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1.  Cu(II) and Ni(II) Interactions with the Terminally Blocked Hexapeptide Ac-Leu-Ala-His-Tyr-Asn-Lys-amide Model of Histone H2B (80–85) 
The N- and C-terminal blocked hexapeptide Ac-Leu-Ala-His-Tyr-Asn-Lys-amide (LAHYNK) representing the 80–85 fragment of histone H2B was synthesized and its interactions with Cu(II) and Ni(II) ions were studied by potentiometric, UV-Vis, CD, EPR, and NMR spectroscopic techniques in solution. Our data reveal that the imidazole N(3) nitrogen atom is the primary ligating group for both metal ions. Sequential amide groups deprotonation and subsequent coordination to metal ions indicated an {Nimidazole, 3Namide} coordination mode above pH∼9, in all cases. In the case of Cu(II)-peptide system, the almost exclusive formation of the predominant species CuL in neutral media accounting for almost 98% of the total metal ion concentration at pH 7.3 strongly indicates that at physiological pH values the sequence -LAHYNK- of histone H2B provides very efficient binding sites for metal ions. The imidazole pyrrole N(1) ionization (but not coordination) was also detected in species CuH−4L present in solution above pH ∼ 11.
PMCID: PMC2292837  PMID: 18431450
2.  Thermodynamic and Structural Characterization of the Copper(II) Complexes of Peptides Containing Both Histidyl and Aspartyl Residues 
Terminally protected pentapeptides with 2 histidines (Ac-HHVGD-NH2 and Ac-HVGDH-NH2) and the terminally free peptides containing both internal aspartyl and C-terminal histidyl residues (FDAH and VIDAH) have been synthesized, and copper(II) complexes studied by potentiometric, UV-Vis, CD, and EPR spectroscopic techniques in solution. Both thermodynamic and spectroscopic data reveal that side chain donor atoms of aspartyl and histidyl residues have a significant contribution to the metal binding affinity of peptide molecules. In the case of terminally protected peptides, the role of the imidazole-N donor functions is reflected in the enhanced stability of the 3N and 4N coordinated copper(II) complexes. The amino and β-carboxylate groups of FDAH and VIDAH create a very effective metal binding site with the (NH2, N−, β-COO−) and (NH2, N−, N−, β-COO−) coordination modes including the N-termini, while the histidine sites are available for the formation of the (Nim, N−, N−) binding mode resulting in the preference of dinuclear complex formation.
PMCID: PMC2216053  PMID: 18273380
3.  Interaction of Cu(II)with His-Val-Gly-Asp and of Zn(II) with His-Val-His, Two Peptides at the Active Site of Cu,Zn-Superoxide Dismutase 
His-Val-His and His-Val-Gly-Asp are two naturally occurring peptide sequences, present at the active site of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn-SOD). We have already studied the interaction of His-Val-His=A (copper binding site) with Cu(II) and of His-Val-Gly-Asp=B (zinc binding site) with Zn(II). As a continuation of this work and for comparison purposes we have also studied the interaction of Zn(II) with His-Val-His and Cu(II) with His-Val-Gly-Asp using both potentiometric and spectroscopic methods (visible, EPR, NMR). The stoichiometry, stability constants and solution structure of the complexes formed have been determined. Histamine type of coordination is observed for/ZnAH/2+, /ZnA/+, /ZnA2H/+ and/ZnA2/ in acidic pH while deprotonation of coordinated water molecules is observed at higher pH. /CUB/ species is characterized by the formation of a macrochelate and histamine type coordination. Its stability results in the suppression of amide deprotonation which occurs at high pH resulting in the formation of the highly distorted from square planar geometry 4N complex/CuBH-3/3.
PMCID: PMC2267047  PMID: 18365046

Results 1-3 (3)