van der Waals' induced 13C NMR shifts in crystalline amino acids and peptides

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Recent reports in the literature of solid‐state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of crystalline L‐alanine [Naito, A., Ganapathy, S., Akasaka, K., and McDonnell, C. A. (1981) J. Chem. Phys. 74, 3190–3197] and L‐leucine [Frey, M. H. and Opella, S. J. (1980) J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Commun., 474–475], recorded with cross‐polarization and magic‐angle spinning (CP‐MAS), show downfield resonance shifts of several parts per million in their side‐chain methyl groups, relative to their resonance positions in aqueous solution. Similar findings are reported here for crystalline aliphatic amino acids and L‐alanine peptides, including tetra(L‐alanine), which show similar, specific downfield shifts in their side‐chain methyl resonances. Coupled with X‐ray crystallographic data of these compounds, and previous gas and solution‐phase 13C NMR studies, the CP‐MAS 13C NMR data indicate that these downfield shifts are a result of van der Waals' interactions. This group have reported similar van der Waals' induced shifts of the same magnitude for 13C resonances of the side‐chain methyl groups of 13C‐enriched tetra(L‐alanine) upon binding to high‐affinity Fab' fragments of heterogeneous sheep anti‐[poly(L‐alanine)] antibodies in aqueous solution(Geller, S., Wei, S. C., Shkuda, G. K., Marcus, D. M., and Brewer, C. F. (1980) Biochemistry 19, 3614–3623]. The above findings show that van der Waals' induced 13C NMR shifts of similar magnitudes can be detected in specific antibody‐hapten complexes and the side chains of crystalline aliphatic amino acids and peptides. The results also indicate that water possesses relatively little attractive van der Waals' interactions with aliphatic molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-367
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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