- The conformations of the dipeptide t-Boc-Pro-DAla-OH and the tripeptide t-Boc-Pro-DAla-Ala-OH have been determined in the crystalline state by X-ray diffraction and in solution by CD, n.m.r. and i.r. techniques. The unit cell of the dipeptide crystal contains two independent molecules connected by intermolecular hydrogen bonds. The urethane-proline peptide bond is in the cis orientation in both the molecular forms while the peptide bond between Pro and DAla is in the trans orientation. The single dipeptide molecule exhibits a "bent" structure which approximates to a partial beta-turn. The tripeptide adopts the 4----1 hydrogen-bonded type II beta-turn with all trans peptide bonds. In solution, the CD and i.r. data on the dipeptide indicate an ordered conformation with an intramolecular hydrogen bond. N.m.r. data indicate a significant proportion of the conformer with a trans orientation at the urethane-proline peptide bond. The temperature coefficient of the amide proton of this conformer in DMSO-d6 points to a 3----1 intramolecular hydrogen bond. Taken together, the data on the dipeptide in solution indicate the presence (in addition to the cis conformer) of a C7 conformation which is absent in the crystalline state. The spectral data on the tripeptide indicate the presence of the type II beta-turn in solution in addition to the nonhydrogen-bonded conformer with the cis peptide bond between the urethane and proline residues. The relevance of these data to studies on the substrate specificity of collagen prolylhydroxylase is pointed out.