Conformations of proline-substituted chromophores are determined by using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and quantum chemistry calculation method. Coumarin is chosen for the optical chromophore and proline amino acid is attached to its C7 position. The coumarin-proline conjugate considered contains both fluorophore and peptide linker where any polypeptides or biomolecules can be additionally connected to the free carboxyl group of the proline. Thus, the coumarin-proline is a potentially useful composite chirality-probe system for studies of protein dynamics in solution. However, detailed conformation of coumarin ring with respect to the proline ring has to be determined first. We found that there are two possible conformers, which differ from each other by the relative orientation of the coumarin ring. Comparing the measured CD spectra with the calculated ones, we directly show that only one of the two conformers is dominant in polar solvents except for water. The present study suggests that the local structure around an optical chromophore, when it is introduced to polypeptides or other biomolecules, can be studied by examining the electronic optical activity of the probe chromophore, as long as the chirality transfer from the attached amino acid to the chromophore is significantly large.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry