Scientific paper as a poem

January 28, 2013

Gramicidin S Interrogation


gramicidin S was not like his fellow gramicidins
There was nothing linear about him

Two identical pentapeptides joined head to tail
Synthesized by gramicidin S synthetase

He was recruited for antibiotic duty in 1942
Fighting against bacteria and some fungi too

His fighting technique was well known in vivo
Binding with phospholipids of cell membranes was the way to go

In silico GS was more of a mystery man
Perhaps his intrinsic and native structure could reveal his plan

Know your enemy is what Machiavelli and Sun Tzu say
Maybe GS will reveal all with molecular H-bonding interplay

A good place to start is gas phase isolation
Progressive water(molecule)boarding helps control interaction

Add a bit of cryogenic cooling to avoid thermal congestion
A unique spectroscopic fingerprint is the final destination

GS he seemed like such a tough guy
But it took only 2 water molecules to make him cry

The complex stereoscopic fingerprint of GS was cracked
With these constraints it should be easy for the theorists to attack.


Nagornova NS, Rizzo TR and Boyarkin OV (2012) Interplay of Intra- and Intermolecular H-Bonding in a Progressively Solvated Macrocyclic Peptide . Science 336, 320; DOI: 10.1126/science.1218709

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons


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