Faculté des sciences

Charge transfer in model peptides: obtaining Marcus parameters from molecular simulation

Heck, Alexander ; Woiczikowski, P. Benjamin ; Kubař, Tomáš ; Giese, Bernd ; Elstner, Marcus ; Steinbrecher, Thomas B.

In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012, vol. 116, p. 2284–2293

Charge transfer within and between biomolecules remains a highly active field of biophysics. Due to the complexities of real systems, model compounds are a useful alternative to study the mechanistic fundamentals of charge transfer. In recent years, such model experiments have been underpinned by molecular simulation methods as well. In this work, we study electron hole transfer in helical model... Plus

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    Summary
    Charge transfer within and between biomolecules remains a highly active field of biophysics. Due to the complexities of real systems, model compounds are a useful alternative to study the mechanistic fundamentals of charge transfer. In recent years, such model experiments have been underpinned by molecular simulation methods as well. In this work, we study electron hole transfer in helical model peptides by means of molecular dynamics simulations. A theoretical framework to extract Marcus parameters of charge transfer from simulations is presented. We find that the peptides form stable helical structures with sequence dependent small deviations from ideal PPII helices. We identify direct exposure of charged side chains to solvent as a cause of high reorganization energies, significantly larger than typical for electron transfer in proteins. This, together with small direct couplings, makes long-range superexchange electron transport in this system very slow. In good agreement with experiment, direct transfer between the terminal amino acid side chains can be dicounted in favor of a two-step hopping process if appropriate bridging groups exist.