Kwang-Im Oh

Korea University, Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea

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Publications (13)39.05 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based protein structure determinations, the random coil chemical shifts are very important because the secondary and tertiary protein structure predictions become possible by examining deviations of measured chemical shifts from those reference chemical shift values. In addition, neighboring residue effects on chemical shifts and J-coupling constants are crucial in understanding the nature of conformational propensities exhibited by unfolded or intrinsically disordered proteins. We recently reported the 1D NMR results for a complete set of terminally blocked dipeptides (Oh KI, Jung YS, Hwang GS, Cho M. J Biomol NMR 2012;53:25-41), but the NMR resonance assignments were not possible so that the average chemical shifts and J-coupling constants were only considered. In the present work, to thoroughly investigate the neighboring residue effects and random coil chemical shifts we extend the previous studies with 2D NMR, and measured all the (3) JHNHα values and H(α) and H(N) chemical shifts of the same set of terminally blocked dipeptides that are free from structural effects like secondary structure, hydrogen-bond, long-range backbone, and side-chain interactions. In particular, the preceding and following residue effects on amino-acid backbone conformational propensities are revealed and directly compared with previous works on either short peptides or empirical chemical shift database. Chirality 00:000-000, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Chirality 01/2014; · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite prolonged scientific efforts to elucidate the intrinsic peptide backbone preferences of amino-acids based on understanding of intermolecular forces, many open questions remain, particularly concerning neighboring peptide interaction effects on the backbone conformational distribution of short peptides and unfolded proteins. Here, we show that spectroscopic studies of a complete library of 400 dipeptides reveal that, irrespective of side-chain properties, the backbone conformation distribution is narrow and they adopt polyproline II and β-strand, indicating the importance of backbone peptide solvation and electronic effects. By directly comparing the dipeptide circular dichroism and NMR results with those of unfolded proteins, the comprehensive dipeptides form a complete set of structural motifs of unfolded proteins. We thus anticipate that the present dipeptide library with spectroscopic data can serve as a useful database for understanding the nature of unfolded protein structures and for further refinements of molecular mechanical parameters.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 04/2012; 80(4):977-90. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding intrinsic conformational preferences of amino-acids in unfolded proteins is important for elucidating the underlying principles of their stability and re-folding on biological timescales. Here, to investigate the neighbor interaction effects on the conformational propensities of amino-acids, we carried out (1)H NMR experiments for a comprehensive set of blocked dipeptides and measured the scalar coupling constants between alpha protons and amide protons as well as their chemical shifts. Detailed inspection of these NMR properties shows that, irrespective of amino-acid side-chain properties, the distributions of the measured coupling constants and chemical shifts of the dipeptides are comparatively narrow, indicating small variances of their conformation distributions. They are further compared with those of blocked amino-acids (Ac-X-NHMe), oligopeptides (Ac-GGXGG-NH(2)), and native (lysozyme), denatured (lysozyme and outer membrane protein X from Escherichia coli), unstructured (Domain 2 of the protein 5A of Hepatitis C virus), and intrinsically disordered (hNlg3cyt: intracellular domain of human NL3) proteins. These comparative investigations suggest that the conformational preferences and local solvation environments of the blocked dipeptides are quite similar to not only those of other short oligopeptides but also those of denatured and natively unfolded proteins.
