Ab initio calculations are used to identify characteristics of vibrational and NMR spectra that signal the involvement of a protein backbone in a CH···O H-bond and that distinguish this sort of interaction from other H-bonds in which a protein might participate. Glycine and alanine dipeptides, in both their C7 and C5 minimum-energy structures, are paired with formamide in a number of different H-bonding arrangements. The CH···O H-bond is characterized by a small contraction of the C−H bond length, along with a blue shift in its stretching frequency, accompanied by an intensification of this vibrational band. In the context of NMR spectra, the bridging CH proton’s chemical shift is moved downfield by 1−2 ppm. The aforementioned features are not produced by other H-bonds in which the protein backbone might participate, such as NH proton donation or accepting a proton via the peptide C═O.
- hydrogen bonds,