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  1. Abstract We report an asymmetric synthesis of the (3R,5R)-γ-hydroxypiperazic acid (γ-OHPiz) residue encountered in several bioactive nonribosomal peptides. Our strategy relies on a diastereoselective enolate hydroxylation reaction and electrophilic N-amination to provide the acyclic γ-OHPiz precursor. This orthogonally protected α-hydrazino acid intermediate is amenable to late-stage diazinane ring formation following incorporation into a peptide chain. We determined the N-terminal amide rotamer propensity of the γ-OHPiz residue and showed that the γ-OH substituent enhances trans-amide bias relative to piperazic acid.
  2. Peptide backbone amide substitution can dramatically alter the conformational and physiochemical properties of native sequences. Although uncommon relative to N -alkyl substituents, peptides harboring main-chain N -hydroxy groups exhibit unique conformational preferences and biological activities. Here, we describe a versatile method to prepare N -hydroxy peptide on solid support and evaluate the impact of backbone N -hydroxylation on secondary structure stability. Based on previous work demonstrating the β-sheet-stabilizing effect of α-hydrazino acids, we carried out an analogous study with N -hydroxy-α-amino acids using a model β-hairpin fold. In contrast to N -methyl substituents, backbone N -hydroxy groups are accommodated in the β-strand region of the hairpin without energetic penalty. An enhancement in β-hairpin stability was observed for a di- N -hydroxylated variant. Our results facilitate access to this class of peptide derivatives and inform the use of backbone N -hydroxylation as a tool in the design of constrained peptidomimetics.
  3. The aggregation of amyloids into toxic oligomers is believed to be a key pathogenic event in the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Peptidomimetic modulators capable of destabilizing the propagation of an extended network of β-sheet fibrils represent a potential intervention strategy. Modifications to amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides derived from the core domain have afforded inhibitors capable of both antagonizing aggregation and reducing amyloid toxicity. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that peptide backbone amination stabilizes β-sheet-like conformations and precludes β-strand aggregation. Here, we report the synthesis of N -aminated hexapeptides capable of inhibiting the fibrillization of full-length Aβ 42 . A key feature of our design is N -amino substituents at alternating backbone amides within the aggregation-prone Aβ 16–21 sequence. This strategy allows for maintenance of an intact hydrogen-bonding backbone edge as well as side chain moieties important for favorable hydrophobic interactions. An N -amino scan of Aβ 16–21 resulted in the identification of peptidomimetics that block Aβ 42 fibrilization in several biophysical assays.