Conformational analysis of glutamic acid: a density functional approach using implicit continuum solvent model


JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MODELING, vol.20, no.9, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00894-014-2396-0


Amino acids are constituents of proteins and enzymes which take part almost in all metabolic reactions. Glutamic acid, with an ability to form a negatively charged side chain, plays a major role in intra and intermolecular interactions of proteins, peptides, and enzymes. An exhaustive conformational analysis has been performed for all eight possible forms at B3LYP/cc-pVTZ level. All possible neutral, zwitterionic, protonated, and deprotonated forms of glutamic acid structures have been investigated in solution by using polarizable continuum model mimicking water as the solvent. Nine families based on the dihedral angles have been classified for eight glutamic acid forms. The electrostatic effects included in the solvent model usually stabilize the charged forms more. However, the stability of the zwitterionic form has been underestimated due to the lack of hydrogen bonding between the solute and solvent; therefore, it is observed that compact neutral glutamic acid structures are more stable in solution than they are in vacuum. Our calculations have shown that among all eight possible forms, some are not stable in solution and are immediately converted to other more stable forms. Comparison of isoelectronic glutamic acid forms indicated that one of the structures among possible zwitterionic and anionic forms may dominate over the other possible forms. Additional investigations using explicit solvent models are necessary to determine the stability of charged forms of glutamic acid in solution as our results clearly indicate that hydrogen bonding and its type have a major role in the structure and energy of conformers.