Effect of heterochiral inversions on the structure of a β-hairpin peptide

Gül H. Zerze, Frank H. Stillinger, Pablo Gaston Debenedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We study computationally a family of β-hairpin peptides with systematically introduced chiral inversions, in explicit water, and we investigate the extent to which the backbone structure is able to fold in the presence of heterochiral perturbations. In contrast to the recently investigated case of a helical peptide, we do not find a monotonic change in secondary structure content as a function of the number of L- to D-inversions. The effects of L- to D-inversions are instead found to be highly position-specific. Additionally, in contrast to the helical peptide, some inversions increase the stability of the folded peptide: in such cases, we compute an increase in β-sheet content in the aqueous solution equilibrium ensemble. However, the tertiary structures of the stable (folded) configurations for peptides for which inversions cause an increase in β-sheet content show differences from one another, as well as from the native fold of the nonchirally perturbed β-hairpin. Our results suggest that although some chiral perturbations can increase folding stability, chirally perturbed proteins may still underperform functionally, given the relationship between structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


  • D-amino acids
  • GB1
  • advanced sampling
  • all-atom simulations
  • chiral inversion
  • β-hairpin folding


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