    Journal of Biomolecular NMR 03/2012; 53(1):25-41. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the azido gauche effect on the backbone conformation of β-azidoalanine (Aza) dipeptide (AAD, Ac-Aza-NHMe) and tripeptide (AAT, Ac-Aza-Aza-NH(2)), we used spectroscopic methods in combination with quantum chemistry calculations and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. From the (1)H NMR coupling constants and (1)H,(1)H NOESY experimental data, we found that AAD in water mainly adopts a seven-membered cyclic (C(7)) rather than polyproline II (P(II)) backbone conformation and prefers the gauche- (g(-)) side-chain conformer. From the amide I IR absorption and circular dichroism (CD) spectra, the backbone conformation of AAD in water is found to deviate from P(II) but is rather close to C(7). Thus, the backbone conformation of AAD differs from that of alanine dipeptide (AD, Ac-Ala-NHMe), which is mainly P(II) in water. The underlying origin of the backbone conformational difference between AAD and AD in water was elucidated by quantum chemistry calculations with density functional theory (DFT). It was found that the C(7)/g(-) conformer is the lowest energy structure of an isolated AAD. Here, the β-azido group forms intramolecular electrostatic interactions with two neighboring peptide bonds, which are facilitated by the azido gauche effect. Thus, the β-azido group appears to be responsible for directing the peptide backbone conformation toward the C(7) structure. The quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) MD simulations show that AAD in water adopts neither P(II) nor right-handed α-helix (α(R)) and prefers the g(-) conformer. Thus, the intramolecular electrostatic interactions between the β-azido group and two nearby peptide bonds are also found even in the aqueous solution structure of AAD. Consequently, the β-azido group appears to be an effective C(7)-conformation-directing element, which may also be useful for tuning the structures of other amino acids and polypeptides.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 10/2010; 114(40):13021-9. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite that a number of experimental and theoretical investigations have been carried out to determine the structure of trialanine in water, the reported populations of polyproline II (PPII) and β-strand conformers vary and were found to be dependent on which spectroscopic method was used. Such discrepancies are due to limitations of different spectroscopic methods used. Here, the temperature- and pH-dependent circular dichroism (CD) and NMR experiments have been carried out to develop a self-consistent singular value decomposition procedure. The temperature-dependent CD spectra indicate the presence of two conformers, but due to the two peptide bonds in a trialanine, one should take into consideration of four different conformers to fully interpret the NMR results. From the pH-dependent NMR coupling constant measurements, the conformation of zwitterionic trialanine is little different from that of cationic one. The strong pH dependency of CD spectrum is likely due to charge transfer transitions between carboxylate and nearby peptide groups or internal field effects not to pH-dependent conformational change. To simultaneously analyze the temperature-dependent CD and NMR data, a self-consistent procedure was used to newly determine the reference NMR coupling constants required to estimate one of the peptide dihedral angles. From the estimated enthalpy and entropy changes associated with the transition from enthalpically favorable PPII conformer to entropically favorable β-strand conformer, the relative populations of the four possible conformers of trialanine were determined and compared with the previous experimental findings. We anticipate that the present experimental results and interpretation procedure would be of use in determining the solution structures of small oligopeptides in the future.
    Chirality 01/2010; 22 Suppl 1:E186-201. · 1.72 Impact Factor
  • Jun-Ho Choi, Kwang-Im Oh, Minhaeng Cho
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    ABSTRACT: A variety of spectroscopic probe molecules have been used to study the local electrostatic environment in proteins. Particularly, a few IR probes such as nitrile- and thiocyanate-derivatized amino acids were found to be quite useful not just because they are small but also because their IR absorption frequencies strongly depend on the strengths of hydrogen bonds with the surrounding protic solvent molecules. Recently, we experimentally demonstrated that azido-derivatized alanine is an excellent IR probe for studying structural change in protein in solution. The asymmetric stretching mode frequency of N(3)-group becomes blueshifted when it is dissolved in water. Such a blueshifting behavior upon hydrogen-bonding interaction with protic solvent molecules was commonly found in other IR probes containing a triple bond such as CN and SCN groups. In this paper, theoretical descriptions on the solvatochromic frequency shift and fluctuation of the azido stretch frequency are presented by carrying out ab initio calculations and both classical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical dynamics simulation studies for azidomethane and azidoalanine dipeptide dissolved in water. Two different methods developed here are based on the distributed multipole interaction models, and they are shown to be useful to describe site-specific hydrogen-bonding interaction-induced red- or blueshift of the azido stretch frequency. To test the validity of thus obtained interpolation formula, numerically simulated IR spectra of azidomethane and azidoalanine dipeptide in water are directly compared with experimental results. We anticipate that the present theoretical approaches will be of use in connecting experimentally measured azido stretch frequency to conformational change in protein containing this azido-derivatized alanine residue.