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Title: Solvation thermodynamics of amino acid side chains on a short peptide backbone

The hydration process of side chain analogue molecules differs from that of the actual amino acid side chains in peptides and proteins owing to the effects of the peptide backbone on the aqueous solvent environment. A recent molecular simulation study has provided evidence that all nonpolar side chains, attached to a short peptide backbone, are considerably less hydrophobic than the free side chain analogue molecules. In contrast to this, the hydrophilicity of the polar side chains is hardly affected by the backbone. To analyze the origin of these observations, we here present a molecular simulation study on temperature dependent solvation free energies of nonpolar and polar side chains attached to a short peptide backbone. The estimated solvation entropies and enthalpies of the various amino acid side chains are compared with existing side chain analogue data. The solvation entropies and enthalpies of the polar side chains are negative, but in absolute magnitude smaller compared with the corresponding analogue data. The observed differences are large; however, owing to a nearly perfect enthalpy-entropy compensation, the solvation free energies of polar side chains remain largely unaffected by the peptide backbone. We find that a similar compensation does not apply to the nonpolar side chains;more » while the backbone greatly reduces the unfavorable solvation entropies, the solvation enthalpies are either more favorable or only marginally affected. This results in a very small unfavorable free energy cost, or even free energy gain, of solvating the nonpolar side chains in strong contrast to solvation of small hydrophobic or nonpolar molecules in bulk water. The solvation free energies of nonpolar side chains have been furthermore decomposed into a repulsive cavity formation contribution and an attractive dispersion free energy contribution. We find that cavity formation next to the peptide backbone is entropically favored over formation of similar sized nonpolar side chain cavities in bulk water, in agreement with earlier work in the literature on analysis of cavity fluctuations at nonpolar molecular surfaces. The cavity and dispersion interaction contributions correlate quite well with the solvent accessible surface area of the nonpolar side chains attached to the backbone. This correlation however is weak for the overall solvation free energies owing to the fact that the cavity and dispersion free energy contributions are almost exactly cancelling each other.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Eduard-Zintl-Institut für Anorganische und Physikalische Chemie and Center of Smart Interfaces, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Straße 10, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415644
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 14; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; AMINO ACIDS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DISPERSIONS; ENTHALPY; ENTROPY; FREE ENERGY; HYDRATION; MOLECULES; PEPTIDES; SOLVENTS; SURFACE AREA; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; THERMODYNAMICS; WATER