Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between conformational flexibility and solution stability of a linear RGD peptide (Arg-Gly-Asp-Phe-OH; 1) and a cyclic RGD peptide (cyclo-(1, 6)-Ac-Cys-Arg-Gly-Asp-Phe-Pen-NH2; 2); as a function of pH. Previously, it was found that cyclic peptide 2 was 30-fold more stable than linear peptide 1. Therefore, this study was performed to explain the increase in chemical stability based on the preferred conformation of the peptides. Molecular dynamics simulations and energy minimizations were conducted to evaluate the backbone flexibility of both peptides under simulated pH conditions of 3, 7 and 10 in the presence of water. The reactive sites for degradation for both molecules were also followed during the simulations. The backbone of linear peptide 1 exhibited more flexibility than that of cyclic peptide 2, which was reflected in the rotation about the phi and psi dihedral angles. This was further supported by the low r.m.s. deviations of the backbone atoms for peptide 2 compared with those of peptide 1 that were observed among structures sampled during the molecular dynamics simulations. The presence of a salt bridge between the side chain groups of the Arg and Asp residues was also indicated for the cyclic peptide under simulated conditions of neutral pH. The increase in stability of the cyclic peptide 2 compared with the linear peptide 1, especially at neutral pH, is due to decreased structural flexibility imposed by the ring, as well as salt bridge formation between the side chains of the Arg and Asp residues in cyclic peptide 2. This rigidity would prevent the Asp side chain carboxylic acid from orienting itself in the appropriate position for attack on the peptide backbone.