Analysis of Vibrational Circular Dichroism Spectra of Peptides: A Generalized Coupled Oscillator Approach of a Small Peptide Model Using VCDtools

Mark A.J. Koenis, Lucas Visscher, Wybren J. Buma, Valentin P. Nicu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) is one of the major spectroscopic tools to study peptides. Nevertheless, a full understanding of what determines the signs and intensities of VCD bands of these compounds in the amide I and amide II spectral regions is still far from complete. In the present work, we study the origin of these VCD signals using the general coupled oscillator (GCO) analysis, a novel approach that has recently been developed. We apply this approach to the ForValNHMe model peptide in both α-helix and β-sheet configurations. We show that the intense VCD signals observed in the amide I and amide II spectral regions essentially have the same underlying mechanism, namely, the through-space coupling of electric dipoles. The crucial role played by intramolecular hydrogen bonds in determining VCD intensities is also illustrated. Moreover, we find that the contributions to the rotational strengths, considered to be insignificant in standard VCD models, may have sizable magnitudes and can thus not always be neglected. In addition, the VCD robustness of the amide I and II modes has been investigated by monitoring the variation of the rotational strength and its contributing terms during linear transit scans and by performing calculations with different computational parameters. From these studies - and in particular, the decomposition of the rotational strength made possible by the GCO analysis - it becomes clear that one should be cautious when employing measures of robustness as proposed previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1677
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume124
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

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