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Secondary Structural Preferences of 2,2-Disubstituted Pyrrolidine-4-carboxylic Acid Oligomers:  β-Peptide Foldamers that Cannot Form Internal Hydrogen Bonds

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journal contribution
posted on 08.07.2003, 00:00 by Bayard R. Huck, John D. Fisk, Ilia A. Guzei, Heather A. Carlson, Samuel H. Gellman
We examine a new class of β-peptides, 2,2-disubstituted pyrrolidine-4-carboxylic acid oligomers, and show that they manifest discrete conformational preferences despite the impossibility of internal hydrogen bonding. Numerous β-peptide families have been described that display specific secondary structural preferences, but all of the conformations characterized in detail so far have contained internal hydrogen bonds. Internal hydrogen bonding is observed within the most common secondary structures of conventional peptides as well. Identifying foldamers in which shape control is independent of hydrogen bonding is significant in two ways. At a fundamental level, foldamers in this small but growing class are interesting because their shapes are controlled by distinctive networks of noncovalent forces. At a practical level, non-hydrogen bonded foldamers may be useful in biomedical applications because the low intrinsic polarity of their backbones may promote bioavailability.

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