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 12/2008; 129(17):174512. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beta-azidoalanine dipeptide 1 was synthesized, and its azido stretching vibration in H2O and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was studied by using Fourier transform (FT) IR spectroscopy. The dipole strength of the azido stretch mode is found to be about 19 and 5 times larger than those of the CN and SCN stretch modes, respectively, which have been used as local environmental IR sensors. The azido stretch band in H2O is blue-shifted by about 14 cm(-1) in comparison to that in DMSO, indicative of its sensitivity to the electrostatic environment. To test the utility of beta-azidoalanine as an IR probe of the local electrostatic environment in proteins, azidopeptide 4 was prepared by its incorporation into Abeta(16-22) peptide of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta-protein at position Ala21. The amide I IR spectrum of 4 in D2O suggests that the azidopeptide thus modified forms in-register beta-sheets in aggregates as observed for normal Abeta(16-22). The azido peak frequency of 4 in aggregates is almost identical to that in DMSO, indicating that the azido group is not exposed to water but to the hydrophobic environment. We believe that beta-azidoalanine will be used as an effective IR probe for providing site-specific information about the local electrostatic environments of proteins.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 09/2008; 112(33):10352-7. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydration effects on the C[Triple Bond]N stretching mode frequencies of MeCN and MeSCN are investigated by carrying out ab initio calculations for a number of MeCN-water and MeSCN-water complexes with varying number of water molecules. It is found that the CN frequency shift induced by the hydrogen-bonding interactions with water molecules originate from two different ways to form hydrogen bonds with the nitrogen atom of the CN group. Considering the MeCN- and MeSCN-water cluster calculation results as databases, we first examined the validity of vibrational Stark effect relationship between the CN frequency and the electric field component parallel to the CN bond and found no strong correlation between the two. However, taking into account of additional electric field vector components is a simple way to generalize the vibrational Stark theory for the nitrile chromophore. Also, the electrostatic potential calculation method has been proposed and examined in detail. It turned out that the interactions of water molecules with nitrogen atom's lone pair orbital and with nitrile pi orbitals can be well described by the electrostatic potential calculation method. The present computational results will be of use to quantitatively simulate various linear and nonlinear vibrational spectra of nitrile compounds in solutions.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 05/2008; 128(13):134506. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitrile- and thiocyanate-derivatized amino acids have been found to be useful IR probes for investigating their local electrostatic environments in proteins. To shed light on the CN stretch frequency shift and spectral lineshape change induced by interactions with hydrogen-bonding solvent molecules, we carried out both classical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for MeCN and MeSCN in water. These QM/MM and conventional force field MD simulation results were found to be inconsistent with the experimental results as well as with the high-level ab initio calculation results of MeCN-water and MeSCN-water potential energies. Thus, a new set of atomic partial charges of MeCN and MeSCN is obtained. By using the MD simulation trajectories and the electrostatic potential model recently developed, the CN and SCN stretching mode frequency trajectories were obtained and used to simulate the IR spectra. The C≣N frequency blueshifts of MeCN and MeSCN in water are estimated to be 9.0 and 1.9 cm−1, respectively, in comparison with those of gas phase values. These values are found to be in reasonable agreement with the experimentally measured IR spectra of MeCN, MeSCN, β-cyano-L-alanine, and cyanylated cysteine in water and other polar solvents.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 04/2008; 128(15):154504-154504-10. