pH Dependence of the Electronic Structure of Glycine

Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-1460, USA.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B (Impact Factor: 3.3). 03/2005; 109(11):5375-82. DOI: 10.1021/jp0457592
Source: PubMed


The carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen K-edge spectra were measured for aqueous solutions of glycine by total electron yield near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (TEY NEXAFS) spectroscopy. The bulk solution pH was systematically varied while maintaining a constant amino acid concentration. Spectra were assigned through comparisons with both previous studies and ab initio computed spectra of isolated glycine molecules and hydrated glycine clusters. Nitrogen K-edge solution spectra recorded at low and moderate pH are nearly identical to those of solid glycine, whereas basic solution spectra strongly resemble those of the gas phase. The carbon 1s --> pi*(C=O) transition exhibits a 0.2 eV red shift at high pH due to the deprotonation of the amine terminus. This deprotonation also effects a 1.4 eV red shift in the nitrogen K-edge at high pH. Two sharp preedge features at 401.3 and 402.5 eV are also observed at high pH. These resonances, previously observed in the vapor-phase ISEELS spectrum of glycine, have been reassigned as transitions to sigma* bound states. The observation of these peaks indicates that the amine moiety is in an acceptor-only hydrogen bond configuration at high pH. At low pH, the oxygen 1s --> pi*(C=O) transition exhibits a 0.25-eV red shift due to the protonation of the carboxylic acid terminus. These spectral differences indicate that the variations in electronic structure observed in the NEXAFS spectra are determined by the internal charge state and hydration environment of the molecule in solution.

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Available from: Richard J Saykally, Sep 03, 2014

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    ABSTRACT: The C, N, and O K-edge near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectra of the 22 most common proteinogenic alpha-amino acids in the zwitterionic form collected from solvent-free polycrystalline powder films in the partial electron yield mode are reported. Spectral features common to all amino acids, as well as distinctive fingerprints of specific subgroups of these compounds, are presented and discussed.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · The Journal of Physical Chemistry A
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    ABSTRACT: The nitrogen K-edge spectra of aqueous proline and diglycine solutions have been measured by total electron yield near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy at neutral and high pH. All observed spectral features have been assigned by comparison to the recently reported spectrum of aqueous glycine and calculated spectra of isolated amino acids and hydrated amino acid clusters. The sharp preedge resonances at 401.3 and 402.6 eV observed in the spectrum of anionic glycine indicate that the nitrogen terminus is in an "acceptor-only" configuration, wherein neither amine proton is involved in hydrogen bonding to the solvent, at high pH. The analogous 1s --> sigma(NH) preedge transitions are absent in the NEXAFS spectrum of anionic proline, implying that the acceptor-only conformation observed in anionic glycine arises from steric shielding induced by free rotation of the amine terminus about the glycine CN bond. Anionic diglycine solutions exhibit a broadened 1s --> pi(CN) resonance at 401.2 eV and a broad shoulder resonance at 403 eV, also suggesting the presence of an acceptor-only species. Although this assignment is not as unambiguous as for glycine, it implies that the nitrogen terminus of most proteins is capable of existing in an acceptor-only conformation at high pH. The NEXAFS spectrum of zwitterionic lysine solution was also measured, exhibiting features similar to those of both anionic and zwitterionic glycine, and leading us to conclude that the alpha amine group is present in an acceptor-only configuration, while the end of the butylammonium side chain is fully solvated.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2005 · The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
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