A direct comparison of protein structure in the gas and solution phase: the Trp-cage

J Phys Chem B. 2007 Nov 22;111(46):13147-50. doi: 10.1021/jp709901t. Epub 2007 Nov 1.


Molecular dynamics simulations of zwitterions of the Trp-cage protein in the gas phase show that the most stable ion in vacuo has preserved the charge locations acquired in solution. A direct comparison of the gas and solution-phase structures reveals that, despite the similarity in charge location, there is significant difference in the structures, with a substantial increase in hydrogen bonds and exposure of hydrophobic parts in the gas phase. The structure of the salt bridge in the gas phase is also much more stable than in the (experimental) solution structure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gases / chemistry
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Solutions


  • Gases
  • Peptides
  • Solutions
  • Trp-cage peptide