Modeling competitive interactions in proteins: vibrational spectroscopy of M+(n-methylacetamide)1(H2O)n=0-3, M=Na and K, in the 3 microm region

J Phys Chem A. 2007 Dec 13;111(49):12409-16. doi: 10.1021/jp073521i. Epub 2007 Aug 16.


To properly understand the preferred structures and biological properties of proteins, it is important to understand how they are influenced by their immediate environment. Competitive intrapeptide, peptide...water, ion...water, and ion...peptide interactions, such as hydrogen bonding, play a key role in determining the structures, properties, and functionality of proteins. The primary types of hydrogen bonding involving proteins are intramolecular amide...amide (N-H...O=C) and intermolecular amide...water (O-H...O=C and H-O...H-N). n-Methylacetamide (NMA) is a convenient model for investigating these competitive interactions. An analysis of the IR photodissociation (IRPD) spectra of M+(n-methylacetamide)1(H2O)n=0-3 (M=Na and K) in the O-H and N-H spectral regions is presented. Ab initio calculations (MP2/cc-pVDZ) are used as a guide in identifying both the type and location of hydrogen bonds present. In larger clusters, where several structural isomers may be present in the molecular beam, ab initio calculations are also used to suggest assignments for the observed spectral features. The results presented offer insight to the nature of ion...NMA interactions in an aqueous environment and reveal how different ion...ligand pairwise interactions direct the extent of water...water and water...NMA hydrogen bonding observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods*


  • Acetamides
  • Proteins
  • N-methylacetamide