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have implemented the combined quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of alanine dipeptide in water along with the polarizable and nonpolarizable classical MD simulations with different models of water. For the QM/MM MD simulation, the alanine dipeptide is treated with the AM1 or PM3 approximations and the fluctuating solute dipole moment is calculated by the Mulliken population analysis. For the classical MD simulations, the solute is treated with the polarizable or nonpolarizable AMBER and polarizable CHARMM force fields and water is treated with the TIP3P, TIP4P, or TIP5P model. It is found that the relative populations of right-handed alpha-helix and extended beta and P(II) conformations in the simulation trajectory strongly depend on the simulation method. For the QM/MM MD simulations, the PM3/MM shows that the P(II) conformation is dominant, whereas the AM1/MM predicts that the dominant conformation is alpha(R). Polarizable CHARMM force field gives almost exclusively P(II) conformation and other force fields predict that both alpha-helical and extended (beta and P(II)) conformations are populated with varying extents. Solvation environment around the dipeptide is investigated by examining the radial distribution functions and numbers and lifetimes of hydrogen bonds. Comparing the simulated IR and vibrational circular dichroism spectra with experimental results, we concluded that the dipeptide adopts the P(II) conformation and PM3/MM, AMBER03 with TIP4P water, and AMBER polarizable force fields are acceptable for structure determination of the dipeptide considered in this paper.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 04/2008; 128(10):105106. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The solution structure and the local solvation environments of alanine dipeptide (AD, 1 a) and its isotopomer (AD*, 1 b, 13C on the acetyl end C==O) are studied by using infrared (IR) spectroscopy and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD). From the amide I IR spectra of AD* in various protic solvents, it is found that each of the two carbonyl groups is fully H-bonded to two water molecules. However, the number of alcohol molecules H-bonded to each C==O varies from one to two, and the local solvation environments are asymmetric around the two peptides of AD* in alcohol solutions. The amide I VCD spectra of AD and AD* in D2O are also measured, and a series of density functional theory (DFT, B3LYP/6-311++G**) calculations are performed to obtain the amide I normal-mode rotational strengths of AD and the intrinsic rotational strengths of its two peptide fragments. By combining the VCD-measurement and DFT-calculation results and employing a coupled oscillator theory, we show that the aqueous-solution structure of the dipeptide can be determined. We believe that the present method will be of use in building up a library of dipeptide solution structures in water.
    ChemPhysChem 11/2007; 8(15):2218-26. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of solute-solvent interactions on solution structures of small peptides have been paid a great deal of attention. To study the effect of hydrogen-bonding interactions on peptide solution structures, we measured the amide I IR and VCD spectra of N-acetylproline amide (AP) in various protic solvents, i.e., D2O, MeOD, EtOD, and PrOD, and directly compared them with theoretically simulated ones. The numbers of protic solvent molecules hydrogen-bonded to the two peptide bonds in the AP were quantitatively determined by carrying out the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and then compared with the spectral analyses of the experimentally measured amide I bands. The two peptides in the AP have different propensities of forming H-bonds with protic solvent molecules, and the H-bond population distribution is found to be strongly site-specific and solvent-dependent. However, it is found that adoption of the polyproline II (PII) conformation by AP in protic solvents does not strongly depend on the hydrogen bond network-forming ability of protic solvents nor on the solvent polarity. We present a brief discussion on the validity as well as limitation of the currently available force field parameters used for the present MD simulation study.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 01/2007; 110(50):13355-65. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A few experimental and theoretical studies on the molecular structure of N-acetylproline amide (AP) in D2O solution have been reported recently. However, there is no consensus of the precise structure of AP in D2O because spectroscopically determined structures and a theoretically simulated one have been found to be different from one another. To determine its aqueous solution structure, IR and vibrational circular dichroism spectra of both L- and D-form AP solutions were measured. Molecular dynamics simulations with two different force fields and density functional theory calculations for the trans and cis rotamers of AP were performed to numerically simulate those spectra. Comparisons between experimentally measured and computationally simulated spectra directly suggest that the AP in water adopts a polyproline II-like conformation and that the force field parameter ff03 in the AMBER 8 suite of programs is more realistic and reliable in predicting molecular structure of AP in water than the ff99 in AMBER 7.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 10/2006; 110(38):18834-43. · 3.61 Impact Factor