Crystal structure and nmr conformation of a cyclic pseudotetrapeptide containing urethane backbone linkages

Gary N. Parkinson, Youling Wu, Pei Fan, Joachim Kohn, Jean Baum, Helen M. Berman

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Urethane bonds, derived from the hydroxyl group of the tyrosine side chain, have been investigated as a new type of amide bond mimetic in the design of pseudopeptides. The structure of a representative cyclic pseudotetrapeptide that consists of an — Ala — Tyr(urethane) Ala — Tyr (urethane) sequence fused into a rigid ring has been studied in the solid state by x‐ray crystallography and in solution by two‐dimensional nmr techniques. The cyclic pseudotetrapeptide has an oblong shape. The backbone urethane bonds assume a trans–trans conformation. The carbonyl groups in the ring have an alternating pattern of down, up, down, up with respect to the average ring plane. Solution nmr studies give observed nuclear Overhauser effects and coupling constants largely in agreement with the crystal structure. However, in solution the observed structure is likely to be conformationally averaged, and in the averaged structure, the urethane bond is perpendicular to the plane of the aromatic ring of the tyrosine, while in the crystal it is close to this plane. These differences may be explained by intermolecular hydrogen‐bonding interactions. Four aspects of the conformation of the cyclic pseudotetrapeptide were investigated in detail: the tyrosine residue with the attached side‐chain urethane bond (the tyrosine‐urethane unit), the conformation of the two urethane backbone linkages, the conformation of the two conventional peptide bonds within this unusual ring structure, and the tight turns within the cyclic pseudotetrapeptide. The conformation of the tight turns present in the cyclic pseudotetrapeptide is very similar to that of a β‐bend of type II. Intermolecular hydrogen bonding, joining adjacent layers of the cyclic pseudotetrapeptide in the solid state, resemble a parallel β‐pleated sheet. The presence of these structural motifs in the cyclic pseudotetrapeptide indicates that the tyrosine urethane unit may find applications in peptide and protein engineering. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-414
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry

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