The dilemma of reconciling the contradictory evidence regarding the conformation of long solvated peptide chains is the so-called “reconciliation problem”. Clues regarding the stability of certain conformations likely lie in the electronic structure at the peptide–solvent interface, but the peptide–solvent interaction is not fully understood. Here, we study the influence of aqueous solvent on peptide conformations by using classical molecular dynamics (MD) and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) energy calculations. The model systems include an 11-residue peptide, X
(XAO), where X, A, and O denote diaminobutyric acid, alanine, and ornithine, respectively, and a 9-mer (Arg-Pro-Pro-Gly-Phe-Ser-Ala-Phe-Lys). Spectroscopic and MD data present conflicting evidence regarding the structure of XAO in water; some results indicate that XAO adopts a polyproline II (P
) conformation, whereas other findings suggest that XAO explores a range of conformations. To investigate this contradiction, we present here the results of MD simulations of XAO and the 9-mer in aqueous solution, combined with QM/MM energy calculations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited