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Abstract

Enantiomerically pure β-amino-acid derivatives with the side chains of Ala, Val, and Leu in the 2- or 3-position (β2- and β3-amino acids, resp.), as well as with substituents in both the 2- and 3-positions (β2,3-amino acids, of like-configuration) have been prepared (compounds 817) and incorporated (by stepwise synthesis and fragment coupling, intermediates 2434) into β-hexa-, β-hepta-, and β-dodecapeptides (117). The new and some of the previously prepared β-peptides (3539) showed NH/ND exchange rates (in MeOH at room temperature) with τ1/2 values of up to 60 days, unrivalled by short chain α-peptides. All β-peptides 17 were designed to be able to attain the previously described 31-helical structure (Figs. 1 and 2). CD Measurements (Fig. 4), indicating a new secondary structure of certain β-peptides constructed of β2- and β3-amino acids, were confirmed by detailed NMR solution-structure analyses: a β2-heptapeptide (2c) and a β2,3-hexapeptide (7c) have the 31-helical structure (Figs. 6 and 7), while to a β23-hexapeptide (4) with alternating substitution pattern H-(β2-Xaa-β3-Xaa)3-OH a novel, unusual helical structure (in (D5)pyridine, Fig. 8; and in CD3OH, Figs. 9 and 10) was assigned, with a central ten-membered and two terminal twelve-membered H-bonded rings, and with C[DOUBLE BOND]O and N[BOND]H bonds pointing alternatively up and down along the axis of the helix (Fig. 11). Thus, for the first time, two types of β-peptide turns have been identified in solution. Hydrophobic interactions of and hindrance to solvent accessibility by the aliphatic side chains are discussed as possible factors influencing the relative stability of the two types of helices.