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Over the years, there have been
significant advances in the design and synthesis of non-natural oligomers with structurally
well-defined conformations.1-2There has also been specific interest
in the design of regular secondary structures from non-natural peptide chain
architecture. Synthetic peptides that fold into regular secondary structures
are valuable tools in understanding protein folding and protein-protein
interactions (PPIs).3 Moreover, designed peptides that fold into
?-helical conformation assumes importance as it is the most abundant secondary
structural motif present in nature constituting of 30% of protein secondary
structure.4 Non proteinogenic amino acids also help in controlling
the helical structure. It is known that synthetic peptides containing ?-amino
isobutyric acid (Aib) and ?-amino acids
promote helicity when combined with natural L-amino acids.5 Template-assisted peptide folding
is an important phenomenon that allows nature to carry many important biological
functions. There are large number of template molecules that are found in the
literature which stimulate and stabilize secondary and tertiary structures of
the peptides covalently attached to them.6 These templates impart
their conformational preferences to the peptide chain through non-covalent
interactions like hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions to take shape
in to a conformationally stable structure. They also lower the conformational
entropy of the secondary structure by contributing to the folding free energy

and co-workers for the first time reported the concept of introducing a
conformationally rigid molecule into a peptide to stabilize a single bioactive
conformation.7 There is a great need for designing molecular
scaffolds which would impart their conformational preferences and organize the
peptide chains to fold in pre-organized fashion via intra-molecular hydrogen bonding. Synthetic templates
consisting of folding properties is essential for designing supramolecular
structures. Dimedone (5,5-dimethyl-1,3-cyclohexanedione)
is one such synthetic template which consists of two carbonyl
groups as hydrogen bond acceptors – accessible for intramolecular hydrogen
bonding with peptide chains attached, as demonstrated herein.

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