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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Apr 16;136(15):5547-50. doi: 10.1021/ja500372u. Epub 2014 Apr 7.

Multimodal switching of conformation and solubility in homocysteine derived polypeptides.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and ‡Department of Bioengineering, University of California , Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.


We report the design and synthesis of poly(S-alkyl-L-homocysteine)s, which were found to be a new class of readily prepared, multiresponsive polymers that possess the unprecedented ability to respond in different ways to different stimuli, either through a change in chain conformation or in water solubility. The responsive properties of these materials are also effected under mild conditions and are completely reversible for all pathways. The key components of these polymers are the incorporation of water solubilizing alkyl functional groups that are integrated with precisely positioned, multiresponsive thioether linkages. This promising system allows multimodal switching of polypeptide properties to obtain desirable features, such as coupled responses to multiple external inputs.

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