MCR-ALS analysis of two-way UV resonance Raman spectra to resolve discrete protein secondary structural motifs
The ability of ultraviolet resonance Raman (UVRR) spectroscopy to monitor a host of structurally sensitive protein vibrational modes, the amide I, II, III and S regions, makes it a potentially powerful tool for the visualization of equilibrium and non-equilibrium secondary structure changes in even the most difficult peptide samples. However, it is difficult to unambiguously resolve discrete secondary structure-derived UVRR spectral signatures independently of one another as each contributes an unknown profile to each of the spectrally congested vibrational modes. This limitation is compounded by the presence of aromatic side chains, which introduce additional overlapping vibrational modes. To address this, we have exploited an often overlooked tool for alleviating this spectral overlap by utilizing the differential excitability of the vibrational modes associated with alpha-helices and coil moieties, in the deep UV. The differences in the resonance enhancements of the various structurally associated vibrational modes yields an added dimensionality in the spectral data sets making them multi-way in nature. Through a 'chemically relevant' shape-constrained multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) analysis, we were able to deconvolute the complex amide regions in the multi-excitation UVRR spectrum of the protein myoglobin, giving us potentially useful 'pure' secondary structure-derived contributions to these individual vibrational profiles.
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