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Issue 21, 2017
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Protonation-modulated localization of excess electrons in histidine aqueous solutions revealed by ab initio molecular dynamics simulations: anion-centered versus cation-centered localization

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Abstract

In this work, we present an ab initio molecular dynamics simulation study on the interaction of an excess electron (EE) with histidine in its aqueous solution. Two different configurations of histidine (imidazole group protonated or not) are considered to reflect its different existing forms in neutral or slightly acidic surroundings. The simulation results indicate that localizations of EEs in different aqueous histidine solutions are quite different and are strongly affected by protonation of the side chain imidazole group and are thus pH-controlled. In neutral aqueous histidine solution, an EE localizes onto the carboxyl anionic group of the amino acid backbone after a relatively lengthy diffuse state, performing just like in an aliphatic amino acid solution. But in weakly acidic solution in which the side chain imidazole group is protonated, an EE undergoes a short lifetime diffuse state and finally localizes on the protonated imidazole group. We carefully examine these two different localization dynamics processes and analyze the competition between different dominating groups in their corresponding electron localization mechanisms. To explain the difference, we investigate the frontier molecular orbitals of these two systems and find that their energy levels and compositions are important to determine these differences. These findings can provide helpful information to understand the interaction mechanisms of low energy EEs with amino acids and even oligopeptides, especially with aromatic rings.

Graphical abstract: Protonation-modulated localization of excess electrons in histidine aqueous solutions revealed by ab initio molecular dynamics simulations: anion-centered versus cation-centered localization

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Mar 2017, accepted on 27 Apr 2017 and first published on 27 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01847A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 13807-13818
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    Protonation-modulated localization of excess electrons in histidine aqueous solutions revealed by ab initio molecular dynamics simulations: anion-centered versus cation-centered localization

    L. Gao and Y. Bu, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 13807
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01847A

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