Influence of functional groups on the C α-C β chain of L-phenylalanine and its derivatives

Aravindhan Ganesan, Michael Brunger, Feng Wang

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    L-phenylalanine (L-phe) consists of three different functional groups, i.e., phenyl, carboxyl (-COOH) and amino (-NH2), joining through the C α-C β bridge. Substitution of these groups produces 2-phenethylamine (PEA) and 3-phenylpropionic acid (PPA). Electronic structures of L-phe, PEA and PPA together with smaller "fragments" L-alanine and benzene were determined using density functional theory (DFT), from which core and valence shell ionization spectra were simulated. Comparison of the spectra reveals that core shell ionization energies clearly indicate that the carbon bridge is significantly affected by their functional group substitutions particularly at the Ca site. In the valence space, quite unexpectedly, the frontier orbitals are concentrated on the benzene group although some energy splitting is observed. The orbitals which significantly affect the C α-C β carbon backbone are from the inner valence shell in the ionization energy region of 20-26 eV of the molecules.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-146
    Number of pages4
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


    • Amino acids
    • Functional groups
    • L-phenylalanine
    • Valence ionization spectra


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