Amino Acids

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 273–282 | Cite as

Fragments of the second transmembrane helix of three G-protein-coupled receptors: comparative synthetic, structural and conformational studies

  • Douglas D. Lopes
  • Jamille H. Cuvero
  • Mariana M. L. Ferreira
  • Rogério L. Silva
  • Sinval E. G. Souza
  • Luciana Malavolta
  • Shirley Schreier
  • Clovis R. NakaieEmail author
Original Article


We compared the synthesis and structural/conformational details of the (66–97) segments of the second transmembrane helix of AT1, MAS and B2, all of which belong to the class of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). Step-by-step monitoring of the coupling reactions during the growth of these transmembrane peptides revealed that the increase in the level of difficulty started at the 6–10 regions of the sequence. Possibly due to their long and hydrophobic sequences, the final estimated synthesis yields decreased progressively by up to 20–25%. Analytical high pressure liquid chromatography showed that the hydrophobicity indexes of each TM-8, -16, -24 and -32 segments correlated linearly with their retention time. Microscopic measurements of peptide–resin beads indicated that, in general, dichloromethane and dimethylsulfoxide were the best solvents for solvating resin beads in the initial and final stages of the synthesis, respectively. Results from electron paramagnetic resonance experiments with Toac (2, 2, 6, 6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl-4-amino-4-carboxylic acid) spin-labeled peptide resins revealed that the level of peptide chain mobility throughout the polymer network was in agreement with their swelling data measured in different solvents. Initial results regarding conformational features determined by circular dichroism (CD) spectra revealed typical α-helicoidally structures for MAS and B2 TM32 fragments when in more than roughly 30% (v/v) trifluoroethanol (TFE). In contrast, the AT1-TM32 segment revealed CD spectra, more representatives of a mixture of other secondary helical conformers, regardless of the amount of TFE. These findings observed in different aspects of these receptors’ fragments support further investigations of GPCR-type macromolecules.


Peptide Peptide synthesis Electron paramagnetic resonance Spin label Receptor GPCR 





Angiotensin II


Electron acceptor number


Benzhydrylamine resin






















Dimethyl sulfide




Electron donor number


Electron paramagnetic resonance






N-[(1H-benzotriazol-1-yl)-(dimethylaminomethylene)]-N-methylmethanaminium hexafluorophosphate N-oxide






High performance liquid chromatography


Liquid chromatography/eletrospray mass spectrometry












Solid phase peptide synthesis




Trifluoroacetic acid




2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl-4-amino-4-carboxylic acid





This work was supported by the Sao Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CNPq). SS and CRN are CNPq research fellows.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no conflict of interest, either financial or otherwise.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas D. Lopes
    • 1
  • Jamille H. Cuvero
    • 1
  • Mariana M. L. Ferreira
    • 1
  • Rogério L. Silva
    • 1
  • Sinval E. G. Souza
    • 1
  • Luciana Malavolta
    • 2
  • Shirley Schreier
    • 3
  • Clovis R. Nakaie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, Escola Paulista de MedicinaUniversidade Federal de Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Physiological Sciences, Santa Casa de Sao PauloSchool of Medical SciencesSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Institute of ChemistryUniversidade de Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil

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