• beta-hairpin;
  • alpha-C-center radical;
  • site specificity


A β-hairpin peptide (PDB ID 1UAO) was modeled to explore the backbone oxidation of a protein by an OH radical to abstract one α-H atom with ab initio calculation at the B3LYB/6-31G(d) without any constraint. Three glycine residues located at three different sites in 1UAO were used to examine the possible site specificity of this backbone oxidation. The pre- and post-reactive complexes along with their associated transition states were located and verified by the intrinsic reaction coordinate method. The reaction profile of these α-H abstraction reactions was constructed. The effects of the aqueous solution were estimated by the conductor-like polarizable continuum model (CPCM) model. Rate constants were calculated with transition state theory. The reaction rate of the OH α-H abstraction varies among these three different sites. The differences among these three sites were rationalized in terms of the molecular and electronic structures of the reactive complexes along the reaction pathway. The explicit solvation effect was estimated through the similar abstraction of a zwitterionic glycine with the combination of microsolvation and a CPCM model. Our results indicate that the α-H abstraction at certain sites requires explicit salvation to obtain accurate results. A replica exchange molecular dynamics simulation was performed to demonstrate the structural change due to this type of abstraction. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem, 2011