acidities of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine: Three Structures for Deprotonated Tyrosine

Using mass spectrometry and correlated molecular orbital theory, three deprotonated structures were revealed for the amino acid tyrosine. The structures were distinguished experimentally by ion/molecule reactions involving proton transfer and trimethylsilyl azide. Gas-phase acidities from proton transfer reactions and from G3(MP2) calculations generally agree well. The lowest energy structure, which was only observed experimentally using electrospray ionization from aprotic solvents, is deprotonated at the carboxylic acid group and is predicted to be highly folded. A second unfolded carboxylate structure is several kcal/mol higher in energy and primarily forms from protic solvents. Protic solvents also yield a structure deprotonated at the phenolic side chain, which experiments find to be intermediate in energy to the two carboxylate forms. G3(MP2) calculations indicate that the three structures differ in energy by only 2.5 kcal/mol, yet they are readily distinguished experimentally. Structural abundance ratios are dependent upon experimental conditions, including the solvent and accumulation time of ions in a hexapole. Under some conditions, carboxylate ions may convert to phenolate ions. For phenylalanine, which lacks a phenolic group, only one deprotonated structure was observed experimentally when electrosprayed from protic solvent. This agrees with G3(MP2) calculations that find the folded and unfolded carboxylate forms to differ bymore » 0.3 kcal/mol.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118(44):12630–12643
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory