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ACS Catal. 2018 Nov 2;8(11):9968-9979. doi: 10.1021/acscatal.8b03563. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of a Conformationally Mobile Peptide-Based Catalyst for Atroposelective Bromination.

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Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8107, USA.


It is widely accepted that structural rigidity is required to achieve high levels of asymmetric induction in catalytic, enantioselective reactions. This fundamental design principle often does not apply to highly selective catalytic peptides that often exhibit conformational heterogeneity. As a result, these complex systems are particularly challenging to study both experimentally and computationally. Herein, we utilize molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the role of conformational mobility on the reactivity and selectivity exhibited by a catalytic, β-turn-biased peptide in an atroposelective bromination reaction. By means of cluster analysis, multiple distinct conformers of the peptide and a catalyst-substrate complex were identified in the simulations, all of which were corroborated by experimental NMR measurements. The simulations also revealed that a shift in the conformational equilibrium of the peptidic catalyst occurs upon addition of substrate, and the degree of change varies among different substrates. On the basis of these data, we propose a correlation between the composition of the peptide conformational ensemble and its catalytic properties. Moreover, these findings highlight the importance of conformational dynamics in catalytic, asymmetric reactions mediated by oligopeptides, unveiled through high-level, state-of-the-art computational modeling.


Asymmetric Catalysis; Atropisomerism; Cluster Analysis; Conformation; Molecular Dynamics; Peptides

[Available on 2019-11-02]

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