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J Fluor Chem. 2009 Dec 1;130(12):1178-1182.

A New Paradigm for Protein Design and Biological Self-Assembly.

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Department of Chemistry, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155.


Very few molecules with biological origins contain the element fluorine. Nature's inability to incorporate fluorine into biomolecules is related to the low concentration of free fluoride in sea and surface water. However, judicious introduction of fluorine into proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates has allowed mechanistic scrutiny of enzyme catalysis, control of protein oligomerization in membranes, clustered display of ligands on surfaces of living cells, and in increasing the protease stability of protein and peptide therapeutics.

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