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A Protein Data Bank Survey Reveals Shortening of Intermolecular Hydrogen Bonds in Ligand-Protein Complexes When a Halogenated Ligand Is an H-Bond Donor

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posted on 16.06.2014, 03:02 by Jarosław Poznański, Anna Poznańska, David Shugar

Halogen bonding in ligand-protein complexes is currently widely exploited, e.g. in drug design or supramolecular chemistry. But little attention has been directed to other effects that may result from replacement of a hydrogen by a strongly electronegative halogen. Analysis of almost 30000 hydrogen bonds between protein and ligand demonstrates that the length of a hydrogen bond depends on the type of donor-acceptor pair. Interestingly, lengths of hydrogen bonds between a protein and a halogenated ligand are visibly shorter than those estimated for the same family of proteins in complexes with non-halogenated ligands. Taking into account the effect of halogenation on hydrogen bonding is thus important when evaluating structural and/or energetic parameters of ligand-protein complexes. All these observations are consistent with the concept that halogenation increases the acidity of the proximal amino/imino/hydroxyl groups and thus makes them better, i.e. stronger, H-bond donors.

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