Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Nov 4;131(43):15877-86. doi: 10.1021/ja9065283.

Left- and right-handed alpha-helical turns in homo- and hetero-chiral helical scaffolds.

Author information

Division of Chemistry and Structural Biology, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.


Proteins typically consist of right-handed alpha helices, whereas left-handed alpha helices are rare in nature. Peptides of 20 amino acids or less corresponding to protein helices do not form thermodynamically stable alpha helices in water away from protein environments. The smallest known water-stable right- (alpha(R)) and left- (alpha(L)) handed alpha helices are reported, each stabilized in cyclic pentapeptide units containing all L- or all D-amino acids. Homochiral decapeptides comprising two identical cyclic pentapeptides (alpha(R)alpha(R) or alpha(L)alpha(L)) are continuous alpha-helical structures that are extremely stable to denaturants, degradative proteases, serum, and additives like TFE, acid, and base. Heterochiral decapeptides comprising two different cyclic pentapeptides (alpha(L)alpha(R) or alpha(R)alpha(L)) maintain the respective helical handedness of each monocyclic helical turn component but adopt extended or bent helical structures depending on the solvent environment. Adding TFE to their aqueous solutions caused a change to bent helical structures with slightly distorted N-terminal alpha(R) or alpha(L)-helical turns terminated by a Schellman-like motif adjacent to the C-terminal alpha(L) or alpha(R)-turn. This hinge-like switching between structures in response to an external cue suggests possible uses in larger structures to generate smart materials. The library of left- and right-handed 1-3 turn alpha-helical compounds reported herein project their amino acid side chains into very different regions of 3D space, constituting a unique and potentially valuable class of novel scaffolds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center