Effects of Charge Location on the Absorptions and Lifetimes of Protonated Tyrosine Peptides in Vacuo

Orla Kelly, Chris Calvert, Jason Greenwood, H. Zettergren, S.B. Nielsen, J.A. Wyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Nearby charges affect the electronic energy levels of chromophores, with the extent of the effect being determined by the magnitude of the charge and degree of charge-chromophore separation. The molecular configuration dictates the charge chromophore distance. Hence, in this study, we aim to assess how the location of the charge influences the absorption of a set of model protonated and diprotonated peptide ions, and whether spectral differences are large enough to be identified. The studied ions were the dipeptide YK, the tripeptide KYK (Y = tyrosine; K = lysine) and their complexes with 18-crown-6-ether (CE). The CE targets the ammonium group by forming internal ionic hydrogen bonds and limits the folding of the peptide. In the tripeptide, the distance between the chromophore and the backbone ammonium is enlarged relative to that in the dipeptide. Experiments were performed in an electrostatic ion storage ring using a tunable laser system, and action spectra based on lifetime measurements were obtained in the range from 210 to 310 nm. The spectra are all quite similar though there seems to be some changes in the absorption band between 210 and 250 nm, while in the lower energy band all ions had a maximum absorption at similar to 275 nm. Lifetimes after photoexcitation were found to shorten upon protonation and lengthen upon CE complexation, in accordance with the increased number of degrees of freedom and an increase in activation energies for dissociation as the mobile proton model is no longer operative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1709
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number7
Early online date23 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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