The influence of subphase characteristics (ionic strength, pH, and the presence of bridging cations) on the conformation and lateral orientation of the hydrophobic polypeptide poly-(L)-leucine (p-leu) has been investigated at the air-water interface with the surface film balance technique as well as with Brewster angle microscopy (BAM). In addition, Langmuir-Blodgett films of p-leu deposited on quartz and mica from different subphases have been studied by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). P-leu forms alpha-helices at the interface regardless of subphase characteristics. Long-range lateral orientation of the alpha-helical strands in the p-leu monolayer was obtained under conditions where attractive interpeptide end-group interactions prevail. These interactions were obtained under conditions where (1) end-group charges lend a zwitterionic character to the peptide, thus enabling strong electrostatic attraction between adjacent strands, (2) there is a possibility for formation of carboxylic acid dimers, or (3) calcium bridges form between carboxylate end groups. These three cases correspond to an increase of the effective molecular mass of the peptide. It was concluded that such an increase, and thereby an increased long-range lateral orientation, can be obtained by enabling peptide end group attraction, but not by screening peptide end group repulsion. Kinetic studies of monolayer relaxation strongly suggest that the end-group effects influence the thermodynamic, as well as the kinetic, properties of peptide monolayers.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Physical Chemistry