Structure and hydrogen bonds of cyclohexapeptide RA-VII by molecular dynamics simulations and quantum chemical calculations
We computationally examined the structure of anti-tumour bicyclic hexapeptide RA-VII. This peptide adopts three conformations (confs.), A, B and C, in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Although it was experimentally reported that the structure of conf. A is important for anti-tumour activity, the dynamics of confs. A, B and C are not well known. We performed quantum chemical calculations and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of RA-VII in DMSO. The MD simulations indicated two different local stable structures for conf. C: a structure containing a bent 18-membered ring and another structure containing a rotated peptide bond between Tyr6 and d-Ala1. The root-mean-square fluctuation of the 14-membered ring for conf. A was larger than that for confs. B and C. Ala4 formed intramolecular hydrogen bonds more often in conf. A than in the other conformations. A large number of hydrogen bonds and large structural fluctuations are important for the anti-tumour activity of RA-VII. Our results for the structural change of conf. C and the analysis of the dynamics for confs. A, B and C may contribute to the design of new analogues of cyclic peptides.