A theoretical study of the conformational landscape of serotonin

Tanja Van Mourik, Laura E.V. Emson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The conformational landscape of neutral serotonin has been investigated by several theoretical methods. The potential energy surface was scanned by systematically varying the three dihedral angles that determine the conformation of the alkyl side chain. In addition, the two possible conformations of the phenol hydroxyl group (anti and syn with respect to the indole NH) were considered. The OH-anti stationary points located with SCF/6-31G* have been re-optimised with B3LYP/6-31+G*, which resulted in twelve true minima. Eleven of these have a corresponding OH-syn conformer that is 1-4 kJ mol(-1) higher in energy. IR vibrational spectra of all twenty-three serotonin conformers, computed at the B3LYP/6-31+G* level of theory, are presented. The initial scan of the serotonin potential energy surface has been repeated with several computationally cheaper methods, to assess their reliability for locating the correct serotonin conformers. It is found that the semi-empirical methods AM1 and PM3 do not yield sufficiently accurate results, due to their inability to account for subtle intramolecular interactions within the serotonin molecule. On the other hand, SCF in combination with the 3-21G* basis set is ascertained to be a good alternative to SCF/6-31G* for performing the initial scan of the potential energy surface of flexible molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5863-5871
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • ION-DIP SPECTROSCOPY
  • WATER-CONTAINING CLUSTERS
  • INDOLE-(WATER)(N) CLUSTERS
  • INFRARED-SPECTROSCOPY
  • SEMIEMPIRICAL METHODS
  • HYDRATED COMPLEXES
  • LASER SPECTROSCOPY
  • SMALL BIOMOLECULES
  • GAS-PHASE
  • UV

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