Structural prerequisites for the stability of the 31 helix of β-peptides can be defined from inspection of models (Figs. 1 and 2): lateral non-H-substituents in 2- and 3-position on the 3-amino-acid residues of the helix are allowed, axial ones are forbidden. To be able to test this prediction, we synthesized a series of heptapeptide derivatives Boc-(β-HVal-β-HAla-β-HLeu-Xaa-β-HVal-β-HAla-β-HLeu)-OMe 13–22 (Xaa = α- or β-amino-acid residue) and a β-depsipeptide 25 with a central (S)-3-hydroxybutanoic-acid residue (Xaa = –OCH(Me)CH2C(O)–) (Schemes 1 3). Detailed NMR analysis (DQF-COSY, HSQC, HMBC, ROESY, and TOCSY experiments) in methanol solution of the β-hexapeptide H(-β-HVal-β-HAla-β-HLeu)2-OH (1) and of the β-heptapeptide H-β-HVal-β-HAla-β-HLeu-(S,S)-β-HAla(αMe)-β-HVal-β-HAla- β-HLeu-OH (22), with a central (2S,3S)-3-amino-2-methylbutanoic-acid residue, confirm the helical structure of such β-peptides (previously discovered in pyridine solution) (Fig.3 and Tables 1–5). The CD spectra of helical β-peptides, the residues of which were prepared by (retentive) Arndt-Eistert homologation of the (S)- or L-α-amino acids, show a trough at 215 nm. Thus, this characteristic pattern of the CD spectra was taken as an indicator for the presence of a helix in methanol solutions of compounds 13–22 and 25 (including partially and fully deprotected forms) (Figs.4–6). The results fully confirm predicted structural effects: incorporation of a single ‘wrong’ residue ((R)-β-HAla, β-HAib, (R,S)-β-HAla(α Me), or N-Me-β-HAla) in the central position of the β-heptapeptide derivatives A (see 17, 18, 20, or 21, resp.) causes the CD minimum to disappear. Also, the β-heptadepsipetide 25 (missing H-bond) and the β-heptapeptide analogs with a single α-amino-acid moiety in the middle (13 and 14) are not helical, according to this analysis. An interesting case is the heptapeptide 15 with the central achiral, unsubstituted 3-aminopropanoic-acid moiety: helical conformation appears to depend upon the presence or absence of terminal protection and upon the solvent (MeOH vs. MeOH/H2O).