Laboratory for chiroptical structure analysis, Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös Loránd University

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Research topics

Since its foundation the main focus of activity of CSL was the determination of the absolute configuration and absolute conformation of chiral molecules. In the case of polypeptides and proteins, studies were aimed at the determination of secondary structures (conformations) and their relative amount. Studies on cyclic peptides has drawn attention to the turn elements of proteins and to the problem of folding. CD studies were supported here by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. The structural analysis of flexible linear peptides is not an easy task. This is why the laboratory developed the CD/FTIR method which can be applied for the analysis of the in solution conformation of peptides (and also for proteins). In collaboration with Ilona Laczkó (today Scientific Advisor) in the Biological Research Center (Szeged) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the CD/FTIR method was used for conformational studies of peptides and proteins in membrane-mimicking environment (in the presence of micelles and liposomes). The CD/FTIR method was succesfully used in studies of immunogenic and fusogenic peptides as well as in the field of structural biology of Alzheimer's disease. Chiroptical electronic CD (ECD) studies were also extended to the cation and protein complexes of peptides and proteins as well as to complexes of crown ethers. Recently the laboratory is also involved in vibrational circular dichroism studies of the absolute configuration and absolute conformation of small chiral molecules and biopolymers.

Historical background

Recent research activities:

  • Chiroptical spectroscopic (ECD and VCD) characterization of chiral molecules
  • Determination of the steric structure (absolute configuration or absolute conformation) of chiral molecules
  • Chiroptical and vibrational spectroscopy (ECD, VCD, FTIR) of biomolecules and biopolymers
  • Vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectroscopy: experimental and theoretical studies
  • Proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes: synthesis of fluorescent labelled fusion peptides, ECD, FTIR and VCD spectroscopic studies
  • Chiroptical studies on supramolecular complexes
  • Transition metal (e.g. Rh) complexes: preparation, separation and spectroscopic characterization.