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Homogeneous and Robust Polyproline Type I Helices from Peptoids with Nonaromatic α-Chiral Side Chains

Roy, Olivier, Dumonteil, Geoffrey, Faure, Sophie, Jouffret, Laurent, Kriznik, Alexandre, Taillefumier, Claude
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2017 v.139 no.38 pp. 13533-13540
N-substituted glycines, amides, biobased products, crystal structure, molecular conformation, solids
Peptoids that are oligomers of N-substituted glycines represent a class of peptide mimics with great potential in areas ranging from medicinal chemistry to biomaterial science. Controlling the equilibria between the cis and trans conformations of their backbone amides is the major hurdle to overcome for the construction of discrete folded structures, particularly for the development of all-cis polyproline type I (PPI) helices, as tools for modulating biological functions. The prominent role of backbone to side chain electronic interactions (n → π*) and side chains bulkiness in promoting cis-amides was essentially investigated with peptoid aromatic side chains, among which the chiral 1-naphthylethyl (1npe) group yielded the best results. We have explored for the first time the possibility to achieve similar performances with a sterically hindered α-chiral aliphatic side chain. Herein, we report on the synthesis and detailed conformational analysis of a series of (S)-N-(1-tert-butylethyl)glycine (Ns1tbe) peptoid homo-oligomers. The X-ray crystal structure of an Ns1tbe pentamer revealed an all-cis PPI helix, and the CD curves of the Ns1tbe oligomers also resemble those of PPI peptide helices. Interestingly, the CD data reported here are the first for any conformationally homogeneous helical peptoids containing only α-chiral aliphatic side chains. Finally we also synthesized and analyzed two mixed oligomers composed of NtBu and Ns1tbe monomers. Strikingly, the solid state structure of the mixed oligomer Ac-(tBu)₂-(s1tbe)₄-(tBu)₂-COOtBu, the longest to be solved for any linear peptoid, revealed a PPI helix of great regularity despite the presence of only 50% of chiral side chain in the sequence.