On the Conformation of Anionic Peptoids in the Gas Phase

On the Conformation of Anionic Peptoids in the Gas Phase
On the Conformation of Anionic Peptoids in the Gas Phase

Although N-(S)-phenylethyl peptoids are known to adopt helical structures in solutions, the corresponding positively charged ions lose their helical structure during the transfer from the solution to the gas phase due to the so-called charge solvation effect. We, here, considered negatively charged peptoids to investigate by ion mobility spectrometry−mass spectrometry whether the structural changes described in the positive ionization mode can be circumvented in the negative mode by a fine-tuning of the peptoid sequence, that is, by positioning the negative charge at the positive side of the helical peptoid macrodipole. N-(S)-(1- carboxy-2-phenylethyl) (Nscp) and N-(S)-phenylethyl (Nspe) were selected as the negative charge carrier and as the helix inductor, respectively. We, here, report the results of a joint theoretical and experimental study demonstrating that the structures adopted by the NspenNscp anions remain compactly folded in the gas phase for chains containing up to 10 residues, whereas no evidence of the presence of a helical structure was obtained, even if, for selected sequences and lengths, different gas phase conformations are detected.

10.1021/acs.biomac.1c01442