Illustrate Hydrogen Bonding: Amino Acids

So in summary, structures 1 and 2 are both correct in terms of hydrogen bonding interactions, while structures 3 and 4 are incorrect. This is because only structure 1 involves a hydrogen atom bonded to nitrogen, which has a high enough electronegativity difference to form a hydrogen bond. Structure 2 involves a hydrogen atom bonded to sulfur, which has too low of an electronegativity difference to participate in a hydrogen bond. Therefore, structure 1 is the only correct structure in terms of hydrogen bonding.
  • #1

Homework Statement


The following structures illustrate hydrogen bonding interactions between amino acid side chains and/or backbone atoms within a protein structure. In which of the following figures are the structures and hydrogen bonding completely correct?


Homework Equations


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The Attempt at a Solution


Firstly, I know that structure 4 is wrong (does not involve hydrogen).
A quick glance at my textbook shows that the amino acid with the configuration of -OH shown in structure 3 does not exist, eliminating 3.
However, I am stuck at 1 & 2 as they seem both correct.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  • #2
Which atoms have hydrogen capable of forming hydrogen bonds?
 
  • #3
Ah.
The electronegativity difference between sulphur and hydrogen seems to low to have a hydrogen bond.
That would leave structure 1 (also nitrogen and hydrogen have an electronegativity difference that is high enough to create a H-bond).

Thank you,
Ygggdrasil
 
  • #4
A good rule of thumb is that only hydrogens bonded to fluorine, nitrogen, or hydrogen atoms are capable of participating in hydrogen bonds.
 

1. What is hydrogen bonding?

Hydrogen bonding is a type of intermolecular force that occurs when a hydrogen atom in a polar molecule is attracted to a highly electronegative atom, such as oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine, in a nearby molecule.

2. How is hydrogen bonding related to amino acids?

Amino acids contain at least one hydrogen atom attached to a nitrogen atom, making them capable of participating in hydrogen bonding. This bonding is important in stabilizing the three-dimensional structure of proteins.

3. How does hydrogen bonding affect the properties of amino acids?

Hydrogen bonding between amino acids can affect their solubility, melting point, and reactivity. It also plays a crucial role in the folding and stability of proteins, which are essential for their biological functions.

4. Can you illustrate hydrogen bonding between amino acids?

Yes, hydrogen bonding between amino acids can be illustrated by showing the hydrogen atom of one amino acid forming a bond with the electronegative atom of another amino acid, such as the oxygen atom in a carboxyl group.

5. How does the strength of hydrogen bonding between amino acids vary?

The strength of hydrogen bonding between amino acids can vary depending on factors such as the distance between the atoms involved, the polarity of the amino acid side chains, and the presence of other molecules that can disrupt or strengthen the bond.

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